News & Events

2019-2020 Faculty Accomplishments and Congratulations 

  • Dr. Travis Cram was invited to join Washington State Debate Coalition, a civic engagement organization founded by the Seattle City Club, and the editorial board of Argumentation & Advocacy. He also completed a three-week professional development boot camp on hybrid and blended learning
  • Heather Davidson awarded seven scholarships through the WeAreWWU service-learning campaign—the largest disbursement of the # WeAreWWU campaign to date.
  • Dr. Mary Erickson was promoted to Senior Instructor at WWU and published a book chapter: Erickson, M. (2019). Old strategies in the new paradigm: Web series and corporate control. In R. Nichols & G. Martínez (Eds.), Political Economy of Media Industries: Global Transformations and Challenges. New York: Routledge.
  • Dr. Rae Lynn Schwartz-DuPre is in the final stages of her book project: Curious about George: Cultural Icons, Colonialism, Curious George and U.S. Exceptionalism. She also published a book chapter: Parenting Through Pop Culture: Making Sure Media Matters and taught training for the Office of Student Housing about race.
  • Dr. Michael Karlberg published Constructing Social Reality: An Inquiry into the Normative Foundations of Social Change. Ottawa: Association for Baha’i Studies. He also published a book chapter in an edited volume: Reframing Human Dignity. In Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Human Dignity and Human Rights, Hoda Mahmoudi and Michael Penn (eds.) Emerald Publishing.
  • Dr. Tara Perry was awarded full Professor. Her panel titled, "Welcome Spaces: Communication at the Crossroads and Countering Bullying in the Academy" has been accepted for presentation at the NCA 106th Annual Convention, November 19-22, 2020 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
  • Dr. Jianglong Wang offered a new course, COMM 416: Culture and Health Communication. He presented three national and international conference papers and published two articles in conference proceedings.

Announcing the Department of Communication Studies 2019-20 Outstanding Graduate

Megan Zahn was named our 2019-20 Outstanding Graduate. Congratulations Megan! Read more about Megan and other Outstanding Graduates from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Congratulations to the recipients of the 2020-21 Communication Studies Scholarships!

The Department of Communication Studies and the #WeAreWWU Campaign has awarded their scholarships for the 2020-21 academic year. For a complete list of recipients, view the 2020-2021 Scholarships Awards

Welcome Back Students – Fall 2019 Event: Building Community & Inclusivity

Communication Studies majors, minors, and pre-majors are invited to attend a Welcome Back Event: Building Community & Inclusivity on Friday, October 4th from 3-5pm.

Department of Communication Studies 2019 Scholars Week Poster Presentations

The following students are participating in WWU's 2019 Scholars Week Poster Session on Wednesday, May 15 at the Communication Facility 2nd floor lobby from 11:30-1pm:

  • Sophie Afework presents Homeless communities transitioning into the workplace: Breaking down the barriers organizations are putting up. Mentored by Dr. Tara Perry.
  • Natalie Cola presents Seattle City Light Strategic Posturing: Impacts of Narratives on Public’s Perceptions of the Organization. Mentored by Dr. Rita Daniels.
  • Jana Iwasaki presents Gaze but do not touch: Encountering the other and the rhetorics of a post-racial performance. Mentored by Dr. Rae Lynn Schwartz-DuPre.
  • Paityn Kaiser presents Breaking Barriers: Women in Politics. Mentored by Dr. Tara Perry.
  • Claire Litsky presents The Western Front’s Representation of Women's Athletics 1973-1976. Mentored by Dr. Mary Erickson.
  • Mikayla Saechao presents Subtle Asian Traits Facebook Group Page and the Asian Identity. Mentored by Dr. Mary Erikson.
  • Marjean Tomer presents Western Washington University’s Strategic Plan: Organizational Ethics and Intentional Ambiguity. Mentored by Dr. Mary Grace Antony.
  • Grace Westermann presents Greenpeace and others pressure international buyers, protect Great Bear Rainforest. Mentored by Dr. Michael Karlberg.

Communication Studies Professor Rita Daniels invited to attend Social Justice Training Institute

Professor Daniels will attend the Social Justice Training Institute in June.

Western Debate Union named co-national champions with UC Berkeley for the 2018–2019 season

Learn more about the National Parliamentary Debate Championship.

UW offers a new Master's degree program in Communication Leadership

Read more about an overview of the UW Communication Leadership program.

Dr. Ee Lin Lee receives 2018 Womxn of Color Empowerment Faculty Award

Dr. Lee was recognized by Student Outreach Services for her contribution to diversity on campus. See a photo of Dr. Lee as a speaker and recipient of the award.

Department of Communication Studies 2017-18 Scholars Week Nominees named

The nominees for the 2017-18 Scholars Week are: Miranda Abrashi, Fedden Amar, Annapurna Beavon, Rachel Gallagher, Lucia Gruber, Erin McCauley, Mairin McCurdy, Dana Oviedo, Devin Richert, and Stephanie Springer. Congratulations and thank you for your scholarship!

Dr. Ee Lin Lee selected for 2017-18's Innovative Teaching Showcase

The Center for Instructional Innovation and Assessment's advisory board has announced its 2017-18 Showcase featured instructors and Dr. Lee is one of them! This year's theme is Engaging in Social Justice.

The Center for Instructional Innovation and Assessment’s advisory board is pleased to announce the 2017-18 Showcase featured instructors:

Dr. Tara Perry's College Quest students present Ted-style Talks

Dr. Perry’s class, which is part of Western’s College Quest curriculum—a summer program providing high school students access to college learning and living experiences, presented 5-7-minute TED-style talks on issues the students believe need to be addressed in society, focusing on Community Activism and Social Justice. Read more about the TED-style talks and view previous year's TED talks.

Communication Studies student papers selected for Scholars Week 2017

Congratulations to our Communication Studies students whose papers were selected as top and honorable mention for Scholars Week! Please join them as they exhibit their Communication Studies Posters on May 15 from 11:30-12:30 on the 2nd floor atrium lobby area. Attendance gets you a free ticket to join in the Communication Studies BBQ! Also, the top papers will be presented on May 15 in COMM 220 from 1-2:20pm in SL110.

Top Papers: (alpha order)

  • Alexandria Baker - From Bra-Burners to Bureaucracy: The Evolution of Second-Wave Feminism through NOW Newsletters (Mentor Mary Erickson)
  • Madison Bradner, Meredith J. Bactol, and Moisé Payne - African American Women: Mass Media’s Impact on Body Image Perceptions (Mentor Tara Perry)
  • Jessy Dalessandro – Sustainability: The property of Being Environmentally Sustainable (Mentor Rae Lynn Schwartz-DuPre)
  • Alexandrea Moore - Identifying Social Hierarchies within Organizational Communication (Mentor Rita Daniels)
  • Elora Malama West - Exploration of Conservation Organizational Framing: Sharks and the Charismatic Megafauna (Mentor Steve Woods)

Honorable Mention: (alpha order)

  • Jade C. Lee - An Examination of Cultivation Theory on Asian American Stereotypes (Mentor Ee Lin Lee)
  • Thu Le - Feminist Mother In A Hyper-Masculine Society (Mentor Rita Daniels)
  • Erin M. Mackin and Zoe C. Kelly- A Critique of Conflict Management Style Usage Within Communication Research (Mentor Ee Lin Lee)
  • Tiffany Ng - Lolita Themes in Photography: An Ethics Case Study (Michael Karlberg)
  • Kylie Wagar - Capturing the Moment: The Rhetorical Analysis of World War II Celebration (Mentor Mary Erickson)

Communication Studies major Kevin Miller's song will play in upcoming holiday movie

Western senior and Communication Studies major Kevin Miller's song, titled "I'm the Man," will play in Almost Christmas, a holiday movie starring Danny Glover. Kevin, who both wrote and performed the song says it is about him acknowledging his journey becoming a man, with some comedic elements. Read more about Kevin and his music, in the Western Front.

Fulbright Fellow and Communication Studies graduate Polly Woodbury in Thailand

Western alumna and Communication Studies and Psychology graduate, Polly Woodbury, who was awarded a Fulbright fellowship, is spending a year in Thailand teaching English to students and serving as an unofficial American cultural ambassador. You can follow Polly's adventures and how she is using her fellowship in the Western Front's article Fulbright winners spending a year teaching and learning abroad.

Congratulations to Communication Studies Scholars Week participants

This year's Scholars Week participants and presentations from the Communication Studies department are:

  • Weyni Haddis: The Role of the Western Front During the BSU's Fight for Black Power and Liberation in 1968-1975
  • Louise Strandoo: The Production and Contestation of Whiteness in Little Miss Sunshine
  • Nicole Shapiro: YouTube Celebrity and the Future of Online Video
  • Devon Payne: Critique of Uncertainty Reduction
  • Janice Fair: Cognitive Flexibility: The Experience of Muslim Refugees
  • Alexandria Baker: Breastfeeding in Public: An Examination of Contradictory Rhetoric in Media
  • Kana Sorimachi: Behind the Silence of Japanese International Students in the U.S. Classrooms

Nicole Shapiro (mentor Dr. Mary Erickson) and Weyni Haddis (mentor Dr. Helen Morgan Parmett) received Outstanding Poster Awards in the Undergraduate Scholars Poster Showcase Session.
Congratulations to all our Scholars Week participants and a huge thank you to our faculty mentors for making such a significant contribution to the WWU scholars community!

Call for submissions for a special issue of the Journal of Contemporary Argumentation and Debate

Professors are invited to submit their writings to a special issue of the Journal of Contemporary Argumentation and Debate to celebrate the life and scholarship of the late Alfred “Tuna” Snider, the former Edwin W. Lawrence Professor of Speech and Debate at the University of Vermont. In a career spanning forty-three years, Dr. Snider authored five books and over fifty journal articles attending especially to the practice of debate and its role in global social change, leaving a tremendous legacy in the areas of Speech, Debate, and Communication Studies.

Communication Studies major Kevin Miller shares his passion for music and communication

Music has been a mainstay in Kevin Miller's life since childhood. You may have even heard his music on the hit MTV show "True Life." Recently, Miller has used what he's learned in his Communication Studies courses to combine his passion for both communication and music with the launch of his online music production business, All Approach. You can read more about Kevin and his music in the Western Today's article Inspired by beats.

The Western Debate Team has strong finish to their 2015-16 season with two students taking 1st and 2nd best overall speaker at NPDA

This spring, the Western Debate team participated in two season ending tournaments—the National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence (NPTE) and the National Parliamentary Debate Association Championship Tournament (NPDA). First at NPTE, the Team took 7th overall and debate team member Ashley Tippins took 10th best overall speaker. Then, at NPDA, Ashley and her debate partner, Kenny Torre took 1st and 2nd in best overall speaker, respectively. The Western Team took 12th in the NPDA tournament sweepstakes closing their season in 18th place in the nation out of 199 schools!

Professor Helen Morgan Parmett's Communications Studies 416 class delves into the archives of Bellingham's media past

Students of Dr. Helen Morgan Parmett's COMM 416 "Cultural History of Media and Identity" class gained experience and awareness of media archival and historical primary source materials through the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, a division of Western Libraries Heritage Resources. In their upper-division class research and writing assignment, students contributed to the scholarship of media history and identity found in secondary literature by constructing an original argument based on archival evidence of media influence on the construction of Pacific Northwest identities. You can read more about the class and Bellingham's media history in Western Today's article Using archives to enhance teaching and learning.

Communication Studies Graduate and first-ever recipient of the Abigail Tandy Maye Stout Memorial Scholarship inspired to give back

When Narita Ghumman was a Communication Studies major, she received the first-ever scholarship that was created in honor of Dr. Karen Stout and JB Stout's daughter, Abigail. Inspired by this gift of scholarship, Narita, who currently lives in Boston, is establishing a scholarship fund in honor of her own mother. Narita recently wrote to Dr. Karen Stout to not only share this news, but to also thank Dr. Stout. Read about the new scholarship fund in Western Today.

Communication Studies Graduate Annika Wolters helps Ilwaco High School students stay in school

After graduating from WWU with a double major in visual journalism and communication studies, Americorp member Annika Wolters returned to her high school on the Olympic Peninsula this fall to help students who are at risk of missing or not staying in school. For Wolters, the job is personal—just seven years ago, she herself was missing school at Ilwaco High after one of her close friends committed suicide. She understands the many issues that students are facing and is working to create the school's first truancy reduction program. You can read more about the program and Annika's work at Schools to absent students: We want you here.

Communication Studies Professor Dr. Tara Perry's film awarded Honorable Mention at the National Communication Association Film Festival

Dr. Perry and former WWU student Andrew G. Weiler's film Beyond Selfless was awarded an Honorable Mention at this year's NCA Conference's film festival. The film is about one women's (immigrant Nalda Perry Callender's - Dr. Perry's mother) journey from Antigua, West Indies to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada as a single mother of five children to create collectivism in an urban community divided by class, identity politics, religion, and race.

Summer 2016 Opportunity to Study Abroad and earn Communication Studies credit with Dr. Helen Morgan Parmett in Central and Eastern Europe

Dr. Helen Morgan Parmett will lead a program Communication, Culture, & Media in Central and Eastern Europe this summer 2016 where students traveling to Prague, Vienna, Bratislava, and Ljubljana can study abroad to earn 10 credits in COMM 325 and 440.

2014 Communication Studies graduate Polly Woodbury receives Fulbright fellowship

Western alumna and Communication Studies graduate, Polly Woodbury was awarded a Fulbright fellowship. She is the first person of color to win the Fulbright fellowship through Western Washington University. You can read more about Polly and how she is using her fellowship in the Western Front's article Alumna uses fellowship to travel and teach.

Dr. Tara Perry, Associate Professor of Communication Studies, featured in Western Today for her commitment to Equity and Inclusion

Dr. Perry is featured in Western Today celebrating Equity and Inclusion Month and the launch of WWU's Equity and Inclusion Forum.

Heather Davidson awarded the Carl H. Simpson Bridging Award for 2015-16

Heather Davidson, Communication Studies Instructor, received the Carl H. Simpson Bridging Award at WWU's 2015 Opening Convocation.

Korry Harvey recognized in Western Today and in receiving the 2014 Diversity Achievement Award

Communication Studies Senior Instructor and Assistant Director of Forensics Korry Harvey's work regarding issues of racism and discrimination is featured in Western Today's article Harvey works to find common ground. He received the Diversity Achievement Award in 2014 in recognition of his effort to increase better multicultural understanding at Western.

Jacob "JD" Boucher named 2014-15 Outstanding Graduate of Communication Studies

WWU named Jacob "JD" Boucher the 2014-15 Outstanding Graduate of Communication Studies. Jacob will graduate in August magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies and a minor in Creative Writing.

Communication Studies graduate Nick Bolvin — 2015 Spring Commencement Speaker

Nick Bolvin, who graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies and a minor in Japanese was selected to speak at the spring 2015 Commencement. Listen to his speech on YouTube.

Communication Studies major Sukhmanii Kahlon featured in Klipsun

Sukhmanii Kahlon's service work with Sikh elders of Whatcom County is featured in the Spring 2015 Klipsun article Another American Life - Helping Sikhs practice old beliefs in a new country. Sukhmanii was born in India and moved to the United States when she was seven. She hopes to attend medical school after she graduates from WWU with a major in Communication Studies and a minor in Psychology.