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Department ofCommunication

Faculty and Staff

Department Chair

  • Michael Whalen

    Knight-Ridder/San Jose Mercury News Professor

    Michael Whalen is a documentary filmmaker who teaches screenwriting, film/tv production and history courses on Hollywood and the U.S. film/television industry. Prior to returning to Santa Clara to teach, he spent 10 years living in Los Angeles as a working television writer, producer and director.

Department Manager


  • Christine M. Bachen

    Associate Professor

    Chris Bachen’s research focuses on media and youth. Her current research focuses on computer game- and web-based learning and youth civic engagement. She also serves as director of assessment and co-director of the Collaborative for Teaching Innovation for the university.

  • Justin P. Boren

    Associate Professor

    Justin Boren studies the impact of creating socially-supportive organizations and how supportive climates lead to improvements in psychological and physiological stress among coworkers. He teaches courses on organizational and interpersonal communication, organizational training and development, quantitative research methods, and biological approaches to human interaction.

  • Melissa Brown

    Assistant Professor

    Melissa Brown researches how members of marginalized communities use information and communication technologies to innovate digital practices that shape contemporary society. She teaches courses on research methods, intersectionality, and internet-mediated communication.

  • Hsin-I Cheng

    Associate Professor

    Hsin-I Cheng teaches intercultural and interpersonal communication courses with topics on relationship building in both U.S. and global contexts. Her research interests cross boundaries of communication, immigration, and globalization from critical and qualitative perspectives. She is the author of Culturing Interface: Identity, Communication, and Chinese Transnationalism.

  • Rohit Chopra

    Associate Professor

    Rohit Chopra teaches courses on global media and international communication, new media technologies, and postcolonial media. His current research projects focus on the relationship between memory, violence, and digital media.

  • Lisa Davis


    Lisa Davis teaches a variety of journalism courses and communication law. She has more than 20 years experience as a professional journalist and is the author of The Sins of Brother Curtis: A Story of Betrayal, Conviction and the Mormon Church.

  • Laura L. Ellingson

    Patrick A. Donohoe, S.J. Professor

    Laura Ellingson teaches classes in gender & communication, health communication, and feminist research methods. She conducts research on communication and collaboration among health care providers in hospitals and clinics and on communication in extended and chosen families.

  • Amy Tully Eriksson

    Academic Year Adjunct Lecturer

    Amy Tully Eriksson teaches a variety of communication courses, including public speaking and interpersonal communication.

  • Jingjing Han

    Academic Year Adjunct Lecturer

    Jingjing Han teaches communication and technology, quantitative research methods, and media in a global world. Her research focuses on cognitive and emotional processing during media use.

  • Katharine E. Heintz

    Senior Lecturer

    Katharine Heintz teaches courses in media studies/mass communication. She is particularly interested in how the media impact children and families, and the role of the media in social change.

  • Andrew W. Ishak


    Andrew Ishak's work is focused on communication of teams and organizations that work in high-pressure situations, such as tactical police units, fire crews, and sports teams. He is the co-editor of a forthcoming book on sports and identity.

  • David C. Jeong

    Assistant Professor

    David C. Jeong studies VR/XR, social media, and morality. He teaches classes in Technology and Communication, Quantitative Methods, Media Psychology. He also plans to teach classes on VR Design, social media analytics, and social media ethics.

  • Marquette Jones

    Assistant Professor

    Marquette Jones is a filmmaker and screenwriter who teaches film/tv production, entertainment industry history and screenwriting courses. Her work focuses on women as the center of their own stories and all things comedy. In addition to filmmaking, Marquette was a public interest attorney in Oakland, California and currently hosts and produces the Directing Magic podcast.

  • Barbara Kelley

    Senior Lecturer

    Barbara Kelley teaches a variety of journalism courses and serves as director of the journalism emphasis. She is a journalist, regular Huffington Post columnist, keynote speaker and the co-author of "Undecided: How to Ditch the Endless Quest for Perfect and Find the Career and Life That's Right for You."

  • Charlotta Kratz

    Academic Year Adjunct Lecturer

    Lotta Kratz teaches classes in media studies, diversity, technology, and visual communication (still photography). In 2013, she has shown photography in shows in the United States, Canada, and Australia.

  • Emile McAnany

    Professor Emeritus

    Emile McAnany has focused his research on the social and cultural impacts of various communication technologies in Third World countries, especially Latin America.

  • Nico Opper

    Assistant Professor

    Nico Opper is an Emmy®-nominated filmmaker who teaches production and history courses. Their work focuses on young people's identities in nontraditional families. They're the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship for Filmmaking and has been one of Filmmaker Magazine’s annual “25 New Faces of Independent Film.”

  • Chad Raphael


    Chad Raphael teaches and conducts research on political communication, including communication and the environment, journalism and democracy, community organizing, public dialogue and deliberation, and media for civic education and engagement. He also serves as SCU's Faculty Associate for Sustainability across the Curriculum and Co-Coordinator of the university's Environmental Justice and the Common Good Initiative.

  • Emily Reese


    Emily Ray Reese is a filmmaker from a ghost town in the mountains of New Mexico. Her work has appeared at Sundance, Palm Springs ShortsFest, Outfest, and the New York International Latino Film Festival. She teaches all production labs in the digital filmmaking area and organizes workshops around screenwriting, production and editing.

  • Sreela Sarkar

    Associate Professor

    Sreela Sarkar's areas of research and teaching include global media studies, postcolonial studies, feminist theory and methods, urban studies, and critical policy and legal studies.

  • Fern Silva

    Instructional Technologist

    Fern Silva is an accomplished technology professional with experience in directing an Information Services department; the planning, design and implementation of diverse multi-vendor customer training labs, vendor compatibility load and stress labs; and UNIX development environments, including Sun Solaris, IBM AIX, SGI IRIX and Linux. Mr. Silva is also a technical consultant to business owners and individuals.

  • Paul A. Soukup, S.J.

    Pedro Arrupe, S.J. Professor

    Paul Soukup, S.J., teaches courses in technology and communication, and does research on religious communication. He has authored or edited a number of books and works with both the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the American Bible Society on communication issues.

  • SunWolf


    SunWolf is a former trial attorney, now a social scientist studying persuasion, social behavior, and storytelling. Her books and research have received numerous national awards, including a university award for a faculty member whose scholarly work over five years represents a major contribution to a field of knowledge.

  • Chan Thai

    Assistant Professor

    Chan Thai teaches courses on communication and technology, health communication, and the strategic design of communication campaigns to promote behavior change.

  • Stephanie Tikkanen

    Academic Year Adjunct Lecturer

    Stephanie Tikkanen studies the growing role of new media in interpersonal relationships. She teaches courses in quantitative research methods and interpersonal communication.

  • Gordon Young

    Senior Lecturer/Media Advisor

    Gordon Young teaches a variety of journalism courses and serves as faculty advisor for the university's student newspaper, yearbook, and community radio station. He is the author of "Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City."