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Department History

The study of communication at College Park is as old as the institution itself. 

History of the Department of Communication

The first students in the Maryland Agricultural College faced requirements in rhetoric, elocution and declamation throughout the course of their degree. By 1901 a Department of Public Speaking was in place and, for nearly four decades, the department emphasized public speaking and public address in its course offerings. Beginning in the late 1930s, however, courses were added in other subjects related to spoken discourse. For example, new courses were announced in radio speaking for 1938, in speech pathology for 1939 and in drama for 1941. By 1946 coursework had developed to the point that the department could offer its B.A. degree in four areas of concentration: public speaking, drama, radio and speech sciences.

The identification of these areas quickly gave rise to academic and administrative specialization within the department. One effect of this specialization was the formation of departmental divisions. The department maintained four such divisions until 1972, when the division of Speech and Hearing Sciences left the department for autonomous status in what is now the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences. From that time until 1989 three divisions—Speech Communication, Radio-Television-Film and Theater—existed; in 1989 each division became a separate department in the College of Arts and Humanities and in the spring of 1998, the department was renamed the Department of Communication.

Communication maintains the disciplinary interests, goals and subject matters that have animated speech instruction at Maryland from its beginnings. The department sustains a long-standing commitment to research and teaching in the history, processes and effects of communication through speech and its extensions. Within the department, students may do graduate work in communication in programs leading to the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees.

Chairs of the Department

Richardson

Charles Richardson
Fall 1901 - Spring 1940

Ehrensberger

Raymond Ehrensberger 
Fall 1940 - Spring 1953

Strasbaugh

Warren Strausbaugh
Fall 1953 - Spring 1970 

Aylward

Thomas J. Aylward
Fall 1970 - Spring 1973 Fall 1975 - Spring 1983

Linkow

Irving Linkow (Acting)
Fall 1973 - Spring 1975

Gillespie

Patti P. Gillespie
Fall 1983 - Spring 1989

wolvin

Andrew D. Wolvin
Spring 1980 & Spring 1987 (Acting Chair) 
Fall 1989 - Spring 1994

Klumpp

James F. Klumpp (Acting)
Fall 1994 - Spring 1995

Watson

Martha M. Watson (Acting)
Spring 1995 - Summer 1997

Fink

Edward L. Fink
Fall 1997 - Spring 2007

Toth

Elizabeth L. Toth
Fall 2007-Fall 2015

SPG

Shawn J. Parry-Giles
Spring 2016 - present

Tenure/Tenure-Track Faculty Members — Department of Communication, 1998-present

Linda Aldoory    

  • Assistant Professor - 1999-2005
  • Associate Professor - 2005-2017
  • Professor - 2017-present
  • Associate Dean (ARHU) - 2017-present

Lindsey Anderson    

  • Assistant Professor - 2014-2020
  • Associate Professor - 2020-present

Shannon A. Bowen    

  • Assistant Professor - 2005-2008

Deborah A. Cai    

  • Assistant Professor - 1995-2001
  • Associate Professor - 2001-2009

Edward L. Fink    

  • Associate Professor - 1981-1987
  • Professor - 1987-2015
  • Distinguished Scholar-Teacher - 1988
  • Professor Emeritus - 2015-present

Robert N. Gaines    

  • Associate Professor - 1986-2007
  • Professor - 2007-2015
  • Associate Dean (UGST) - 2011-2014
  • Professor Emeritus - 2015-present

Jennifer Garst    

  • Assistant Professor - 1999-2003

James E. Grunig    

  • Professor - 1999-2005
  • Professor Emeritus - 2005-present

Larissa A. Grunig    

  • Associate Professor - 1999-2001
  • Professor - 2001-2005
  • Professor Emerita - 2005-present

Dale Hample    

  • Associate Professor - 2007-2021

Nicholas Joyce    

  • Assistant Professor - 2014-present

Sahar Mohamed Khamis    

  • Assistant Professor - 2007-2014
  • Associate Professor - 2014-present

Jiyoun Kim    

  • Assistant Professor - 2017-present

James F. Klumpp    

  • Associate Professor - 1986-2006
  • Professor - 2006-2015
  • Professor Emeritus - 2015-present

Sun Young Lee    

  • Assistant Professor - 2018-present

Brooke Fisher Liu    

  • Assistant Professor - 2009-2012 
  • Associate Professor - 2012-present

Meina Liu    

  • Assistant Professor - 2006-2012
  • Associate Professor - 2012-2013

Katherine McComas    

  • Assistant Professor - 2000-2003

Kristy Maddux    

  • Assistant Professor - 2007-2013
  • Associate Professor - 2013-present

Michael D. Meffert    

  • Assistant Professor - 1999-2004

Kang Namkoong    

  • Assistant Professor - 2017-2020
  • Associate Professor - 2020-present

Xiaoli Nan    

  • Assistant Professor - 2008-2012
  • Associate Professor - 2012-2017
  • Professor - 2017-present
  • Distinguished Scholar-Teacher - 2020

Nneka Ifeoma Ofulue    

  • Assistant Professor - 2008-2012

Shawn J. Parry-Giles    

  • Assistant Professor - 1998-2003
  • Associate Professor - 2003-2007
  • Professor - 2007-present

Trevor Parry-Giles    

  • Assistant Professor - 2001-2005
  • Associate Professor - 2005-2010
  • Professor - 2010-present

Damien Smith Pfister    

  • Associate Professor - 2016-present

Torsten Reimer    

  • Assistant Professor - 2006-2009

Anita Atwell Seate    

  • Assistant Professor - 2012-2018
  • Associate Professor - 2018-present

Erich Sommerfeldt    

  • Assistant Professor - 2012-2018
  • Associate Professor - 2018-present

Catherine Steele    

  • Assistant Professor - 2016-present

Ursula Ströh    

  • Assistant Professor - 2006-2007

Mari Boor Tonn    

  • Associate Professor - 2001-2009

Elizabeth L. Toth    

  • Professor - 2004-present

Monique Mitchell Turner    

  • Assistant Professor - 2003-2007
  • Associate Professor - 2007-2010

Amber Westcott-Baker    

  • Assistant Professor - 2013-2016

Laura Drake Witz    

  • Assistant Professor - 1999-2004

Andrew D. Wolvin    

  • Assistant Professor - 1968-1973
  • Associate Professor - 1973-1978
  • Professor - 1978-present

Carly S. Woods    

  • Assistant Professor - 2016-2020
  • Associate Professor - 2020-present

Michelle Murray Yang    

  • Assistant Professor - 2013-2021