View all?Communication Studies faculty.

Full-time faculty


BjorkBjork is originally from Arizona and moved to Portland to study at Portland State University, where she received her M.S. in Communication Studies. Bjork specializes in Political Rhetoric, Metaphor Theory, and Language Perception and focuses on how they are used in Public Speaking and Interpersonal Relationships. Bjork’s thesis on Grammatical Metaphors in Climate Change Rhetoric has given her the groundwork to continue researching how Metaphors and Language influence Politics and Identity.

Outside of research and teaching, Bjork enjoys reading, baking, and doing crafts–anything indoors. You can also find her trying to learn a new language as one of her lifelong goals is to “know enough languages to have a small conversation with whomever she meets.”

Erin Briddick

Erin BriddickErin Briddick 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.

Li-Ren Chang

Li-Ren ChangLi-Ren found Communication Studies after a decade of speech and debate competition. He received a B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Communication Studies as well as an M.A. in Communication Studies from CSU – Long Beach. Li-Ren was involved in collegiate debate programs across Southern California.

As an instructor, Li-Ren prioritizes engagement and facilitating a welcoming classroom atmosphere. He enjoys collaborative learning moments through in-class activities, board games, and group discussions. Li-Ren’s perspective on Communication Studies is heavily influenced by critical theory, classical rhetoric, and psychology.

Kathleen Doss

Kathleen DossKathleen Doss 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 mindfulness and increasing the effectiveness of communication situations.

Chris Edwards

Chris EdwardsChris Edwards 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.

Kelly Kehoe

Kelly KehoeKelly Kehoe fell in love with Communication Studies after competing in speech and debate for Irvine Valley College. When she finished her B.A. in International Studies from UC-Irvine, a newspaper she had interned for during undergrad (in the newsroom and marketing department) offered her a full-time job as the marketing coordinator. When the newspaper declared bankruptcy in 2016, Kelly decided to pursue a career in higher education and returned to college to get her M.A. in Communication Studies at CSULB.

Her Master’s thesis was entitled “Entitled Snowflakes with Student Loans and Side Hustles: Media Governmentality and the Paradoxical Construction of the Millennial Generation.” Currently, her favorite research areas involve mass media studies (especially “fake news”), political persuasion, social media communication, and the future of workforce automation. She also enjoys developing new classroom activities, presenting at academic conferences, and finding the best memes to squeeze into her lecture slides.

Outside of the classroom, Kelly can be found playing fetch with her border collie Stark and cocker spaniel rescue Luna. She enjoys dog sports (agility, dock diving, rally), horseback riding, hiking, kayaking, eating great food, and traveling.

Heather Lubay

Heather LubayHeather Lubay: Originally from Pittsburgh, PA, Heather is a new full-time instructor in Journalism and Communication Studies and has been a part-time instructor with PCC since 2016, where she teaches both face-to-face and online courses. Heather holds a Master of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Point Park University. She has had extensive involvement with college committees, serving as a member of the Advancement of Educators Committee, the Learning Assessment Council, and the Academic & Career Pathways Implementation Design Team, among others. In addition, she is a Quality Reviewer for Online Learning, is the Journalism Dual-credit Liaison, and has worked as a writer for PCC Community Relations.

Heather is often found outside the classroom at a baseball field or llama farm, reading, stand-up paddle boarding, and exploring everything Oregon offers. She is also a public relations freelancer, helping local small businesses build community.

Stacie Williams

Stacie WilliamsTrekking in Nepal - Manaslu CircuitStacie Williams: I’ve taught at PCC for about a decade now,? and I love how each term I get to learn new things from you and with you. I view the classroom as our laboratory- a place to examine ideas and try new conversational strategies. Learning, not perfection, is our aim.

I started my education at Clackamas Community College. I was a first-generation college student, without a high school diploma, and uncertain about my abilities to navigate higher education or pay for it. The support, encouragement, and community that I found in community college is the reason I am here at PCC. I hope I earn the right to be your advocate and ally during your time at PCC.

Prior to teaching, I worked as a project manager in the Translation Services Department of a local refugee non-profit. My experience working on projects in languages and cultures that were not my own was one of the richest learning opportunities I’ve had. (It also helped me fumble my way through reading road signs when we got lost driving through Bosnia). Our experiences are learning and they are essential to our growth as communicators. If you take one of my classes, I hope that you will have an experience that will give you a new perspective and build your empathy muscles.

On a more personal note… My husband is a structural engineer, and we enjoy adventuring around the world (my favorite adventures have been: Nepal, Iceland, Turkey, Bosnia, and Switzerland). I’m also a loyal Portland Timbers supporter (RCTID!)

Part-time faculty

Jon Arakaki

Jon ArakakiJon Arakaki 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 his 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

Suzanne AtkinSuzanne Atkin 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 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 job-site tensions and increasing workplace synergy.

Kelly Brennan

Kelly BrennanDr. 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 Ph.D. 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

Cameron BynumCameron Bynum: I’ve taught at PCC since 2013. From 2008-2013 I taught at the University of Nevada, where I received my Master’s Degree in Speech Communication. I like to “armchair travel” (I can say “hello” in 20+ languages and my house is covered in maps). I also enjoy playing ultimate frisbee, going to the park with my two young children, and taking care of our backyard chickens. Courses I have taught include Public Speaking (I’ve now heard over 10,000 speeches), Small Group Communication, Interpersonal Communication, Nonverbal Communication, Intercultural Communication, Business and Professional Communication, Introduction to Communication, and Fundamental Theories and Processes in Communication. I had never taught online before the pandemic, but I enjoy perpetual growth and have said “yes” to remote and in-person classes ever since.

Faith Curammeng

Faith CurammengFaith 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, a 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.

Susan Haigler

Susan HaiglerSusan Haigler:?I’ve been a Speech Communication instructor at?Portland Community College for the past 25 years (notwithstanding a 2-year leave of absence when I lived in England). I earned my Master’s degree at?The University of Georgia,?and my doctoral degree at?The University of Washington.?My general academic focus in each of these programs was?Interpersonal and Organizational Communication. However, my interest in Communication spans many areas, and as a result, my doctoral dissertation focused on Healthcare Communication, specifically on the interplay between gender, patient compliance, and the use of therapeutic touch.? In 1999, my former colleague, Doris Werkman, and I developed the first online Communication classes at PCC, and since then I’ve enjoyed the flexibility to facilitate student learning while accommodating our unique schedules.

Now that you know my academic credentials, let me give you a brief idea of the “real” me: I’m a Southerner (North Carolina), born and bred, who’s married to a Norwegian (equally born and bred), and we have three kids (Anja, 21, Mia, 20, and Finn, 18). We visit Norway during Summer breaks (with visits to Denmark to see family), and we enjoy road trips, hiking, and biking throughout the US, when we’re stateside.

Aaron Kaio

Aaron KaioAaron 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 debate 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

Chris KernionChris Kernion 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.

Michael Mackey

Michael MackeyMichael 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 how 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.

Jessica Lopresti

Jessica MartinJessica Lopresti began her undergraduate studies at Oregon State University, where she eventually earned her Bachelor 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 Bachelor, 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 in 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.

Tom Stevenson

Tom StevensonTom 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 欧洲杯决赛竞猜app_欧洲杯足球网-投注|官网ment with a heavy focus on Communication Studies. He brings a unique background to the communication environment as he regained his hearing (thanks to a cochlear implant and other surgeries) in his 40s 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.

Dietra Stivahtis

DietraDietra on top of Mount St. HelensDietra Stivahtis: I believe that life is a journey of learning and that those around us shape our views and enrich our growth experiences. As an instructor at PCC, I am thankful for the opportunities to connect with learners, their curiosity and critical thinking inspire me.

My learning journey started on the job, where I built a 25-year career in business development, leadership, and training. After I built my career I was drawn to more growth, so I went back to school later in life for my formal education.

That formal education started right here at PCC, where I completed several hours of online courses. I then completed my Bachelor of Arts in Communication, concentration in Advocacy and Relational Communication, at Marylhurst University. Then jumped right into my graduate program. I received my Master of Arts in Communication and 欧洲杯决赛竞猜app_欧洲杯足球网-投注|官网, concentration in Strategic Organizational Communication, from Gonzaga University.

I began teaching at PCC in 2019. I teach in the Communication Department as well as the Business Administration Department at PCC, in addition to teaching communication classes at Southwest Oregon Community College.

In my free time, I am an avid hiker. I’ve climbed the peak of Mount Saint Helens twice.?In addition to Portland, my husband and our dog Ruby (AKA, Rubydoo) also have roots on the Southern Oregon Coast.

My favorite part of teaching is seeing students connect their unique experiences to new learning in class. I hope to connect with you in my classes.