Communication Studies Department Offices and Committees 2017-2018 Academic Year



Department Chair: Dawn O. Braithwaite (Five years, appointed by Dean of Arts & Sciences) (May, 2021) 

Department Governing Body: Primary decision-making body of the department, considering discussion and action items from committees and department chair. Members: All tenure-leading and professor of practice faculty (voting members). Lecturers welcome to attend (non-voting members). Two graduate student representatives (share one vote, except on personnel): The Department Chair will initiate a spring election conducted by the graduate student representatives. Chase Aunspach, (term expires August 15, 2018; Mackensie Minniear (term expires August 15, 2019).

Department Governing Body Secretary: Donelle Moormeier

Executive Committee: Elected and serves as advisory to the department and Chair and serves in the role of the DGB when the body is unable to meet. Undertakes annual merit and workload review for faculty, advising the Chair. Undertakes annual review of the Chair for the Dean. Members serve three-year terms becoming chair 3rd year. Members: Ronald Lee, Chair (June 2018), Jody Kellas (June 2019), Bill Seiler (June 2019), Department Chair ex officio (Dawn O. Braithwaite)

 Personnel Committee: All tenured faculty


Director of Graduate Studies: Jordan Soliz (3 years, elected) (May, 2018)

Graduate Committee: Oversees and develops policy for graduate program for approval by DGB. Works with the Chair on matters related to Graduate Studies. Undertakes initiatives for graduate program and students. Undertakes graduate assessment. Coordinates colloquium, professional development seminars and convention rehearsals. Members: Jordan Soliz (Chair), Kristen Hoerl, Casey Kelly, Department Chair ex officio (Dawn O. Braithwaite), Director of Speech & Debate ex officio on matters related to the university Speech & Debate Program (Aaron Duncan), graduate student (DGB rep serving through the academic year):  Mackensie Minniear.

Graduate Student/Recruitment Committee: Work with the Director of Graduate Studies on the Recruiting Fair for the NCA convention, for potential graduate student campus visits, and other tasks as needed.  Members: Jordan Soliz & Donelle Moormeier (Co-chairs), graduate student members (5-7):  Toni Morgan, Heather Voorhees, Jordan Johnson, Morgan April, Adam Blood, Jonathan Baker, Katie Storck



 Director of Undergraduate Education: Kathy Castle (3 years, elected) (May 2018)

 Undergraduate Committee:  Oversees and develops policy for undergraduate program for approval by DGB. Undertakes initiatives for undergraduate program and students. Works with the Chair on matters related to undergraduate program. Undertakes undergraduate assessment. Members: Director of Graduate Education Kathy Castle (Chair), Allison Bonander, Jody Kellas, Assistant Undergraduate Advisor Gretchen Bergquist; graduate student: Chase Anspach; undergraduate student: Kali Patterson.


Undergraduate Leadership & Service Roles

Undergraduate Major Advisor:  Kathy Castle

Undergraduate Committee:  Oversees and develops policy for undergraduate program for approval by DGB. Undertakes initiatives for undergraduate program and students. Works with the Chair on matters related to undergraduate program. Undertakes undergraduate assessment. Members: Director of Graduate Education Kathy Castle (DUE) (Chair), Jody Kellas, Allison Bonander, Assistant Undergraduate Advisor Gretchen Bergquist, 1-2 additional graduate students: Chase Aunspach, undergraduate student: Kali Patterson

Assistant Undergraduate Advisor & Advisor for Lambda Pi Eta and COMM Club:  Gretchen Bergquist

Undergraduate Engagement Committee:  Works with Assistant Undergraduate Advisor and Lambda Pi Eta and Comm Club on initiatives for undergraduate students: Graduate Students: Darcy Wente-Hahn, Jaclyn Marsh, Will Cooney, Kristen Everhart; Toni Morgan; undergraduate student:  Stephanie Farquar.

Director of UNL Speech & Debate Program:  Aaron Duncan

Assistant Director of UNL Speech & Debate Program and Coach: Allison Bonander

Speech & Debate Program Assistants: Mallory Marsh; Jordan Johnson, Amy Martinelli

Director of COMM 101:  Aaron Duncan

Associate Director: Allison Bonander

Assistant: Chase Aunspagh (Fall and Spring)

Director of COMM 286:  Kathy Castle

Assistant: Heather Voorhees (Fall and Spring)

Speech Lab Director:  Amy Martinelli. Lab Staff:  Brigit Talkington; Bill Seiler



IRB Coordinator: Jordan Soliz 

Awards and Honors Committee: Coordinates many of the award nominations for students, faculty and staff. Helps coordinate annual departmental honors reception in Spring.  Aaron Duncan (Chair), Kathy Krone, Angela Palmer-Wackerly, Kathy Castle (Director of Undergrad Education), graduate students (2) Robbie Hall, Ashley Garcia, undergraduate student:

Grading Appeals Committee: Receives and manages process of student grade appeals. Members: Bill Seiler (Chair), Kathy Krone; graduate student Mallory Marsh; undergraduate student Sarah Pogue. In the event of a conflict of interest, the department Chair appoints a temporary replacement.

Faculty Grievance Committee: The committee has the primary responsibility of hearing grievances of members of the department. Members: Three tenured faculty members with staggered three-year terms, elected by the DGB. Kathy Krone (2017-18) (Chair), Jody Kellas (2018-2019), Aaron Duncan (2019-2020).

Diversity Committee: Addresses issues associated with climate and needs of Communication Studies members from underrepresented groups. To bring information and issues of diversity and climate to the attention of the department and students. Department members may bring diversity-related concerns or desires for information to this committee. Members: Allison Bonander (Chair), Ángel Maldonado; graduate students (2-3) Megan Cardwell, Jennifer Rome.

Faculty Senate Representative: Represents department on University of Nebraska-Lincoln Faculty Senate and reports back after each meeting: Ronald Lee.  Lee Serves as a member of the Senate Executive Committee (2016-2018)

Library Coordinator: Serves as liaison with UNL Libraries: Ronald Lee.

Media Outreach: ad hoc group working on social media communication & twitter: Dawn O Braithwaite, Jordan Soliz, Sarah Petite

Department Photography: Takes photos at departmental events and conferences for the department office and social media. Darcy Wente-Hahn, Chuck Braithwaite, Toni Morgan



UNL Graduate Student Association (GSA):  Heather Voorhees Toni Morgan (alternate)

TBA:  Rhetoric Society of America (RSA) Chapter: