Department Mission

The Communication Department recognizes the transformative power of communication and media and their role in how we think about and act in personal, organizational, cultural, social, and political life. Our scholarly and creative community embraces diverse theoretical perspectives, innovative pedagogy, and creative practices.   We support students’ development of critical and analytical abilities, proficiency with multiple levels of analysis of media, engagement with collaborative and dialogic relationships and connections with communities. We guide students to become culturally aware, astute, civic minded individuals able to understand and act upon structures of inequity, poised for success in their endeavors as community members, citizens and leaders in their chosen careers.

Communication Degree

The Bachelor of Arts in Communication degree program provides students with a comprehensive knowledge of the nature of communication, its varied forms and uses, and its multiple social, cultural, and cognitive effects.

Mass Media Degree

The new Bachelor of Arts in Mass Media provides students with theoretical and practical frameworks for understanding media development, production, distribution, and its multiple social, political, cultural, and cognitive effects domestically and globally.


Spring 2016: COMM/MASS 495

Interested in COMM or MASS 495?? 

In order to register for the internship course, students must:

1.) Identify and apply for an internship site with a community partner. More details may be obtained by visiting:  Also, students may obtain advice about possible placement sites given student interest by talking with the internship faculty member, Dr. Catherine Matsumoto ( ).  

2.) After completing the steps to secure an internship course then, contact Dr. Matsumoto who will provide a permission code to register for the course.

Welcome New Faculty Members

James Anderson—Transitioning from undergraduate studies in exercise science (kinesiology) to receiving his master’s degree in critical media studies, Anderson is in motion to defend his dissertation, in the spring of 2016, which analyzes public pedagogy. As a new lecturer this fall for COMM360 (Mass Media & Society) and MASS452 (Mass Media Ethics), Professor Anderson integrates extensive knowledge and theoretical understanding into the curriculum. James is well equipped with an arsenal of varying talents and received academic acclamations from the Mid-West Association of Grad School’s Award for his thesis on media satire in correlation to Chomsky’s Propaganda Model. As a Carbondale, Illinois native and freelance journalist out of grad assistant funding and eager for change, Anderson has nestled himself quite nicely here at CSUSM and we are excited to have him aboard and truly appreciative of his intellect and adequacies. 

Dr. Jericho Burg—From undergraduate studies at Williams College of Massachusetts in Anthropology and English, to a masters degree in Anthropology and African Studies from the University of Florida in Gainesville, Professor Burg took the road less traveled and received a Ph.D. in Communication from a local institution of higher education—UCSD. In accordance with Jericho’s dissertation on famine warning systems in Ethiopia, she spent a great deal of time overseas volunteering and expanding her studies on the African continent. Before instructing COMM330 (Intercultural Communication) and GEO102 (Oral Communication) at CSUSM, and African Mass Media Studies, Environmental Communication, and International Communication at her alma mater UCSD, Dr. Burg also taught English as a foreign language internationally in Ethiopia, Japan, and Egypt. Dr. Burg is nothing short of polished and her distinguished background of experience and wisdom provides our department with more versatility and strength.  

Alexandra Jackson-Nevis—North county local, Carlsbad High School graduate, and CSUSM alum, AJ has returned home after receiving her Master’s in Communication emphasizing rhetoric and critical/cultural studies in addition to earning a graduate certificate in comparative Ethnic Studies from the University of Colorado in Boulder. She also instructed a course (Introduction to Perspectives of Human Communication), an equivalent to COMM100 during her studies in Boulder as well. Prior to graduate school AJ received her Bachelor’s degree in Communication with a minor in Ethnic Studies from CSUSM while volunteering at a self-help legal clinic affiliated with JusticeCorps, through AmeriCorps: which is essentially a domestic peace core. Returning to San Marcos as an experienced scholar and educator with such close ties to this institution and community, Alex is more than thrilled to be teaching COMM200 (Argumentation and Dialogue) and COMM402 (Rhetorical Criticism) here. Professor Jackson-Nevis plans on receiving her Ph.D. in Communication in the future, but in the mean time, she is gracious to be home just as we are to have her back home.       

Dr. Erin Nelson—Huntington Beach local Professor Nelson joins our elite group of lecturers this year instructing courses COMM300 (Communication Theory), COMM330 (Interpersonal Communication), and GE0102 (Oral Communication). In addition, Dr. Nelson teaches Non-verbal Communication and Public Speaking at Concordia University in Irvine. Upon receiving her bachelors’ in Communication from UCSB, she traveled south and attended graduate school at SDSU. She earned her master’s degree in Interpersonal Communication emphasizing in family and health. She then left the coast and received her Ph.D. at UT Austin after defending her dissertation, which explores cancer communication and family interaction. Reluctant to leave the great state of Texas and return to California, specifically the beach, Dr. Nelson found rewarding success in educating and her future looks to be bright and prosperous. Nelson emanates warmth, empathy, and passion for her students and instructing that becoming a cougar was indeed inevitable.  

Academic Acclamations of Achievement 

Tiffaney Boyd— Tahquitz High School graduate of Hemet, California and first generation college student, Tiffaney is now a senior, current ASI (Associated Students, Inc.) President, member of student government, and member of BSU (Black Student Union). Formerly, she served as President for LPE (Lambda Pi Eta). As if that wasn’t more than enough extra curricular activity for one individual to juggle, Tiffaney also obtained an internship with the DA’s (District Attorney’s) office this semester. Miss Boyd is a double major in the studies of Communication and Social Science, maintains a 3.8 GPA and the third student in the department’s history to have her competitive paper be accepted by the NCA (National Communication Association). Boyd’s paper, derived from researching a service learning site, won the Student Top Club Division Award and will be presented at the 101st Annual NCA Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada in November of 2015. Tiffany’s 20-page compilation analyzes and articulates how CSUSM’s Cross Cultural Center communicates a safe space for our students. Aside from the various achievements Tiffaney has already made, on behalf of the Department of Communication and all others affiliated, we want to congratulate you on all of your hard work and celebrate you for putting CSUSM in the realm of academic excellence. You are a tremendous talent and you have only just begun, the future is bright for you Tiffaney, keep fueling your ambition and reaching new heights.              

Upcoming Courses   

New classes are available for Communication and Mass Media students in upcoming 2016 sessions.

Dr. Joonseong Lee will be instructing MASS 470-4 (Media and Mixed Relity) during the Winter Intersession beginning on January 4th, 2016.

In addition, Dr. Kendra Rivera will be instructing a hybrid (lecture & online) course, COMM 440-01 (Organizational Communication) during the Winter Intersession beginning on both January 5th, 6th, and 7th of 2016 and January 12th, 13th, and 14th of 2016. 

Also, Dr. Gloria Pindi will be instructing COMM 450 (Communication and Transnationalism) during the Spring semester of 2016.