Department of Communication

Faculty and Staff

The Department of Communication's full-time faculty have expertise in areas of journalism, broadcasting, new media, public relations and interpersonal and business communication. Our mission involves instruction which responsibly blends theory with professional practice skills. Through our classwork and hands-on training we're dedicated to challenging our students and preparing them for productive futures in a changing technology-based work environment.

Our faculty and department offices are in Rocket Hall (RH on the map) on the southwest side of campus. Our television studio and production facilities are also located in Rocket Hall. Download a map of campus.


Department Chair

Ben Myers

W. Benjamin Myers

Department Chair, Associate Professor

M.A. BGSU | Ph.D. Southern Illinois State University

Area of focus: Organizational Communication

Classes taught: First Year, Communication Theory

RH 1400 | 419.530.2172 |



Karon Price

Karon Price


B.A. The Ohio State University | M.B.A./H.R.M. University of Phoenix

Years at the University of Toledo: 28

Notable information: Karon Price has worked at MCO/UTMC from 1991 to 2015 and began working in the Department of Communication in 2017.

RH 1400 | 419-530-5082 |

Tenure and Tenure-Track Faculty


Paul Fritz

BA Capital University; MA, PhD Bowling Green State University

RH 1400 |

 Paulette Kilmer

Paulette Kilmer

Area of focus: Factual Narrative Writing, Cultural History of News as Story, and Ethics

B.A. in Journalism & History, University of Wisconsin | M.A. in Specialized Reporting, University of Wisconsin | M.A. in Speech and Theatre, University of Kansas | Ph.D. in Media Studies in Criticism, History, and Ethics, University of Illinois

Years at the University of Toledo: 22

Classes taught: Media Ethics, Mass Communication History, Feature Writing, Storytelling in Public and Private Places, Mass Communication Law, Persuasion and Propaganda

Notable Information: Dr. Kilmer works closely with students interested in narrative writing of true stories and has served as a mentor for Independent Collegian students since her second semester at UT. She has coordinated the UT Banned Books Week Vigil, which she founded, since its beginning. She serves as the coordinator of the UT Banned Books Week Coalition and has dedicated her life to improving public awareness of freedom of expression and social justice. She participates in national and international professional organizations and has given many papers over the years abroad as well as in the United States. Dr. K has received “best paper” praise, published her work in Mass Communication Quarterly, American Journalism, Journalism History, and other scholarly journals. She has served on the Board of Directors of the American Journalism Historians Associations and received two President’s Awards recognizing her contributions to that organization. Dr. K presented research on government and media ethics at the Oxford Roundtable in Lady Margaret Hall at Oxford, England. She has published two books, and last fall a reporter from The New York Times interviewed her about her third study, which at the moment is circulating among publishers.

RH 1417 | 410-530-4672 |

 Jackie Layng

Jackie Layng

Professor of Communication

M.A. in Media Communication & Ph.D. in Education Technology Northern Illinois University

Classes taught: Communication Principles and Practices, Mass Communication and Society, Media Writing I, Single Camera Production, Media Producing and Performance, Group Communication, Independent Study, Multimedia News Writing, TV Journalism (UT:10), Multimedia Journalism, Advanced Television Production

Notable information: Dr. Layng has published over 16 articles, three book supplements, a book chapter, and a book for Prentice Hall on the design of communication technologies. She has presented more than 30 competitively selected papers at international and national conferences over the past 22 years. Dr. Layng has attracted more than nine grants and has produced more than 300 television programs. She has created and is the Executive Producers of UT:10 News - the University of Toledo’s nationally award winning weekly television newscast. Dr. Layng is the Program Director of the Media Communication major.

RH 1941 | 419-530-4674 |

 Gigi McNamara

Gigi McNamara

B.A. in English, Pennsylvania State University | B.A. in Communication, Duquesne University | Ph.D. in Mass Communication, Pennsylvania State University

Years at the University of Toledo: 4

Classes taught: Public Relations Practices, Public Relations Case Studies, Consumer Culture and the Media, Gender and Communication, Mass Communication and Society

Notable Information: Dr. McNamara has worked professional in the publishing, advertising, event planning, and public relations industries before returning to academia. Her research interests include examining commodification as it relates to gender and the rise of mediated celebrity culture, analyzing the political economy of fashion magazines, and exploring contemporary challenges facing the public relations industry. Furthermore, Dr. McNamara has presented at national and international conferences including International Communication Association (ICA), Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (AEJMC), and National Women’s Studies Association (NWSA). She was also selected as a Kopehaver Fellow from the Lillian Lodge Kopehaver Center for the 2018 Advancement of Women in Communication which is housed at Florida International University and administered through the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC).

RH 1413 | 419-530-4382 |


Sumitra Srinivasan

Associate Professor

Area of focus: New Media Technologies, International Communication, Sustainable Development & Communication

B.S. & M.A., The University of Madras | M.S., Syracuse University | Ph.D., Georgia State University

Years at the University of Toledo: 14

Classes taught: Communication Theory, Visual Communication I & II, Social Media I & II, Mass Communication and Society

RH 1415 | 419-530-4671 |

Lecture Faculty

 Amy Capwell Burns

Amy Capwell Burns

Senior Lecturer

Area of Focus: Communication Studies

B.A. in Speech Communication, Baldwin-Wallace College | M.A. in Applied Communication Theory and Methodology, Cleveland State University | Ph.D. in Communication Studies, BGSU

Years at the University of Toledo: 19

Classes Taught: Interpersonal Communication, Group Communication, Family Communication, Gender, Culture, & Communication, Health Communication, Public Presentations

Notable Information: Dr. Capwell Burns is the Faculty Advisor for Lambda Pi Eta, the National Communication Honor Society.

RH 1411 | 419-530-4380 |

Eleanor Kostecki 

Eleanor Kostecki

Associate Lecturer

Areas of Focus: Intrapersonal Communication, Interpersonal Communication, Intercultural Communication

M.A. in Organization Communication, Western Michigan University

Years at the University of Toledo: 9

Classes Taught: Communication Principles and Practices, Mass Communication and Society, Public Presentations, Group Communication, Interpersonal Communication, Crises and Conflict in Organizations, Intercultural Communication

Notable Information: As a member of the World Affairs Council of Northwest Ohio and volunteer for the Great Lakes Consoritum, Eleanor Kostecki hosts international visitors participating in professional development programs. Professionals are from eastern European countries including Ukraine, Hungary, Romania, Moldova, plus professionals from Nigeria, Ghana, and France.

RH 1416 |


Dee Drummond

RH 1937 |

 Fatima Shousher Simon

Fatima Shousher-Simon

Senior Lecturer

Areas of focus: Public Relations, Visual Communication, Interpersonal Communication, Cross Cultural Communication

B.A. in Communication, University of Toledo | M.A. in Mass Communication, BGSU

Years at the University of Toledo: 21

Classes Taught: Visual Communication, Advanced Visual Communication, Public Relations Theory, Public Relations Practices, Interpersonal Communication, Cross-Cultural Communication in Public Relations, Special Event Planning

Notable Information: Fatima Shousher-Simon is the Public Relations Student Society of America co-advisor. She is interested in cultural communication and traveling as well as family history. She has contributed a chapter to the book, "Arab Americans in Toledo - Cultural Assimilation and Community Involvement."

RH 1400 |


 Lisa Bollman

Lisa Bollman

Academic Advisor

B.A. in Communication, University of Toledo | B.A. in Spanish, University of Toledo | M.A. Guidance and Counseling, BGSU | Ph.D. in Counselor Education, University of Toledo

Dr. Bollman has been affiliated with the University of Toledo as a student and a staff member. She advises students in Media Communication and Communication Studies. Dr. Bollman teaches new student orientation classes.

Notable Information: Dr. Bollman studies abroad in Guadalajara, Mexico. She recommends experiential learning to all of her students.

RH 1406 | 419-530-4436 | 
 John Eidemiller  

John Eidemiller

Executive Producer

B.A. in Communication, University of Toledo

Years at the University of Toledo: 17

Classes Taught: Single Camera Production, Live Sports Production

Notable Information: John Eidemiller oversees the Media Services area of the Communication Department and coordinates productions within and outside the university. He serves as the executive producer for the live production of all Toledo Rockets home games. Every year, John and his student crew produce more than 60 home games for ESPN’s streaming platforms. He worked for in live event video production for two years in Washington D.C. before returning to Toledo. John Eidemiller is also the faculty advisor for 88.3 WXUT, the student-run radio station.

RH 1933 | 419-530-1322 |

 Greg Smith  

Greg Smith

Technical Director

Area of Focus: ESPN Productions

B.A. in Communication, University of Toledo

Years at the University of  Toledo: 2

Classes taught: assists with many of the production classes.

Notable information: Greg Smith helps maintain and operate the remote production truck and assists with the installation, maintenance, and configuration of equipment in the television studio and edit bays. He previously spent a decade as a senior editor at a video production company.

RH 1950 | 419-530-1321|

 Kevin O'Korn  

Kevin O’Korn

Production Studio Coordinator

B.A. in Communication, University of Toledo

Classes taught: Television Studio Production, Television Journalism (UT:10), assists with all Media Production Classes

Notable Information: Kevin O’Korn was the first student to produce the weekly sports show that aired on WTVG ABC 13. He then worked at WNWO NBC 24 and worked from Live Truck Operator to Producer of the morning newscast. In 2005, he moved to Orlando and worked as a producer at WOFL FOX 35 and WKMG News 6. He earned the nickname “The One Man Newsroom.”

RH 1903 | 419-530-1339 |

Tom Zapiecki

Director of Media Services, Adjunct Professor

B.A. in Communication, BGSU

Years at the University of Toledo: 2

Classes taught: Single Camera Production, Audio Production I, Audio Production II, Advanced Television Production

Notable Information: Tom Zapiecki is an award-winning Producer, Director, and Production Manager and is credited with nationally distributed series and documentaries. He has earned multiple Emmy and Telly Awards, and has been recognized by the Society of Professional Journalists, the Communicator Awards, the Advertising Club of Toledo, and the Indiana Film Society. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting granted him fellowships to three national workshops.

RH 1931 | 419-530-2593 |
Last Updated: 11/18/19