Communication Arts

Get Involved

  • KWSB Radio: On air since 1968, KWSB is student driven, student staffed and open to anyone who wants to have their own radio show. 
  • Mountaineer Media: A student-run media production group specializing in short films, screenings and storytelling abilities.
  • Peak Productions: A co-curricular program and student-run producing board that oversee and provide quality live performance to the campus and Gunnison community.
  • Tayor Media Center: Houses film production studios, audio production studios and more.
  • Top o' the World Newspaper: Monthly paper composed by students offering opportunities in newswriting, photography, editing, designing and advertising sales.
  • Internships:


Scholarships associated with academic programs usually have a specific scholarship application form that can easily be obtained by contacting that academic program's office or visiting that academic program's web page. If you have any questions, please contact the Financial Aid office at 970.943.3085 or 800.876.5309.

 Beta Engineering/Jess Gern Scholarship

Available to:

An outstanding student in the Communication Arts, Languages & Literature Department. Student must be a junior majoring in Communication or Theatre with a 3.0 or better GPA.

Provided by:

Bob Austin, President of Beta Engineering Company in Austin, Texas. Bob is an alumnus of Western Colorado University, who established this endowment fund to honor Dr. Jess Gern, then Chairman of the Arts and Humanities Department, and to show his appreciation to the College.


Award depends on funds available.

Selected by:

The Communication Arts, Languages & Literature Department.


Contact the CALL Department for application and deadline information. 970.943.2025 - Taylor Hall 216

Faculty & Staff


Elisabeth C. Bell, Ph.D. headshot
Lecturer in English and Communication Arts
B.A., University of Michigan, Comparative Literature, Ph.D., Duke University, Literature
Phone: 970.943.2087
Office Location: Taylor Hall 208C
Kelsey L. Bennett, Ph.D. headshot
Honors Program Director
B.A., Saint John's College, Santa Fe, Ph.D., University of Denver
Phone: (970) 943-7021
Office Location: Taylor Hall Honors Center 110A
Jody Coleman, Ph.D. headshot
Lecturer in English
B.A., Idaho University, M.A., Western Colorado University, Ph.D., University of Nebraska
Phone: 970.943.7013
Office Location: Taylor Hall 208B
Paul A. Edwards, Ph.D. headshot
Lecturer in Communication Arts
B.A., St. Michael's College, Fine Arts: Drama, M.A., State University of New York-Albany, Theatre, Ph.D., University of Colorado, Theatre
Phone: 970.943.3042
Office Location: Taylor Hall 218
Rosalyn Garvey headshot
Lecturer in Communication Arts, English
MFA Western Colorado University, B.A. Western Colorado University
Phone: 970.943.2041
Office Location: Taylor Hall 208B
W. Tyson Hausdoerffer, Ph.D. headshot
Lecturer in Philosophy, English, & Communication Arts
Ph.D., University of California, M.A., University of Colorado, B.A., Western State Colorado University
Office Location: Taylor Hall 212C
Steven Cole Hughes headshot
Director of Theatre and Lecturer in Communication Arts
B.A., Indiana University, MFA, National Theatre Conservatory
Phone: 970-943-3029
Office Location: Taylor Hall 212 D
Jack Lucido, MFA headshot
Professor of Communication Arts
B.A., Humboldt State University, MFA, University of North Carolina-Greensboro
Phone: 970.943.3052
Office Location: Taylor Hall 212E
Carmen Moreira, M.A. headshot
Lecturer in Spanish
M.A., Colorado University - Denver
Phone: 970.943.2262
Office Location: Taylor Hall 225A
Melissa Myser, MFA headshot
Assistant Professor of Communication Arts
B.A., University of Colorado at Boulder, Studio Arts, BFA, University of Colorado at Boulder, Film Studies (cum laude), MFA, University of Illinois at Chicago, Moving Image
Phone: 970.943.2581
Office Location: Taylor Hall 220B
Eun-A Park, Ph.D. headshot
Associate Professor of Communication Arts
B.A., M.A., Chung-Ang University, M.A., The Michigan State University, Ph.D., The Pennsylvania State University
Phone: 970.943.2265
Office Location: Taylor Hall 222C


FOR REQUIRED COURSES AND DEGREE PLANS, VISIT THE OFFICIAL UNIVERSITY CATALOG. This is a sample of courses offered by Western Colorado University. To ensure the courses you need are offered during the current semester, please visit the university course search.

 COM 119 - Introduction to Film (3 credits)

Students are introduced to the aesthetics of narrative and documentary motion pictures through the study of the basic elements of cinema. Topics may include story structure, cinematography, editing, sound, and lighting.

 COM 121 - Introduction to Theatre (3 credits)

This course will include a general survey of Western theatre from Classical Greece to contemporary America. Students will learn the diverse practice of the art of theatre by studying theatre history, dramatic literature, and the practical components of acting, directing, design and production.

 COM 151 - Introduction to Mass Media (3 credits)

An examination of media-related industries (broadcasting, journalism, advertising, public relations and online communications), and the issues related to those industries that affect contemporary public discourse.

 COM 205 - Communication Arts I (3 credits)

This course is a study of the theory and associated terminology of visual communication including the application of concepts to film, theatre, and convergent media. Topics include aesthetics, design elements, mimesis, performance, semiotics and introduction to the primary techniques of the various communication arts. Prerequisite: ENG 102 with a minimum grade of "C-."

 COM 241 - Media Writing (3 credits)

An analysis and practice of the major forms of media writing, including print, broadcast and web-based publication, with an introduction to the ways that production varies the writing of each. Prerequisite: ENG 102 with a minimum grade of ÒC-.Ó

 COM 264 - Introduction to Production and Theory (3 credits)

An introduction to the theory and practice of media production including critical andaesthetic theories. Topics may include scriptwriting, producing, directing, cinematography,sound recording, editing, and standards of operation for production facilities and equipment. Prerequisites: COM 205, COM 261, and sophomore standing; or instructor permission.

 COM 274 - Public Relations Communication (3 credits)

A study of the use of communication to establish credibility, trust, and confidence between and among communities, employees, public agencies, civic organizations and business institutions.

 COM 284 - Sophomore Portfolio (1 credits)

A course in which students familiarize themselves with the requirements for theCommunication Arts program and related capstone project, formulate specific goals, and prepare strategies through which those goals can be achieved. Students will develop an awareness of field-specific expectations required of them in professional or graduate-level work, and develop a plan for creating a portfolio that reflects that awareness. A part of the course consists of formally of applying for admission to the Communication Arts program. Prerequisite or corequisite: COM 205 or instructor permission.

 COM 305 - Communication Arts II (3 credits)

An exploration of the philosophical and theoretical foundations of human communication, concentrating specifically on textual analysis and interpretation. Using a wide range of media, students will investigate how the particular method of communication informs, alters, and shapes the messages being consumed, and how those messages both constitute and affect self-expressive acts. PREREQUISITES: COM 205 and admission to the Communication Arts Program; or instructor permission.

 COM 405 - Communication Arts III (3 credits)

A multi-disciplinary and multi-media course offering significant historical, theoretical, and practical content by which to explore and discuss how meaning is conveyed in communication. Special emphasis is given to the nature of oral communication in oral societies and to the nature and function of myth, symbol, sign, and inferential reasoning. Prerequisites: COM 305 or instructor permission.

 COM 484 - Communication Arts Seminar (2 credits)

A capstone course in which students complete their individual Communication Arts portfolios, based upon their cumulative work through the COM program and guided by their specific career or graduate school goals. The seminar provides an opportunity for students to work individually, in small groups, and with the instructor to evaluate the overall effectiveness of their finished portfolios, and revise accordingly, utilizing the critical techniques, cultural awareness, and technical skills students have developed throughout the COM program. Prerequisite: COM 305

Bachelor of Arts
Communication Arts, Languages & Literature

Communication Arts students create visual and verbal content for audiences. The Communication Arts major helps you acquire and learn media production and performance skills.

General Description

Communication Arts students learn to analyze written, oral, visual and electronic messages from historical, critical and social science perspectives. They also learn to produce such messages for artistic and functional expression. As a Communication Arts student, you will receive the preparation and hands-on training required for a career in one of the many professions that shape our nation’s culture.

The Program

The Communication Arts program has four emphases: Film Studies, Strategic Communication, Theatre & Performance Studies and Communication (Standard). The Film Studies Emphasis equips students with hands-on experiences in all realms of production, utilizing video/audio as a means of communicating ideas. The Strategic Communication Emphasis provides the study of complex organizations and their use of applied communication in connecting with their audiences. The Theatre & Performance Studies Emphasis provides students with an in-depth, multi-disciplinary and hands-on approach to the role of theatre and live performance. The Standard Emphasis allows for the greatest flexibility and efficiency for transfer students, double majors and those students seeking the broadest possible experience across all of the Communication Arts emphases.


Communication Arts students receive the preparation and hands-on training required for a career in one of the many professions that shape our nation’s culture. Students go on to pursue careers in mass media, such as acting and directing, writing for the media, managing corporate crises, producing movies and videos or helping businesses improve their communication systems.

  • PR Representative
  • Stage Manager
  • Producer
  • Media Buyer
  • Account Executive
  • Set Designer
  • Social Media Specialist
  • Special Events Professional
  • Actor
  • Video Editor
  • Camera Operator
  • Audio Producer

Learn More

Jack Lucido, MFA