Meet the Communication Studies Faculty

Mark1.jpgMark A. Fokken is an Associate Professor with an M.A. in Communication Studies from South Dakota State University.  He is the program coordinator, a position he has held for over 10 years.  He teaches courses such as Essentials of Speaking and Listening, Small Group Communication, Persuasion, Organizational Communication, Comm. Studies Seminars, and others as needed.  He served as the Director of Forensics at SMSU for 20 years and has a great appreciation for speech and debate activities.  He remains active in the activity at both the high school and collegiate level, coordinating SMSU's annual HS speech tournament and also working on the staff of the National Individual Events Tournament.  He lives in Marshall and enjoys biking, baking and being a Mustang!



Rick2.jpgDr. Richard Herder teaches a range of courses in the Program including Essentials of Speaking and Listening; Interpersonal Communication and Cross Cultural Communication; Mass Media and Society; Argumentation and Debate; and Secondary Teaching Methods: Communication studies. He also serves as the coordinator of the SMSU Speech Center and regularly teaches a 400 level contemporary issues seminar on human trafficking. His dissertation focused on the role of storytelling in the rhetoric of corporate protest movements, and he has published work in the areas of storytelling in corporate protest movementsattorney free speech, and immigration policy. His current research interests pertain to theatrical traditions in corporate protest movements and the classroom experiences of students who stutter. He taught and coached high school speech and debate for many years in Minnesota and Florida before completing a PhD in Public Communication and Rhetorical Studies at Georgia State University. 
Jos Ullian teaches the courses in the Broadcasting & DiJos1.pnggital Media major. He teaches multi-camera studio video production, sports broadcasting, documentary production, narrative filmmaking, and new media production and others as needed. His creative interests include producing documentaries and instructional programs. In his spare time, he likes to go boating and travel. Oh, and he's a long-suffering Mets and Jets fan.





Ben1.pngBen Walker (MFA-Forensics) is an Assistant Professor and the Director of Forensics at Southwest Minnesota State University. He teaches a variety of Communication Studies courses, including Essentials of Speaking and Listening, Professional Presentations, and Argumentation and Debate. Ben also supervises high school classrooms where the basic public speaking course is taught via concurrent enrollment. His published work can be found in the National Forensic Journal, Speaker and Gavel, and The Forensic, among other places. Ben, who loves Star Wars and other “nerdy things”, lives in Marshall, MN with his partner, Julie, and their three beautiful children.



Julie1.pngJulie Walker has been teaching since 2009, and is committed to working with actual situations where students use the skills that are mastered in the classroom. She teaches public relations, storytelling, and health communication courses here at SMSU, and loves the variety of hands-on projects we get to do. Her research focuses on identity negotiations, pushing the boundaries of teaching, and digital literacy. Outside of work at SMSU, she works for various organizations (including a storytelling organization she co-founded several years ago) doing public relations and content creation. Relaxation for her often includes baking, building, crocheting, and binge-watching television series. Her office door is always open, and her office couch is really comfortable. She looks forward to meeting you!

Last Modified: 11/5/17 11:20 PM