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, Ph.D.

Department Chair, Associate Professor

M.A. Bowling Green State University | Ph.D. Southern Illinois State University

Area of focus: Organizational Communication

Classes taught: First Year, Communication Theory

RH 1408 | 419.530.2172 |


TenureD and Tenure-Track Faculty

Paul Fritz

Paul Fritz, Ph.D.

BA Capital University | MA, PhD Bowling Green State University

RH 1418 |

Jackie Layng

Jackie Layng, Ed.D.

M.A. in Media Communication | Ed.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, Professional Business Communication, Multimedia News Writing, Multimedia Journalism (UT:10 news), Advanced Television Production

Notable Information: Dr. Layng is a national and international scholar in the fields of media and business communication. She has published over 16 articles, three book supplements, a book chapter, as well as presented over 30 competitively selected papers at international and national conferences over the past 24 years.  She has also written a book for the top ranked publisher - Prentice Hall, Inc. on the design of communication technologies. In addition to her research she has attracted over nine grants and produced over 300 television programs.

Dr. Layng created and is Executive Producer of UT: 10 News - the University of Toledo’s nationally award winning weekly television newscast, which has won multiple awards from the Society for Professional Journalists and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. This newscast won First Place for the 2010 Best Overall Student Newscast in the country. The award called the College TV Award is considered to be the college Emmy and is the highest level of accolade from the television industry.

She was awarded an Outstanding Teacher Award in 2018, the highest award given in teaching at the university. Layng believes strongly in preparing her students for the “real world” and has hundreds of graduates working at TV stations, media companies and business all over the US as well as several countries around the world. Layng also created an innovative and one of the fastest growing new majors at the university; the Media Communication major, which prepares UT students to work in multiple fields including: broadcasting, journalism, public relations, social media, virtual communication and beyond.

She continues to consult for major corporations, produce media for various clients and is asked to speak often on media and technology for news outlets, businesses and the community.

RH 1941 | 419-530-4674 |
Paulette Kilmer 

Paulette Kilmer, Ph.D.

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

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

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 |

Sumitra Srinivasan, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

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

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

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

RH 1415 | 419-530-4671 | Sumitra.Srinivasan@utoledo.eduGigi McNamara, Ph.D.
Gigi McNamara

Gigi McNamara, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

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

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 professionally 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). In 2018, she was also selected as a Kopehaver Fellow from the Lillian Lodge Kopehaver Center for the Advancement of Women in Communication which is housed at Florida International University and administered through the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (AEJMC).

RH 1413 | 419-530-4382 |