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Timothy J. Brown, Ph.D.
Department Chair
Discover the Power of Communication

Welcome to the website of the Department of Communication Studies at West Chester University of Pennsylvania. Whether you are a current student, a prospective student, or just looking for more information about our department, you've come to the right place. Use the drop-down menus above for quick access to our site's content. If you are a student or faculty member, login to access additional content.

Communication is an essential part of human life. It affects how we relate to each other, how we achieve success, and how we view reality. It has shaped the world we live in, and it will shape the world ahead. We invite you to discover the power of communication. Contact us today, and discover how the Department of Communication Studies at West Chester University can be a part of your future.

Department News

Speech and Debate Team Three-peats as State Champions!'s picture
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The West Chester University Forensics Speech and Debate team successfully defended their title as the best team in Pennsylvania winning the championship for the third year straight year when the team traveled to Penn State University on February 14-15.

This victory is particularly impressive given that this is a rebuilding year for the young team. The team finished ahead of Lafayette College, who placed second; University of Pennsylvania, who placed third; Bloomsburg University, who placed fourth; and Penn State University, who rounded out the top five.

West Chester took the top four places in best overall speakers for the tournament headed by first year Honors physics major Rebeka Yocum of Northumberland, who won four individual events to be named Top Overall Speaker. She was also the State Champion in Persuasive speaking, which earned her a highly coveted invitation to compete at the Interstate Oratorical Contest, the oldest continuously running national speech contest in the nation open only to the top two persuasive speakers from each state. West Chester University’s other top speakers were Kellen Kane, sophomore Honors chemistry-biology, premedical program major, from Sunbury, who claimed the Second Place Overall Speaker Award; Imani Thomas, senior communication studies major from Wyndmoor, who took Third Place; and Sigfried Aragona, first year Honors Nursing major from Lansdale, who captured Fourth Place Overall.

Individual awards went to:

Rebeka Yocum, who took First Place in Informative Speaking, First place in Persuasive Speaking, First Place in Dramatic Interpretation, First Place in Duo Interpretation with Kellen Kane, and Third Place in Prose Interpretation;

Kellen Kane, who won First Place in Program Oral Interpretation, First Place in Duo Interpretation with Kellen Kane, Second Place in Rhetorical Criticism, Third Place in Informative Speaking, and Fifth Place in Prose Interpretation;

Imani Thomas, who captured First Place in Prose Interpretation, Second Place in Program Oral Interpretation, Third Place in Rhetorical Criticism, Third Place in After Dinner Speaking, and Fourth Place in Poetry Interpretation;

Sigfried Aragona, who placed Second Place in Dramatic Interpretation, Second Place in Prose Interpretation, and Third Place in Program Oral Interpretation;

Emily Herman, sophomore Honors chemistry-biology premedical program major from West Chester, who was Fifth Place in After Dinner Speaking, Fifth Place in Poetry Interpretation, and Sixth Place in Extemporaneous Speaking;

Shila Scott, first year Honors history BSED major from West Chester, who earned Fourth Place in After Dinner Speaking and Fourth Place in Informative Speaking;

Chloe Neal, Doylestown junior communication studies major, who won Fourth Place in Program Oral Interpretation; and

Richie Fontanet, first year Honors history BSED major from East Stroudsburg, who took Sixth Place in After Dinner Speaking

Celebrate Black History Month with Communication Studies Renowned Guest Speaker's picture
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Due to Weather

Come celebrate Black History Month with renowned guest speaker, Dr. Rachel Alicia Griffin. Dr. Griffin is an Associate Professor of Communication Studies at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, with cross-appointments in Africana Studies and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.

"Sport, Gender Violence, and Black Female Survivors:
The Offensive Pedagogy of Mike Tyson's Sustained Fame"

Wednesday, February 18th, 7:15PM
Sykes 252

Light refreshments and dessert will be provided.

WCU Professors Publish Article in Communication Monographs's picture
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Drs. Bessie Lawton and Anita Foeman of the Department of Communication Studies, along with Dr. Randall Rieger of the Department of Mathematics, recently published a journal article in Communication Monographs, titled "Questioning Race: Ancestry DNA and Dialog on Race." Communication Monographs is one of the most widely respected journals of peer-reviewed scholarship within the study of human communication, and is published for the National Communication Association.

Here is the abstract for this article: Human genetics and racial identity converge pointedly in the family narrative. Until recently, genetics, racial identity, and family narrative were all rather malleable concepts in the public arena. All were presented in anecdotal form for the most part, and were often based on certain social conventions. The interjection of popularly available ancestry DNA data adds an additional piece of information to the discussion of genetics, race, and narrative. Using the framework of both narrative theory and theory of social construction, this work uses quantitative and qualitative data to explore how individuals react to ancestry DNA findings and to consider if and how this information will change narratives, behaviors, and perspectives. We also explore whether one’s racial identification makes a difference in initial accuracy and if there is a difference among racial groupings in terms of change in census identification based on knowledge of their DNA profile.

Questions about the article may be sent to Dr. Anita Foeman, at

Quad 2014 Election Update's picture
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COM majors Colleen Fox and Anjelica Finore recently recorded a 2014 Election Update video for The Quad, the student news service of West Chester University. Recorded at the Digital Media Center, the video takes advantage of their recently installed "virtual set" technology. The video is being broadcast on Verizon FiOS channel 33. It is also being featured on the digital signage systems on campus, as well as on the University's home page.

Quad editor-in-chief Adam Farance has made a big push this year to increasingly incorporate multimedia journalism into the operations of the student news service. This includes a growing amount of short video reports created using the Quad's mobile journalism kits, as well as producing a video weather forecast three times a week. Check out the growing number of student-created videos on The Quad's YouTube channel.

COM Studies Major To Deliver December Commencement Address's picture
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Was it her thoughtful speech, her charming British delivery, or all of the lessons she learned as a communication studies major? Whatever it was, Madeleine "Maddie" Ball, Communication Studies major, has been selected to deliver the student commencement address in December. Ms. Ball, who also minored in journalism, has taken a variety of presentation-related classes that have prepared her for the challenge, as well as internships that have improved her confidence and professional style.

Congrats to Maddie, and best of luck beyond graduation!

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