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Eberly News Blog

17 Dec

Increased research productivity is a top strategic plan goal for West Virginia University. The University’s Department of Communication Studies is being recognized for its consistent leadership in research.

A recent article in Communication Education, a top journal of the communication studies discipline, identifies a number of WVU professors for their research productivity within the past five years. The study identified the top one percent of individuals who are active researchers in communication studies with six current WVU professors, the most from any school, on the list. Scott Myers is No. 1, followed by Alan Goodboy at No. 2, Matthew M. Martin, at No. 5, Rebecca Chory, tied for No. 7, Melanie Booth-Butterfield, tied for No. 15, and Maria Brann tied for No. 21.

“The Department of Communication Studies at West Virginia has established a firm reputation in the discipline for prolific publication,” said San Bolkan, lead author of the study in Communication Education. “The sheer number of publications attributable to both their faculty and the Ph.D.s they produce is astounding.”

Authors of the article state that their data identifies numerous exceptional doctoral programs, which include Michigan State University, University of California Santa Barbara, Texas, Arizona, Penn State University and WVU.

Three doctoral graduates from the WVU Department of Communication Studies are on the list: Goodboy is No. 2, Sean Horan is tied for No. 15, and Katie Dunleavy tied for No. 21. WVU’s doctoral program was launched in 2006. Only Michigan State has more graduates on the list than WVU.

“Peer-reviewed publications are the coin of the realm in academia; they define the impact of scholarship, and the reputation of scholars,” said Eberly College Dean Robert Jones. “The contributions of individual faculty to peer-reviewed literature, revealed along with institutional affiliation in the Bolkan et al. 2012 study, provide indisputable evidence that WVU’s Communications Studies faculty are nationally prominent scholars.”

“The impact of their work has been further extended by drawing outstanding Ph.D. students into their department, who after graduating, move to other universities and become highly productive. The success of the department’s research programs is matched by outstanding contributions made in outreach and teaching, including new, highly innovative undergraduate programs that prepare students for careers within the very dynamic field of communication studies.”

In the article, the authors also produce a list of the most prolific living scholars of all-time. Three current WVU professors are on the list: Myers is No. 8, Martin is No. 10, and Booth-Butterfield is tied for No. 15. Additionally, of the Top Ten All Time, seven of the ten have a WVU connection, either teaching at or receiving a degree from WVU.

“The WVU Department of Communication Studies has a rich culture of inquiry that shapes its undergraduate and graduate curricula as well the faculty’s commitment to scholarship. Students come out of the bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate programs knowing how to frame questions and how to go about seeking answers, at increasingly sophisticated levels,” said Eberly College Associate Dean Joan Gorham. “These skills, along with ability to make effective communication choices, are enhanced by opportunity to interact daily with faculty who are outstanding role models.”

For more information, contact Matthew Martin, at 304-293-3905 or

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