Communication & Media Arts


Faculty Office Hours Fall 2016

Jay S. Brower, Ph.D.

Department Chair

Office: 213B Berkshire Hall
Phone:(203) 837-8833

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. He has been a WCSU representative to the CSU-AAUP Council for three years, and is currently a member of the CSU-AAUP contract negotiation team. Additionally, he serves as WCSU’s representative to the CSCU Faculty Advisory Committee to the Board of Regents. His involvement in CSU-AAUP and current work in the contract negotiating process drive his interest in the protection of our ability to serve students and maintain the integrity of our work.

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).

Beth Koschel
Department Secretary
Office: 214 Berkshire Hall
Phone:(203) 837-9166

JC Barone, Ph.D.

Office: 209 Higgins Annex
Phone:(203) 837-3233

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)

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

Office: 108 Higgins Annex
Phone: (203) 837-9073

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 An ongoing archive of his digital work is available at

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

Jessica Eckstein is Associate Professor in the Department of Communication & Media Arts at Western Connecticut State University. Her research interests focus on interpersonal communication and pay particular attention to how people (consciously and unconsciously) communicate identities involving “taken-for-granted” societal forces. Her current programs of research all focus on relational communication (e.g., relational uncertainty, power, conflict, love, and sex occurring in violent & nonviolent relationships) as influenced by societal identities (e.g., gender, family roles, stigma, health norms). Dr. Eckstein serves on many campus committees and currently chairs the Institutional Review Board for Human Subjects Research at WCSU. She is also the current Director of the WCSU Women’s Studies program.

Sample of Courses Taught: Interpersonal Communication (COM 162), Nonverbal Communication (COM 210), Family Communication (COM 215), Research Methods (COM 390), Abusive Communication (COM 392), Sexual Communication (COM 392), and Senior Thesis (COM 495).

Truman R. Keys, Ph.D.

Office: Higgins Annex 208
Phone: (203) 837-3234

For me the most enjoyable classroom experience involves students and I exchanging 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

William Petkanas, Ph.D.

Office: 213C Berkshire Hall
Phone: (203) 837-8255

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

Katy Wiss, Ph.D.

Office: 213A Berkshire Hall
Phone:(203) 837-8260

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