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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

Dr. Castle Bell Publishes Article in Qualitative Research Reports In Communication's picture
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Dr. Gina Castle Bell recently published a journal article in Qualitative Research Reports in Communication, titled "Exploring Black and White Accounts of 21st Century Racial Profiling: Riding and Driving while Black." This article explores the presence of racial tensions and racism in the United States and documents instances of racial profiling, where Black automobile operators are pulled over by White police officers because they have Black skin, not because a traffic violation occurred. In addition to documenting Black participants' voices on this subject, this article highlights experiences by White community members who were riding in the car with Black drivers and who labeled this instance as exemplyfying racism or racial profiling.

Dr. Castle Bell studies domestic race-related social justice issues in the United States. Her research focus centers on intercultural communication in every day interpersonal contexts. This article highlights work in her specific area of expertise, Black and White intercultural mis-communication. In addition to publishing research, Dr. Castle Bell teaches Research Methods, Communication Theory, African American Communication, and Public Speaking as an Assistant Professor at West Chester University. Any comments or questions should be emailed to:

In the news: Professor interviewed about protests in Hong Kong's picture
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Hong Kong has seen a flurry of political protests recently in response to changes made by the Chinese government. Prof. Michael Boyle, who studies how news media cover protest movements, was interviewed for an article on the National Journal website. He discussed how tactics used by protest groups can affect the nature of the coverage the groups receive as well as the difficulty protest groups face in controlling the message they are trying to send. Click here to read the full article.

"A World of Difference" unveiled at President's Council Retreat's picture
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At the annual West Chester University President's Council Retreat on August 15, Dr. Anita Foeman and Dr. Philip A. Thompsen unveiled "A World of Difference at WCU," a free online course on diversity and intercultural communication for students, faculty and staff. Over the summer, Drs. Foeman and Thompsen worked as a team with Dr. Bessie Lawton to develop and deploy a substantial amount of online learning content for this self-registering course on the Brightspace Learning Management System (formerly known as Desire2Learn, at Anyone with a WCU email address can login to D2L and self-enroll in the course, which can be found in the directory of self-registering courses by clicking "Search Organizations" on the D2L homepage.

The course includes instructional videos on intercultural communication, online learning activities, readings and short quizzes. It also features recordings of a variety of faculty, staff and students who volunteered to share their experiences and case studies on diversity issues. Many of the videos produced for the course were recorded over the summer at the Digital Media Center in Brandywine Hall. The WCU Office of Social Equity and The College of Arts and Sciences provided development support for the project.

Many of the videos used in the course are also available on a public MediaSpace channel at MediaSpace is WCU's internal video portal, based on the Kaltura platform, and is available to all students, faculty and staff at West Chester University.

COM Major Creates Service Learning Video's picture
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Communication Studies major Anjelica Finore recently created the above video about Service Learning at West Chester University. Drawing from her technical expertise from working as talent and crew at WCU Weekly, Anjelica contributed many hours of her personal time in creating this video, itself an excellent example of service learning in action. The video features many examples of service learning, including projects mentored by Professor Anne Walsh, Professor Mark Hickman, Dr. Meghan Mahoney and Dr. Bessie Lawton in the classes they teach in the Department of Communication Studies. The video opens with some comments from Jodi Roth-Saks, Director of Service-Learning and Volunteer Programs, who notes that "the Communication Studies Department has done a great job this year with creating new service learning courses, and creating things that are really going to work, really high-impact practices when it comes to service learning."

COM Faculty Mentor Two SURI Fellows's picture
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Faculty members from the Department of Communication will serve as mentors this summer to two Undergraduate Research Fellows during West Chester University's first Summer Undergraduate Research Institute (SURI). The SURI is designed to allow current WCU students to pursue a significant research question, contribute to a scholarly endeavor, or to produce an artistic or creative work while being mentored by a WCU faculty member.

Dr. Elizabeth Munz will be working with senior Communication Studies major Zachary Wooten on a research project surrounding Family Systems Theory. Zachary is interested in the origins and evolution of Family Systems Theory as well as applications of the theory by academics and practitioners (e.g., Marriage and Family Counselors). This in-depth exploration of Family Systems Theory will be beneficial for Zachary as he prepares to pursue a Master’s of Divinity at the Princeton Theological Seminary after he graduates from WCU in August, 2014.

Dr. Philip A. Thompsen will be working with Andrew Rufo, a Professional Studies major with minors in Web Technology and Graphic Design. Andrew will be working on developing a new interactive website for the DNA Discussion Project (at He will be working with Dr. Thompsen in implementing a new content management system, promoting the project through search engine optimization and social media marketing techniques, and using adaptive design principles to make the site more "mobile-friendly."

The Summer Undergraduate Research Institute runs for four weeks, from May 27 through June 23.

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