What's New:

The Bloomsburg University Xi Omega chapter of Lambda Pi Eta, the National Communication Honor Society, has been named the 2019 Chapter of the Year by the National Communication Association.


Congrats to Communication Studies student Kyle Bower for serving as APSCUF’s summer government-relations and communications intern.




Congrats to The National Communication Association Student Club (NCASC)! NCASC was selected as the 2018 Bloomsburg University Student Organization of the Year for their outstanding work in the areas of leadership, programming, and service.

Please see our Communication Studies Newsletters:

The BU Department of Communication Studies is officially on social media! Please like our Facebook page and our Twitter page and share with friends who may be interested!


Featured Student

Sydney Rimmer

My name is Sydney Rimmer, and I am currently a senior at Bloomsburg, double majoring in Communication Studies with a Leadership and Public Advocacy focus and Political Science with a Legal Studies focus, as well as a minor in Public Relations. This summer, I am beyond grateful to have participated in an internship at the Pennsylvania State Capitol in the Senate Republicans Communications Office, as it was an incredibly fulfilling experience.
The office had a group of employees designated to each area of communications. There were teams of employees for areas such as speech writing, webmasters, photography, film, social media, and others. I got to shadow and help complete assignments in each of these areas, and gain an appreciation for the importance of each specialty. This offered a unique opportunity to understand “a day in the life” of the employees in this office and their responsibilities, and it also gave me an opportunity to meet people outside of the office, and experience things many other people will never experience. Seeing the behind the scenes of these events was so interesting.
The brunt of my work was done in June, as that is when the Senate is in session and the budget is being passed. Once the budget passed, July slowed down and there were significantly less events occurring, therefore less events for me to shadow, as the Senators stay in their district offices as opposed to coming to the Capitol. This gave me an accurate representation of the job, both the hustle and bustle of June, and the relaxed nature of July.
This internship has also proven to be a vital step in my networking. I received a follow up luncheon with the lobbying firm who encouraged me to intern in the Capitol, as well as encouragement from my office to look for a career in the Senate when I graduate. I got a chance to work with several Senators, thereby networking with them, which was a personal goal of mine for the summer. Another strength of my internship was the bond I formed with my coworkers. I was the only intern in my office, however I fit in perfectly with the full time employees despite us being in all different walks of life. I had anticipated forming relationships with my coworkers, but I had not foreseen how close I would grow with them. I am so blessed to now call many of my coworkers my friends. We have spent time together in both the office, as well as our free time, and I am elated they have taken me under their wings, and I still stay in touch with many of them despite being many months post internship.
My internship was a wonderful experience, and truly turned out to be a highlight of my summer. I am able to walk away from this office confident that I completed assignments efficiently and to the best of my ability. I have grown from this experience, and I am excited to see how the things I have learned and the connections I have made will apply to my future endeavors.

Department News:

Summer 2019 Newsletter

Tenure and Promotion
Dr. Jim Petre and Dr. Shavonne Shorter were recently tenured and promoted to Associate Professors. Congratulations!


Original Research:
Brummett, E. A., & Afifi, T. (2019). A grounded theory of interracial romantic partners’ expectations for support and strain with family members. Journal of Family Communication, 19, 191-212. doi: 10.1080/15267431.2019.1623220

King, M. E. & La Valley, A. G. (2019). Partner influence, emotion, and relational outcomes: A test of Relational Turbulence Theory. Southern Communication Journal. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/1041794X.2019.1639212

Petre, J. T., Heineman, D. S. & La Valley, A. G. (2018). Fostering organizational integrity through departmental program reviews. Journal of the Association for Communication Administration, 37, 26-36.

Book Chapters:
King, M. E. (2019). Just the two of us: The ups and downs of an empty-nest. In S. Symonds LeBlanc (Ed.), Casing the family: Theoretical and applied approaches to understanding family communication (pp. 27-35). Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt.

Shorter, S. R. (2019). The complex girlfriend: Toni Childs as a hybrid controlling image on Girlfriends. In S. B. White & K. Harris (Eds.), Representations of Black Womanhood on Television: Being Mara Brock Akil (pp. 33-46). Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.

Book Review:
Miller, E. C. (2019). Review of God Hates: Westboro Baptist Church, American Nationalism, and the Religious Right, by Rebecca Barrett-Fox. Rhetoric & Public Affairs, 22, 339-341.

Conference Presentations
Green, R. J. (2019, August). Anti-Establishment micropolitics in the response closure of political campaign Debates. Paper presented at the NCA/AFA Summer Conference on Argumentation, Alta, UT.

Kuang, K., & Gettings, P.E. (2019, May). Married couples’ uncertainty management about sexual satisfaction: Testing the moderating role of marital quality, relational closeness, and communal coping. Paper presented at the 69th International Communication Association’s Annual Convention, Washington, D.C.

Invited Presentations
Dr. Erin Brummett and Dr. Shuzhen Huang were invited to be the keynote speakers at the Allenwood, PA Federal Correctional Complex Diversity and Inclusion Day on June 4th to speak with the prison staff about LGBTQ awareness. Their presentation, entitled “Communicating Sexual Identities: Exploring Gender and Sexuality Inclusive Language,” explored best practices for engaging in ethical and effective communication with LGBTQ individuals.

Dr. Robert Green presented his research on the 2016 Presidential Campaign Debates at the National Communication Association/American Forensic Association Biennial Summer Conference on Argumentation. His presentation submission, entitled “Anti-Establishment Micropolitics in the Response Closure of Political Campaign Debates,” examines the interactional processes of dispute through which candidates and moderators wrestle for control over the closure of a response and progression to the next segment of the debate. This study finds that a candidate’s displayed competence with establishment debate techniques can be turned into a liability as candidates compete for the last word on an issue. Although Clinton skillfully aligns with the institutional prerogatives of the moderator to facilitate response closure on her own terms, Trump turns this alignment against her in a manner through which his supporters might identify. This submission is currently under review for publication in a peer-reviewed volume published by the Taylor and Francis group.

Dr. Erin Brummett facilitated a TALE Seminar for new and returning faculty on August 15th on the topic of diversity and inclusion. The presentation was titled “Practicing Inclusive Classroom Strategies: Challenges and Insights from the College Campus.”

Faculty Professional Development

Dr. Anna Turnage and Dr. Shuzhen Huang completed the Teaching Online Certification Course offered in conjunction with other PASSHE institutions. The 5-week online Quality Matters™ certified course, which took place between May 21st and June 24th, was designed to improve online teaching and learning.

Dr. Shuzhen Huang attended the Federal Grant Writing Workshop in May 2019. This workshop was sponsored by the FPDC Council, Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education, to support faculty’s research endeavor.

Dr. Shuzhen Huang joined the Managing Board of QED: A Journal in GLBTQ Worldmaking this summer. QED is an interdisciplinary journal that brings together scholars, activists, public intellectuals, artists, and policy and culture makers to discuss, debate, and mobilize issues and initiatives that matter to the diverse lived experience, struggle, and transformation of GLBTQ peoples and communities.

Drs. Paula Hopeck, RJ Green, and Angela La Valley completed the Applying Quality Matters Rubric training for distance education.

Drs. Paula Hopeck, RJ Green, Skye Chernichky-Karcher, and Angela La Valley were fellows at the Teaching Excellence Academy (conducted by TALE)


Dr. Shavonne Shorter was recently appointed to the State APSCUF Meet and Discuss Committee.

Dr. Erin Brummett and Dr. Shavonne Shorter attended the Association of Pennsylvania State College & University Faculties (APSCUF) Leadership Institute at Slippery Rock University in May, 2019. The one-day institute provided APSCUF members information about how to become union leaders by providing workshops in three areas: 1) Advocating for membership, 2) Advocating to administrations, and 3) Advocating to outside groups.


Student Achievements

Outstanding Student in Communication Studies:
Josh Lloyd was recognized as the Outstanding Student in Communication Studies and received the Award from his advisor, Dr. Kai Kuang, at the College of Liberal Arts Spring Awards Ceremony on Sunday, May 5th, 2019.

Lambda Pi Eta (LPH) Induction Ceremony: The Xi Omega Chapter of Lambda Pi Eta, the national Communication honor society, hosted its annual Induction Ceremony for new members on Sunday, May 5th, 2019 on the BU campus. The chapter inducted 22 students who received their LPH certificates and membership pins. An audience of approximately 60 people, including family and friends of the students as well as department faculty members, attended the event.

The new LPH student executive board members for the 2019-2020 academic year include the following:

Active Minds:

Dr. Kai Kuang and the Executive Board members of Active Minds attended the 2019 Pennsylvania Higher Education Suicide Prevention Conference (HESPC) in Philadelphia on May 30-31, 2019. Sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the PA Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, the HESPC has been supporting campus communities in Suicide Prevention and mental wellness promotion.

Active Minds at Bloomsburg University also received the Outstanding Chapter of the 2018-2019 Academic Year for excellence in fundraising, collaboration, communication, membership & leadership, and programming & outreach.