Jun 24, 2024  
2015-2016 Undergraduate catalog 
2015-2016 Undergraduate catalog [Archived Catalog]

Communication Studies Department

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Jill Tyler, Chairperson
Beacom 217
(605) 677-8476



Associate Professors:

Kelly McKay-Semmler, Intercultural and Intergroup Communication, Research Methods
Carolyn Prentice, Family and Group Communication, Qualitative Methods
Shane Semmler, Media Studies, Political Communication, Research Methods
Jill Tyler, Interpersonal and Relational Communication, Health Communication


Mark DeLaurier, Environmental Communication, Critical Rhetoric


Nicole Ackman, Organizational Communication, Business and Professional Communication
Aimee Sorenson, Basic Course Director, Communication Pedagogy


Communication Studies, B.A., B.S.


Communication Studies

The study of communication is the study of meaning-making - how humans use symbols to create and influence the world in which we live. Through our dynamic curriculum, the Department of Communication Studies addresses the many ways communication functions to create, maintain, and transform personal life, social relations, political institutions, media channels, organizations, and cultural conventions in society. Further, our education programs promote skills required for competence in mediated and non-mediated communication, and develop intellectual habits for analyzing, interpreting and critiquing communication problems and questions.

Communication skills, theory, and research are at the very center of the liberal educational experience. Coursework focuses on interpersonal, organizational, rhetorical, and applied dimensions of communication skill and inquiry. In our courses, students are required to think clearly and correctly, to speak responsibly, to adapt to the needs of others with sensitivity, to listen critically and to treat listeners ethically, to solve problems creatively and thoughtfully, and to express themselves with power and conviction.

Our program prepares students for professional careers in a variety of fields - business, education, politics, social and human services, health care, administration, and promotion, sales and marketing, technology, public administration, and the arts and entertainment. Many of our majors go on to post-graduate education in law, medicine, business, education, and social and natural sciences.


  • Communication Studies Scholarship Fund (Communication Studies Majors)
  • Norman Watson Memorial (Communication Studies Majors)
  • Frieberg Forensic Scholarship (Debate)
  • Dr. Harold M. Jordan (Incoming first-year students interested in debate)


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