Full-Time Faculty & Staff

Faculty Office Hours Spring 2017

Katy Wiss, Ph.D.

Department Chair

Office: 213A Berkshire Hall
Phone:(203) 837-8260
Email: wissk@wcsu.edu

Sample of Courses Taught: Effective Listening (COM 212), Family Communication (COM 215), and Meditation, Self-Awareness and Communication (COM 245)


       Beth Koschel
Department Secretary
Office: 214 Berkshire Hall 
Phone:(203) 837-9166
Email: koschele@wcsu.edu


JC Barone, Ph.D.

Office: 209 Higgins Annex
Phone:(203) 837-3233
Email: baronej@wcsu.edu

JC has been an active producer/director and educator for over 20 years. He is the recipient of numerous national awards for his television work and digital films, including the Communicator Award of Distinction, the Videographer Award of Distinction, and five Telly Awards. JC’s students took 1st & 2nd Place two years in a row in Mutlicamera/Studio Production at the national collegiate competition at the Festival of Media Arts in Las Vegas in 2015 and 2016. JC was awarded a Faculty Fellowship at the Television Academy (Emmys) in Los Angeles in 2015 in a national competition. He received the Connecticut State Universities System-wide top Teaching Award in 2014. Intrinsic to his teaching philosophy and practice is the engagement and interaction of academia with industry and the community.

Sample of Courses Taught: Basic Video Production (COM 146), Intermediate Production (COM 246), Live News & Election Coverage (COM 247), Postproduction (COM 336), Sound for Video (COM 340), and Advanced Video Production (COM 446)


Jay S. Brower, Ph.D.

Office: 212C Berkshire Hall
Phone:(203) 837-8833
Email: browerj@wcsu.edu

Jay Brower (Ph.D.) is Associate Professor in the Department of Communication & Media Arts at Western Connecticut State University. His research is clustered around phenomenology, ethnography, and rhetoric, and is directed toward developing an account of individual and collective trauma, in particular as these moments implicate expressions of affect, meaning, and judgment.

Sample of Courses Taught: Communication Theory (COM 290), Language and Communication (COM 200), History of Mass Media (COM 230), Rhetoric of American Issues (COM 267), and Senior Thesis (COM 495).


Paul Echeverria, M.F.A., M.A., M.S.

Office: 108 Higgins Annex
Phone: (203) 837-9073
Email: EcheverriaP@wcsu.edu

Paul Echeverria is an Assistant Professor of Communication & Media Arts at Western Connecticut State University. He is also the director and founding faculty member of the Digital Interactive Media Arts program (DIMA). Echeverria has been teaching university-level courses in film, digital, and media arts since 2007. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Film) degree from Purchase College, SUNY and a Master of Fine Arts (Interdisciplinary Media Arts) degree from the University of Colorado Boulder. Additionally, he has earned Master’s conferrals in Education and Media Studies. His production website can be viewed at www.aurafilm.com. An ongoing archive of his digital work is available at www.paulanthonyamator.com.

Sample of Courses Taught: Basic Video Production (COM 146), Sight, Sound & Motion (COM 110), Introduction to Digital Interactive Media (DIMA 100), and Design for Digital & Interactive Media (DIMA 200)


Jessica Eckstein, Ph.D.

Office: 225 Berkshire Hall
Phone: (203) 837-8873
Email: ecksteinj@wcsu.edu


Truman R. Keys, Ph.D.

Office: Higgins Annex 208
Phone: (203) 837-3234
Email: keyst@wcsu.edu

For me the most enjoyable classroom experience involves students and I exchangi6ng ideas in an environment where everyone feels respected and valued. During class I discuss my research and the research of my peers. I am passionate about research that addresses communication between people of various social and cultural identities, such as race/ethnicity, income-level/social class, educational-level, traditional/non-traditional family-type, and appearance/body politics, just to name a few. I want to understand the impact our identities have on self-esteem and relationship development in organizations and society. It is helpful to present research during class about a concept or key term that students find difficult because showing them how others make sense of it fosters greater understanding.

Sample of Courses Taught: Health Communication (COM 203), Intercultural Communication (ANT/COM 208), Organizational Communication (COM 362), Research Methods in Communication (COM 390), and Senior Thesis (COM 495)


Katie Lever, Ph.D.

Office: 224 Berkshire Hall
Phone: (203) 837-8872
Email: leverk@wcsu.edu


William Petkanas, Ph.D.

Office: 213C Berkshire Hall
Phone: (203) 837-8255
Email: petkanasw@wcsu.edu

Bill earned a PhD in Media Ecology from the Steinhart School, New York University and a BA in Communication Arts from New Paltz College, State University of New York. He has been on the faculty here since the 1991-92 academic year teaching courses in media studies and relational communication. During his tenure here at Western, Bill has served as Department Chair, Director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, Director of Faculty Advising, and the Director of the Honors Program. Bill has had leadership roles in reaccreditation, assessment, and served on the University Senate and many Western initiatives. Bill serves as an Associate Editor of The Atlantic Journal of Communication and as a manuscript reviewer since the inception of that journal. He was the Editor of ETC: A Review of General Semantics 2008-2012. He has published in these and other journals, and presented papers at conferences regionally, nationally and internationally on communication and culture, pedagogy, and semiotics.

Sample of Courses Taught: Interpersonal Communication (162), Communication Theory (COM 290), History of Mass Media (COM 230), and Media Criticism (COM 480).


D. L. Stephenson, Ph.D.

Office: 210C Berkshire Hall
Phone: (203) 837-8871
Email: stephensond@wcsu.edu