Redefining the Classroom

The mission of the Communication Studies program at Lake Superior State University is to prepare students for both post-baccalaureate careers and graduate level study. Because the processes addressed by the program are basic to personal and professional success, it seeks to provide a practical foundation through both integrated study of theory and research, and through opportunities for application of such resources to practical problems. Students in the communication studies program are prepared to serve as competent practitioners in the performance, analysis, and leadership in professional communication activities.

Our course toward achievement of this is to:

  • Offer courses designed and taught to reflect current theory and research.
  • Provide the opportunity for close student/faculty collaboration.
  • Equip students with professional caliber conceptual tools for diagnosis and intervention on communication related problems their post-baccalaureate professional activities.
  • Provide opportunities for undergraduate research and related professional development.
  • Encourage the continued professional development of faculty.


  1. Prepare students for careers in areas reliant upon the competencies cultivated in communication studies.
  2. Students will demonstrate knowledge of the fundamentals of the major areas of research and theory in communication studies.
  3. Students will have the opportunity to cultivate and test their scholarly capacities in the field through both scholarly and applied opportunities.
  4. Application of theory and research to solution of practical problems will be emphasized throughout the program.


Schedule of Comm Alliance upcoming events

  • Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Seminar
  • When:November 10th, 7:00 pm
  • Where: The Cisler Center
  • National Memory Screening Day
  • When: November 18th, 11:00-3:00 pm
  • Where: The Arts Center


Comm. Squad raises over $2000 for Alzheimer's Association ...........

so Prof. Katey Price gets pied!!!

Two weeks before the Sault St. Marie Alzheimer's Association walk, Dr. Price's Comm 416 pledged to raise $200. If the goal was met, Dr. Price agreed to allow the top four earners to pie her in the face. By the time the September 6th walk arrived, the class had not only met their goal but surpassed it earning over $2,000. Pictured: Price sat in front of the Quarter Deck while students celebrated their success with whipped cream and grahm cracker crust.

Continuing the Academic Quest...

Former Laker communication and theater student Stephanie (Kilgore) Heath '05 has begun work toward her Ph.D. at Louisiana State University.

Communication alumni Jeanna Radzinski '12 and Roxanne Morris '13 are both pursuing Master's degrees at Boston University. Best of luck to both!

Communication prof lands top-poster award at conference

Katey PriceLake Superior State University's Katey Price, assistant professor of communication, has received the Top Poster Award at the 13th Biennial Kentucky Conference on Health Communication. The conference was April 10-12 in Lexington, Ky., with "Health Communication Partnerships" as a theme.

Price presented a poster (pdf) based on a portion of her dissertation research. "Alzheimer's Family Caregivers, Identity Gaps, and Health" covered analyses that revealed that family caregivers undergo what are called "identity gaps," and that increased identity gaps negatively-affect both mental and physical health.

Additionally, identity gaps are significantly related to levels of stress, even after factoring in social support, which is a known buffer for the negative effects of stress outcomes.

Price beat out 72 other posters presented at the conference. She topped academics from other institutions such as Michigan State University, University of Kentucky, Ohio University, Ohio State University, University of Pennsylvania (Annenberg School of Comm), Texas A&M University, University of Southern California, University of Iowa, University of Twente (Netherlands), and the University of Alabama.

Price is a 2007 communication graduate of LSSU who started as a new professor in the fall of 2013. Her past experience in radio, communication, and dramatic arts are a great asset to LSSU. She has a masters from Central Michigan University and a PhD from Ohio State University.

Organizational Communication class fundraises for a good cause

COMM 325 Students

Assistant Prof. Katey Price (right) and her COMM 325 Organizational Communication class at the Alzheimer's Association walk on September 7. COMM 325 students participated in the Alzheimer's Association walk on September 7. Sault Ste. Marie Mayor Tony Bosbous of Sault Ste. Marie joined the team of organizational communication students as they participated and observed the communication taking place in an organized context. Team "Lake State Comm Squad" raised $150 for the walk.

Communication Faculty to present at National Conference this Fall

Drs. Gary Balfantz and George Denger will both be attending the National Communication Association conference November 20 - 24 in Washington, D.C. They w ill be attending and participating on a Performance Studies panel at the 99th National Communication Association convention in Washington D C., November 20 - 24.

Dr. Balfantz is serving as an external reviewer for the Communication Studies department at the University of Northern Iowa. He has been asked to evaluate the quantity, quality and breadth of a candidate's scholarly /creative activity for promotion to full professor.

He was mentioned in the article, "Seeing, Channeling, and Weaving: Coming to Christie Logan," Text and Performance Quarterly, Vol. 33, No 3, July 2013. This was a special issue of the journal: Reflections on the Economics of Performance.

Dr. Balfantz has received invitations to the Petit Jean Performance Festival, October 2013, hosted by the University of North Texas and to the Patti Pace Performance Festival, February 2014, hosted by Georgia Perimeter State University, Augusta Georgia. The festival offer s performance and workshop opportunities for students and faculty members in a non - competitive setting. Dr. Balfantz has taken students to numerous festivals in the past. Our students last performed at Petit Jean in Fall of 2008.

Dr. Denger will be presenting during the NCA conference as a member of a panel on presidential campaign debate "camps". The panelists enlisted as a respondent a former Cabinet - level officer from the Clinton administration who directly assisted candidate Clinton in debate preparation during his 1992 run for the presidency.

In April, Dr. Denger presented at the Eastern Communication Association Conference in Pittsburgh, PA. His focus in this conference was on the implications of recent research on th e critic and rhetorical theorist Kenneth Burke for the practice of communication pedagogy through public speaking competition.