Department History

Department History  |  Department Names  |  Department Chairs  |  Tenure/Tenure-Track Faculty

History of the Department of Communication

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

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Names of the Department of Communication

Fall 1901 - Spring 1908 Department of Public Speaking
Fall 1908 - Spring 1914 Department of Oratory
Fall 1914 - Spring 1918 Department of English and Public Speaking
Fall 1918 - Spring 1936 Department of Public Speaking
Fall 1936 - Spring 1948 Department of Speech
Fall 1948 - Spring 1979 Department of Speech and Dramatic Art
Fall 1979 - Spring 1990 Department of Communication Arts and Theatre
Fall 1990 - Fall 1997 Department of Speech Communication
Spring 1998 - Present Department of Communication

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Chairs of the Department of Communication

Charles Richardson
Fall 1901 - Spring 1940
Raymond Ehrensberger
Fall 1940 - Spring 1953
Warren Strausbaugh
Fall 1953 - Spring 1970
Thomas J. Aylward
Fall 1970 - Spring 1973 Fall 1975 - Spring 1983
Irving Linkow (Acting)
Fall 1973 - Spring 1975

Patti P. Gillespie
Fall 1983 - Spring 1989

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

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

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

Edward L. Fink
Fall 1997 - Spring 2007

Elizabeth L. Toth
Fall 2007-Fall 2015
Shawn J. Parry-Giles
Spring 2016 - present

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

Name Rank Dates
     
Linda Aldoory
  • Assistant Professor
  • Associate Professor
  • Professor
  • Associate Dean (ARHU)
  • 1999-2005
  • 2005-2017
  • 2017-present
  • 2017-present
Lindsey Anderson
  • Assistant Professor
  • 2014-present
Shannon A. Bowen
  • Assistant Professor
  • 2005-2008
Deborah A. Cai
  • Assistant Professor
  • Associate Professor
  • 1995-2001
  • 2001-2009
Edward L. Fink
  • Associate Professor
  • Professor
  • Distinguished Scholar-Teacher
  • Professor Emeritus
  • 1981-1987
  • 1987-2015
  • 1988
  • 2015-present
Robert N. Gaines
  • Associate Professor
  • Professor
  • Associate Dean (UGST)
  • Professor Emeritus
  • 1986-2007
  • 2007-2015
  • 2011-2014
  • 2015-present
Jennifer Garst
  • Assistant Professor
  • 1999-2003
James E. Grunig
  • Professor
  • Professor Emeritus
  • 1999-2005
  • 2005-present
Larissa A. Grunig
  • Associate Professor
  • Professor
  • Professor Emerita
  • 1999-2001
  • 2001-2005
  • 2005-present
Dale Hample
  • Associate Professor
  • 2007-present
Nicholas Joyce
  • Assistant Professor
  • 2014-present
Sahar Mohamed Khamis
  • Assistant Professor
  • Associate Professor
  • 2007-2014
  • 2014-present
James F. Klumpp
  • Associate Professor
  • Professor
  • Professor Emeritus
  • 1986-2006
  • 2006-2015
  • 2015-present
Brooke Fisher Liu
  • Assistant Professor
  • Associate Professor
  • 2009-2012
  • 2012-present
Meina Liu
  • Assistant Professor
  • Associate Professor
  • 2006-2012
  • 2012-2013
Katherine McComas
  • Assistant Professor
  • 2000-2003
Kristy Maddux
  • Assistant Professor
  • Associate Professor
  • 2007-2013
  • 2013-present
Michael D. Meffert
  • Assistant Professor
  • 1999-2004
Xiaoli Nan
  • Assistant Professor
  • Associate Professor
  • Professor
  • 2008-2012
  • 2012-2017
  • 2017-present
Nneka Ifeoma Ofulue
  • Assistant Professor
  • 2008-2012
Shawn J. Parry-Giles
  • Assistant Professor
  • Associate Professor
  • Professor
  • 1998-2003
  • 2003-2007
  • 2007-present
Trevor Parry-Giles
  • Assistant Professor
  • Associate Professor
  • Professor
  • 2001-2005
  • 2005-2010
  • 2010-present
Damien Smith Pfister
  • Associate Professor
  • 2016-present
Torsten Reimer
  • Assistant Professor
  • 2006-2009
Anita Atwell Seate
  • Assistant Professor
  • 2012-present
Erich Sommerfeldt
  • Assistant Professor
  • 2012-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
  • Associate Professor
  • 2003-2007
  • 2007-2010
Amber Westcott-Baker
  • Assistant Professor
  • 2013-2016
Laura Drake Witz
  • Assistant Professor
  • 1999-2004
Andrew D. Wolvin
  • Assistant Professor
  • Associate Professor
  • Professor
  • 1968-1973
  • 1973-1978
  • 1978-present
Carly S. Woods
  • Assistant Professor
  • 2016-present
Michelle Murray Yang
  • Assistant Professor
  • 2013-present

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