The West Virginia University Department of Communication Studies has shown its persistent dedication to lead in research.

And the field has taken notice.

A recent article in Communication Education, a top journal of the communication studies discipline, lauds a number of WVU professors for their research productivity within the past five years. The study identified the top 1 percent of individuals who are active researchers in communication studies with six current WVU professors, the most from any school, on the list. Scott Myers is No. 1, followed by Alan Goodboy at No. 2, Matthew M. Martin at No. 5, Rebecca Chory tied for No. 7, Melanie Booth-Butterfield tied for No. 15, and Maria Brann tied for No. 21.

“The Department of Communication Studies at West Virginia has established a firm reputation in the discipline for prolific publication,” said San Bolkan, lead author of the study in Communication Education. “The sheer number of publications attributable to both their faculty and the Ph.D.s they produce is astounding.”

The article’s authors identify numerous exceptional doctoral programs, which include WVU, Michigan State University, University of California Santa Barbara, University of Texas, University of Arizona and Penn State University.

Three doctoral graduates from the WVU Department of Communication Studies are on the list: Goodboy is No. 2, Sean Horan is tied for No. 15, and Katie Dunleavy is tied for No. 21. WVU has only had a doctoral program since 2006 and only Michigan State has more graduates on the list than WVU.

“Peer-reviewed publications are the coin of the realm in academia. They define the impact of scholarship and the reputation of scholars,” said Eberly College of Arts and Sciences Dean Robert Jones. “The contributions of individual faculty to peer-reviewed literature, revealed along with institutional affiliation in the Bolkan et al. 2012 study, provide indisputable evidence that WVU’s Communications Studies faculty are nationally prominent scholars.

“The impact of their work has been further extended by drawing outstanding Ph.D. students into their department, who after graduating, move to other universities and become highly productive. The success of the department’s research programs is matched by outstanding contributions made in outreach and teaching, including new, highly innovative undergraduate programs that prepare students for careers within the very dynamic field of communications.”

In the article, the authors also produce a list of the most prolific living scholars of all-time in the field. Three current WVU professors are on the list: Myers is No. 8, Martin is No. 10, and Booth-Butterfield is tied for No. 15. Additionally, of the Top Ten All Time, seven of the 10 have a WVU connection, having either taught or received a degree from WVU.

“The WVU Department of Communication Studies has a rich culture of inquiry that shapes its undergraduate and graduate curricula as well the faculty’s commitment to scholarship,” said Eberly College Associate Dean Joan Gorham. “Students come out of the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate programs knowing how to frame questions and how to go about seeking answers, at increasingly sophisticated levels. These skills, along with the ability to make effective communication choices, are enhanced by the opportunity to interact daily with faculty who are outstanding role models.”

For more information, contact Matthew Martin, at 304-293-3905 or



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