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Introducing the Department of Communication Studies!

The Department of Human Communication Studies is now the Department of Communication Studies. Learn more by viewing our informational brochure: Communication Studies at DU


2013 Outstanding Communication Studies Award Winners

 junior seniors

All four of these students, Charles St. John, Cydney Trapp, and Sarah Pomerantz all seniors (pictured from left to right) and Jenny Roberts a junior (pictured alone) received top honors from the Department of Communication Studies during the University of Denver's student awards presentation held on May 15, 2013



2013 Staff Pioneer Award Winner: Paula Martin, Assistant to the Chair of Communication Studies

 staff pioneer

The Pioneer Award is one of DU's "most prestigious awards and is given annually to one faculty member, one staff member, and up to 10 students who best exemplify the Pioneer spirit. . . . [The award] recognizes individuals or organizations who epitomize what it means to be a DU Pioneer over the duration of their undergraduate career, or service to the university as a faculty or staff member, or student organization. Recipients . . . will demonstrate strong academic performance, leadership, community service, campus involvement, strong character, and pride in the University. Nominees should also exemplify pioneering qualities, the attributes that demonstrate innovation, creativity and a unique perspective that impacts the DU Community."



Dr. Erin Willer, pictured with Dr. Joe Mazer (Clemson University), recipients of the 2013 Central States Communication Association's Outstanding New Teacher Award

 willer csca award

Dr. Erin Willer received the 2013 Central States Communication Association Outstanding New Teacher Award at the association's annual conference, which was held in Kansas City this year. The award honors individuals early in their professional career who are showing distinction as teachers. Dr. Willer was selected from amongst a highly competitive pool for this honor. When presenting her with the award, Dr. Jordan Soliz said the following about Dr. Willer:

"Her evaluations are off the charts even in some of the more difficult and anxiety-provoking courses in the major such as quantitative research methods....Both colleagues and students point to her inclusion of 'narrative pedagogy' as an innovative approach to teaching and one that makes her such an effective instructor. As one of her letters of support explains:

As a narrative scholar, she recognizes that students come to a class with experiences, expectations, and life stories that influence their approach to the course. Therefore, she makes appointments with students during the quarter to share their stories with her. These stories many include things about their educational life relevant to classroom learning, but they may also share any other details about themselves they wish. After they talk (for at least 20 minutes), she types up their story and shares it with them, illustrating that she has heard, understood, and values them as a person and student. She does this each quarter in addition to thoroughly preparing lessons, holding office hours, and grading....

What makes her deserving of this award is best summed up by a student comment:

She sees us as more than just students, but as capable and excited scholars, willing and able to share our knowledge and perspectives with others. She possesses a unique and subtle grace that maintains a positive and intellectually stimulating classroom environment without compromising it. She challenges without invalidating, guides without controlling, and encourages without pushing." 


Dr. Bernadette Marie Calafell Named 2011 William T. Driscoll Master Educator

Calafell Master Educator Award 

On Thursday May 19th 2011 Dr. Bernadette Marie Calafell was named the 2011 William T. Driscoll Master Educator at the University of Denver. The award recognizes excellence in teaching and mentoring both in and out of the classroom. Nominations are made annually by students. The award came as a surprise with Dr. Calafell sharing that she, "was both honored and humbled." 


Arianna Molloy Wins Award for Outstanding Teaching

Molloy Accepts Award

On April 16, 2011, Communication Studies PhD student Arianna Molloy received the RMCA Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant of the Year Award. Arianna, who is completing her third year of study in rhetoric and communication ethics, was recognized for her passionate, clear instruction; focus on student improvement; and leadership in the Department of Communication Studies. Arianna joins alumni Richard G. Jones, Jr. (PhD, 2009), and current doctoral students Daniel Johnson and Tiffani Baldwin, as recipients of this honor. Please join us in congratulating Arianna, and all of the outstanding teachers in the Department of Communication Studies. 


Communication Studies Students Present Research on Social Movements

Students Present at RMCA

On April 16, 2011, four undergraduates joined Dr. Christina Foust in Loveland, Colorado, for the Rocky Mountain Communication Association conference. Charles St. John (sophomore COMN and DMST major), Danielle Miller (INTS major and prospective COMN minor), Jessica Morganfield (senior COMN and PLSC major), and Holli Crane (senior COMN and HIST major), presented. Their work--which elucidates how recent resistant and social movement activities challenges and expands social movement theory--was well-received. 


Communication Studies Seminar Hosts Public Forum

Ebone at Quiz BoardSenior Forum Presenters With Foust

Seniors in Dr. Christina Foust's capstone seminar, Communication and Climate Change (COMN 3431), hosted "Hot or Not? Revealing the Truth Behind Politics and Climate Change," on May 25, 2011. Students presented the results of their quarter-long research project, which explored how people holding different political ideologies (e.g., "liberal/progressives" and "fiscal conservatives") may respond differently to perspectives on climate change and energy use. Seniors Shannon Bradley, Sophia Ben-Hamoo, and Beri Polonitza (pictured here with Dr. Foust), presented results from the survey to nearly 40 attendees. Seminar members also raised funds for, and organized, an interactive information fair, which included refreshments and prizes (pictured here is senior Ebone' Williams hosting the Climate Change Quiz Board). Congratulations to all of our seniors!