Press Releases & Faculty in the Community

  • Program Head & Assistant Professor  Shara Lange recently received the 2013 George C. Stony Award of Merit  f or her documentary "The Dressmakers."

Shara Lange

Lange, S. K. (2013, August) [Director]. The Dressmakers: Constructing & Deconstructing Moroccan Clothes. Screened at UFVA Conference, Orange, CA, August, 2013. 

  • Communication Professor to Discuss Relationships, Dating on 'Daytime Tri-Cities'

Carrie Oliveira

Assistant Professor of Communication, Dr. Carrie Oliveira, will discuss relationships and dating on a special segment on WJHL's "Daytime Tri-Cities" each day during the week of Valentine's Day, Feb. 11-15.

Segments will feature host Amy Lynn talking with "Dr. Carrie" about a different topic related to dating and relationships, such as what (and what not) to talk about on a first date, tips for keeping an ongoing relationship fresh and exciting and how to know when it's time to end a relationship.

Dr. Carrie also maintains a blog, "Dr. Carrie's Relationship School" ( She will invite viewers to visit the blog to ask questions and receive advice about relationships. Blog entries will also be posted each day to supplement the topics discussed on "Daytime Tri-Cities."

"Daytime Tri-Cities" airs every weekday morning from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. on WJHL in the Tri-Cities. The show also streams live at

Dr. Carrie's expertise is in the development and maintenance of intimate relationships.
"I... maintain a strong interest in teaching people about how to have better relationships through a more mindful attention the quality of the communication they exchange with their relationship partners," said Dr. Carrie. Dr. Carrie is often approached by students looking for advice.

"Dr. Carrie puts herself on an equal level with her students. This opens up the door for casual conversations and students feeling comfortable speaking with her about multiple personal and student-related issues," said Brandon Brewer, ETSU senior and communication studies minor.

"When someone comes to me with a relationship situation they don't know how to sort out, I appreciate that I'm viewed as a credible expert and I see the inquiry as an opportunity to share what my education has taught me about relationships with someone who needs the information," said Dr. Carrie.

Dr. Carrie is in her 6th year at ETSU. She holds a Master of Arts in Speech from the University of Hawaii and a Ph.D. in Communication from Michigan State University.

For more information about Dr. Carrie or ETSU's Division of Communication Studies, call 423-439-7676.

  •  ETSU Theatre, Dance Professor Publishes Entertainment Rigging Math Book

Delbert Hall

Professor of Theatre and Dance Dr. Delbert Hall has a new book available for purchase, "Rigging Math Made Simple." Published by Spring Knoll Press, this text explores math formulas for solving problems in suspending objects in theatrical and arena settings.

According to Spring Knoll Press, the book "...will also help users grasp some of the principles behind the physics of rigging."
"The target audience is primarily people who want to obtain entertainment rigging certifications and need help learning to do the math," says Hall. "This book takes riggers step-by-step through solving rigging math problems, and includes tips for remembering the formulas. The book also includes sample problems for readers to solve."

Dr. Hall teaches rigging workshops each year. Since no text existed in the marketplace that covered the rigging math for entertainment riggers, Dr. Hall decided to condense his teachings from workshops into one convenient source.
Dr. Kelly Dorgan, associate professor and research coordinator in the Department of Communication said, "Dr. Hall's book will help him reach an even wider audience and help even more people."

"Rigging Math Made Simple" is available online via Spring Knoll Press and Amazon. The book will also be available online through Barnes and Noble and in a Kindle version.

Dr. Hall is a certified rigger through the Entertainment Technician Certification Program and has flown performers in over 300 productions. Dr. Hall has served as the scenic designer in the Division of Theatre and Dance since 1986 and currently serves as Director of ETSU's Aerial Dance Program. He has designed performer flying systems and equipment that is used by other flying effects companies and aerial groups. He is also an active member of the United States Institute for Theatre Technology.

For more information, please contact Dr. Delbert Hall in the Department of Communication by calling 423-439-7676.

Awarded Grants & Grant Requests

Shara Lange's Grant Approved!


Dr. Marshall Seeks Grant



Dr. Kinser's New Grant

 Department Awards & Faculty Recognition

Dr Kelly Dogan

Melissa Schafer










































































Shara Lange is Awarded Grant

Produced, directed, and written by Shara Lange along with Lee Bidgood, assistant professor in Bluegrass, Old Time and Country Music Studies, Banjo Romantika: American Bluegrass Music & the Czech Imagination introduces the personalities who play this unique breed of multicultural bluegrass music.

Inspired by American classical bluegrass sounds, musicians from the formerly communist Czech Republic blend the past, the political and the present into a unique, lively musical tradition.

The project was funded in part by a $10,000 grant form the Research Development Committee of East Tennessee State University.

Visit to learn more about the film, crew and musicians, and Czech Bluegrass.





 Dr. Stephen Marshall Requests Grants

 Dr. Marshall utilizes both qualitative and quantitative research methodologies. His first interdisciplinary guiding research principle is to examine strategic communication (advertising & public relations) in a cultural and marketing communication context. Dr. Marshall's published research often involves his graduate students. 

His second guiding research principle is in mass communication pedagogy. Dr. Marshall states "I cannot be a mass communication academic administrator without researching pedagogy trends in my discipline." Works in progress include:

  • Marshall, S. W. & Zhou, W. "Where does social media live in mass communication education?" Target journal: Journalism and Mass Communication Editor.
  • Marshall, S. W. "Mass communication's future is not what it used to be: A discussion with professionals." Target journal: Journalism and Mass Communication Editor.



Dr. Amber Kinser is Awarded Grant

With a $10,000 grant from the ETSU Research Development Committee, Dr. Kinser conducted a yearlong study on the reality of nightly dinners from a mother's perspective, and what mothers need to help the achieve these dinners.

Despite years of research and interviews, there is no solid evidence of mothers saying just how they achieved meals, whether they had partners who helped, or how their socioeconomic status affected these efforts.

Dr. Kinser's research process included surveying, focus groups, and analysis. Dr. Kinser has contributed to Andrea O'Reilly's What do Mother Need?: Motherhood Activists and Scholars Speak Out on Maternal Empowerment for the 21st Century.

Kinser is an expert in family communication and gender studies. Her focus is predominantly on motherhood, the cultural prescriptions and norms the public gives motherhood, and whether or not mothers are adequately supported in their "motherwork." - contributed by Hillary Edwards, PR student.

Patricia E. Robertson DIVERSITY AWARD 2010 recipient From the nomination letter from Katie Duval and Sadie Hutson ...
Dr. Kelly Dorgan has spent her academic career focusing on understanding and improving the human condition through communication. She persistently and delicately examines challenging health and cultural issues in her research, often issues people want to sweep under the proverbial rug. Much of Dr. Dorgan’s research has been conducted in Appalachia. Her work addresses sexual health, cancer and cultural issues head-on in a region that often finds it uncomfortable to discuss such topics ... Dr. Dorgan is an outspoken advocate for understanding sexual and reproductive health and the communication and psychosocial issues that often accompany these. She has been an integral part of the development of the women’s studies department and major ...
She presents research on safe sex and sexually transmitted infections to ETSU students through Oasis and routinely contributes academic presentations on her research for faculty and staff on the HPV vaccine, patient-provider communication, community cancer workgroups, and understanding Appalachian female cancer survivorship. In the classroom Dr. Dorgan challenges her students to examine the world through different lenses and to delve deeply into weighty matters like gender and race discrimination.

ETSU Faculty SERVICE AWARD 2010 recipient Melissa Shafer joined ETSU’s Theatre faculty in the Department of Communication in 1999. Since that time she has served as Set and Lighting Designer and Technical Director for the ETSU Theatre program and has taught 13 separate production and design courses.
In addition to her distinguished teaching and creative efforts in set construction, scenery, properties, lighting, and audio needs, Professor Shafer has established a broad, impressive, and widely acknowledged record of service to the theatre program, to the university, to the community, to her profession and to her vision and support for the arts. Letters of support for this award were received from persons affiliated with a neighboring college, from the Tennessee Theatre Association, from the Southeastern Theatre Conference and from Barter Theatre. These letters all elaborated on the energy, creativity and generosity that characterize her work, her mentoring and the quality and helpfulness of her professional advice and service involving the scope of technical theatre tasks and projects. “Yet it is not just the extensive range of formal service activities that cause Melissa to stand out among her colleagues,” said one writer. “It is the behind-the-scenes activities, and her willingness to help in so many areas, whether or not her contributions are recognized or noticed.”