About Feature 1

Communication Faculty

Suzanne Walker

Suzanne Walker

Professor of Communication Studies, Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education

Dept: Office of Academic Affairs/Communication Studies




Office: Irvine 212

Degrees: Ph.D. in Speech Communication, Indiana University, 1997; Master of Arts in Educational Psychology, Inquiry Emphasis, Indiana University, 1992; Master of Arts in Speech Communication, Indiana University, 1991; Bachelor of Science, Speech Communication, University of Indianapolis, 1986.

Year appointed: 1999 (Communication Studies faculty); 2013 (Current position)

Dr. Walker, who joined Marietta College’s faculty in 1999, has served as Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education since 2013.

Before joining the College’s Administration, Dr. Walker served as the Communication and Media Studies Department Chair from 2008-12, Assistant Dean of FYSE and Advising 2004-12 and Director of First Year Experience 2001-04. She served as faculty Parliamentarian from 2000-14.

Dr. Walker's research interests surround issues contributing to student success and retention including the impact of communication apprehension and learning communities. She leads institutional initiatives such as MAP-Works which focuses on student success and retention. She occasionally consults with other liberal arts colleges regarding the development of first year programs and teaches workshops on pedagogy for the first year classroom. When she has the opportunity she still enjoys teaching a variety of courses including Fundamentals of Oral Communication, Oral Interpretation, and Persuasion.



Liane Gray-Starner

Liane Gray-Starner

Associate Professor

Dept: Communication




Office: MILLS

Degrees: Ph.D. in Organizational Communication (Ohio University); Master's (Western Kentucky); Bachelor's (Wittenberg)

Year appointed: 2001

Dr. Gray-Starner is the president of Gray Star Communication. From 1994 until 2000 she worked as a senior consultant and master trainer with the Saturn Corporation.

Through Gray Star Communication Liane has worked with a variety of clients including, Delphi Automotive, Saab Cars USA, Door Training of Singapore, the GM Legal Staff, Saab Opel Sweden, Chevrolet, General Motors of Canada, General Motors Acceptance Corporation of Europe, GM Electro-Motive Division, Westvaco Corporation, and the Zeneca Corporation.

She is also a senior consultant with CEATH Company, Inc., a multinational training and consulting firm, and Program Planning and Vice-Chair for the Training and Development Division of the National Communication Association.

Through CEATH Company, Dr. Gray-Starner works with a variety of organizations, industries and institutes of higher education. These include, Berea College, the Appalachian College Association and the University of Kentucky. She specializes in communication skills, training design and development, customer service excellence, management and leadership styles, and organizational culture change. She is a trainer, speaker and consultant.

Closer to home, she consults with a number of organizations including; Washington State Community College, the Marietta Community Foundation, Marietta College, Marietta Memorial Hospital, Bird Watcher's Digest, Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Ohio, the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine, the Ohio Osteopathic Association, and the Ohio Bankers League.

As a guest speaker, she has discussed a variety of topics of interest to organizations. She has addressed groups including, the American Society for Quality, Forma Scientific, Inc., Rotary Club of Marietta, and the Ohio Movers Association.

In the fall of 2001, Dr. Gray-Starner joined the Marietta College faculty and serves as an Associate Professor of Organizational Communication. This position allows her to continue to consult and train with organizations, while sharing her experience and knowledge with students. She is currently the Co- President for the Training and Development Division of the National Communication Association.



Dawn Carusi

Dawn L. Carusi

Title: Associate Professor, Department Chair, Department of Communications

Department: Communication Studies

Education: Ph.D. in Communication Studies, Ohio University; Master of Arts in Communication, West Chester University, BSED in Speech, Theatre and English in West Chester University

Research Interests: Female Fandoms (Fan Societies), Gender, Relational Communication, Narrative

Courses (Fall 2015): Honors 112, Fundamentals of Oral Communication, Communication Theory

Courses (Spring 2016): Honors 112, Fundamentals of Oral Communication, Advanced Readings in Communication Studies

Phone: (740) 376-4681

Email: carusid@marietta.edu

What can a student expect when taking one of your classes?

An environment that encourages class discussion and debate.

What excites you about teaching at Marietta College?

The opportunities to work closely with colleagues and students.

When you aren’t teaching, what other activities do you enjoy?

As a fandom ethnographer, my research sends me to incredible events -- Comic Con, movie premieres and romance conventions. If I'm not on campus, I'm usually traveling to watch people live out their fanatical side.

Do you prefer flipping through the pages of a book or an e-book?

Both, but I still prefer to have a real book in my hands. Until a Kindle can smell of musty, old paper, I'll still reach for the real deal, if available.



Alane Sanders

Alane Sanders

Title: Associate Professor

Department: Department: Communication Studies

Education: Ph.D. in Organizational & Health Communication, Ohio University, 2010; Master of Arts in Organizational Communication, Ohio University, 2004; Bachelor of Arts in Interpersonal Communication, Ohio State University, 2002.

Research Interests: The majority of my research focuses on how communication practices create and influence organizational experiences. I enjoy examining discourses of teaching and learning, socialization processes, forms of democratic organizing, and the co-creation of learning environments in a variety of settings. Additionally, I explore how communication behaviors are influenced by a communicator's state of health, the structures of healthcare settings, and relationships with health care providers.

Recent Publications: Sanders, A. (2013). Performing positive emotion for prospective students: Emotional labor and customer service in an undergraduate admissions department. Ohio Communication Journal, 51, 78-102.

Courses (Fall 2015): Communication Research Methods, Health Communication Campaigns, Fundamentals of Communication

Courses (Spring 2016): Organizational Communication, Group Discussion & Leadership, Fundamentals of Communication

Phone: (740) 376-4646

Email: alane.sanders@marietta.edu

What can a student expect when taking one of your classes?

To be greeted with a smile and a "hi folks" each day because any day I get to teach and learn with bright eager students is a good one!

What excites you about teaching at Marietta College?

The opportunity to build meaningful mentoring relationships with students.

When you aren’t teaching, what other activities do you enjoy?

I love exploring the great outdoors, and most enjoy spending time with my family laughing about and sharing life's (mis)adventures.

Do you prefer flipping through the pages of a book or an e-book?

A book for sure ... nothing beats touching real pages, writing notes in the margins, and marking memorable passages.

What is your favorite location on campus and why?

Mills Hall, Classroom 107. This is the classroom in which I taught my first class at Marietta College during my job interview, and I have taught in it every semester the last six years. It reminds me of how many students I have watched walk through the door as freshmen who have matured into confident, successful students, professionals, and people.

What is your favorite Marietta College event?

MC basketball games. The music blasts and the stands are filled with students, faculty, and community members all excited to cheer on the Pios.



Mabry O'Donnell

Mabry O'Donnell

Emerita McCoy Professor in Communication and Hillyer Professor in English Literature Rhetoric and Oratory, Director of Forensics

Dept: Communication




Office: Thomas 117

Degrees: Ph.D. in Interpersonal and Public Communication (Bowling Green); M.A. in Speech (Alabama); B.A. in Government (Louisiana State); A.A. (Stephens College).

Year appointed: 1969

Dr. O'Donnell is McCoy Professor of Communication and Hillyer Professor in English Literature, Rhetoric and Oratory at Marietta College. She was the Director of the Fundamentals of Oral Communication and Director of Forensics and now spends her time as the transfer advisor. She received every teaching award at Marietta College including the Outstanding Faculty Award (three times), the McCoy Professorship, the Harness Fellowship (twice), and the Outstanding Faculty in Continuing Education. She also received the Ohio Forensics Association Educator of the Year award and two Pi Kappa Delta Awards—E.R. Nichols and John Shields. At Marietta she was awarded the Douglas Putnam Faculty Service Award and the Faculty Advising Award. Ohio Magazine named her one of Ohio's top educators in December 2003. She has been a facilitator and consultant for American Cyanamid, Cleveland Area Board of Realtors, GE Plastics, and Thermo-Forma.

Her many professional and civic activities include the National Communication Association where she has served in many arenas--most recently as chair of the Undergraduate College and University Section, Ohio Academy of History, Ohio Forensic Association, the Outer Banks Lighthouse Society, and the Ohio Communication Association which honored her as the Distinguished Coach in 2009. Dr. O'Donnell is a lifetime member of Pi Kappa Delta (Forensics Honorary), Omicron Delta Kappa (National Leadership Honor Society), Alpha Epsilon Rho (National Society for Radio and Television), Phi Alpha Theta (National Honor Society in History), and Order of Omega. Her research interests include communication pedagogy, historical and women's communication, public address, and forensics.



Joyce Pennington

Joyce Pennington

Academic Secretary

Department of Media Studies




Office: MASS 202

Joyce has been the academic secretary in the McKinney Media Studies building since the fall of 1981.