Jul 23, 2024  
2024-2025 Undergraduate Catalog 
2024-2025 Undergraduate Catalog

School of Communication Studies

Lori L. Britt, Director
Lee Mayfield, Assistant Director

Phone: (540) 568-6228
Email: brittll@jmu.edu
Location: Harrison Hall, Room 1276
Website: http://www.jmu.edu/commstudies

C. Alemán, M. Alemán, T. Ball, L. Britt, P. Bsumek, E. Fife, C. Hickerson, S. Mazzarella, L. Nelson, S. Richards, D. Schill, T. Whitfield, C. Woo

Associate Professors
A. Bodkin, M. Brigham, M. Broderick, L. Harvell-Bowman, K. Hobson, L. Kristiansen, A. Martinez Gonzalez, P. Mabrey, S. Meganck, T. Reynolds-Tylus, J. Rosier

Assistant Professors
R. Cortés, K. Dillard, M. Ittefaq, M. Marsh, K. Okamoto, S. Qin

Senior Lecturers
E. Armstrong, A. Dupal, L. Mayfield

A. Barnes, N. Barnes, V. Bertram, N. Butt, J. Gochenour, K. Hopkinson, T. Johnson, J. Krauklis, R. Mitchell, J. Mollica, N. Selove


We are a community engaged in teaching, researching and practicing communication as central to cultivating ethical, productive and meaningful lives and relationships.


As the school offers courses and programs in communication studies, the school seeks to fulfill the following goals:

  • To prepare all JMU students who take a communication studies course to use oral communication skills effectively.
  • To prepare students with a major or minor in communication studies for graduate and professional study as well as for careers in communication and communication-related professions.
  • To provide co-curricular opportunities which enhance and reinforce communication competencies for all JMU students.

Career Opportunities and Marketable Skills

Students of communication studies develop skill competencies required for effective interaction and leadership in communities, workplaces and groups. Some of these skills include:

  • Presentational Speaking
  • Empathic listening
  • Interacting in small groups
  • Using nonverbal communication skills such as use of space, voice, gaze and facial expressions
  • Constructing persuasive messages and campaigns
  • Conducting research that leads to insights about human communication patterns
  • Presenting information digitally
  • Analyzing communication at all levels including interpersonal, small group, organizational and public
  • Advocating successfully
  • Using language effectively
  • Writing effectively
  • Understanding and applying communications research and theory
  • Mediating and resolving conflicts
  • Collaborative problem solving

These skills support careers in such fields as:

  • Public Relations
  • Strategic Communication
  • Consulting
  • Entertainment
  • Branding and Digital/Social Media
  • Hospitality
  • Management
  • Human Resources
  • Politics
  • Sales
  • Teaching
  • Corporate Communication and Public Affairs
  • Grassroots and Non-Profit Advocacy

Study in communication studies also serves as valuable pre-professional preparation for graduate and professional studies in the following fields:

  • Communication
  • Counseling
  • Law
  • Management
  • Ministry

Co-curricular Activities and Organizations

To enhance courses and programs in communication studies, the school offers a variety of co-curricular activities and organizations. Involvement in some of these activities can earn students practicum credit.

Activities and Organizations

  • Debate Team: Affords all JMU students interested in debating intercollegiate tournament competition and local audience experiences.
  • JMU Speech Team: Intercollegiate tournament competition and local audience experiences for all JMU students interested in public speaking and the oral interpretation of literature can be acquired through individual events team participation.
  • Lambda Pi Eta: A chapter of a national honorary organization for students interested in communication.
  • Public Relations Student Society Association: An award-winning student organization for students pursuing careers in public relations.
  • Bluestone Communications: An award-winning student run Public Relations firm that works with real clients in strategic PR planning, primary market research, social media counseling, creative work, media relations and special event planning.
  • Institute for Constructive Advocacy and Dialogue: Students taking coursework in facilitation and group communication can work with the institute in designing and facilitating group processes and gain practicum credit.