Department of Communication

Faculty Bios

Amy Capwell-Burns, Ph.D.

Ph.D.  Communication Studies, Bowling Green State University, 2004.
M. A.   Applied Communication Theory and Methodology, Cleveland State University, 1997.
B. A.    Speech Communication, Baldwin-Wallace College, 1991.


  • Gender Roles in Household and Childcare Duties
  • Female Sports Fans
  • Family Roles and Relationship


  • Interpersonal Communication
  • Family Communication
  • Gender, Culture, & Communication
  • Health Communication
  • Group Communication

"Teaching at UToledo has been very rewarding for me. The diversity of students and variety of backgrounds and experiences they bring to my classes make for a fantastic teaching/learning environment. The various perspectives allow students to learn from each other and add to their own interpretation of the world and communication. The classes I teach aid students in achieving their long-term goals, through raising awareness of their own and others’ communication behaviors. Teaching communication classes is gratifying, because effective communication skills are a necessity in any profession."

Dee Drummond

M. A.  Journalism, Michigan State University, 1997.
B. A.   Communication, University of Toledo, 1987.

Tasha Dunn, Ph.D.

Ph.D.  Communication Studies, Certificate in Women and Gender's Studies, University of South Florida, 2015.
M.A.    Communication Studies, Eastern Illinois University, 2009.
B.A.     Communication Studies and Theatre Arts, Concordia College, 2007.


  • The navigation, negotiation, and communication of romantic relationships through social media platforms
  • The relationship between mediated representations and lived experiences of marginal population
  • Critical communication pedagogy.


  • Interpersonal Communication
  • Social Media
  • Gender, Culture, and Communication
  • Communication Theory
  • Communication Principles and Practices

"I thoroughly enjoy teaching and researching a broad, engaging, and constantly evolving subject that is so relatable. Communication, after all, is the human connection; its relevancy extends to every student’s experiences—a link I emphasize and strengthen in the classroom. I am deeply committed to merging communication theory with practice to equip students with the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in their personal and professional lives."

Jason Hibbs

M.S.  Public Relations with emphasis on Media and Society, Mississippi State University, Billings, 2016.
B.S.   Broadcast News with minor in Sales, Western Kentucky University, 2010


  • Media Audiences and Processes
  • Media Criticism
  • Journalism Education
  • Social Media and Journalism


  • Multimedia Journalism (UT:10 News)
  • Single Camera Production
  • Media Writing 1

"My classes are practical and literally “hands on” in the Rocket Hall Control Room and TV Studio. Students learn the skills they’ll need for a variety of media jobs, including news and sports reporting, videography, editing, anchoring, producing, and commercial production. The best part is when a student stumbles upon their passion in the lab. I’ve met students who were initially unsure of their options in the career field but left the class with newfound excitement about their life, goals, and career after college."

Xianlin Jin, Ph.D.

Ph.D.  Communication with Graduate Certificate in Risk Sciences, University of Kentucky, 2021.
M.A.    Communication Studies, Arizona State University, 2014.
B.A.     Journalism, Tianjin Normal University, 2012.


  • Health Communication
  • Risk and Crisis Communication
  • Social Media and Technologies’ Impacts on Information Seeking and Dissemination


  • Interpersonal Communication
  • Health Communication
  • Social Media 1 and 2

"I enjoy helping students explore how social media and other computer-mediated communication tools impact communication in various contexts, such as marketing and campaigns, interpersonal communication, organizational communication, as well as health communication. Students also learn to use analytic tools, improve their writing and strategic planning skills, and obtain in-depth knowledge of communication research and practice. I believe such important skills, knowledge, and experience will prepare our students for successful career and education in the future."

Paulette D. Kilmer, Ph.D.

Ph.D.  Media Studies, University of Illinois - Urbana/Champaign, 1992.
M.A.    Speech and Theater, The University of Kansas - Lawrence, 1980.
M.A.    Specialized Reporting, The University of Wisconsin - Madison, 1973.
B.A.     Journalism and History, The University of Wisconsin - Madison, 1971.

Eleanor Kostecki

M.A.    Organizational Communication, Western Michigan University, 1999.
B.S.     Social Work, Eastern Michigan University, 1978.


  • Leadership
  • Career Development
  • Intercultural Communication


  • Public Presentations
  • Group Communication
  • Professional Business Communication
  • Communication Studies Capstone
  • Communication Internship

"I love teaching courses that allow students to be creative and chart their own path for personal and professional growth. I’m thrilled when students discover the answer to the question, 'Who am I?'  No matter what your major is, you will benefit from taking a Communication course. It’s the soft skills of interpersonal communication, presentations, and groupwork that make a difference in the workplace. Outstanding communication skills are what get you noticed, hired, and promoted." 

Jackie Layng, Ed.D.

Ed.D.  Educational Technology, Northern Illinois University, 1996.
M.A.    Media Communication, Northern Illinois University, 1989.
B.S.     Radio/TV/Film, Northern Illinois University, 1987.

Tisha Mays

M.A.    Strategic Communication with Interactive Media, Bowling Green State University, 2019.
B.A.     Mass Media Radio/Television, University of Akron, 2005.


  • Critical Media Studies
  • Media Literacy and Urban Geography
  • WXUT Faculty advisor


  • Audio 1 and 2
  • Social Media 1
  • Podcasting

"It is such a wonderful feeling to have the opportunity to teach students about a field I am extremely passionate about. To be part of watching future broadcasters develop their own passion and become professionals is the most rewarding feeling. I am committed to our students because they want to be great, and I have the tools that can help them become marketable and successful."

Gigi McNamara, Ph.D.

Ph.D.  Mass Communication, Minor in Women and Gender Studies, The Pennsylvania State University, 2014.
M.A.    Communication, Duquensne University, 2004.
B.A.     English, The Pennsylvania State University, 1990.

Ben Myers, Ph.D.

MBA    University of Toledo, 2021.
Ph.D.  Speech Communication, Southern Illinois Carbondale, 2007.
M.A.    Communication Studies, Bowling Green State University, 2003.
B.A.     Communication and History, Bluffton University, 2002.



  • Group Communication
  • Communication Theory
  • Professional Business Communication

"I love teaching our UT students skills that are directly relevant to their professional success. Communication skills are one of the most sought after skills in today’s workplace. The most rewarding part of my job is when students come to not only understand why communication is so important, but how to use what they have learned in the classroom in their work and relationships."

Fatima Shousher Simon

M.A.   Mass Communication with specialty in Public Relations, Bowling Green State University, 1997.
B.A.    Communication with Public Relations concentration, University of Toledo, 1996.


  • Public Relations
  • Cross Cultural Communication
  • Interpersonal Communication


  • Public Relations Principles
  • Special Event Planning
  • Cross Cultural Communication in Public Relations
  • Interpersonal Communication

"I love teaching Communication classes because everyone can find value in them. Our students learn a range of skills that will open many doors when they graduate. They are able to learn hands-on skills through our courses that will fully prepare them for the work force once they graduate. Hearing how our students use our skills in their careers once they graduate is a wonderful reward of teaching for me."

Sumitra Srinivasan, Ph.D.

Ph.D.  Communication, Georgia State University, 2006.
M.S.    Television-Radio-Film, Newhouse School of Public Communication, Syracuse University, 2001.
M.A.    Communication, M.O.P. Vaishnav College for Women, The University of Madras, 2000.
B.Sc.   Physics with Applied Electronics, Stella Marris College, The University of Madras, 1998.


  • New Media/Open-Source Technologies
  • International/Intercultural Communication
  • Development Communication


  • Mass Communication and Society
  • Visual Communication
  • Social Media 1
  • Communication Theory
  • Media Writing 1

"Communication is an important discipline as it is an integral part of many things we do, both personally and professionally, in today's global landscape. This exciting field is continually evolving with cutting-edge technologies and novel information flows; I immensely enjoy teaching the subject to as well as learning from UToledo students. Witnessing my classes explore variegated communication skills and unleash their creativity across media platforms -- whether it is writing news stories, designing websites, or creating social media content -- is very rewarding and a lot of fun."


Last Updated: 9/30/21