Welcome to the Spring 2018 Semester!

Welcome, new and returning students!  We have a lot of exciting courses and activities in the planning stages for the Spring 2018 semester.  Keep track of what’s happening in the department by visiting our website and checking out our Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn pages. We will be adding a YouTube channel soon. In exciting news, our building was recently approved for a name change. You may have noticed that the building graduated from the “Speech” Building to the “Communication Sciences” Building. This name change better represents the Communication Studies discipline.

If you are getting your undergraduate degree in Comm Studies, I encourage you to consider our new accelerated Master’s degree. For those Comm Studies students who are excelling in their work, be sure to join the Alpha Chi Rho chapter of the Lambda Pi Eta honor society this year. This semester will bring interesting guest speakers, fun events, and many opportunities for you get to know your fellow students and professors better. Department presentations in spring will include a public talk by Comm Studies MA student Bless Ngoe about the current political crisis is his home nation of Cameroon, various alumni talking about what they are doing now with their Comm Studies degree backgrounds, and others to be announced. 

The Military and Family Communication Project in our department was recently awarded a research grant and will continue helping military families in our state with post-deployment family integration as well as building the research literature about how communication and stress are interrelated in military families. 

Dr. Eric Morgan has a new book about environmental communication out; Dr. Greg Armfield is working on a new book regarding sports communication; and the new book about the Internet and democracy written by Jan van Dijk and Kenneth Hacker will be released in June 2018. 

By now you know that rooms 247, 249, and 251 in the Speech Building had makeovers in during Summer 2017 – new furniture, tables, paint, glass panels, and carpet. Thanks to Heather Watenpaugh (NMSU Architect) Ron Tarazoff (Project Manager) for their fantastic help on this.  As the weather warms, be sure to take advantage of the new park just outside of our building. It’s a great place to rest and socialize between classes!

Have a great new semester!  

Dr.  Kenneth Hacker

Professor and Department Head


About Communication Studies:

Communication Studies focuses on the complex role that human communication plays in everyday life. Our courses provide students with the tools to make sense of and respond to communication processes in interpersonal, organizational, political, intercultural, and mediated contexts. In today’s increasingly global, mediated, and diverse workplace, studying communication and learning to communicate effectively are more important than ever. Thus, our program prepares students to excel in variety of careers in our ever-changing world. We offer both Bachelor of Arts and Master’s degrees, as well as minors in Communication Studies and Communication and National Security. The Department of Communication Studies is dynamic, thriving, and ready to accept new majors. Come see where a degree in Communication Studies can take you!


Department Head: Dr. Kenneth Hacker
Email: khacker@nmsu.edu
Administrative Assistant: Cynthia Moore
Email: clm@nmsu.edu
Main Office: Communication Sciences Building, Room 304
Office Phone Number: (575) 646-2801
Fax Number: (575) 646-4642



Department News


Dr. Eric Morgan Receives Outstanding Faculty Award for his Faculty-Led International Program  

In April, NMSU’s Office of Education Abroad participated in the Portland State University Symposium on International Faculty-Led Programs (FLIP). At the Symposium, Dr. Eric Morgan and Dr. Dan Dugas (Department of Geography) were honored as Outstanding Faculty for their Culture, Place, & Communication in Ireland FLIP program. 





Department of Communication Studies Hosted Screening of Tickling Giants.  

On April 25th, the Communication Studies Graduate Student Association (CSGSA) and Undergraduate Communication Club (Lambda Pi Eta) hosted a screening of the 2017 documentary Ticking Giants. The documentary tells the story of Dr. Bassem Youssef, known as the “Egyptian Jon Stewart,” who decides to abandon his career as a heart surgeon and become a late-night comedian. Tickling Giants covers Youssef’s journey from surgeon to renowned political satirist, and shows how he uses creative, non-violent ways to protect free speech and fight a president who abuses his power. Learn more about this powerful and timely documentary here.



Dr. Ken Hacker’s New Book Internet and Democracy in the Network Society to Be Released in June 2018 

In their latest collaboration, authors Dr. Ken Hacker and Dr. Jan A.G.M. van Dijk discuss the political importance of new technologies for the promotion of democracy over the last two decades. Designed to encourage critical thinking regarding the relationship between digital media and politics, Internet and Democracy in the Network Society is a helpful resource for students and scholars of communication studies, political science, sociology, political communication, and international relations. Read more about the book here.




Past and Current Communication Studies Students Are Published Authors 

Check out these published works written by our talented Communication Studies students and alumni! 
Merj Hemp (MA, 2009): Beyond the Shadow of 3,000 Pairs of Shoes: A Story of Hopelessness, Persistence, and Survival 
Valerie Day-Sanchez (BA, 2008; MA, 2010): Harlow Whittaker and the Soothsayers 
Blessed Ngoe (MA, Fall 2018): The Sinking Ship: A Critical Analysis of Multiculturalism in Postcolonial Cameroon



Communication Studies MA Student Blessed E. Ngoe Presented on Political Unrest in Cameroon

Blessed E. Ngoe is the author of The Sinking Ship: A Critical Analysis of Multiculturalism in Postcolonial Cameroon and is currently pursuing his MA in Communication Studies and National Security at NMSU. On March 1st, he discussed what has become known as the Anglophone Cameroon Problem, and offered suggestions for the containment of a growing humanitarian and political malaise that is detrimental to Cameroon and its neighbors.




New Year, New Name: The “Speech” Building is Now the “Communication Sciences” Building

Dr. Hacker is pleased to announce that by working with some really great people on campus, he was able to move forward with getting the “Speech” Building renamed as the “Communication Sciences” Building. Many thanks go the university architect Heather Watenpaugh, Dean Enrico Pontelli (Arts and Sciences), Dean Don Pope-Davis (Education), Dr. Victoria White (Communication Disorders department), and the university Naming Committee. This gives the two departments in the building (Communication Studies; Special Education and Communication Disorders) more accurate and up-to-date signage. 



S.P.A.C.E. Project Hosts Forum on Controversial Statues in the US

Department of Communication Studies

In November, the S.P.A.C.E. (Spreading Peace and Countering Extremism) Project, developed by Dr. Hacker and his Political Communication students, sponsored a forum on controversial statues in America. The purpose of the forum, which included a panel consisting of NMSU professors, was to promote an open and peaceful discussion about this current issue.

The S.P.A.C.E. project was also featured on KRWG radio in May 2017 and in the Las Cruces Sun-News in June 2017. Learn more about the S.P.A.C.E. Movement here!



Dr. Eric Morgan Co-Edited Recently Published Environmental Communication Pedagogy and Practice

Dr. Eric Morgan, along with colleagues Dr. Tema Milstein and Dr. Mairi Pileggi, recently co-edited a volume of Environmental Communication Pedagogy and Practice, an important resource for helping educators, practitioners, and students effectively navigate and consciously contribute to the communication shaping our environmental present and future. Read the editors’ interview with Routledge here and learn more about the book here.





Comm Studies Establishes Undergraduate Honor Society

Lambda Pi Eta 

The Department of Communication Studies established the Alpha Chi Rho Chapter of Lambda Pi Eta during the Fall 2017 semester.  Learn more about the organization here



Comm Studies Alum Shared her Insights from the CDC

Michelle Johns (BA, 97; MA, 99) is as a health communication specialist for the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s office in Atlanta, GA. On September 21st, she discussed her expertise related to health communication and persuasion, as well as her work on the successful National Tobacco Education Campaign entitled Tips From Former Smokers. Michelle credits much of her professional success to the lessons she learned in the Department of Communication Studies at NMSU.



Center for Communication Development (CCD)

Speech Building, Room 327

Through the CCD, the Department of Communication Studies graduate assistants offer students individualized tutoring with communication skill development and course assignments. Students can visit the CCD Monday-Thursday for assistance with speech preparation and managing speech anxiety.