Skip to main content

Department News

PW lies

NovaCom Ensemble Performance

COM students Chloe Cherry, Lauryn Hayes, Ryan Henry, Kourtney McCoy, Faith Robinson, and Megan Wang, under the direction of Dr. Evan Schares, created PWLies, a 20-minute show that speaks to anti-racist work needing to be done on the campuses of primarily white institutions. The piece has been submitted to this year's virtual Patricia Pace Performance Festival. Stay tuned for more NovaCom ensemble performance opportunities next semester!

Black '"Matter" Lives


Talk by Armond R. Towns, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Rhetoric and Communication Studies, University of Richmond


Title: Black “Matter” Lives

Date: October 23rd from 2-4pm



College of Arts and Sciences Events

Department of Communication Events

Dr. Shome

2020 NCA Douglas W. Ehninger Distinguished Rhetorical Scholar Award

Dr. Raka Shome was awarded the Douglas W. Ehninger Distinguished Rhetorical Scholar Award. First presented in 1987, the award honors scholars who have executed research programs in rhetorical theory, rhetorical criticism and/or public address studies. Recipients must demonstrate intellectual creativity, perseverance, and impact on academic communities through multiple publications and presentations around a rhetorical topic or theme.

Check out the article here

Dr. Raka Shome wins the 2020 Distinguished Scholar Award from the Rhetoric and Communication Theory Division of NCA

The Distinguished Scholar Award honors a current member of the division for significant contributions to scholarship in rhetorical and/or communication theory during the past ten years. Per the award criteria, “the committee unanimously agreed that Dr. Shome has established a body of research that has significant and enduring value, that she is a figure who has earned renown in the field her scholarship, and that her body of scholarship serves as a touchstone not only in rhetorical theory, but also in communication and critical cultural studies as well as postcolonial communication theory.”

Dr. Evan Shares

2020 Top Dissertation Award, LGBTQ Division, NCA

Dr. Evan Schares' dissertation, "An Archive of Pain: In Queer Suicide's Cultural Wake," won the dissertation of the year award from NCA's GLBTQ Communication Studies Division. The dissertation is a queer of color ideological critique of the white affective investments surrounding a number of recent queer suicides or suicide attempts.

Dr. Melissa Meade

2020 Constance Coiner Dissertation Award

Dr. Melissa Meade's dissertation, In the Shadow of "King Coal": Memory, Media, Identity, and Culture in the PostIndustrial Pennsylvania Anthracite Region, received the 2020 Constance Coiner Dissertation Award from the Working-Class Studies Association for a dissertation that: "provides insightful and engaging depictions of working-class life, culture, and movements, whic​h addresses issues related to the working class, and which highlights the voices, experiences, and perspectives of working-class people."

Working-Class Studies Association Awards

Best Dissertation Award from the NCA Ethnography Division

Dr. Melissa Meade's dissertation, In the Shadow of "King Coal": Memory, Media, Identity, and Culture in the PostIndustrial Pennsylvania Anthracite Region,  recevied the 2020 Best Dissertation Award from the National Communication Association Ethnography Division. The reviewers noted that the writing is "fantastic" and offers a "rich and compelling telling of the small-town experience" of its residents in an evocative narrative.

Sankofa wins Gold at the Student Academy Awards

Sankofa wins Gold at the Student Academy Awards!

Check out the article here

Presidential Citation from the National Communication Association

Presidential Citation from the National Communication Association

The Waterhouse Family Institute for the Study of Communication and Society received a 2018 Presidential Citation from the National Communication Association in recognition of the WFI's commitment to facilitating NCA's vision of equity and inclusion.

Dr. Heidi Rose received the 2018 Leslie Irene Coger Award

Leslie Irene Coger Award for Distinguished Performance

Dr. Heidi Rose received the 2018 Leslie Irene Coger Award for Distinguished Performance from the National Communication Association.

Heidi M. Rose is the Chair of the Department of Communication at Villanova University. Dr. Rose has amassed many accomplishments in a twenty-plus year career as a Performance Studies scholar. Rose has consistently crafted performances aimed at illuminating how power impacts bodies, cultures, families, and theatre itself. At Villanova University, Rose’s impressive corpus of student-centered performances include pieces related to the AIDS crisis (i.e., Living with AIDS, 1994 – 2001), race relations (i.e., Dreaming the Beloved Community: Race, Relationships, and Reality, 1997 – 2002), and Villanova student experiences (i.e., Every Decision Counts, 2009 – 2013). Dr. Rose has published extensively, served as the editor of Text and Performance Quarterly, and received seven performance-related grants (among many other achievements). Rose’s most impressive work has come in the form of the Words and Music trilogy—a series of three auto/biographical plays (Mirror Image, Good Enough, and Twin) interrogating culture and family. In each, Dr. Rose animates family members through voice and body, demonstrating the possibilities of solo performance. Rose has performed from Words and Music at eight U.S. universities to date. As multiple eminent scholars attest, Heidi M. Rose’s body of work is distinguished in its excellent scripting, aesthetic quality, and focus on putting the performer’s body center stage. The breadth and quality of this work indeed situate Rose as an outstanding performer who will continue to carry the legacy of Leslie Irene Coger into the future.

Senior Communication major Milan Genovese & Dr. William Cowen

Public Relations Awards

Congratulations to senior Communication major Milan Genovese for receiving the Anne Sceia Klein Award for Professional Promise in Public Relations! The award honors a college junior or senior who is a member of a PRSSA chapter affiliated with Philadelphia PRSA and has demonstrated dedication to the field of public relations. Milan was honored at the 50th Annual PRSA Philadelphia Pepperpot Awards, where she was lauded for her two terms as Villanova’s PRSSA chapter president, five internship experiences, and commitment to academic excellence. Dr. Bill Cowen, director of Villanova’s Public Relations Program, supported Milan’s nomination, and was also in attendance to showcase items from the PRSA time capsule he curated while chairing the Philadelphia PRSA chapter awards in 1999. Great work Milan!


Dr. Bill Cowen & Panel

Crisis Communication Collision: Where Core Concepts Meet Contemporary Channels - September 20, 2018

The Villanova Communication Alumni Network (VCAN) was proud to present its first professional development event of the season at Meredith Corporation in New York. We were so impressed by the engaging, dynamic panel discussion on Crisis Communication featuring our accomplished alumni in the field, and moderated by VCAN Founder, Dr. Bill Cowen.

Special thanks to our hosts at Meredith Corporation:

  • Susan Parkes-Cirignano ’86 CLAS, Senior Vice President of Experiential, Partnerships and Corporate Marketing
  • Cece Ryan CLAS ’88, Publisher of People Magazine
  • Keynote Speaker Rosa M. Gatti ’72 CLAS, former Senior Vice President of Communications Counsel and Corporate Outreach at ESPN

Special thanks to our panelists:

  • Claudia Russo ’04 CLAS, Director, Corporate Communications, Fox Television Stations
  • Clare Cullinane ’03 CLAS, Head of Industry, Food and Beverage, Google
  • Amy Pellicane ’03 CLAS, Executive Director, Consumer Engagement Marketing, Clinique
  • Katarina Mayers ’11 CLAS, Press Secretary and Director of Digital Media for the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment for the City of New York


Heidi Rose and Bill Cowen are Communication professors.

Heidi Rose, PhD, and  Bill Cowen, EdD, Serve as Expert Judges at Three Minute Thesis Competition

Heidi Rose, PhD, chair of the Communication Department, and Bill Cowen, EdD, assistant professor of Communications and coordinator of the Public Relations specialization, recently served as Communication expert judges for the Three Minute Thesis Competition at the IEEE International Microwave Symposium in June 2018. 3MT is a challenging contest where student researchers have up to three minutes, with just one accompanying visual, to convey clearly and creatively the relevance and uniqueness of their research project. This year's competition highlighted a diversity of projects and researchers from all over the globe.

Annual CNN/Turner Broadcasting Trip

Annual CNN/Turner Broadcasting Trip

Our annual CNN/Turner Broadcasting trek, co-sponsored by the Department of Communication and the Office of Undergraduate Students. Joe Dugan '87, Senior Vice President at Turner, sponsors the trip each year, and students have an opportunity to tour some studios and meet with VU alums who now work in various areas of the company, from production to marketing and client services.

5 Words That Will Make You Sound Smarter Instantly
Susan Mackey-Kallis, PhD

The Mirage News
Debunking Common Misperceptions of Asian Community Health
Qi Wang, PhD

Villanova students win national award for ‘Sankofa,’ documentary shot in Philly, Ghana
Hezekiah Lewis, MFA

The Springfield News Sun
Professor co-writes book on bond between U2, fans
Susan Mackey-Kallis, PhD

CBS News
Climate activists orchestrate disruptive protests to gain attention from world leaders
Billie Murray, PhD

Forum: Cultural Studies and the Global South. Forum Editor: Raka Shome
Thinking Culture and Cultural Studies—from/of the Global South
Raka Shome, Phd - Harron Family Endowed Chair

Mind The Light: Women Lighthouse Keepers' little-known stories
Shauna MacDonald, PhD

The Chronicle of Higher Education
When Neo-Nazis and Antifascists Clash, This Professor Wants to Be in the Thick of It
Billie Murray, PhD

Philadelphia Inquirer
Defining who is ‘American’ by the language they speak
Susan Mackey-Kallis, PhD

The Christian Science Monitor
Race and the beauty counter: What a greater selection of hues says about culture
Shauna MacDonald, PhD

The San Francisco Chronicle
San Bruno explosion hangs over PG&E amid wildfire investigation
Derek Arnold, MA

Brian Williams Opens Up About Regaining Viewers’ Trust After Scandal
Leonard Shyles, PhD

Christian Science Monitor
Race and infuencing beauty market through purchases
Shauna MacDonald, PhD

Women anchors in post-O'Reilly Fox News
Shauna MacDonald, PhD

What's wrong with too many white men in one place?
Gordon Coonfield, PhD

The Academic Minute
Hate Speech
Billie Murray, PhD  

Do this in your next job interview to sound more intelligent and project confidence
Susan-Mackey-Kallis, PhD  

Villanova University’s Communication Professor William Cowen, EdD to be Inducted into the Philadelphia Public Relations Association Hall of Fame
William Cowen, EdD

Main Line News
Villanova students’ film shows stories behind the Special Olympics
Stephen McWilliams  

How Donald Trump Changed the Way College Students Learn About Conspiracy Theories
Derek Arnold, MA  

Dr. Billie Murray Discusses Inauguration Day Protests
Billie Murray, PhD

CBS Philly
Can Trump walk back on some of divisive rhetoric spewed on the campaign trail?
Maurice Hall, PhD

CBS Philly
Anti-Trump protests break out while social justice academics in Philly
Bryan Crable, PhD  

US News & World Report
Coping with Creepy Clown Scares and Other Threats
Derek Arnold, MA 

New York Times
How to Get People to Evacuate? Try Fear
Derek Arnold, MA

The Christian Science Monitor
Can Facebook campaign push users to the polls?
Thomas Ksiazek, PhD 

USA Today
Find Francis in your feed
Bryan Crable, PhD

The Christian Science Monitor
Will Twitter, Facebook bring new viewers by livestreaming debates?
Thomas Ksiazek, PhD

The New York Times
After Orlando Shooting, ‘False Flag’ and ‘Crisis Actor’ Conspiracy Theories Surface
Derek Arnold, MA

Voice of America
Professor Gordon Coonfield Discusses Symbolism of Black Lives Matter
Gordon Coonfield, PhD

Villanova University Professor Discusses Protest Movements
Billie Murray, Phd

Click here for an archive of CLAS faculty in the media.

photo of Maria DiStefano

In Remembrance


With the deepest sorrow we announce the passing of our beloved Maria DiStefano, administrative assistant in the Communication Department for more than 25 years.

Maria’s generosity, wisdom, energy, commitment to excellence and consummate professionalism are unparalleled. She welcomed each new Communication student personally, helped guide them on their journey through the major, and took tremendous pride in their accomplishments. The Communication Department will establish an undergraduate student scholarship in her memory. She will be profoundly missed.