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Meet the Communication Studies Faculty

Mark

Mark A. Fokken

Associate Professor of Communication Studies

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!

goblish, jenifer picture

Jenifer Goblish

Assistant Professor of Communication Studies

Jen Goblish teaches the COMM 110 Essentials of Speaking and Listening course and works extensively with the College Now program that delivers this course in high schools throughout the state.  She has been working with the College Now program and adjuncting with the program for over 15 years and was hired full-time in the Fall of 2022.  She lives and works with her husband George and their family on a farm near Vesta.  She thoroughly enjoys working with high school students and teachers who are ready for the challenge of taking on collegiate coursework.

Rick

Dr. Richard Herder

Professor of Communication Studies

Rick teaches a range of courses in the Program including Essentials of Speaking and Listening; Interpersonal Communication and Cross Cultural Communication; Mass Media and Society; Communication Analysis; and Secondary Teaching Methods: Communication studies. 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 movements, slavery in corporate supply chainsattorney free speech, and presidential immigration rhetoric. His current research interests pertain to theatrical traditions in corporate protest movements. 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.

chris metz

Chris Metz

Assistant Professor of Communication Studies

Christopher Metz is an Assistant Professor of Communication Studies who teaches courses in the Broadcasting & Digital Media major. He has worked professionally in various modes of film and video production since 1999. His main creative interest is in narrative filmmaking. He has experience teaching University level introductory and intermediate level production courses, screenwriting and film history courses, plus more. At SMSU he teaches narrative and documentary filmmaking, sports broadcasting, multicamera production, single camera production and more. In his free time he enjoys working on his own narrative film productions, going to movies, and following sports.

Ben Walker

Ben Walker

Associate Professor of Communication Studies

Ben 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.

Julie Walker

Julie Walker

Assistant Professor of Communication Studies

Julie 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 (MAST) 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: 9/13/22 11:44 AM | Website Feedback