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Communication

Faculty and Staff Bios

MEET OUR FACULTY!




Kevin M. Brett, M.A. (2012, University of Oregon)
Kevin is a tenure-track assistant professor of Public Relations and Advertising; 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) DailyBrett, http://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com
 


Michael Caldwell, MFA (1990, University of Southern California)
Subsequent to obtaining his Master of Fine Arts degree at the University of Southern California School of Cinema-Television, Michael began his career in entertainment at Walt Disney Studios, where he was ultimately promoted to Production Executive. After five years at Disney and five more years as a Production Executive at New Line Cinema, he moved to Seattle to become the Director of Motion Picture Production at Vulcan Productions. His credits as an executive and producer include award winning films such as The Joy Luck Club, Austin Power 2: The Spy Who Shagged Me, Love Jones, Far From Heaven, and Hard Candy.  Prior to Central Washington University Michael taught film classes at Seattle Film Institute and University of Washington.

 

Yong Cao, Ph.D. (2010, Southern Illinois University)
Yong 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.

 

Emily DuPlessis, M.A. (2013, Gonzaga University)
Emily is a multidimensional communications instructor with a strong background in writing, branding, marketing, media relations, website management, higher education, organizational leadership, public relations strategy and advertising.  She has over 10 years of industry experience and 3 years sharing her expertise with future communication professionals in the classroom. “I believe students interested in this vibrant field should examine and learn in settings that resemble the professional sector. Therefore, my instructional philosophy blends both theory and rhetoric with practical scenarios in order to equip students with a realistic perspective of the profession. Ultimately, I am an active educator with a relationship-centered approach to learning.” Ms. DuPlessis earned a Master of Arts in Communication and Leadership Studies from Gonzaga University and a Bachelor of Arts from Central Washington University.  Her Wildcat pride lives on in her current role as a full-time public relations lecturer and Faculty advisor for the PRSSA and AAF.

 

César García, Ph.D. (2005, Complutense University)
César is an associate professor at Central. 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.

 

Jamie Gilbert, M.Ed. (2014, Central Washington University)
Jamie is an alumni of Central, and soon will be graduating with her Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership. She teaches courses in non-profit leadership, grant writing and fundraising, and event planning and management. Jamie’s research interests lie within Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), learning styles and strategies, and peer partnering, learning, and mentoring. While at Central, Jamie was a two-time SOURCE (Symposium of University Research & Creative Expression) winner for her ASD research and was awarded the CWU’s Women’s Achievement Award for Student Empowerment. She is Vice-chair of the Board of Directors and Chair of the Governance committee for Washington PAVE (Partnerships in Action, Voices for Empowerment).  Jamie is also the Program Coordinator for the Office of Undergraduate Research & the Chair for SOURCE along with the CWU Club Advisor for the Undergraduate Research Club.

 

Jennifer Green, M.A. (1997, San Francisco State University)
Jennifer 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 cinema, traveled to festivals including Cannes and Berlin, sat on film festival juries across Spain, and wrote and edited books on the European film industry. At Central, she teaches writing, freelancing and film classes and serves as Faculty Adviser to Pulse Magazine (http://www.cwupulse.com). She continues to write for Screen as a freelancer covering Latin America, and she contributes a monthly column on international film to The Daily Record (archives at http://www.filmsfromafar.com).

 

Jillene Krause, M.A. (2013, University at Buffalo, SUNY)
Jillene specializes in Organizational Communication, with specific interest in sexual harassment in media organizations. After earning her Associate’s Degree in Music Business from The Art Institute of Seattle, in 1997, Jillene worked in radio broadcasting in several markets across the United States for 12 years. Her time in radio directly relates to her research interests. Ready for a career change in 2006, she attended the University at Buffalo and earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Communication. She is currently completing a PhD in Communication at North Dakota State University where her focus is Organizational Communication with a minor in Media and Society.

 

Cynthia F. Mitchell, M.B.A. (1985, Vanderbilt University)
Cynthia directs the Digital Journalism program and is the adviser to the Observer, Central’s weekly student newspaper. The Observer won the Associated Collegiate Press Best of Show Award at the 2015 and 2016 National College Media Conventions, was named Best Weekly in the Society of Professional Journalist’s Region 10 in 2015, and its news, enterprise, photos and photo illustrations have won numerous other regional and national awards. (http://www.cwuobserver.com) Her research and service passions are in First Amendment education, and to that end, she steers an annual First Amendment Festival on Central’s campus. She’s also on the board of the Washington Coalition for Open Government and is 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 and a reporter and editor at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, where her beat, enterprise and investigative work won numerous awards from local, state, chain and national organizations. Cynthia likes to keep her oar in the journalistic water. Her work as been published in The Seattle Times, The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the Yakima Herald-Republic and Editor & Publisher.

 

Marji Morgan, Ph.D. (1988, Tulane University)
Marji 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 has resumed teaching history courses and is also serving as Interim Chair of the Department of Communication.  Marji also hosts an internet radio talk show with Washington winemakers entitled Lines on Wines, and all podcasts can be accessed at www.linesonwines.com

 

Joshua Nelson, M.A. (2016, Michigan State University)
Josh's research specializations are in intercultural and interpersonal communication, and he has been instructing university courses on these and other topics for over six years.  Additionally, Josh has worked as a professional communication consultant in the accounting field, and has a passion for the application of communication research in real-world contexts.  Josh is also a graduate of both CWU’s Communication Studies program and Japanese Foreign Language program, and lived and worked in Japan for two years following his graduation.  After his time in Japan, Josh attended San Diego State University for his MA, and is currently completing his PhD at Michigan State University.

 

Terri Reddout, M.S., (1996, Utah State University) 
Terri’s current workload focuses on broadcast journalism and public speaking.  Terri’s professional background is in television news reporting, anchoring and producing.  That’s why being the advisor to Central News Watch (CNW) is such a good fit.  The student-produced television newscast covers news events and sports on campus, in Ellensburg and throughout Kittitas County. You can see what the news team is up a www.facebook.com/centralnewswatch.Terri also blogs for on-line classes.  Read what she has to say on topics ranging from gender communication to 3D printing’s influence on our society at www.reddoutcommunication.com  In her spare time Terri builds web pages and creates social media for her siblings’ small businesses.

 

Maria Sanders, MFA (2002, American Film Institute)
Maria primarily teaches editing, screenwriting, 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. Ms. 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.

 

Patrick William Smith, M.F.A., (2012, UT Austin)
Patrick is a commercial and narrative director/cinematographer based out of Los Angeles. His work includes national spots for brands like Disney, Anheuser-Busch, Gillette, BANDAID, Adidas, & Crest - among others. As a cinematographer, he has undertaken narrative features (Into the Who Knows), 3D films (Hard Reset), television pilots (Ananda) and web-series (Penny Arcade: The Series). As a director, his most recent narrative endeavor (a quest film told entirely in the endangered Tewa language) was acquired for archival and exhibition by the Smithsonian Institute and aired nationally on PBS and Direct TV. He is an avid fan of Norse mythology, green tea and granny smith apples. REEL: https://vimeo.com/94680829

 


Francesco Somaini, Ph.D. (2014, University of Oregon)
Francesco was a journalist for one and a half decades, most of which spent working as a reporter for the main Italian-language daily newspaper in Switzerland. He received his Ph.D in Media Studies from the University of Oregon in 2014. Prof. Somaini’s research interest include print and online journalism, user-generated content, international communication, compared media systems, representations of minorities in the media, and news coverage of immigration. His most recent scholarship focuses on the relationship between news coverage and feedback provided by audiences through social networking services.Somaini’s research interest include print and online journalism, user-generated content, international communication, compared media systems, representations of minorities in the media, and news coverage of immigration. His most recent scholarship focuses on the relationship between news coverage and feedback provided by audiences through social networking services.

 

Toby J. Staab MEd (2006, Central Washington University)
Toby is currently is a senior lecturer at Central. Prof. 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.  Mr. Staab loves fishing, hunting and enjoying the scenic beauty of the Kittitas Valley.  Overall, Mr. Staab truly enjoys teaching and mentoring students.



Nicholas Temple, Ph.D. (2011, North Carolina State University)
Nick is a lecturer in the Communication department. His specialties include teaching rhetorical theory, persuasion theory, and public speaking, but he has a wide variety of experience teaching multiple courses within the department. Broadly, Dr. Temple is a teacher/scholar with interests in rhetorical theory and criticism; more specifically, he looks at how rhetoric is engaged and enacted in digital contexts where it is less fixed, more ephemeral, and quite often less attributed to specific authors. In that context, he often focuses on visual and environmental communication. When he isn’t in the classroom, Dr. Temple can be found hiking and camping in the great outdoors of the Pacific Northwest or in town, enjoying the all the charm that small town Ellensburg has to offer.

 

Jon Ward, MA (2013, Central Washington University)
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 program.

 

Annie Yen Yang, Ph.D. (2010, University of Missouri-Columbia)
Annie, an education and culture enthusiast, has taught various communication courses on four continents in the past ten years. She is eager to share her knowledge and experiences in interpersonal and intercultural communication anytime and anywhere. Although education is dear to her heart, Annie knows “all work and no play” would make her unidimensional and perhaps a bit bland. Her love of nature and culture is demonstrated by her traveling to more than 40 countries and taking the roads that are less traveled!

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