M.A. in Communication Studies- Faculty

Courtney Kindred Atkins received her master's degree in organizational communication from Kean University. She earned a bachelor's degree in communication, journalism and related programs from Monmouth University. At Kean, Atkins serves as the bridge professor between the univeristy's Ocean and Union campuses. In this role, she coordinates the majors between both locations while teaching courses ranging from public speaking to interpersonal and intercultural communication. At Kean Ocean, Atkins also serves as the Communication Club advisor. To date, her career has spanned journalism, public relations and event planning. An active volunteer for environmental and social non-profits, when she is not teaching Atkins can be found cooking, traveling the world or captaining her sailboat up-and-down the Jersey Shore. 

Bailey Baker received his Ph.D. in interpersonal communication and his master's degree in rhetorical theory and criticism from Purdue University. He earned a bachelor's degree in communication from California State University-Long Beach. Dr. Baker's research interests are in the role of speech communication in cultural formation maintenance and change. Dr. Baker teaches courses in persuasion, communication theory and research, multicultural communication, communication and culture, critical research methods, and public speaking.

Fred Fitch earned his Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky. He also has graduate degrees from the Trinity International University and Asbury Theological Seminary. With extensive experience teaching in Spain and several countries in Latin America, Dr. Fitch focuses on the areas of instructional and intercultural communication. He is particularly interested in the application of narrative theory in the multicultural classroom. Some of his research has been published in the journal Communication Education. At Kean he serves as the Director of the Basic Course (Communication as Critical Citizenship), teaching sections in this class as well as multiple sections of Communication and Media Theory.

Bill Kolbenschlag earned his master's degree in corporate and public communication and his bachelor's degree in communication from Monmouth University. He has more than 15 years of experience in the field and has worked as a journalist, editor, public relations consultant and social media strategist. Kolbenschlag currently teaches a variety of courses in journalism and public relations. He also serves as the favulty advisor for Kean's chapter of the National Communication Association Honor Society (Lamda Pi Eta).

Pat Winters Lauro is the director of journalism in the School of Communication, Media & Journalism, where she teaches journalism and public relations. She also serves as faculty adviser for Kean’s award-winning student news organization, The Tower, and www.kutower.com. Prof. Lauro earned a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University where she was a Knight Bagehot fellow, and holds a BA in Communication from Fordham University.  She spent her career in media as a reporter and editor, including a stint as a business columnist for the New York Daily News. She also spent three years in agency public relations, and has published more than 100 articles in the The New York Times. As an adjunct professor, she has taught at Rutgers University, Bergen Community College, Felician College and New York University.

Cathleen Londino earned her Ph.D. from The University of Michigan in Radio-TV-Film. She is a member of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and has been at Kean University for more than 20 years. Dr. Londino served as chair of the former Department of Media & Film and acting dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. Combining teaching with professional activity, Londino has served as producer, director, writer and talent for a number of video and film projects, including the award-winning, A Place For Us, a documentary about the first African-American golf professional, and the more recent, Hannah Caldwell Story, an official selection of the Cape May Film Festival. She primarily teaches Senior Seminar, production, broadcast journalism, performance and film history. Her international scholarship includes visiting scholar at the University of East Anglia, England, and invited presentations in South Korea and India.

Christopher Lynch received a Ph.D. from Temple University in 1994 in rhetoric. He holds three master's degrees from St. John's University and Princeton Theological School. He authored Selling Catholicism: Bishop Sheen (1998) and the Power of Television (1998) that won NCA's Religious Communication Association's book award in 1999. He has published in the areas of visual communication and rhetoric, communication and popular culture, pedagogy and religious rhetoric.  He is former national president of the Association for Communication Administration and currently on the editorial board of that association's journal. He has published extensively in the Department Chair by Jossey Bass Publishers. He also served as president of the New Jersey Communication Association.  Dr. Lynch teaches courses in persuasion, theory, interpretive research methods, communication and culture, communication and conflict resolution, critical research methods, and motivational presentation skills. 

Scott McHugh earned his Ph.D. from Penn State University in Communication masters from Colorado State University in Public Relations. Dr. McHugh has been at Kean University since 1997. He worked in radio as producer, reporter, and engineer for Sports Radio WIP in Philadelphia from 1986-1991. Dr. McHugh is General Manager of the campus radio station WKNJ 90.3 FM. He primarily teaches digital media production, media advertising, and media management. He has presented at many national conferences, most recently in Chicago on how college radio stations can use new technology to improve educational programs and offerings. Dr. McHugh co-hostsThe Search for Intelligent Life on WKNJ.

Kristine Mirrer is an Associate Professor and Assistant Chairperson in the School of Communication, Media, and Journalism at Kean University where she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses. Her research interests include the representation and images of social groups in varied media forms and her teaching focus is Media, including Social Media, Broadcast Media, and Media Journalism, and Film.  Prior to joining Kean, she worked for a large research and consulting firm for network and affiliate television news divisions in the United States and Australia.  She holds a Ph.D. and M.A. from the University of Michigan, and a B.S. from Northwestern University.  She has received Faculty Fellowships from the National Association of Television Program Executives and the International Radio Television Society.  She also serves as a judge for the New York Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Emmy’s ® Awards. 

Brian Oakes is an artist, filmmaker, and educator from Detroit, Michigan. He holds an MFA in Film, Animation, and Video, from the University of Southern California, School of Cinema-Television. His animated films have screened in film festivals around the world. He also worked for Twentieth Century Fox on the animated features Ice Ageand Robots. Before coming to Kean, Professor Oakes taught computer animation at Rhode Island School of Design.

Jack Sargent received his Ph.D. from The University of Nebraska-Lincoln with an emphasis in interpersonal communication. He also has a secondary specialty in organizational communication and quantitative research methods. Dr. Sargent received his master's in communication from the Edward R. Murrow School of Communication at Washington State University and his bachelor's degree in Journalism from Drake University. Before teaching, Dr. Sargent worked as a communication consultant and analyst, designing studies and examining the decision making of juries. Dr. Sargent has published in a number of journals and books. His research program focuses on nonverbal communication, privacy and disclosure, and family relationships. Dr. Sargent teaches courses in interpersonal and organizational communication and theory, quantitative research methods, consulting and assessment, and nonverbal and family communication.

Janet Yedes received her Ph.D. in rhetoric and communication from Temple University. She received her master's in applied linguistics and her bachelor's degree in comparative literature from Indiana University. Dr. Yedes has worked and traveled internationally. She was the director of courses and teacher for the Fulbright Commission in Cairo, Egypt, Academic Specialist in Tunisia and Sudan, and taught and designed curriculum for UNHCR (United National High Commission for Refugees) for Ethiopian refugees. Dr. Yedes has published on "Playful Teasing" in Discourse & Society, and is currently drafting a textbook on Interpersonal Communication in a Multicultural World. Her research program focuses on the Oromo women's peacemaking, social justice and communication, rap sessions with African American men, and conflict communication in a diverse organization. Dr. Yedes teaches courses in multicultural communication, conflict and peacemaking, interpersonal communication, gender communication, interpretive research methods (with a specialty in discourse analysis and ethnography), small group communication, humor, and social justice and communication.

Jeremiah Sullivan received both his master's degree in strategic communication and his bachelor's degree in public relations and journalism, as well as his professional certificate in organizational communication, from Seton Hall University. At Kean, Sullivan serves the School of Communication, Media and Journalism as the Director of its undergraduate public relations program, the advisor for Morris Ave. PR (the university's PRSSA Chapter), the Internship Coordinator for public relations and communication students and the Editor/Strategist for its web page(s). In these varied roles, he calls upon skills from his diversified career which has spanned journalism, marketing, public relations, social media and sports. An active practitioner, when he is not teaching Sullivan can be found either helping non-profits and small businesses achieve their public relations objectives or studying today's fast-evolving PR industry to better prepare Kean students.

Wenli Yuan received her Ph.D. in Communication from University of Kentucky. She earned her master's degree in Communication from Western Kentucky University and her bachelor's in Advertising from Beijing Institute of Business. Prior to her graduate studies, Dr. Yuan worked as an account executive in advertising companies. Dr. Yuan's research interests include international business communication, conflict management and cross-cultural adaptation.  She has made numerous presentations at national and international conferences.  Her research work has been published in a number of journals. Dr. Yuan teaches courses in organizational communication, negotiation, international business communication, communication and media theory, and research seminar.