Communication Arts

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The Department of Communication Arts includes faculty with expertise and research agendas in theatre, public relations, media studies, gender and women’s studies, theatre history, communication ethics, play writing and directing. We work to develop life-long learners as global citizens determined to build productive lives, fruitful careers, and vibrant communities.

We develop habits of perception and expression that guide one toward the rewards of ethical human communication. Our curriculum and co-curricular offerings expose W&J students to interrelated experiences that provide historical insights, theoretical literacy, and practical opportunities in the communication arts. We work collectively to foster intellectual development, enhance critical thought, improve student performance, and empower students to thrive in local and global communities.

Students majoring in Communication Arts can personalize and focus their studies with emphases in film studies, public relations and theatre.

Beyond the Classroom

Students have a wide array of opportunities for research, internships, conferences, and networking beyond the classroom that give them an advantage to prepare for life after W&J.

Research and Internships

Internships have become integral in helping students put theory into practice. Experiential work allows students a chance to interact with professionals in various industries, and non-profit organizations. We encourage networking with alumni from around the country, as well as professionals in the Pittsburgh and southwestern PA region. Students have interned with these organizations:

  • Mylan Inc., human resources department
  • The Pittsburgh Steelers marketing department
  • Ford Theatre, Washington DC, theatre operations
  • UPMC, media relations office


Our students are prepared to work in fields including:

  • theatre administration/acting/management
  • public relations writer/social media manager
  • sports information director/producer/news writer
  • grant writing/fund raising/alumni relations

Graduate schools attended by Alumni:

  • The Ohio State University-political communication
  • Duquesne University-School of Law
  • Carnegie Mellon University-theatre

Communication Arts Faculty

Melissa Cook portrait

Program Chair

Melissa A. Cook, Ph.D.

 Office: Burnett Center 010 Areas of Study Dr. Melissa A. Cook attended Duquesne University, Ph.D. in Rhetoric, 2005; University of Pittsburgh, Masters of Public Administration, 1994; Washington & Jefferson College, Bachelor of Arts, 1990. Dr. Cook comes to W&J from St. Vincent College, where she has been since 2004. Starting in 2011, she served as…

C. Daniel Shaw, M.A. portrait

C. Daniel Shaw, M.A.

Assistant Professor of Communication Arts, Designer/Technical Director of Olin Fine Arts Center

Communication Arts, Theatre

Karin Maresh, Ph.D. portrait
Default Faculty Image

Nicholas Maradin

Instructor of Communication Arts

Communication Arts

Stevie Berberick portrait
T. Scott Frank portrait

T. Scott Frank, M.F.A.

Professor of Communication Arts

Communication Arts, Theatre

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