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Faculty and Staff

Faculty Office Hours Spring 2015

Faculty Members | Lecturers | Staff Members | Emeritus

Faculty Members

Marji Morgan

Interim Department Chair
Ph.D. .Marji Morgan grew up in the San Fernando Valley and in New Orleans, attended Rice University as an undergraduate student, and received an M.A. and Ph.D. from Tulane University. She is a specialist in 19th-century British social and cultural history, and has published two books: Manners, Morals and Class in England, 1774-1858 (1994) and National Identities and Travel in Victorian Britain (2001). After completing her Ph.D. in 1988, she became an Assistant Professor of History at Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC). She became Chair of SIUC's History Department in 2000, and held that position until July 2005 when she came to Central Washington University to be Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities. She left that position on June 30, 2014 and will resume teaching history courses Spring 2015 which will include a new course on Food and Wine in History.  When not teaching or "deaning," Morgan enjoys traveling, cycling, cooking and entertaining, attending arts events, and sampling wines from all over the world.
Bouillon 232B :: (509) 963-1656


    César Garcia
Associate Professor of Communication
Advisor to Public Relations Major

Ph.D. (1993, Universidad Complutens)
Currently an Associate Professor at CWU, Dr. García specializes in teaching and research on public relations and communication. Dr. García also has more than a decade of experience in the professional world of public relations for international firms such as Edelman and Pleon where he implemented communications programs for global companies. Dr. García has published in academic publications such as Public Relations Review, Public Relations Journal, Journal of Communication Management and International Journal of Strategic Communication.
Bouillon 227 :: (509) 963-1097


  Phil Backlund
Professor, Communication Studies
Advisor to Communication Studies majors                                                               
Ph.D. (1977, University of Denver) is a professor of Communication Studies and teaches courses in gender communication, communication theory, research methods, small group communication, rhetoric, public speaking, and intercultural communication.  He has over fifty publications primarily in the areas of communication education and educational assessment.  He and his wife have taught in Hong Kong, Macau, Pakistan, Tanzania, and South Sudan  He greatly enjoys being a father, grandfather, traveling with his wife, family activities, golf, skiing, and windsurfing.
Bouillon 228  :: (509) 963-1852
   Kevin M. Brett
Assistant Professor of Public Relations and Advertising
M.A. (2012, University of Oregon)
Kevin is initially teaching courses introducing the public relations profession, emphasizing writing for public relations and the fundamentals of advertising. Kevin’s three-decade career includes serving in executive positions for Edelman Public Relations, LSI Logic Corporation, the Semiconductor Industry Association and the California Office of the Governor. Kevin’s research interests include corporate public relations/investor relations, social media, international communications, national reputations/brands. Kevin is a social media evangelist and communications choreography blogger for Almost Daily Brett,
Bouillon 219 ::  (509) 963-3216

   Elizabeth “Liz” Kerns
Assistant Professor, Public Relations
Advisor to Public Relations Majors, Non-Profit Administration Minors, Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), PR/AD Agency
MA, IOM (2008, University of Illinois at Springfield)
Professor Kerns joined the faculty at CWU in the Fall 2010 to teach Public Relations and NonProfit Organization Management courses. Professor Kerns is also the faculty advisor to the CWU Public Relations Student Society of America and CWU PRSSA Bateman team faculty advisor.  In 2011, Professor Kerns established Central Communication Agency, a full-service, student-run communication firm of which houses nearly 50 team members with service to 10 clients quarterly. She currently serves on the PRSA National Educator’s Academy Board and is a member of the American Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE).  Professor Kerns research interests include service learning model in education and public relations/nonprofit management pedagogy, nonprofit organizational use of social media during crisis communication, and mentorship styles in public relations education.   Prior to CWU, Liz was the Director of Local Chamber Relations and Events for the Illinois Chamber of Commerce and was President of the Illinois Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (IACCE). She earned a Master’s in Communication from the University of Illinois at Springfield and holds a professional certificate from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Institute for Organization Management (IOM) program.  Finally, Professor Kerns serves throughout the community including being an active member in her children's elementary school PTA. 
Bouillon 229 :: (509) 963-1966


  Cynthia Mitchell 
Associate Professor, Journalism                                                          
Advisor to Digital Journalism majors, The Observer, and to the Society of Professional Journalists student chapter.

M.B.A. (1985, Vanderbilt University)
Professor Mitchell is the program coordinator for the Digital Journalism major and teaches upper-level writing, reporting and editing classes. She also advises The Observer, the only national Pacemaker Award finalist – of any size – in the Northwest in 2011 and 2012. In 2013 and 2014, The Observer was a finalist for Best Non-Daily Student Newspaper in the Society of Professional Journalists’ Region 10, which spans Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Alaska, and in 2015, it brought home the top award. Her research and service passions are in First Amendment education. She also serves on the board of the Washington Coalition for Open Government and on the national advisory board of the Associated Collegiate Press. Before turning her career toward the classroom, she was a reporter at The Wall Street Journal for four years, and a reporter and editor at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution for a decade, where her investigative and beat reporting won numerous awards from local, state, chain and national organizations.
Bouillon 226 :: (509) 963-1063


  Sacheen Mobley-Welsh
Assistant Professor, Communication Studies
Advisor to Lambda Pi Eta Honor Society
Ph.D. (2010, University of Missouri)
Currently an Assistant Professor of Communication Studies, Dr. Mobley-Welsh teaches courses in persuasion, organizational communication, research methods and interpersonal communication to name a few. Dr. Mobley-Welsh is a teacher/scholar with interests in the areas of intercultural identities, narrative theory,  and the social construction of reality. Exploring the boundaries of communication and cultures is something this Midwestern transplant finds great passion in and brings that to her classroom and her research. 

Bouillon 230 :: 509-963-1922 


  Michael R. Ogden
Professor, Director of Film and Video Studies
Advisor to Film and Video Studies Majors

Ph.D. (1993, University of Hawaii at Manoa)
Currently the Director of the Interdisciplinary Film & Video Studies Program, Dr. Ogden teaches courses in film/video production, production management, directing, digital cinematography and documentary history & production. Dr. Ogden is a filmmaker/teacher/scholar with a keen interest in the evolution of cinema technology and indigenous storytelling. Very much a product of his ancestry and experience, that of being a mixed-blood American Indian, an academic, a documentary filmmaker and "visual storyteller," Dr. Ogden lives and works between cultures one English-speaking, the other Fijian.
Bouillon 224 :: (509) 963-1067


   Maria Sanders
Assistant Professor, Film and Video Studies
Advisor to Film and Video Studies Majors

MFA (2002, American Film Institute)
Professor Sanders teaches primarily editing, screenwriting, and introductory film studies, and helps graduating seniors develop their personal portfolios.  Ms. Sanders explores how writing and editing are used to shape narrative, emotional, and visual structure in cinema.  In 2013 she wrote and directed "Temperance," a short film which explores a chance encounter between two women of different ages.  "Temperance" is now entering the festival circuit.  Prof. Sanders is firmly committed to bringing more women into CWU's film program and encouraging them to take leadership roles in film production.  She would like to see more women directors, cinematographers, and writers, and more female lead characters onscreen.
Bouillon 225 :: (509) 963-1089


  Nadene Vevea
Assistant Professor, Communication Studies
Ph.D. (2011, North Dakota State University)
An assistant professor in the Communication Studies program, Dr. Vevea teaches courses intercultural communication, conflict and communication, communication theory, introduction to human communication, and many others. She is a teacher/scholar with a particular interest in intercultural and interpersonal relationships as well as r
isk and crisis communication. During her doctoral program, Dr. Vevea worked with the Department of Homeland Security and the USDA on creating culture specific risk and crisis messages in regards to food safety issues. A native Minnesotan, Dr. Vevea is particularly fond of the Pacific Northwest climate and landscape; when she is not teaching, you can find her with Rosie, her adorable Boston Terrier, roaming the great outdoors.
Bouillon 231 :: (509) 963-1072

Faculty Lecturers

  Yong Cao
Lecturer Des Moines University Center
Ph.D. (2010, Southern Illinois University)
Dr. Cao joined the communication department in 2008. He has taught a variety of courses including business and professional speaking, intercultural communication, visual communication, introduction to convergent media and advertising planning. His teaching and research interests include oral communication, intercultural communication, new media, advertising, global communication, and digital media production. He has won best paper awards at 2007 Conference of the International Communication Association and 2005 Annual Convention of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. :: (509) 963-3836
  Jennifer Green
Senior Lecturer
M.A.  Ms. Green lived and worked in Madrid, Spain as a journalist for 11 years. Her work spanned magazines (Screen International), newspapers (The Washington Post), television (ABC News, ESPN), film (independent production companies) and radio (BBC Radio). As the correspondent for Screen, Ms. Green covered Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American film, traveled to festivals including Cannes and Berlin, sat on film festival juries across Spain, and wrote and edited books on the European film industry. She teaches writing, freelancing and film classes at Central and advises Pulse Magazine (
Bouillon 221 :: (509) 963-1046
  Helen Harrison
Senior Lecturer
MA (1985)
Harrison is a senior lecturer and teaches courses in theatrical, commercial, documentary and transmedia scriptwriting, media aesthetics and visual storytelling. Her professional experience encompasses fifteen years as a scriptwriter and producer in Southern California. Her fifteen-year academic background includes interdisciplinary study and research in literature, oral communication and semiotics; the history of science; and philosophy and religion.  Her research interest is cognition and storytelling.

  Emily DuPlessis
M.A. Communication and Leadership Studies (Gonzaga University)
Ms DuPlessis is a new member of the communication department. She joins the faculty ranks with over 11 years of professional experience in the communication and public relations field. Her relevant experience includes managing public relations and communications for a reputable medical university, directing the public affairs office for a large community college in Oregon and coordinating marketing and communications departments in the retail sporting and recreation industry. As a fellow CWU alum, Ms DuPlessis is passionate about teaching the next generation of communication professionals.
Bouillon 207 :: (509) 963-1117


  Terri Reddout
Education: Master of Science in Communication - Utah State University
Bachelor of Arts in Mass Media - Central Washington University
Bachelor of Arts in Political Science - Central Washington University
Teaching: Public Relations, Advertising, Broadcasting
Academic Experience: Advisor for Internships 2008-2009

Bouillon 220 :: (509) 963-1056


  Toby Staab
Senior Lecturer
MEd (2006, Central Washington University) BA Print Journalism (1999, CWU)Currently is a Senior Lecturer, professor Staab teaches courses in Broadcast, Publication Design, Law & Ethics, Print Journalism and Public Relations.  Mr. Staab has worked for daily newspapers, magazines and in radio.  In 2008, he began writing and designing a book about the challenges of commercial salmon fishing in Alaska, and in 2011, Mr. Staab published the department's first e-text titled "Law, Ethics & The First Amendment."  Toby was nominated in 2012 & 2013 for Non-Tenure Track Faculty of the Year and in May of 2013, received an award for "Professor of Excellence" by the National Residence Hall Honorary.  Professor Staab loves fishing, hunting and enjoying the scenic beauty of the Kittitas Valley.  Overall, Mr. Staab truly enjoys teaching and mentoring students.
Bouillon 223 :: (509) 963-1024


  Jon Ward
B.A. Physics, M.A. Film Studies
A native of Seattle, Jon graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in Physics then spent five years with the United States Department of State. He subsequently resigned to pursue his long-term interest in film. After he sold a script to a Hollywood production company he spent more than a decade in Los Angeles writing screenplays and television pilots for studios such as Warner Bros., Fox, Village Roadshow, and Paramount. Additionally, he has directed and produced numerous films including shorts, features, and documentaries. Jon returned to the Pacific Northwest a few years ago and currently resides in Ellensburg where he continues to work on film projects and teach in the CWU film and video studies program.
Bouillon 216 :: (509) 963-2893


  Steve Woodward
MA (1979, University of Missouri School of Journalism)
Before joining CWU as a lecturer in 2013, Woodward spent more than 30 years as an editor, reporter and general manager for major metropolitan daily newspapers and the American City Business Journals chain, focusing on topics as diverse as business, health care, technology, science, priest sex-abuse scandals and societal subcultures. In 2008, he left the newspaper industry to explore emerging forms of information delivery and journalism education as an entrepreneur, business adviser and teacher. At Central, he teaches Media & Culture, Communication Ethics and the First Amendment, and Introduction to Writing and Reporting for Convergent Media.
Bouillon 207                                                                                   :: (509) 963-1117


Staff Members

    Hayley Harrell
Department Secretary
Bouillon 232A
(509) 963-1066

Observer Advertising and Business Manager
Communications Consultant

Please direct calls to Hayley Harrell, department secretary: 509-963-1066



  Corwin King
Professor Emeritus, Communication Studies
Education: Ph.D., Speech Communication, The Pennsylvania State University, 1973.
  Lois Breedlove
Professor Emeritus, Journalism
Education: M.A. Journalism & Public Affairs, American University 1984

 Robert Fordan
Professor Emeritus, Broadcast Journalism
Education: MA (1978, San Francisco State University); BA (1971, University of California at Riverside)