Communication Studies

Blend the Best of Communication, Technology, Business, Marketing, and Art & Design into a Perfect Career

It’s not just what you say when it comes to getting messages across. It’s also how you say it. At Keuka College, we’ll teach you to master both skills. Learn how to craft messages for a specific audience, simplify complex theories and concepts, and communicate effectively with any person or group.

A firm background in business and hands-on study in public speaking, media writing, human resources management and digital publishing provides the versatility you need to persuade, storytell, inform, and engage your audiences.

Evan B portrait

Real-World Experience. Every Year.

Real-world, hands-on experience is an important part of your Communication Studies degree. 

The Keuka College Field Period® gives you the chance to have four separate Communication Studies internships, starting your freshman year.

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Program Overview

As a Communication Studies student, you’ll write, design, manage, talk, interact, and—above all—lead. No matter the industry, understanding human interaction, presenting information, communicating effectively, and inspiring groups of people are universal skills necessary for success.

Each class provides the knowledge, tools, and techniques for analyzing, managing, and improving communication across any setting. You’ll channel your multiple interests and diverse talents to take on competitive careers in management, consulting, journalism, graphic design, marketing, research, event planning, or even lobbying.

With a base in business and digital learning, you’ll gain insight into today’s most sought-after professions, such as social media marketing, web design, and professional writing.

From face-to-face conversation, group dynamics, to writing for and interpreting mass media outlets, and storytelling, you’ll have the confidence, knowledge, and flexibility to walk down any career path you choose.

Learn more about our Communication Studies Program

You’ll have the chance to explore your interests more deeply through Field Period®, senior practicum, and individual research projects. This affords you the opportunity to explore your passions and craft your own unique academic experience.

Field Period®: You’ll get to complete a 140-hour Field Period® experience every year. These experiences help guide you toward the area of communication best suited for you. Recent sites include major and minor league sports teams, nonprofit organizations, local news stations and newspapers, event planning organizations, and museums.

Senior Practicum: By the time you’re a senior, you’re ready to let your skills shine, and what better way than through a practicum experience that sets you up for future success? By combining all the skills you’ve learned into one culminating experience, you’ll prepare for your first real job, begin researching graduate schools, and develop your personal career action plan.

Online ePortfolio: To truly stand out for employers, all communication students will develop an online portfolio of their best work. Let your personal brand come through as you showcase your writing samples, published articles, marketing campaigns, photography, graphic design, data analysis, and group work.

With years of experience writing for print and the web, perfecting public speaking and interviewing techniques, and crafting messages that resonate, our faculty have the academic and professional experience to take you to new heights.

Each of your communication professors will get to know you by name, learn your dreams and ambitions, and take a personal interest in your success. Your professors will offer you a productive, engaging, and thoughtful learning experience by blending theory and practice in classes and helping you find interesting real-world projects to work on and problems to solve.

As a communication student, you’ll also have the chance to work with and learn from the accomplished artists, musicians, writers, and poets who comprise the College’s Humanities and Fine Arts faculty.

Catherine Agar

Writing Center Director

Academic Credentials

University of Rochester
M.A. in English
St John Fisher College
B.A. in English

Biography

Catherine Agar has been at Keuka College since 2012, when she worked as a writing specialist in the Adult and Online Education program. She has a BA in English with a minor in religious studies from St. John Fisher College and a MA in English from the University of Rochester, where her master’s thesis was about auditory reception in English poet John Milton’s Paradise Lost. She was a nontraditional, first generation student who earned her BA and MA as an adult with three children, so she has a special place in her heart for students who come to college and find themselves confused by the expectations and/or overwhelmed by the responsibilities. Catherine’s passion is to help students over the bumps in their road to success.

Dr. Marla Broetz

Assistant Professor of ASL - English Interpreting

Academic Credentials

Capella University
Ed.D. in Educational Leadership & Management
Lewis & Clark College
M.A. in Education
Gallaudet University
B.A. in Social Work

Dr. Bradley Fuster

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Professor of Music

Academic Credentials

University of Southern California
D.M.A.
Yale University
M.M.
SUNY Geneseo
B.A.

Biography

Dr. Bradley Fuster joined Keuka College as Provost and Vice President in Fall of 2018. Fuster's career in higher education began in 1999 when he served as Assistant Professor of Music and eventually interim Department Chair at Montana State University. 

In 2005, Fuster was appointed Founding Department Chair of Music at SUNY Buffalo State. As Chair, Fuster fundraised $1,425,000 in endowed scholarships by naming six renovated performance spaces. The Music Department grew from 40 undergraduate majors to 125 undergraduate and 35 graduate majors. Fuster added new performance ensembles, degrees in digital music production, and one of the first 100% online Masters in Music Education in the world, as well as authoring the self-studies to attain initial accreditation and continuing accreditation from the National Associations of Schools of Music (NASM).

Subsequently, Fuster was promoted through a series of senior leadership roles from 2013-2018. These roles included Interim Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management, Special Assistant to the Provost for Innovative Learning, Associate Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness, and Interim Vice President/Chief Information Officer. In 2016-2017, Fuster completed an ACE Fellowship at Vassar College. 

At Keuka College, Fuster has worked with the faculty to expand the program array, adding many new degrees in the areas of Allied Health and eSports Management, as well as several certificate offerings. 

Professional Interests

As a thought leader in higher education, Fuster serves as a peer reviewer and visiting reaccreditation team member for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, and has authored numerous articles published in US News & World Report, eCampus News, and Inside Higher Ed.

Dr. Jennie Joiner

Division Chair
Professor of English

Academic Credentials

University of Kansas
Ph.D.
University of Oregon
M.A.
Georgia State University
B.A.

Dr. Steven Kapica

Assistant Professor of English

Academic Credentials

Northeastern University
Ph.D.
Appalachian State University
M.A.
Appalachian State University
B.A.

Sharon Kocher

Associate Professor of American Sign Language

Academic Credentials

Rochester Institute of Technology
M.S.
Gallaudet University
B.A.

Geoffrey Lee

Writing Specialist and Writing Support Coordinator
Adjunct Instructor

Academic Credentials

Clemson University
M.A. in English
St Bonaventure University
B.A. in English

Biography

I'm Geoff Lee, Writing Specialist and AOE Writing Support Coordinator. I've been at Keuka since the fall of 2011, teaching writing and coaching students on their writing. In my time here I've seen so many students take great strides with their writing. It's an exciting process to watch and participate in, and I look forward to lending you a hand as you take that journey yourself. 

Meghan Lewis

Visiting Assistant Professor of Communication Studies

Academic Credentials

College of Art and Design at Rochester Institute of Technology
M.F.A.
Saunders College of Business at Rochester Institute of Technology
M.S.
College of Art and Design at Rochester Institute of Technology
B.F.A.

Dr. Mike McKenzie

Associate Professor of Philosophy & Religion

Academic Credentials

University of Southern California
Ph.D.
Westminster Theological Seminary
M.A.R.
University of Southern California
M.A.
Trinity International University
M.A.
Central Washington University
B.A.

Biography

After obtaining a B.A. in criminal justice, Dr. McKenzie’s educational path turned toward comparative religion, and after graduating from Westminster Theological Seminary he obtained a M.A. and Ph.D. in religious studies and social ethics from the University of Southern California.  At USC, he was selected to be a teaching assistant in the prestigious honors program, and according to department rumors he was also the only doctoral student to complete his Ph.D. in four years.

His academic interests remain centered around ethics, philosophy, and religion, the three subject areas he covers at Keuka College.  Besides authoring over thirty articles and book chapters, many on religion’s influence in New York’s “Burned-over District,” Dr. McKenzie is putting the finishing touches on his latest book: the experiences of the Methodist Church in the Pacific Northwest.  This book breaks new ground and explains how the Northwest’s unique geography helped stymie what was then the largest and most powerful religion in the United States.

Dr. McKenzie is one of the most popular professors at Keuka, a fact he attributes to the fact that he empathizes with students.  “I well remember the challenges I faced in college, so I understand some of what they’re going through.”  

Although Mike is from the Pacific Northwest, he finds a lot of similarities between Yates County and where he grew up.  “There were orchards and vineyards everywhere in the Yakima Valley, and it’s nice to see so many of those around here,” he says.  Mike has taught at Keuka College since 1999.  

Professional Interests

Ethics (theoretical and applied), comparative religions, North American religions, growth of modern religions

Melissa Newcomb

Associate Professor of Art

Academic Credentials

Rochester Institute of Technology
M.F.A.
SUNY Oswego
M.A.
SUNY Oswego
B.F.A.

Biography

Melissa Newcomb is a professor and leader of the Art and Design program at Keuka College, where she teaches painting, drawing, mixed media, photography, and design. Also at the college, she coordinates exhibits in the Lightner Art Gallery and leads an advisory board composed of local professionals and artists in support of the program, student growth, and experiential learning.

Melissa received her Master of Fine Arts Degree in painting from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 2007; a Master of Arts Degree in photography and Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from the State University of Oswego. Melissa also attended Finger Lakes Community College where she graduated with an Associate’s Degree in Fine Art. Melissa currently lives in Farmington, NY. She is highly involved with the arts and the community and was one of five artists that participated with a Mural on Coach Street (located on the side of Crown jewelers) in downtown Canandaigua. She also has worked displayed at the UR Medicine Breast Imaging and Birthing Center at F.F Thompson Hospital.

Melissa is very passionate about the arts and enjoys sharing her knowledge and experience with others. She also finds pleasure in traveling, baking, learning new things, spending time with family, shopping, coffee, and the change of seasons. Much of her inspiration comes from her students or when she is exploring new places with her camera or sketchbook.

Catherine Reed

Writing Specialist
Adjunct Instructor of English

Academic Credentials

SUNY Geneseo
M.S. in Education (Literacy)
SUNY Fredonia
B.A. in English
SUNY Fredonia
B.A. in Music Performance

Biography

I’m Cathy Reed, Writing Specialist and instructor for the HFA department at Keuka College. I enjoy teaching and learning from KCSI students, international students, and graduate students in addition to traditional students. I am proud to have been a part of this beautiful place on the lake since 2014. Please visit me in the Writing Center! 

Contact Information

Meghan Lewis

Visiting Assistant Professor of Communication Studies

315-279-5376
mlewis@keuka.edu