Communication Studies


Full time faculty

Erin Briddick profile photoErin Briddick
Erin began teaching communication courses in 2007, and enjoys bringing performance-based activities into the classroom. A native Chicagoan, Erin received her B.S. and M.S. in Speech Communication, with an emphasis on Performance Studies, from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. She is currently ABD in Interdisciplinary Theatre Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Erin brings an awareness of social justice, power dynamics, inclusion and diversity, and multiple modes of instruction to the classroom. In her free time, Erin works on her dissertation on ambulatory performance and activism, rock climbs, paraglides, and practices archery.
Faith Curammeng profile photoFaith Curammeng
Faith M. Curammeng moved to the lower 48 from her hometown of Anchorage, Alaska, in search of academic adventures. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Arts and a Bachelor of Arts in Media Broadcast from George Fox University. She earned her Master of Arts in Communications Arts from Pepperdine University. Her thesis was entitled "Media Exposure, Social Contact, and Asian American Stereotypes."
Faith began teaching Public Speaking at PCC in 2014. She has also taught Broadcast News, Professional Writing, and Introduction to Communication. Before entering the classroom as a teacher, she spent nearly a decade working in the media in various capacities: as a radio promotions assistant, a TV news producer, TV commercial producer, and a TV news editor.
Faith enjoys hiking, running, refereeing soccer, writing, eating vegan desserts, and driving in her topless Jeep Wrangler.
Kathleen Doss profile photoKathleen Doss
Kathleen has been teaching Speech and Communication Studies classes since 2003. She attended the University of Hawai'i , earning a BA in Psychology with a minor in Speech, and an MA in Speech Communication. A strong advocate for Service Learning and Asian Studies, her interests include Intercultural, Interpersonal, and Political Communication (including classical rhetoric). As an instructor, Kathleen's focus is on the mindfulness in, and increasing the effectiveness of, communication situations.
Chris Edwards profile photoChris Edwards
Chris has been a Communication Studies instructor at PCC since 1997. He regularly teaches Introduction to Speech Communication (COMM 100) and Public Speaking (COMM 111). His primary areas of interest are nonverbal communication, interpersonal communication and communication technology. Along with teaching, Chris serves as Humanities Department Chair at the Rock Creek campus. Chris holds a master’s degree in Communication and bachelor’s degrees in both Communication and Psychology.
Teela Foxworth profile photoTeela Foxworth
Prior to joining Portland Community College in 2015, Teela Foxworth attended Oregon State University, where she received her Bachelor of Science in Communication with a Business minor and continued on to earn her Masters in Communication. Foxworth's Thesis research centered on Racial Humor and its ability to have a positive impact in interpersonal relationships. After receiving her Masters, she taught for Oregon State University and Chemeketa Community College in Oregon. She then relocated to Washington state and taught in the Seattle Community College system and earned tenure-track at Highline College before returning to her Oregon roots.
Outside of the classroom, Teela can be found rooting for her Oregon State Beavers and Seattle Seahawks. She has lived abroad in Greece and travels at every opportunity she gets in hopes to eventually see the entire world. Teela spends her downtown writing and reading and anything she can get her hands on. She is committed to giving back to her community through service and is currently serving on the Board of Trustees for Trillium Family Services.
Susan Mann profile photoSusan Mann
"They know enough who know how to learn." When I read this quote by Henry Brooks Adams chiseled over a doorway in college, it resonated with me. Today, I continue my learning journey with my students here at PCC. While I started my undergraduate years as an art major, I ended them earning my BA in Technical Journalism from Oregon State University. After travel and a short stint as a server at a pizza joint, I began my career in corporate communications and public relations, and later in advertising. Yet teaching, instead of selling people unneeded stuff, was what I "wanted to do when I grew up." So, like many of our PCC students, I returned to school, this time to earn my MS in Management Communication from the University of Portland. I have been teaching (and learning) ever since, first at the University of Portland and now at PCC Sylvania. When not teaching, traveling, taking photographs, or trying to keep up with family and new technology, I can be found wandering and pondering words of advice or wisdom chiseled on buildings, monuments and sidewalks.
jessica martin profile photoJessica Martin
Jessica began her undergraduate studies at Oregon State University, where she eventually earned her Bachelor’s of Arts in Speech Communication. During her time as an undergraduate student, she was an active member of Lambda Pi Eta, the National Communication Association’s official honor society. After finishing her Bachelors, Jessica completed her Master’s degree two years later, which primarily focused on Interpersonal Communication. For her graduate thesis, she analyzed the popular social media platform Facebook—to see how it had an impact on developing relationships in the workplace. To this day, Jessica enjoys finding research centered on mediated communication.
Jessica began teaching when she was pursuing her graduate studies at Oregon State. Since then, her love for teaching has continued to grow each passing year. In her spare time, she loves to travel. She has dual citizenship for the United States and Italy. Many of her distant relatives currently reside in Palermo. She also has lived in Spain with her family, and attended school in Seville. At home in Portland, Jessica loves spending time with her family and friends, eating good food, and exploring the city. She enjoys photography, specializing in portraits specifically.

Part time faculty

Jon Arakaki profile photoJon Arakaki
Jon relocated to Portland from New York with his wife and dogs during the summer of 2014. They are trying to get as close as possible to their families in Hawaii without actually moving there (too hot, crowded, and expensive)! He taught Mass Communication for eleven years at the State University of New York, College at Oneonta.
He received his M.A. in Communication Studies from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and Ph.D. in Communication and Society from the School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Oregon. His areas of interest are mass media and popular culture, and the dams on the Columbia River.
Suzanne Atkin profile photoSuzanne Atkin
Suzanne has a Master's Degree in communication and teaches both online and in-class collegiate classes in communication for several universities and colleges. Receiving her degree from Portland State University, while working full time for the high-tech sector, Suzanne brings to the classroom an integration of real-world communication scenarios with theoretical underpinnings. From Basic Communication to Organizational Communication and Public Speaking, Suzanne is an energetic and engaging instructor whose philosophy is student-centered and believes by working on ourselves, we can change the outcome of our communication interactions.
As a Certified Professional Consultant And Trainer as well as a Certified Mediator, Suzanne is also the owner of Workplace Harmony, a highly successful organizational development consulting firm that is dedicated to raising productivity, improving customer service and reducing wasted management time as a direct result of resolving jobsite tensions and increasing workplace synergy.
Kelly Brennan profile photoKelly Brennan
Dr. Kelly Brennan hails from his hometown of Chicago Illinois. He moved to Portland Oregon in 1990 with his wife and 6 children. Dr. Brennan has his PhD in Educational Communication with an emphasis on Human Sexuality and Gendered Communication. His interests are broadcast media, interpersonal communication, public speaking and communication between the sexes. Some of his career highlights have been teaching the Portland Winterhawks Hockey team and broadcasting a weekly segment on Terry Boyd's World radio show on AM 860 KPAM on Wednesdays at 11:15am.
Cameron Bynum profile photoCameron Bynum
Cameron Bynum has been teaching Communication Studies courses since 2008. From 2008-2013 he taught at the University of Nevada, where he received his Master's Degree in Speech Communication. Well-traveled (five continents and counting) and well-spoken (Former Salesman, Musician, and Ordained Minister), he specializes in Intercultural Communication and Public Speaking. Courses he has taught include Small Group Communication, Public Speaking, Interpersonal Communication, Nonverbal Communication, Intercultural Communication, and Fundamental Theories and Processes in Communication.
Chris Hale
Chris has been teaching speech communication at PCC since 1992. She typically teaches Speech 100 and 111. Chris's courses are intended to introduce the student to communication and public speaking. Her classes emphasize communication skills that students will use throughout their lives. Chris believes that it is not enough to simply communicate well, it is also important to be able to critically evaluate messages being sent and received in both the public and personal arenas. In Speech 100, students are introduced to the importance of both the verbal and nonverbal communication that takes place in our world, including the impact of gender, culture, race and ethnicity. In Speech 111, students focus on how to deliver a speech and how to critically evaluate speeches delivered in the public forum.
Chris began her post-secondary education in the community college setting and completed her graduate studies at the University of Portland. Chris has had a long and successful corporate career and brings to the classroom a unique blend of experience in both the academic and corporate worlds. When not teaching, Chris is an avid athlete, with a successful climb to the summit of Mt Kilimanjaro, the highest point in Africa, in January of 2008.
Lynette Jett profile photoLynette Jett
When I walked into my first classroom as a high school English and Drama teacher long, long ago, I was thrilled to discover that I had found my “calling” and amazingly enough that remains true today. I still get excited for every new school term. I have loved teaching Public Speaking and Interpersonal Communication for nearly half of my life. Before retiring, I taught full time for 20 years at Manatee Community College in Bradenton, FL . For 17 of those years I was also the Director of Forensics, coaching our award winning Speech and Debate team. In 2002 I had the great honor of being inducted into the Florida Community College Activities Coaches Hall of Fame. Outside of teaching activities, I have enjoyed travelling in Europe several times and travelling in the U.S. keeping connected with family and friends. My non-traditional spiritual studies are also an important part of my life and in 2012 I was ordained as an Interfaith Minister through the Center for Sacred Studies in Guernville, CA. I love living in the Pacific Northwest and am very appreciative of the opportunity here at PCC to be both teaching my students and learning from them.
Aaron Kaio profile photoAaron Kaio
Ms. Kaio has a Bachelor's and a Master's degree from Portland State University in Communication Studies. She has years of experience coaching college speech and debates teams at area colleges. She is also interested in Public Address, Presidential Communication as well as Argumentation and Debate. She has been teaching Speech Communication courses in the Portland area since 1995. She regularly teaches the Honors Public Speaking course for PCC along with Interpersonal Communication and Introduction to Communication. Ms. Kaio conducted several workshops at Communication conferences on teaching strategies, learning styles and teaching in an online environment. Ms. Kaio was born and raised here in Portland, OR and regularly attends soccer games to support the Thorns and the Timbers.
Chris Kernion profile photoChris Kernion
Chris received his Bachelor of Science in Speech Communication from Western Oregon University in 1995 and in 2002 I received his Master of Arts in Speech Communication from California State University, East Bay. At graduate school I began teaching Public Speaking and Interpersonal Communication in 1999. His thesis on the Heaven's Gate Cult illustrated how the members were rhetorically converted from functional societal members to accepting death as their only option, which led to their mass suicide in 1997.
Chris has been with PCC since 2002 as an adjunct and a temporary full-time Communication Studies instructor. He has participated in a variety of committees and was the Teacher-Learning Center Coordinator at PCC Rock Creek for 6 years. In this role he helped to design professional development events for faculty and staff on campus. Chris also assisted in developing Intro to Communication Studies online, Listening online, Interpersonal Communication online and Gendered Communication online.
Heather Lubay profile photoHeather Lubay
Originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Heather relocated to Portland in the Fall of 2015 with her husband, two boys, two dogs and cat. She holds an MA in Journalism and Mass Communication from Point Park University, Pittsburgh, PA, where she also worked in Admissions. Her undergrad work was done at Rollins College, in Winter Park, FL. She teaches both on-campus courses at PCC, as well as Online Learning courses. Some of the courses she teaches includes Media Writing, Mass Communication and Society, Intro to PR, and English Composition. In addition to teaching, Heather works as a freelance writer and blogger.
Heather enjoys yoga, running, writing, reading and exploring all that Oregon has to offer, especially the local coffee scene!
Michael Mackey profile photoMichael Mackey
Michael Mackey earned his B.A. in Speech Communication at Metropolitan State University of Denver, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Communication Studies from the University of Minnesota. Michael specializes in rhetorical studies and intercultural communication. Before coming to PCC in 2011, Michael taught for a decade at the University of Minnesota. Among the classes Michael has taught are Argumentation and Debate, Public Speaking, Rhetorical Theory, Freedom of Speech, Interpersonal Communication, and Intercultural Communication.
Michael's love for intercultural communication stems from having lived and worked in many places around the globe. He worked for nonprofit organizations for three years in Central America, served in the Peace Corps in Uzbekistan, and worked as a marketing consultant for three years in Israel. Michael believes that developing the skills to communicate cross-culturally is critical in our diverse and globalized world. More recently, Michael has developed an interest in mindfulness training, and the ways in which it can make us more effective listeners and communicators.
Off campus, you might encounter Michael hiking in Forest Park, gardening, enjoying a moment with his daughter, or meditating in the sun.
Katy Nadal profile photoKaty Nadal
Katy has been teaching speech classes at PCC for more than 15 years and has interests in "things intercultural, intergenerational, and environmental". A proud native Oregonian, she's spent considerable time living out of state, including time in Washington, Iowa, Michigan, and three years in Iran. Away from campus, you'll find her at home reading, working in her garden or out enjoying the NW hiking and/or reacquainting herself with small towns in Oregon. On Oregon wine weekends, you might find her pouring tastes at her brother-in-law's vineyard.
Patricia Semura
Pat teaches Public Speaking and Voice and Articulation. She has also taught Voice and Diction, Oral Communication Skills, Oral Interpretation, Persuasion, Intercultural Communication, and all levels of Academic Communication in the English as a Non-Native Language Program. She received her bachelor's and MA in Speech Communication from the University of Hawaii and completed graduate work in classical rhetoric, rhetorical criticism, language acquisition and communicative disorders at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Before PCC, she taught at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, the University of Hawaii, and the Community College of Allegheny County (Pittsburgh, PA). At PCC, she was awarded an Excellence in Teaching Award and served as Cascade Campus' Faculty Department Chair for Speech Communication, English as a Non-Native Language (ENL), and Modern Languages. She continues as Communication Studies Faculty Department Chair.
Tom Stevenson profile photoTom Stevenson
Tom Stevenson received his Master of Science in Communication Studies from Portland State University where he focused on communication in community building and conflict resolution. He also received his Bachelor of Science from Portland State in Community Development with a heavy focus on Communication Studies. He brings a unique background to the communication environment as he regained his hearing (thanks to cochlear implant and other surgeries) in his 40’s after slowly going deaf throughout most of his life.
Tom has spent most of his life in Oregon (all but the first year), much of it on the eastern side of the state. He was a newspaper reporter and editor for 15 years before returning to school to finish his dream of teaching Communication Studies. Tom teaches Intercultural Communication, Interpersonal Communication, and Public Speaking, and has also taught Mass Media, Nonverbal Communication, Introduction to Communication Studies, Small Group Communication and several other courses in Communication Studies and Conflict Resolution. He is passionate about community building in the classroom and creating a safe and welcoming environment where all voices can and will be heard! In his spare time he enjoys traveling (near and far), getting out and exploring the great outdoors, and above all else, communicating with friends and family.