Catherine Waite Phelan, Chair, Professor of Communication

B.A., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
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Areas of expertise: philosophy of communication, media and society, First Amendment law and how the digital revolution alters the nature of community and identity

Catherine Waite Phelan's research focuses on the ways in which the human and technological interface alters the social domain.


Thomas Phelan, Visiting Assistant Professor of Communication

B.S., State University of New York at New Paltz; M.S. & University Certificate of Specialist, SUNY Albany; Ed.D., Syracuse University
Areas of expertise: disaster recovery planning; emergency management

Tom Phelan has taught communication courses in colleges, businesses and humanitarian organizations, specializing in risk and crisis emergency preparedness, public information and outreach. He authored Emergency Management and Tactical Response Operations: Bridging the Gap (2008, Elsevier) in addition to several articles and blog posts related to disasters, public/private partnerships, and higher education. Tom has decades of experience as a teacher and school administrator. He has held positions as a full professor, department chair, consultant and corporate department manager. His current research is analyzing the gap between literacy levels of critical emergency management messages and the literacy levels of their intended audiences. He earned a doctoral degree from Syracuse University, a University Certificate of Specialist and Master’s Degree from SUNY Albany, and a graduate certificate from Harvard.

Timothy Recuber, Visiting Assistant Professor of Communication

B.A. and M.A., University of Maryland, College Park.; Ph.D., The Graduate Center, City University of New York
Areas of expertise: Mass media, digital culture, disasters, emotions and discourse analysis

Timothy Recuber's research explores the mass mediation of disasters, suffering and death. His work traces the shifting norms about these topics as they play out on television news and reality TV, in documentaries and online. He examines the subject in his book, Consuming Catastrophe: Mass Culture in America's Decade of Disaster (Temple University Press, 2016). The work looks at how media coverage of the September 11 attacks, Hurricane Katrina, the 2007 Virginia Tech shootings and the 2008 financial crisis encouraged viewers to empathize with the suffering of others – but in individualistic and short-sighted ways. Recuber's next project looks at the ways in which we engage with death and dying online – from social networking sites to online suicide notes to blogs of the terminally ill.

Penelope Dane, Lecturer in Communication

B.A., Rollins College; M.A., University of Massachusetts, Amherst; M.A., Ph.D., Louisiana State University

Penelope G. Dane's research focuses on mass-mediated representations of queer-lesbian caregiving and representations of women's "madness." Her research has been published in Gender & Society. Her writing about popular culture can be found on thestreet.com, Autostraddle.com, Bitch Magazine and most recently in Apogee's "Queerfolio." Her poetry has been published in the award-winning anthology This Assignment is So Gay: LGBTIQ Poets on the Art of Teaching and in The Fem. At Hamilton College, Dane has facilitated multiple diversity workshops and worked with Opportunities Programs and students of English as a second language. She taught at the University of Massachusetts and Louisiana State University. Dane also has taught English to young adult refugees in Utica, N.Y. She was the 2015 winner of the Ann Veronica Simon Outstanding Gender Studies Dissertation Award and of the 2015 William Faulkner Essay contest. Dane earned a bachelor's degree in sociology from Rollins College, a master's degree in sociology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and master's of fine arts degree Louisiana State University, where she also earned her doctorate in literature.