Kansas State University


Department of Communication Studies

Communication Studies Academic Focuses

The Department of Communication Studies offers a variety of communication areas of study tailored to fit individual interests.

Read the stories of four alumni of Communication Studies who have achieved great success in their respective fields.

Steph Bowman

2003 graduate, legal communication track, secondary major in women’s studies, minor in anthropology

A rewarding career

Bowman now works as an attorney at the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence. “I have been lucky to be able to practice law in an area that has been important to me throughout my studies.”

Communicating in the courtroom

“After graduation I debated whether to go to graduate school for communication or go to law school. In the end, I chose law school. While there, I also gravitated to classes on issues of constitutional law, freedom of speech, gender and justice, and family violence.”


Why communication studies

“I took a variety of classes throughout arts and science and found many I enjoyed, but communication allowed me the flexibility to incorporate these different areas of study together. I especially enjoyed the classes Rhetoric of Social Movements, Rhetoric of Western Thought, Rhetoric of the American Presidency and Criticisms of Public Discourse, as well as working with Professor Brazeal on my capstone paper.”

Advice to students

“It is critical to choose a program that interests you because it makes the work so much easier if you enjoy it.”


Audrey Worthington

2007 graduate, rhetorical communication studies


Serving up communication

Worthington works as an operations consultant for Papa Murphy’s pizza company. She acts as the go-between for the corporate office, 11 stores and six franchises. She has helped open stores around the country.

People person


“I deal with people all the time in my job. I need to know how to read people, how to read their personalities, how to anticipate things, learn body language. Whether I’m dealing with franchise owners, giving business reviews or presenting to corporate executives at a meeting, I need to effectively and comfortably communicate my thoughts to everybody.”

A caring professor

Charlie Griffin, associate professor of communication studies, always supported me 100 percent — even when I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do. As my adviser and teacher, he was always passionate about the topic and always made learning fun. Whenever I talked to him outside of class, I could tell he truly cared about me and all of his students.”


Amanda Cebula

2007 graduate, organizational communication track


Organizing a future

Cebula went on to complete her master’s degree in management and leadership from Webster University in Missouri. She also worked as the university’s community relations coordinator, handling student recruitment, public relations and event planning.

Proud moment

Cebula is most proud of her senior thesis. In it, she proposed an idea to change the program from speech communication to communication studies to better represent the degree and recruit more students.

Planning a debate

“Another interesting course which helped develop my passion for event planning was a meeting and event planning course taught by Erika Imbody in which we took on planning various projects, including the planning and implementation of a national forensics tournament hosted at K-State.”

Why communication studies

“I chose to study communication studies because I was one of the rare people that loved my public speaking class. I quickly learned from the instructors and courses that communication studies was so much more than public speaking, and I fell in love with the program for what communication has the ability to do for our relationships, work life and interactions with people in general.”

Advice to students

“If you have an interest in people and the way our communication impacts relationships and daily life, this program is definitely for you! This degree is a strong foundation and complement to any career you can think about pursuing and has outstanding faculty who are experts in their area of study and care about your success as a student and graduate of this program.”


 Josh Hersh

2008 graduate, political communication track

Social media guru

Hersh served as communication director for Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins’ campaign in 2008 and moved to Washington, D.C., after she won the election. He later started his own business that helps companies with social media.

Changing communication

“Social media is changing the ways people protest, how companies approach customer service, and how friends and family interact when they are physically far apart. The Internet continues to erase traditional borders and boundaries, bringing together people from all over the world and in your own neighborhood. This rapid pace of change and innovation is exciting!”

Why communication studies

I was initially in political science, but I felt like my studies were narrow — focusing solely on politics. Communication studies appealed to me because it offered the chance to learn a set of skills and apply them to any sphere: business, politics, law, etc. Politics was my passion at the time, so that track, along with rhetoric, was the path I chose.”

The power of words

“It’s so important to realize that what you are communicating can be interpreted in so many ways. Where I felt political science valued long-winded essays for the sake of being long, communication studies taught me about brevity and clarity. It also gave me solid critical thinking skills that could help me adapt to any scenario. I definitely came out of K-State as a better writer and thinker.”

A challenging professor

Some of Hersh’s favorite professors include Tim Steffensmeier. “He challenged me so much and he served as my adviser for my senior thesis. More than anyone, he pressed me hard to think in new ways. It was sometimes frustrating, but looking back, it was vital for my own growth.”

Advice to students

“Dabble in two or three core tracks within communication studies. I think this program is one of the most interdisciplinary programs at K-State. Seeing the world from so many different angles, all through communication studies, will give you an advantage over your peers.”



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