College of Liberal Arts
Department of Communication
Chair: Ralph Frasca, Ph.D.
Professor: Ralph Frasca, Ph.D
University Professor: Carl Glover, Ph.D.;
Professor Emeritus: Carmen Schmersahl, Ph.D.; Byron Stay, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor: Brian J. Gilchrist, Ph.D.; Mary Catherine Kennedy, Ph.D.; Pratibha Kumar, Ph.D.
The major in communication combines the study of writing, speaking and editing with a liberal arts approach to the history and theory of communication. Students examine the rhetorical tradition and contemporary practice as well as the impact of mass media on contemporary American life. Students develop and apply their skills through practice in various kinds of speaking and writing, including journalism and creative and professional writing.
Communication majors are well prepared to enter careers in journalism, editing, media and public relations, as well as graduate school in journalism, creative writing, professional and technical writing, and rhetoric and public address.
Students who major in communication should learn:
- to understand the rhetorical and historical contexts of communication
- to understand how communication and theories about it have differed over time and place
- to understand the role and impact of mass media in society
- to understand the nature and practice of persuasion
- to write for a variety of audiences and situations
- to understand their own and others' writing practices
- to edit writing
- to be computer literate
- to understand, evaluate and respond appropriately to others' communication
- to speak well in public
The Writing Center
The department of communication also houses the Writing Center, which provides one-on-one assistance with writing to all members of the community.