Communication & Media Arts


Krista Brooks
Department Secretary
Office: Higgins Hall 201
Phone: (203) 837-9166
Fax:  (203) 837-9076

Krista is always willing to lend a helping hand to anyone with questions concerning our department. She is your point of contact on process and procedure. If you have a question, it can’t hurt to start with Krista, Trouble registering? Contact Krista. Don’t know who your advisor is? Contact Krista. 



JC Barone, Ph.D
Office: Higgins Hall 201 A
Phone: (203) 837-3233

JC has been an active producer/director/educator for over 20 years. He received the Connecticut State University System-wide Teaching Award (2014) and he was awarded a Faculty Fellowship at the Television Academy in Los Angeles (2015). His documentary on WWII hero Major “Doc” Brown screened at seven film festivals (2018-2019) and won a Telly Award. His latest documentary on artist, writer, feminist Kate Millett is exhibiting at the Dorsky Museum of Art, fall 2021.

JC’s students took 1st and 2nd place for three years in live Multicamera Studio Production at the BEA competition’s Festival of Media Arts in Las Vegas in 2015, 2016, and 2020, placing in the top 5% nationally. Media Arts students also have been awarded National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, Boston/New England Student Production Awards.

Sample courses taught: COM 146 Basic Video Production, COM 247 Live News & Election Coverage, COM 336 Postproduction, COM 340 Sound for Media and COM 446 Advanced Video Production.


Office: Higgins Hall 201 I 
Phone: (203) 837-8873

Jessi’s 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 and the A&S Program Review Committee at WCSU. She is also Director of the Women’s Studies Program.

Sample Courses Taught: COM 210 Nonverbal Communication, COM 390 Research Methods in Communication, and COM 392 Abusive Relationships



Jackie Guzda
Jacqueline Guzda, Ph.D.
Office: Higgins Hall 201 D
Phone:  (203) 837-8941

Jackie has taught a variety of courses at WCSU both full and part-time. She has been a contributor at WNBC (New York) and is a former contributor at EBRU Today. She was one of five people in the US to receive a National Endowment for the Arts Award in Media (1985). She writes her own podcast of political humor, Politihoot.

Sample Courses Taught: COM 146 Basic Video Production and COM 252 Media Performance Techniques



Truman KeysTruman R. Keys, Ph.D.

Office: Warner Hall 208
Phone: (203) 837-3234

Dr. Keys says the most enjoyable classroom experience involves students and him exchanging ideas in an environment where everyone feels respected and valued. During class he discusses his research and the research of his peers. He is 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. He wants 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 Courses Taught: COM Health Communication and COM 208 Intercultural Communication



Department Chair 
Office: Higgins Hall 201 G
Phone: (203) 837-8872

Katie obtained her Ph.D. in Organizational Communication from Rutgers University, and her M.S. degree in Organizational Communication, Learning and Design from Ithaca College.  Dr. Lever has served as the chair of the Committee on Undergraduate Curriculum Standards, as well as the chair of the MSAS Program Review Committee.  Katie also served as a member of the Institutional Review Board for WCSU for 8 years, and as a member of the University Senate for three years. Katie’s research interests include technology-mediated communication, social identification in organizational settings, and crisis communication in the digital era

Sample courses taught: Communication Theory, Research Methods, Organizational Communication, Senior Thesis and Special Topics in Public Relations.


Department Associate Chair 

Office: Higgins Hall 201 H
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 SUNY New Paltz. 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 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 Courses Taught:  COM 230 History of Mass Media and COM 480 Media Criticism



Office: Higgins Hall 201 F
Phone:(203) 837-8260

Katy earned a Ph.D. in Communication from the the University of Massachusetts, Amherst–focusing on discourse analysis, power, and social control. Her undergraduate degree is in Germanic Languages and Literatures proving that it doesn’t really matter what you major in, and you never know where you will end up! Katy came to WCSU eons ago, and has done many jobs here with the exception of dishwasher. Katy believes in making what you learn relevant to life, as well as making the world a better place–interaction by interaction. She will happily discuss the great Germanic sound shift with you as well as ablaut.

Sample Courses Taught: COM 212 Effective Listening and COM 245 Meditation, Self-Awareness and Communication