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Research Areas

Our faculty are internationally-recognized researchers in several areas of Communication Studies, including the broad emphasis areas listed below. Research in our department is supported through internal and external funding as well as survey and laboratory facilities in Armstrong Hall, including the recently-refurbished Media and Interaction Lab. Our faculty specialize in the following areas of research:


In 2013, our faculty produced near four dozen original research reports or other published work in a variety of different research areas. Our annual report below has APA-formatted references for each of these works.

2013 Publications

Communication Technology

Communication technology is the study of channel effects; that is, how the modality of communication influences how we send and receive messages. Research in communication technology often focuses on issues related to computer-mediated communication (CMC), including studies on social media.

Top of List

Health Communication

Health communication tends to focus on the theory and practice of communicating health information, particularly related to health risk, to different segments of the population. Research in health communication considers both interpersonal and mass communication channels as important to the successful dissemination of health information.

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Interpersonal Communication

Interpersonal communication tends to focus on how individuals share information with one another – typically, between interdependent individuals. Such research considers how we form relationships with one another, and how we communicate information within these relationships.

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Instructional Communication

Instructional communication is an area of research that examines interactions in pedagogical environments, such as classrooms and other instructional situations. This research considers the unique relationship between learner and instructor, as well as the communicative behaviors between the two.

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Mass Media

Similar to communication technology, the study of mass media places focus on the channel of communication as influential to the communicative process. Research in mass media looks at how individuals use and are affected by the form and content of media used for informational, relational, persuasive, and entertainment purposes.

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Organizational Communication

Organizational communication is a field of study concerned with analyzing and critiquing communication dynamics within organizational contexts, such as corporations. Research in this field examines interactions between superiors and their subordinates, conflict negotiation and principles of group decision-making.

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Other areas of scholarly interest

In addition to these areas, our faculty specialize in areas such as applied communication (Keith Weber), family communication (Rittenour, Odenweller), entertainment theory (Bowman), gender (Odenweller), media psychology (Bowman), persuasion (Bryand, LaBelle), quantitative research methods (Bowman, Rittenour, Keith Weber), and sports communication (Bowman).

COMMunity (420x269)

Get to Know our Mentors

Over 90 WVU Communication Studies Alumni mentors in over 30 fields, 15 states, and at least three countries have volunteered to help students bridge the gap between classroom learning and real-world experience. Through this program, students have learned options available for COMM majors, how to break in to various industries, and how to professionally network. Now with Seelio, you can read their stories online!

COMM Meet our Alumni @ Seelio


Academic Advising

Below is a list of Pre-Registration Dates for Spring 2015.

November 3 – Seniors (89+hours)
November 5 – Juniors (59-88 hours)
November 7 – Sophomores (29-58 hours)
November 10 – Freshman (0-28 hours)

If you need to see an advisor for any registration issues please email:

Dr. Andrea Weber –
Nikki Loy –
Dr. John Shibley –

Be a WVU Comm Studies Alumni Mentor!

Serve as an Alumni Mentor

The Department of Communication Studies is piloting a COMM Student-Alumni Mentoring Program. Please consider getting involved. It could consist of as little time as a 30 minute phone conversation with an undergraduate student once or twice a year to as extensive as allowing a student or new graduate to shadow you at work or offer internships for our students. You decide your level of involvement/commitment!

Sign up to be an Alumni Mentor