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Communication Arts & Sciences


Dr. Jill K. Burk is an Instructor in the Communication Arts & Sciences program at Penn State Berks. Dr. Burk studies questions of human communication as practiced in the public discourse of everyday life. Currently, her primary research interests include the relationship between rhetoric and civic engagement; communication pedagogy; and ethical communicative practices in integrated marketing communication. She is the editor of the Undergraduate Journal of Service Learning & Community-Based Research. She is the advisor to Lambda Pi Eta, the undergraduate communication honor society. Before entering academia, she worked in corporate communication and public relations. Dr. Burk teaches courses in rhetorical theory, communication ethics, community and civic engagement, organizational communication, and public speaking.

Catherine Dunning Catanach, APR

Ms. Catherine Dunning Catanach, APR, is an Instructor of Communication Arts & Sciences at Penn State Berks. Before joining PSU Berks, Ms. Catanach was teaching public speaking and public relations at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania and was an adjunct in the MBA program at Alvernia University. She has over twenty years of marketing and public relations experience in both for-profit and non-profit organizations. Prior to teaching she was the Development and Marketing Director for the Berks Arts Council in Reading, where she managed the advertising, public relations and fundraising for multiple programs, including the VF Outlet Berks Jazz Fest, one of the top five jazz festivals in the U.S. Ms. Catanach earned a B.A. from Moravian College in Advertising/Communications and M.S. from Drexel University in Arts Administration. She is an accredited member of the Public Relations Society of America and a member of the Americans for the Arts. She teaches public speaking, business and professional communication, and public relations and marketing and enjoys working with undergraduates.


Dr. Kesha Morant Williams is an Assistant Professor of Communication Arts & Sciences Department at Penn State Berks. She was a Frederick Douglass Summer Teaching and Research Scholar at Clarion University (2007) and West Chester University (2008). Prior to returning to academia she worked in media, health communication, and community outreach. Her research interest includes interpersonal relationships, health communication and popular media examined through a cultural lens. She is also interested in African American communication, pro-social and anti-social behaviors, decision making, and entertainment-education. Her research has been published in Journal of Health Communication, Journal of Black Studies, Howard Journal of Communications, Journal of Media and Religion and the book Inter/Cultural Communication: Representation and construction of culture in everyday interaction. Dr. Morant Williams teaches classes in research methods, interpersonal, group, family and health communication.

“Dr. Cheryl Nicholas
Dr. Cheryl L. Nicholas is an Associate Professor of Communication Arts & Sciences and Global Studies at Penn State Berks. She is an ethnographer who enjoys doing research in her homeland, Malaysia. Her research is based on how symbolic activity constitutes and is constituted by cultural worldviews. Theoretically, her work is grounded in language and social interaction, and critical perspectives. She is also interested in postcolonial and queer theory. Her research has been published in journals such as Sexuality and Culture, Communication Quarterly, Qualitative Research Reports in Communication, Storytelling, Self & Society, International Journal of the Arts in Society, Journal of International and Intercultural Communication and as book chapters in Interacting and Organizing: Analysis of a Board Meeting, Queer Identities/Political Realities, and Riding the Hype Cycle: The Resurgence of Virtual Worlds. She is the recipient of the Penn State Berks 2011 Outstanding Full-Time Teacher Award. Dr. Nicholas teaches classes in intercultural communication, message evaluation, nonverbal communication, storytelling, research methods and communication theory.

Dr. Michelle Ramsey” title=
Dr. E. Michele Ramsey is an Associate Professor of Communication Arts & Sciences and Women's Studies at Penn State Berks. Her research interests include representations of gender in the media, women's rights rhetoric, social movement rhetoric, and political rhetoric. Her research has been published in Critical Studies in Communication, Western Journal of Communication, Feminist Media Studies, Women’s Studies in Communication, Women and Language, Communication Teacher and Communication Education.

Dr. Ramsey teaches courses in public speaking, media literacy/message evaluation, gendered communication, rhetoric of television and film, rhetoric of American horror films, contemporary American political rhetoric, social movements, rhetoric and public controversy, rhetorical criticism and theory, conflict management, freedom of expression in the United States, feminist theory, and Black American rhetoric.

She is the winner of a Penn State Berks Outstanding Faculty Adviser Award (2006), the Curricular Integration Award from the Penn State Commission on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Equity (2008), the Award for Outstanding Service to the College (2009), and the Penn State Women's Commission Achieving Woman Award (faculty category, 2010).