Academics

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Communication Faculty

Bluma, Jennifer R. - Ph.D. - Regent University

Dr. Reilly Bluma teaches speech communication courses. Her special research interests are critical rhetoric, digital culture and postcolonial studies. Bluma's work has contributed to studies of silence as a language and new theories of communication bias and hegemony in digital networks. She has been a member of Concordia-Chicago’s faculty since 2016.

Ericsson, Susan - Ph.D. - Northwestern University

Dr. Ericsson teaches digital video production, film history and mass media communication courses and serves as advisor to WCGR Radio and Television. Her documentaries have screened at the United Nations, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, South by Southwest, the American Anthropological Association Festival, and several of her documentaries have received American Library Association awards.  Among Ericsson's research interests are cinema in the United States, international film, documentary film and video, media product placements and cultural criticism.

Hauser, Todd - M.A.

Todd Hauser teaches Journalism in the Department of Communication. He teaches a range of theoretical, applied and historical classes. He is also the advisor of The Spectator, the University's student newspaper.

Jurecka, Leigh - MFA - Northwestern University

Leigh Jurecka teaches Introduction to Film, Scriptwriting and Writing the TV Pilot. She is an acclaimed filmmaker and producer whose work includes Aunt Lorraine, Luck is a Four-Letter Word, and Habana Libre. Her films have screened at numerous festivals and she is a fellow at Kartemquin Films.

Knoell, David - MFA, University of Central Florida

David Knoell is an artist-in-residence with the Concordia-Chicago Department of Theater and also teaches classes in Communication. As an undergraduate, he was a finalist and champion in national and international forensics competitions. Knoell is a director and producer and currently has two shows enjoying open-runs at both The Playground Theatre and the Second City Training Center in Chicago.   

Michaelsen, Mary

Mary fell in love with the field of Communication while talking her first introduction to speech course in college. After graduation, she became a Graduate Teaching Assistant at Ball State University and taught the basic public speaking course while concurrently taking classes toward her Master's degree. She currently works full time as a Marketing Coordinator for a construction company in the Chicago land area. Mary enjoys being an adjunct professor at Concordia University Chicago and currently teaches Speech Communication. She enjoys watching her students become better public speakers throughout the semester and loves learning from her students. Her research interests include narrative, organizational and qualitative communication.

Mullen, Dona - B.S. - Illinois State University

Dona Mullen has taught Radio I and Radio II for over ten years at Concordia University Chicago. She is a professional deejay who works at 104.3 K-HITS/CBS Chicago and 90.9 FM WDCB Public Radio. She also works as an actress and instructs classes at Columbia College Chicago.

Pollom, Laura - Ph.D. - University of Missouri – Columbia

Dr. Pollom has been with Concordia University Chicago since 2005 and has been chair of the Department since 2008. Dr. Pollom teaches a variety of Communication courses from Interpersonal to Organizational and Business Communication in both the undergraduate and graduate levels and in both face to face and online formats. Pollom earned a bachelor’s degree in Communication from DePauw University, a Master’s degree from Ball State University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Missouri, Columbia.

Salek, Thomas - Ph.D. - University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Dr. Salek received his Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Public Culture from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Department of Communication. His dissertation focused on President Barack Obama’s leadership and communication strategies for pursuing political change in an age of ultra-partisanship. His research interests cross the boundaries of presidential rhetoric, political campaigns, public relations, rhetorical and critical theory, and strategic communication responses to public controversies. Before pursuing a Ph.D. in Communication, Dr. Salek worked as a Communication Consultant for Allstate Insurance. He has been with Concordia’s faculty since 2018.