Apr 19, 2024  
2012-2013 Catalog 
2012-2013 Catalog ARCHIVED CATALOG: Content may no longer be accurate.

Department of Communication

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Department Chair: Sheree Josephson

Location: Elizabeth Hall, Room 330

Telephone Contact: Patricia Burton, 801-626-8924

Professors: Susan Hafen, Rebecca Johns, Sheree Josephson; Associate Professors: Kathy Edwards, Colleen Packer Garside, Ty Sanders; Assistant Professors: Anne Bialowas, Yeonsoo Kim, Sarah Steimel; Instructors: Cynthia Bishop, Clair Canfield, Ryan Cheek, Shane Farver, Omar Guevara, Mark Merkley, AnDrew Tyler

Communication is a dynamic process that plays a complex and profound role in shaping both individuals and society and is vital to the free exchange of ideas central to a democratic society. The Weber State University Department of Communication seeks to promote an understanding of this process and the effective and ethical practice of human communication by focusing on how people create and use messages to generate meanings within and across various contexts, cultures, channels and media, including those delivered through technology. WSU Communication Department curricula and programs are grounded within a liberal arts tradition and designed to help students live vital and successful lives in an ever-changing global environment.

The curriculum for the major is designed to provide a liberal arts-based study of human communication combined with a course of study which prepares graduates for entry-level employment in Communication and Communication-related careers. The major also serves to prepare students for graduate study in Communication and related disciplines. The Department is committed to enhancing student learning through required internships and through co-curricular opportunities afforded by our student-operated organization: The Signpost, our student-operated radio station, KWCR-FM, student-produced video productions, and by our nationally prominent intercollegiate forensics program.

Communication majors may select one of six interdisciplinary concentrations:  Civic Advocacy, Electronic Media, Interpersonal & Family Communication, Journalism, Organizational Communication and Public Relations & Advertising. A Communication Teaching Major with concentrations in either Communication Studies or Journalism also is available. Depending upon future plans, individual needs and preferences, students may earn the Communication major as either a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree.

The Communication minor and the Bachelor of Integrated Studies Concentration in Communication (BIS) are designed to provide the student with knowledge and skills in Communication that complement the student’s major or other concentrations of study. These curricula, characterized by both required and elective upper division course work after completion of a required core, also are designed to complement the student’s overall program of study and to be compatible with the student’s career goals.

In addition to emphasizing knowledge, understanding and demonstrated competence in the skills of human communication, curricular and co-curricular programs emphasize the development of character in our students. Accordingly, Department faculty discourage symbolic expression that demeans and degrades other human beings and encourage symbolic expression that celebrates the fundamental dignity of all human beings.

Obsolete Credit

Credit earned more than ten (10) years earlier than the proposed date of graduation will not be accepted for the major, minor or BIS concentration in Communication unless validated through a challenge examination or department chair approval.

Cocurricular and Extracurricular Activities


Activity scholarships are available to WSU forensics competitors and to The Signpost, KWCR-FM and digital video production staff members. Contact the department office at 626-8924 for more information.

Professional and/or Honorary Organizations

Communication students are encouraged to join one or more of the professional and/or honorary organizations affiliated with the department. Memberships in these organizations provide students with opportunities to meet and network with Communication professionals, learn about employment opportunities in the field of Communication, and participate in practical experiences relevant to future employment. See the faculty advisor for each organization for more information:

Delta Sigma Rho-Tau Kappa Alpha—Forensics Omar Guevara
National Broadcasting Society/AERho—Electronic Media  Ty Sanders
Society of Professional Journalists—Journalism Shane Farver
Public Relations Student Society of America Yeonsoo Kim
Lambda Pi Eta Honor Society Cynthia Bishop
Departmental Honors Susan Hafen


Participation in intercollegiate forensic activities is conducted in conjunction with the instructional program in debate, public speaking, and oral interpretation of literature. Students take active part in regional and national forensic meets under the direction of the debate coach.

High School Speech and Debate Contests

The Department of Communication hosts the annual Weber State Leland H. Monson High School Debate and Individual Event Tournaments each year. Now in their eighth decade, these tournaments attract hundreds of competitors from Utah and neighboring states. A generous grant from the Keystone Foundation supports speaker awards for outstanding students.

Weber State Student Media

The Signpost

Journalism students have the opportunity to polish reporting, writing and multimedia skills at The Signpost, Weber State University’s student-run news organization that is disseminated online and via newspaper.

Digital Audio and Video Production

Students practice and develop their knowledge and resumes by joining Weber State’s student-run media operations

  • Radio station KWCR-FM 88.1 broadcasts music, local sports, news and specialty programs. Spanish-language programming every Sunday serves as an important connection to the Hispanic community.
  • Students produce and disseminate original digital video productions.

Interdisciplinary Minors

The Communication Department participates in the interdisciplinary Linguistics Minor Program. Students who wish to enroll in this program should indicate their desire to do so with the program coordinator who will help them work out a proper combination of courses to fit their particular needs. (See the Engaged Learning and Interdisciplinary Programs  section of this catalog.)


    Bachelor of ArtsBachelor of ScienceEmphasis Option for Bachelor of Integrated Studies

       BIS emphases are also offered for most programs with a minor.

    MinorTeaching MinorHonors, Departmental

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