Communication Studies Faculty & Staff

  • Connect with our engaged and experienced Communication Studies faculty and staff.

  • Anderson, Jason
    Faculty, Communication Studies
    School of Communication and Journalism

    Office: BR 260C
    Phone: 218.477.4634
    Email: anderjas@mnstate.edu

    Jason Anderson teaches a variety of communication studies courses including communication theory, research methods, political communication, and rhetoric; however, his primary areas of expertise are the theory and practice of persuasion, as well as health communication. Jason was a double major in Journalism and Communication and Theatre as an undergraduate at Augustana College in Sioux Falls SD. He then received his master's degree in speech communication from Illinois State University. Jason completed his education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he received a PhD in Communication Science. Jason's dissertation, An Exploration into the Role of Commitment in Persuasion, examines how psychological, social, behavioral, and habituated forces shape how persuasive appeals are processed by audience members. Upon graduation, Jason worked as a visiting professor at the University of Wisconsin--Madison. In 2005, Jason joined the faculty at MSUM and he and his family have lived in Moorhead ever since. In his spare time, Jason enjoys spending time with his family, watching the Vikings, and promoting autism awareness.

  • Gardner, Rebecca
    Faculty, Communication Studies
    School of Communication and Journalism

    Office: FR 255B
    Phone: 218.477.2224
    Email: gardnerr@mnstate.edu

    Rebecca Gardner earned her PhD from the University of North Dakota. She teaches rhetoric and other Communication courses. Her areas of interest include rhetoric of popular culture, American Indians and rhetorical sovereignty, and rhetorics of resistance. She is especially interested in how people use symbols to create, maintain, challenge, deny and share power with other people. Current research interests include the “Fargo Project,” in which diverse community groups collaboratively designed a public recreation area.

  • Gorsline, Denise
    Interim Dean of Arts, Media & Communication
    College of Arts, Media, and Communication

    Office: BR 250C
    Phone: 218.477.4623
    Email: gorsline@mnstate.edu


  • Hest, Theresa
    Faculty, Communication Studies
    School of Communication and Journalism

    Office: FR 255I
    Phone: 218.477.4613
    Email: theresa.hest@mnstate.edu
    web.mnstate.edu/hestther
    Dr. Theresa Hest is a full professor in the School of Communication and Journalism. She teaches classes in Group/Team Communication, Interpersonal Communication, Leadership, Public Speaking, Intro to Communication Studies, First Year Experience, Family Communication, and Teaching Methods. She received her Ph.D. from North Dakota State University in 2003 in Communication Studies. Her primary area of research is Interpersonal Communication. She has published articles on the use of deception in relationships, the role of storytelling in relationship maintenance, rural myth and narrative, health communication, and coaching forensics. Theresa has presented numerous papers at professional conferences and received top paper and top panel awards. She has also received the Outstanding Scholar Award from the North Dakota Speech and Theatre Association, the Service to Students Award from MSUM, and a Family Communication textbook that she contributed a chapter to received the top book award from the National Communication Association.

  • Holtan, Merrie
    Faculty, Communication Studies
    School of Communication and Journalism

    Office: BR 260E
    Phone: 218.477.4311
    Email: holtanme@mnstate.edu

    Merrie Sue Holtan teaches communication studies courses in interviewing, composition, intercultural communication, journalism, sports communication, event planning, media writing, public speaking, public relations and business and professional communication. She has an undergraduate commnication degree from the University of Minnesota, a masters in communication from NDSU and an MFA in Creative writing from MSUM. She is the author of three books, including "Power and Stride, The Nancy Burggraf Story," which she also produced as a documentary. Also a contract writer with more than 400 published articles, Merrie Sue has won state and national writing awards. She has written several community and non profit grants totaling nearly one million dollars and has also trained five national champion baton twirlers.

  • Ocana, Anthony
    Faculty, Communication Studies
    School of Communication and Journalism

    Office: BR 260
    Phone: 218.477.2064
    Email: anthony.ocana@mnstate.edu

    Anthony Ocaña (Ph.D., North Dakota State University, 2008) is an assistant professor of Communication Studies specializing in leadership studies, organizational communication, business and professional communication, and conflict communication. In addition to teaching a variety of the communication studies and leadership courses, he helps advise students in the KMSC Dragon Radio and Dragon Leadership Program activities. Anthony enjoys helping students achieve their highest academic potential, and takes great pride in having students present their original research at campus and regional conferences.

  • Olsgard, Wendy
    OAS Intermediate
    School of Communication and Journalism

    Office: MA 260
    Phone: 218.477.2983
    Email: olsgard@mnstate.edu