To give prospective students a comprehensive and candid illustration of the work that master’s in communication programs involve, the skills they help students build, and the career support they may offer students, MastersinCommunications.com created a Faculty Interview Series featuring in-depth interviews with professors, program directors, and other faculty members at master’s in communication programs throughout the country. In their interviews, faculty provide important information and insights including:

  • The structure of their master’s in communication program, and the core concepts that are covered through classes and projects
  • Advice for students on any master’s thesis, comprehensive examination, and/or capstone project requirements
  • How students can optimize their applications for these programs
  • The pros and cons of pursuing a master’s degree in a traditional campus-based setting, versus hybrid and fully online options

Interview with Bernardo Alexander Attias, Ph.D. – California State University, Northridge

Dr. Attias is the Graduate Coordinator of the Communication Studies Department at California State University Northridge, where he also teaches as a Professor. He specializes in cultural and feminist studies, rhetoric, freedom of speech, and the rhetoric of conflict and warfare.
“Our main strength at CSUN is our commitment to student-centered learning. You will find here an extremely supportive and accessible faculty who always make our students our top priority.”

Interview with Christopher Bell, Ph.D. – University of Colorado Colorado Springs

Dr. Bell is the Director of Graduate Studies for the Department of Communication at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs, where he also teaches as an Associate Professor. He specializes in the intersections of communication and media with popular culture, race, class, and gender.
“The biggest selling point for our program is its customizability. Because our program is so flexible, our graduates end up in every corner of the Communication field from political, corporate, and non-profit positions to media production, sports management, and entertainment.”

Interview with Teresa Bergman, Ph.D. – University of the Pacific

Dr. Bergman is the Graduate Program Director for the Communication Department at the University of the Pacific, where she also teaches courses on persuasive communication and documentary film as a Professor. Her research focuses on memory studies and the use of the documentary form to commemorate historical figures and sites.
“We have a relatively small program, and we try to structure the program so that all faculty are engaged with and supportive of students’ learning both inside and outside of the classroom.”

Interview with Paul Booth, Ph.D. – DePaul University

Dr. Booth is the Graduate Director of DePaul’s Master of Arts in Digital Communication and Media Arts, where he advises students and oversees all administrative aspects of the program. He is also an Associate Professor who teaches courses in media and cinema studies, communication and technology, and new media and culture.
“Students who graduate from the program find themselves well poised to enter or further a career in a variety of fields, from social media management to media director, from content specialist to design strategist.”

Interview with Tricia Burke, Ph.D. – Texas State University

Dr. Burke is the Director of Graduate Studies at Texas State University, where she also teaches courses in interpersonal communication, health communication, and empirical research as an Assistant Professor. In her research, she explores how interpersonal and health communication intersect in relationships.
“Students who receive their M.A. from Texas State learn how to analyze and assess messages from different perspectives, which is a valuable tool in both academic and non-academic career paths.”

Interview with Bart Collins, Ph.D. – Purdue University

Dr. Collins is the Director of the Online Graduate Program at Purdue University’s Brian Lamb School of Communication, where he is also a professor specializing in healthcare communication, tele-medicine and tele-health, and the connections between health, technology, and education.
“Our faculty have strong industry experiences and academic credentials, and work actively to help students translate theory and research to address real world problems.”

Interview with Rocky Dailey, Ed.D. – South Dakota State University

Dr. Dailey is an Assistant Professor at South Dakota State University’s Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, where he teaches courses in mass communication pedagogy, media management, and cross platform storytelling. He also serves as the Online Graduate Advisor for the Department.
“As the first and currently only online Master of Mass Communication graduate degree accredited by ACEJMC, our program undergoes an extensive and regular review covering both our curriculum and faculty as well as evidence of course goal achievement and degree retention and completion.”

Interview with James J. Donahue, Ph.D. – The State University of New York at Potsdam

Dr. Donahue is the Graduate Director of the Master of Arts in English & Communication at SUNY Potsdam, where he also teaches graduate courses in thesis writing and research, narrative theory, and experimental narratives as an Associate Professor.
What makes the MA in English & Communication distinctive is our interdisciplinary approach, whereby students work with faculty from a variety of areas engaged in the study of language and communication, from the study of literary aesthetics, to the development of professional writing, to the exploration of the role of digital technologies in communicative acts.

Interview with Athena du Pré, Ph.D. – University of West Florida

Dr. du Pré is a Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of West Florida, where she also serves as the Director of the MA in Strategic Communication & Leadership program. She teaches courses in health communication, leadership, and workplace communication and dynamics.
“The curriculum is smart and cutting edge–with a strong foundation in theory and research. But we believe in putting those into practice. Our faculty are extraordinary for their commitment to helping students succeed in and out of the classroom.”

Interview with Rebekah Farrugia, Ph.D. – Oakland University

Dr. Farrugia is the Graduate Program Director for Oakland University’s Department of Communication and Journalism, where she oversees all graduate students in the Master of Arts in Communication program. She also teaches courses in media and social identity, critical approaches to popular music, and gender, sexuality, and the media.
”…our students are well prepared for further research at the doctoral level as well as a variety of positions in industry including work in non-profit organizations, public relations, and corporate industries.”

Interview with Judy Foster Davis, PhD – Eastern Michigan University

Dr. Davis is a Professor of Marketing and Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) at Eastern Michigan University, where she teaches courses in in IMC strategies and principles, multi-channel media, consumer behavior, and IMC ethics. She also served as the Faculty Coordinator for Eastern Michigan University’s MS in IMC for seven years.
“Students finish the program well-positioned to perform as marketing communication leaders and managers in their organizations, making the IMC Master’s degree at Eastern Michigan University a particularly attractive graduate degree option.”

Interview with Leanne Knobloch, Ph.D. – University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Dr. Knobloch is the Director of Graduate Studies for the Department of Communication at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she also teaches undergraduate and graduate courses as a Professor specializing in interpersonal communication, health communication, and conflict management.
“Our curriculum is helpful for students who are planning careers in education, business, government, public policy, health care, and many other areas.”

Interview with Hye-ryeon Lee, Ph.D. – University of Hawaii at Manoa

Dr. Lee is the Director of Graduate Studies for the Department of Communicology at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where she also teaches courses in persuasion and social influence, political communication, and health communication as a Professor.
“We are very highly ranked in terms of faculty research and scholarship, and we provide excellent preparation for individuals who are thinking about entering a Ph.D. program. And at the same time, we also provide applied projects and other opportunities for students who are more interested in pursuing a career in industry, and are invested in developing their professional portfolio and skills set.”

Interview with Meina Liu, Ph.D. – The George Washington University

Dr. Liu is the Graduate Director of George Washington University’s MA in Communication Management, overseeing graduate admissions, student advising, and assessment. She is also an Associate Professor in the Department of Organizational Sciences and Communication, where she teaches courses in negotiation and organizational and intercultural communication.
“One of the major appeals of this degree is the wide variety of career paths that students can pursue. Students with an M.A. in Communication Management enter careers as Project Managers, Communications Managers, Brand Specialists, Market Research Analysts, and so on.”

Interview with John A. McArthur, Ph.D. – Queens University of Charlotte

Dr. McArthur is the Director of Graduate Programs at Queens University of Charlotte’s James L. Knight School of Communication, where he is also an Associate Professor specializing in the use of physical and digital spaces in the design and dissemination of information. He is an author of a book on proxemics, and has published numerous articles on strategic communications and information design.
“The Knight School’s MA in Communication uses innovative methods to study current and emerging media conversations through digital strategic communication.”

Interview with John H. Parmelee, Ph.D. – University of North Florida

Dr. Parmelee is the Chair of the University of North Florida’s Department of Communication, where he also teaches graduate courses in journalism, political communication, and media theory and research. He specializes in how communication technologies such as social media have shaped political communication and its effects on society.
“UNF is currently the only school in the state to offer a master’s degree that has communication management as the primary focus.”

Interview with Magdelana Red, Ph.D. – University of Denver

Dr. Red is the Academic Director for the Master of Arts in Communication Management program at the University of Denver’s University College, where she also teaches courses in interpersonal, organizational, and mass communication as an Assistant Professor.
“This applied program is ideal for current communication professionals who need to build more specialized skills or career changers who want to pursue communication roles.”

Interview with Nathan Stormer, Ph.D. – University of Maine

Dr. Stormer is the Chair of the Communication and Journalism Department at the University of Maine, where he also teaches as a professor of feminist and medical rhetoric. He is the author of numerous research articles on cultural rhetoric, health and medical discourse, and feminist communication, and has published two books on the role of cultural and medical rhetoric on women’s reproductive rights.
“As a sign of our success, we have over a 90% completion rate of our graduate students.”

Interview with Michael G. Strawser, Ph.D. – Bellarmine University

Dr. Strawser is the Director of Graduate Programs at Bellarmine University’s School of Communication, where he also teaches courses in organizational, instructional, strategic, intercultural, and leadership communication as an Assistant Professor. Dr. Strawser also served as an Instructional Designer for Bellarmine University’s online and hybrid courses.
“Our degree program is unique to each student in that students can select courses (i.e. special topics course) like strategic communication, podcasting, communication campaigns and analysis, digital portfolio, data visualization and storytelling, etc. that resonate with them.”

Interview with Paula Weissman, Ph.D. – American University

Dr. Weissman is the Director of the Online Master of Arts in Strategic Communication program at American University’s School of Communication, where she is also a full-time professor of Public Communication. She offers insight into the curriculum and research requirements of the Online MA in Strategic Communication, as well as the aspects of the program that make it unique.
“Our reputation has earned us many accolades… Students leverage this reputation and strong network in their careers.”

Interview with Wendy Zajack, MBA – Georgetown University

Professor Zajack is the Faculty Director of the Master of Professional Studies in Integrated Marketing Communications at Georgetown University, where she also teaches graduate courses in collaboration and ethics in communication, we well as the capstone course. She has over 20 years of experience in the corporate communications space, working for companies such as Reuters, Nokia, and Alcatel-Lucent.
“The professional strength and breadth of knowledge of our faculty, their willingness to connect with students, and the powerful networks they bring have proved time and time again to be a great launching pad for our students.”