Department of Communication

“The tongue is the only tool that gets sharper with use.”

-Washington Irving

It is estimated that 75% of a person’s day is spent communicating in some way.

The Communication Studies program offers versatility, nationally award-winning faculty, and excellent preparation for a career or graduate education. The variety of elective choices allows for program adaptability to better meet future career goals. Culminating in a capstone experience of a communication internship or independent research project, the program provides a blend of theoretical and practical knowledge and experience necessary for success in the communication arts.


The mission of Communication program at Lake Superior State University is to prepare students for both post-baccalaureate careers and graduate 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 courses are designed and taught to reflect current theory and research.
  • We provide the opportunity for close student/faculty collaboration.
  • We equip students with professional conceptual tools for diagnosis of and intervention in communication-related problems in the professional world.
  • We provide opportunities for undergraduate research and related professional development.
  • We encourage the continued professional development of faculty.

Our Goals

  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.

Communication Faculty present at National Conference

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.


The following communication programs for study are available at Lake Superior State University:

  • Communication (Bachelor of Arts)
  • Communication (Minor)
  • Professional Communication (Minor)

Course lists for each are listed in our catalog!

Career Choices

Possible careers in the communication field include:

  • Public Relations Specialist — Manages communication between a business or organization and its customers and employees.
  • Nonprofit Organization Director — Oversees the employees and volunteers within a service organization.
  • Human Resources Manager — Oversees the hiring and training of an organization’s employees.
  • Sales Manager — Directs the sales business within an organization.
  • Entertainer — Performs in stage, television, or film.
  • Arts Administrator — Directs the business operations

Average Salary of Graduates (NACE): $43,145

Alumni Updates

  • Communication graduate Katey Price ’07 completed her PhD from Ohio State University.  She has accepted a position teaching communication at Albion College.
  • Former Laker communication and theatre 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!