Department of Communication

Welcome to The Department of Communication at Villanova University

The study of communication in the liberal arts tradition focuses on the understanding and use of symbols that create meaning in multiple communicative contexts. The discipline is grounded in ancient rhetorical traditions and is influenced by contemporary intellectual, artistic and technological developments. Our mission is to produce well-rounded communicators capable of speaking and listening well, thinking critically and writing clearly.

We strive to embody this mission in several ways. Specifically, the department is committed to an intellectual atmosphere that enhances awareness of and respect for human dignity and ethical values. These values prepare students for a changing and multicultural world. In the spirit of building collegiality and community, our faculty integrates effective teaching, research and publication, as well as service to the profession, community and university. As a result, students majoring in Communication are offered the opportunity to participate fully in the professional, academic and extracurricular life of the discipline.

Contact Information

Dr. Heidi Rose
Performance Studies

Administrative Assistant    Loretta Chiaverini
Garey Hall, room 28

Senior Project Presentations Fall 2017

All presentations are in Garey 10A


Tuesday, December 5, 8:30am

PSA Production: Changing the College Binge Drinking Culture

We reviewed previous literature to inform us how best to formulate a video message to appeal an individual's sense of self in order to change the rhetoric surrounding the binge drinking culture on college campuses.

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Sherry Bowen

Second Reader: John O'Leary

James Ferrante, Princess Garrett, Christina Hong, Jack McCarthy, Lindsey Walsh


Tuesday, 9:30am

Graterford Prison Literacy Program Newsletter

This project worked with men at Graterford Prison editing and promoting the prison's newsletter. The newsletter describes the educational and extracurricular activities at the prison and serves as a tool to bridge the gap between the inmates and the outside community.

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Billie Murray

Second Reader: Juanita Weaver

Jaiden Dropick, Geena Santomo, Devin Benison, Ainsley Freeman, Robert Rolle


Tuesday, 10:30am

U up?: An Analysis of Today's Romantic Climate

Our project investigated the role of media experiences in shaping the values of college students around casual sexual encounters or hook-up culture. We also explored the extent to which the media inform how students view texting in romantic relationships.

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Emory Woodard

Second Reader: Susan Mackey-Kallis

Julia Luciani, Gracie DiFazio, Madeleine Kim, Jamie Siburn


Tuesday, 2:00pm

Hannah as the Hero: The Glamorization of Suicide in 13 Reasons Why

Our project analyzed the presentation of Hannah Baker's mental illness and suicide in the popular Netflix series "13 Reasons Why" to see whether it de-stigmatizes suicide, or whether that mission was lost in the glamorization of Hannah's death. We also reviewed the reactions of viewers through the platform "The Odyssey."

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Susan Mackey-Kallis

Second Reader: Dr. Billie Murray

Deanna Passaretti, Catherine Powers, Ellen Lyman, Samantha Dephino


Wednesday, December 6, 10:30 am

Human Trafficking in Pennsylvania: An Untold Story

Our group worked with the Villanova Law School's Institute to Address Commercial Sexual Exploitation (CSE) and the Pennsylvania Alliance Against Trafficking in Humans (PAATH) to create a media toolkit for future outreach efforts regarding issues of human trafficking within Pennsylvania.

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Billie Murray

Second Reader: Prof. Derek Arnold

Devin Hassinger, Veronica Manley, MaryRose Daily, Sarah Stiglianese, Siobhan O'Toole, Kathleen O'Connor


Wednesday. 11:30am

User Experiences and Sense-making Around 13 Reasons Why

13 Reasons Why, a Netflix original series, sparked controversy and conversation due to the sensitive topics covered such as suicide, mental illness, and rape. Some viewers argue that the show is a positive way to spread awareness, while others say it glorifies mental illness and suicide. Through interviews and surveys of current Villanova students, we were able to understand how people are using this program; whether it be for entertainment, education, discussion, and/or sense-making.

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Emory Woodard

Second Reader: Dr. Coonfield

Amanda Bracken, Kelly Buckland, Gillian Grove, Laney Laghetto


Thursday, December 7, 10:30 am

Performing Authenticity: Cultural Capital in Philadelphia's DIY Music Scene

This ethnographic study of Philadelphia's DIY (Do-It-Yourself) underground music scene, to analyze the core concept of authenticity in Philly DIY. Further, this study aimed to distinguish how authenticity is performed through symbolically-coded communicative practices in the scene, while exploring the potential social outcomes of accumulating subcultural capital through adhering to these practices.

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Coonfield

Second Reader: Dr. Susan Mackey-Kallis

Megan Cooper


Thursday, 4:00 pm

Defend the Dream: What the Recent Changes to DACA Mean for Us as Villanovans and Americans

This civic engagement senior project group created a panel comprised of speakers with various backgrounds, experiences, and expertise associated with DACA and the recent changes to youth immigration policy. The panel educated the Villanova community on what the current rescindment of this immigration policy will mean for DACA recipients, why it matters to Villanovans and Americans.

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Billie Murray

Second Reader: Dr. Bryan Crable

Dominique Clark, Kirsten Errick, Kellie Joyce, David Miranda


Friday, December 8, 9:30am

Division 1: How Much Fun?

By surveying current Villanova student-athletes, we explored the coach-athlete relationship, specifically concerning relationships between the perception of coaching communication styles with mental-health disorders and or feelings of dissatisfaction on the part of the athletes.

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Sherry Bowen

Second Reader: Thomas Ksiazek

Erin Jaskot, Siofra Cleirigh Buttner, Kendall Treiber, Jessica Moskal


Friday, 10:30am

Negative Stereotypical Portrayals and First and Second Order Effects

One facet of today's political climate is President Trump's contentious proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Considering television's influential power and the existing negative stereotypical portrayals of Mexicans on television, it is not far-fetched to assume that television may perhaps be playing a key role in shaping our own perceptions of Mexicans, and consequently, impacting our support or opposition for the building of the wall. In analyzing our research question, we investigated first- and second-order cultivation effects, as well as group empathy theory.

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Emory Woodard

Second Reader: Dr. Sherry Bowen

Curie Kim, Sam Levy, Nicodemo Bruzzese


Friday, 11:30 am

"You've Come A Long Way, Baby"

A critical analysis of four self-proclaimed feminist brands and their major advertising campaigns.

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Susan Mackey-Kallis

Second Reader: Shauna MacDonald

Katerina Marchan, Dominica Insalaco, Amanda Gundlach, Haley Almquist, Rebecca Moore


Friday, 12:30 pm

Progress Not Perfection: Content Analysis of Health and Fitness Mobile Applications and Their Social Media Platforms

A content analysis of six leading fitness mobile applications and their social media platforms.

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Sherry Bowen

Second Reader: Michael Bradley

Brandon Campos, Dan Glazewski, Dave Jarman




Speech tutoring

Big speech planned this semester? The Center for Speaking and Presentation tutors specialize in speech anxiety, preparation, and delivery to assist the student in doing their best work. Appointment dates are as follows:

Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday  7:00pm - 11:00pm

Tuesday, Thursday 1:00pm - 5:00pm

Location: Falvey 214

For questions contact:

Vince Thomas

Imagine the opportunity to get a sneak peek of a major Hollywood movie—that’s what Vince Thomas ’17 CLAS did.

Isabella Carrillo ’15

Starting her first job at a global business advisory firm was no sweat for Isabella Carrillo ’15 CLAS.

Bill Cowen

William Cowen, EdD, was inducted into the Philadelphia Public Relations Association Hall of Fame.