An outdoor class led by Dr. Kimberly Schaefer, Assistant Professor of Communication Studies, with students listening

College of Arts & Sciences

Communication Studies


Kris Oehlert

Department Assistant

History, Culture & Society

Real-world approach to teaching.


When it comes to skills employers look for in their employees, strong communication skills consistently rank high on the list, year after year.

Baker’s communication program helps you develop the ability to communicate both orally and in writing, work in groups, lead, manage conflicts, and navigate cross-cultural contexts. Students develop tools and the flexibility to apply them in a variety of situations. The communication program is the perfect place to start when looking for a versatile and worthwhile degree.

Four male students sitting at a table working on a worksheet together

Minor in Conflict Management

Baker University is one of the few universities in the region to offer this field at the undergraduate level. Students who minor in conflict management will develop skills in working in diverse groups, critical thinking and analytical reasoning, creativity and innovation, ethics and values, and complex problem solving. Don’t wait for graduate school—gain the skills that employers seek now.

Learn More: Conflict Management Minor

One female student tutoring another female student
Female student giving a presentation with notecards in hand
Kristina Taylor acting on the set in Rice Auditorium

Exceptional Experience


Learn Hands On

Baker encourages internships in a variety of fields, including public relations, human relations, and political campaign activities. Students can also be involved in theatre performances, speak at regional and national conferences, and conduct research for publication.

Prepare for Graduate School

The communication program at Baker is the perfect stepping stone to graduate school. Recent graduates have pursued master’s degrees at Arizona State University, University of Kansas, and Southern Methodist University. Other students have attended law school.

Act It Out

One possible fulfillment of the workshop requirement for communication studies students is Stage Performance – TH 123 and TH 423, credit awarded for performing in a theatre production. For communication studies majors, a theatrical performance is one of several ways to enhance the speaker–audience experience.



Take a look at where some of our communication studies graduates are working:

  • Dr. Kendra Knight, 2004, Associate Professor of Communication Studies at DePaul University
  • Megan Lamb Smith, 2007, Executive Director for the Hesston Chamber of Commerce
  • Ashley Schmidt Owen, 2008, International Customer Service at Nazdar
  • Latasha Roberts James, 2009, Owner of the Veil KC
  • Darcey Nance O’Bryhim, 2010, Director of Collegiate Growth for Alpha Chi Omega Fraternity Inc.
  • Dr. Joshua Morgan, 2010, Lecturer at Kansas University and a Writer
  • The Rev. Bryce Bowers, 2012, Pastor at First Christian Church in Cedar Falls, Iowa
  • Shavon Brown, 2012, Office Manager for Literacy KC
  • Danielle Harris, 2012, Alumni Relations Manager
  • Rebecca Nolte Bowles, 2012, Coordinator of Youth Ministries for Countryside UMC in Topeka
  • The Rev. Warren Swenson, 2013, Episcopal Priest and Visiting Instructor of Rhetoric at the University of the South
  • Connie Farmer, 2014, Targeted Case Manager for Cottonwood Inc.
  • Jacob Mogle, 2015, Marketing Operations at UMB Bank
  • Shannon McCarty Ryan, 2015, Sales Support Coordinator at Consolidated Communications
  • Brittney Fell-Harmon, 2017, Therapist
  • Anna Wright, 2017, Licensed Realtor for McGrew Real Estate
  • Taiylor Sharp, 2018, Academic Services Coordinator at Kansas Wesleyan University
  • Nick Oliver, 2019, National Account Manager for Ryan Transportation
  • Grant Ellis, 2018,  Life Insurance Agent
  • Russell Taylor, 2001, Marketing Manager: Retail and Visual Design for Crown Center
  • Danielle Carlson, Mental Health Clinician


The Department of History, Culture, and Society gives these awards with financial prizes to be applied to the following year’s tuition:

  • Mildred Hunt Riddle Departmental Recognition Scholarship for Social Sciences
  • Mildred Hunt Riddle Departmental Recognition Scholarship for Philosophy and Religion
  • Mildred Hunt Riddle Departmental Recognition Scholarship for History
  • Dorothy J. and James F. Hilgenberg Scholarship
  • Gilbert and Martha Jane Lewis Ferguson Scholarship
  • Brune Memorial Scholarship
  • Paul Dick Scholarship
  • Warren E. and Marion Rhodes DeSpain Scholarship in Church Leadership
  • Thomas G. Manson and Frances B. Manson Scholarship
Two male students walking on Baldwin City campus wearing masks.

Communication Studies Coursework

Course Descriptions

Meet the Faculty

Dr. Susan Emel

Professor of Communication Studies, Ernestine Susannah Buckley Chair

B.S. Kansas State University, M. Div. St. Paul School of Theology, Ph.D. University of Kansas

Expertise: interpersonal communication, conflict resolution, communication theory, rhetorical studies

Office: Parmenter Hall 15


Dr. Kimberly Schaefer

Associate Professor of Communication Studies

B.A. University of Richmond; M.A., Ph.D. University of Texas at Austin

Expertise: interpersonal communication, communication technology, personal relationships

Office: Parmenter Hall 18

Parmenter and long student center

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