Faculty and Staff



Our faculty consists of accomplished researchers and experienced teachers who are leaders in, and major contributors to, the communication discipline. We have received Southern Miss Excellence in Teaching and Excellence in Service awards; the Southern States Communication Association’s Outstanding Teacher, Distinguished Service, and Communication Theory and Gender Studies Divisions’ Outstanding Scholar awards; the Southern Regional Education Board Faculty Mentor Award, and the National Communication Association’s Golden Anniversary Monograph Award. Grants from the National Center for Food Protection and Defense, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Institutes of Health, and the Mississippi Humanities Council have funded research and other activities in our department. The faculty have produced 12 books and published more than 170 articles in dozens of books and virtually all journals sponsored by our professional associations. We have twice served as journal editors and four have been elected President of the Southern States Communication Association. You will find us to be knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and supportive.


Laura Alberti (Doctoral Candidate, University of Southern California).  Visiting Instructor.  Research and teaching interests include rhetorical criticism and the rhetoric of war and peace.  338A Liberal Arts Building.  601.266.4271.  laura.alberti@usm.edu

Kathryn Anthony (Ph.D., University of Kentucky). Assistant Professor. Teaching and research interests focus on organizational health communication and risk and crisis communication. 475 Liberal Arts Building. 601.266.4272. kathryn.anthony@usm.edu

Wendy Atkins-Sayre (Ph.D., University of Georgia). Dept. Chair and Associate Professor. Teaching and research interests focus on social movement rhetoric, feminist criticism, public controversy discourse, and rhetorical criticism. 474 Liberal Arts Building. 601.266.4271. wendy.atkinssayre@usm.edu; website  

Marcus J. Coleman (Ph.D., University of Georgia). Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies and Communication Studies. Teaching and research interests include voter identification legislation, patriotism as civic engagement, and political ideology. 477 Liberal Arts Building. 601.266.4271. marcus.coleman@usm.edu

Richard L. Conville (Ph.D., Louisiana State University). Professor Emeritus of Communication Studies and Service Learning.  Teaching and research center on interpersonal communication, and, in particular, the role of communication in constructing relationships. He uses qualitative methods to interpret and understand conflicts between adults' personal and professional lives and dilemmas encountered in interracial communication

Casey Malone Maugh Funderburk (Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University). Associate Provost - Gulf Coast Campus. Associate Professor of Communication Studies. Research interests include political rhetoric, visual rhetoric, public memory, and women's studies. Teaches on the Gulf Coast campus. 228.214.3309. casey.maugh@usm.edu 

Lawrence A. Hosman (Ph.D., University of Iowa). Professor. Teaching and research focus on the role of language in social influence and persuasion, with particular attention to how messages can be constructed to better influence attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors of audiences. 478 Liberal Arts Building. 601.266.4279. lawrence.hosman@usm.edu;  website 

Eura Jung (Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University). Associate Professor. Research and teaching interests include intercultural communication, interpersonal communication, quantitative research methods, and identity and mental health issues. 472 Liberal Arts Building. 601.266.4276. eura.jung@usm.edu

John C. Meyer (Ph.D., University of Kansas). Professor. Teaches and researches organizational communication, conflict management, and humor. Currently studying how humor in communication influences relationships, persuasion, and organizational culture; also exploring how children’s communication strategies inday care centers enact organizational and family values. 470 Liberal Arts Building. 601.266.4280. john.meyer@usm.edu; website 

Laura Stengrim (Ph.D., University of Illinois).  Assistant Professor and Speaking Center Director.  Research and teaching interests include rhetoric and globalization.  473 Liberal Arts Building.  601.266.4271.  laura.stengrim@usm.edu  

L. Paul Strait  (Ph.D., University of Southern California). Assistant Professor & Director of Forensics. Teaches and researches rhetoric, argumentation, social theory, medical humanities, and science & technology studies. Currently studying the intersection of risk, social movements, and institutional change as played out in scientific controversies. 476 Liberal Arts Building. 601.266.4286. L.Strait@usm.edu  lpaulstrait.com

Charles H. Tardy (Ph.D., University of Iowa). Retired Professor. Teaches courses on interpersonal communication, nonverbal communication, intercultural communication and research methods. Research interests center on how social interaction affects health and illness, especially cardiovascular diseases. charles.tardy@usm.edu

Steven J. Venette (Ph.D., North Dakota State University). Associate Professor. Teaching and research interests include risk and crisis communication, organizational communication, and argumentation. Recent projects include work for the Department of Homeland Security's National Center for Food Protection and Defense, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, USDA Plant Protection and Quarantine, and USDA Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service. 471 Liberal Arts Building. 601.266.4325; steven.venette@usm.edu


Graduate Assistants

Victoria Brown (M.A., Colorado State University). 446 Liberal Arts Building.  601.266.4271. Victoria.L.Brown@eagles.usm.edu;  website

Kevin Bryant (M.A., Valdosta State University). Assistant Forensics Coach. 446 Liberal Arts Building.  601.266.4987.kevin.bryant@eagles.usm.edu 

Piyawan Charoensap (M.A., Southeastern Louisiana University). Speaking Center, 117 Cook Library. 601.266.4987. Piyawan.Charoensap@eagles.usm.edu

Seth Fendley (M.A., Arkansas State University) 446 Liberal Arts Building. 601.266.4987 seth.fendley@eagles.usm.edu

Sean Fourney (M. A., West Chester University) 445 Liberal Arts Building. 601.266.4987 sean.fourney@eagles.usm.edu

Mo Ismail (B.A., University of Southern Mississippi) Speaking Center 117 Cook Library 601.266.4965. mohamed.ismail@eagles.usm.edu

Amy Lionberger (M.A., Auburn University). 445 Liberal Arts Building.601.266.4987. amy.lionberger@eagles.usm.edu

Brian Perna (M.A., New Mexico State University). 446 Liberal Arts Building. 601.266.4271. brian.perna@eagles.usm.edu

Carrie Reif (M.A., Auburn University). 445 Liberal Arts Building. 601.266.4987. carrie.reif@eagles.usm.edu 

Carley Young (M.A., University of Illinois Springfield). Speaking Center, 117 Cook Library. 601.266.4965. carley.reynolds@eagles.usm.edu;  website


Adjunct and Part-time Instructors

Kara Kimbrough (MA, William Carey).  601.266.4271.  kara.kimbrough@usm.edu

Grant McKay (MA, U. of Southern Miss.).  601.266.4271.  grant.mckay@usm.edu

Nicole Magee (MA, U. of Southern Miss.).  601.266.4271.  nicole.magee@usm.edu

Angela Murray (Gulf Park) 

Jenny Tate (Gulf Park) (M.S., University of Southern Mississippi). jenny.tate@usm.edu 


Mary Jo McKay (B.S., University of Southern Mississippi). Administrative Assistant. 467 Liberal Arts Building. 601.266.4271. maryjo.mckay@usm.edu