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CAS Issues Statement on DACA

The Department of Communication Arts and Sciences unequivocally supports DACA students at Penn State University. This support is consistent with our departmental mission as well as principles of diversity and inclusion that the College of Liberal Arts professes. “The Department of Communication Arts and Sciences,” our mission statement begins, “is committed to the study, teaching, and practice of human communication for the betterment of Pennsylvania, the nation, and the world.” We believe that this commitment to human communication and the public good obliges us to acknowledge and respect human communication in its full cultural diversity. Our department therefore promotes excellence in the study, teaching, and practice of human communication by working to include and support members of underrepresented groups in our student body.


Many campus resources are available for both graduate and undergraduate students directly or indirectly affected by the unfolding presidential actions on DACA. CAS faculty are not professionally trained in matters of immigration law or psychological counseling. But we are committed to helping our students find the best campus offices to advocate for their rights and wellbeing.


Undergraduate students should feel welcome to approach our undergraduate officers if you seek services and support in the Penn State system: Lori Bedell (Assistant Director of Undergraduate Studies and Departmental Liaison for Student Affairs; 865-0974 or and Bradford Vivian (Director of Undergraduate Studies; 865-0945 or Kirt Wilson, Director of Graduate Studies (865-1985 or is also available to discuss concerns over DACA especially relevant to graduate students. Our faculty in general, moreover, stand ready to help all CAS students find appropriate resources if necessary.


In addition, here is a list of potentially helpful contacts and sources of information:


Legal Services:

  • The Affirmative Action Office (814-863-0471) and Student Legal Services (814-867-4388), provide free confidential advice, representation, and referrals.
  • The Penn State Center for Immigrants’ Rights Clinic (in the PSU Law School) has compiled detailed information on the current status of DACA and immigration law:


Counseling Services:

Prossor Erina MacGeorge as Guest on President Barron's WPSU Show "Digging Deeper"

Communication Arts and Sciences Associate Professor Erina MacGeorge will join Andrew Read, Evan Pugh Professor of Biology and Entomology and Eberly Professor of Biotechnology, in a conversation with Penn State President Eric Barron during the season premiere of President Barron’s monthly WPSU show “Digging Deeper.” In the show, which airs on WPSU-TV at 11:30 am and 6:00 pm on September 17th, Professors MacGeorge and Read discuss the dangers of overuse of antibiotics and their ongoing research on how interactions between doctors and patients at University Health Services can affect the prescribing of antibiotics. See:

PhD Student Awarded Michael Calvin McGee Outstanding Grad Student Paper Award

The Department congratulates PhD student Jeremy Johnson, who has been award the Michael Calvin McGee Outstanding Graduate Student Paper Award at the 2017 Alta Argumentation Conference. The conference, which is held biennially, is the oldest continuous academic conference on the study of argumentation. Well done, Jeremy!

Professor Stuckey named NCA Distinguished Scholar

The Department congratulates Professor Mary Stuckey on being named an NCA Distinguished Scholar!! Click here to read more.

Two former PhD students recieve promotions!

Two former Communication Arts and Sciences PhD Students have received promotions at their current universities!

Maggie Pitts has been promoted to Associate Professor with tenure at University of Arizona, in the department of Communication.  And Janice Krieger has been promoted to Full Professor at the University of Florida, in the department of Advertising.

Congratulations to both Maggie and Janice!

Maggie Janice

Zachary T. Smith Professorship Awardee

PhD alumna Jennifer Priem, assistant professor of communication at Wake Forest University, has been awarded the Zachary T. Smith Professorship.  This is a three year fellowship that honors outstanding teacher-scholars on the Wake Forest faculty.

Congratulations, Jen!!

The Penn State Mock Trial Association recieved Honorable Menition Trophy

The department congratulates the Penn State Mock Trial Association on their honorable mention finish at the National Championship Tournament!

Here is the team's description of their experience:

"From the day we learned we were going to Nationals, we began prepping our case. At Nationals, we argued the case Alex Taylor vs Trifecta Entertainment. It was a copyright infringement case in which Alex Taylor was suing Trifecta for allegedly copying her play. We argued this case four times during Nationals: twice as Plaintiff and twice as Defense. At Nationals, we knew the competition was strong. The first day showed us how tough the competition would be; we lost all three ballots to Georgia Tech. Although we were disappointed, we learned from the round and knew that we could make a comeback. Fortunately, we did! We won 6.5 ballots throughout the entire weekend, which earned us 11th place in the 24 team division and secured us an honorable mention trophy. Our team member, Danny Vargas, also won an All-American Witness Award for his outstanding witness performance on the defense.

All in all, our Nationals experience was educational and fun. From every trial, we had the opportunity to see another team’s case theory, hear their objection arguments, listen to the rhetoric in their speeches, and view their character witnesses. In addition, we were able to present our objections, crosses, and directs and receive valuable feedback from real life judges and attorneys.

This experience was invaluable. The six team members who are continuing with Mock Trial next year have gained experience and knowledge that will help guide them through the next years full of tournaments. The three graduating members of the team finished their Mock Trial career on the highest note possible. Our entire team is incredibly grateful for this opportunity."

Mock Trial

Lecturer invited to the Department of State's Global Engagement Center

The department of Communication Arts and Sciences lecturer Kurt Braddock has been invited to the Department of State’s Global Engagement Center in Washington, D.C. to discuss their current online counter-radicalization efforts that are managed by their Digital Outreach Team in multiple countries, as well as his paper, “Towards a Guide for Constructing and Disseminating Counternarratives to Reduce Support for Terrorism”.  Kurt’s paper was featured in the journal ‘Studies in Conflict & Terrorism’ and is a theoretical piece on how to maximize the persuasiveness of narratives intended to counter the radicalizing effects of terrorist messages.


To view the entire paper, please click here.

Congratulations Kurt!

Department Head Elected as Fellow of the International Communication Association

The Department of Communication Arts and Sciences is delighted to announce that Professor Denise Solomon was elected to be a Fellow of the International Communication Association.

One of the highest honors, fellows are selected for their record for distinguished scholarly contributions to the broad field of communication. We are proud to honor her achievement. She will join two other Penn State ICA fellows in CAS: Jim Dillard and Jon Nussbaum and two CAS affiliate faculty ICA fellows: Mary Beth Oliver and Shyam Sundar.

Congratulations Denise!

To read the full article please visit:

Faculty Member Recieves Welch Alumni Relations Award!

The Department of Communication Arts and Sciences, would like to congratulate John Gastil, professor of communication arts and sciences and a senior scholar in the College's McCourtney Institute for Democracy for receiving the Welch Alumni Relations Award at the Annual Awards Ceremony!


To read the full article, click here.