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Communication & Performance

College of Arts & Sciences

Department Chair’s Welcome

Amber Kinser, Chair

Welcome to the Department of Communication and Performance. We are a vibrant community of students, staff, and faculty who explore and celebrate the understanding, art, and skill of human communication. We engage both study and practice. We examine texts, messages, and images from contemporary and historical perspectives. And we employ approaches that are artistic, rhetorical, ethnographic, and/or social scientific. Our students and graduates perform for and speak to publics; collect, study, and craft stories; develop and strengthen leadership skills; help people connect across diverse populations; and foster social responsibility and civil dialogue. If professional development in any of these ways interests you, I recommend taking a good look at our undergraduate and graduate programs.


If you have any questions, need more information, or would like to join our department, please contact us.

Dr. Amber Kinser, Department Chair 


To offer high demand, high impact communication and storytelling training that is recognized on campus and throughout the region as vital to improving the human condition and creating fulfilling career paths.


The Department of Communication and Performance advances the understanding of communication by focusing on the ways people communicate with each other personally and professionally, embracing the complexity of human diversity, and examining the ways in which identity and meaning are created through the stories we tell and the stories we are told.

We engage our mission by pursuing the goals and upholding the values below.


1.      To ready students for a variety of careers by enhancing their practical communication skills, including both oral and written communication, and by equipping students with the experience, knowledge, craft, and competence of working professionals and leaders.

2.      To facilitate intellectual growth, research training and discovery, critical thinking acumen, and performance craft for students and faculty.

3.      To explore human performance in its many forms and utilize it as a way of understanding and knowing.

4.      To promote civic engagement, social responsibility, and civil dialogue in local, national, and global arenas.

5.      To make vital contributions to liberal arts education at ETSU by offering an exceptional General Education program in oral communication through skilled training provided by recognized experts from the communication discipline.

6.      To support the professional aspirations of our graduates and maintain ongoing relationships with them, while seeking out opportunities to connect our current students with our alumni.

7.      To foster a work environment that values each individual’s contributions, inspires good humor and creative problem-solving, promotes personal and professional growth, and recognizes each person as a member of families and communities beyond work.


Relationships—that are healthy, respectful, and mutually beneficial for all members of our department community. 
Excellence—in critical thinking, academic endeavor, creative exploration, and artistic expression.
Inclusiveness—that fosters respectful, ethical engagements and dialogues across populations and communities, and that advocates for free and open exchange of ideas, sustained democratic values, and working for the public good.
Scholarship—that is pragmatic, critical, theoretical, and creative, and that is a product of passionate engagement with important social and research questions.

Welcome to Communication Studies Message from Dr. Wesley Buerkle, Program Head
Welcome to Storytelling Message from Dr. Delanna Reed, Interim Coordinator

Sample Careers for Communication and Storytelling students:

Non-profit leadership
Professional Storytelling
Project Management
University Admissions or Student Affairs
Event Planning
Client Services
Community Relations
Human Resources
Communication Director
Project Management
Health Administration
Social Media Management
Public Advocacy
Health Education

Our grad student’s novel will be a major motion picture!
Communication & Storytelling Graduate Student's novel will be a motion picture.  

Laurence Fishburne is attached to star in So Yong Kim’s adaptation of Cassie Dandridge Selleck’s award-winning novel “The Pecan Man”, according to

Structured as an ensemble, the confronting story fixes on a small 1970s southern US town when a homeless black man (Fishburne) is falsely charged with the fatal stabbing of the police chief.
The main two characters are a white widow and her black housekeeper.

The first chapter of Selleck’s novel was the First Place winner of the 2006 CNW/FFWA Florida State Writing Competition in the Unpublished Novel category.

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