Communication Studies      Public Relations                                                                               Theatre                                     

Communication Major Information

Public Relations

The Associates of Science degree in public relations at Vincennes University prepares students to transfer to a four-year institution culminating in a baccalaureate degree.  Graduates with a public relations degree work for large and small corporations, government agencies, not-for-profit organizations, public officials, sports figures, famous people, public relations firms, advertising agencies, and marketing firms.  

Communication Studies

This program is designed to be an introduction to the academic field of Communication Studies.  Communication Studies faculty work with students to prepare them for work in sales, non-profit organizations, human resources, corporate training programs, government agencies, and healthcare industries.  This program will prepare students to transfer to a four year institution.  Students leaving this program will be able to demonstrate effective communication skills, problem-solving, leadership, and be able to think logically, critically and conceptually.


Theatre Arts, A.S. or A.A. Degree prepares students to transfer to a baccalaureate program at a four-year university.  Graduates with a theatre degree work for professional, non-profit and community theatres as actors, directors, makeup artists, designers, stage managers, technicians and playwrights.  Theatre graduates also work in film and television, as voice actors, and in theatre management.

Communication Faculty


MaryAnn Seward, Ph.D.

Chair, Communication Department

Associate Professor of Communication

Areas of Specialization:  Intercultural Communication, Interpersonal Communication, Public Relations, and Business Communication

Dr. Maryann Seward is the Chair of the Communication Department.  For the past 29 years Dr. Seward has developed and taught numerous courses in the areas of Communication Studies, Mass Communications, Spanish, and English --- and loves helping students succeed.

Dr. Seward is also a VU International Teacher – selected to teach and recruit at Funing County, China in the summer of 2017 and 2018. “Teaching in China was the most amazing and humbling experiences of my entire teaching career,” said Sunflower, “I look forward to teaching in China again.  The students are conscientious to detail, generous, and polite.”

Dr. Seward encourages students to check out her Public Relations, COMM 207, offered each spring.  It’s a social media classroom, satisfies VU’s (WR & S Intensive) requirements for graduation, and there are no exams!

Dr. Seward's Educational Background:

Associate of Arts - St. Louis Community College
Bachelor of Arts - University of Missouri
Secondary Education Spanish Concentration
Bachelor of Arts - University of Missouri
Communication Theory and Rhetoric, Spanish minor
Master of Science - Illinois State University
Thesis topic: Student's Perceptions of their Instructor's Communicator Styles, Teaching Effectiveness, and Charismatic Behaviors and Its Relationship to Student Grade Performance
Doctor of Philosophy - Southern Illinois University
Dissertation topic: How Intercultural Married Couples Negotiate their Identity and Build Third Culture

I’d love to meet you, hear about your future goals, and share the numerous career opportunities that await you with a degree in Public Relations and Communication or with a Communication Studies concentration.   Please reach out and email me at, or call me at 812-888-4378.  I look forward to helping you succeed at Vincennes University! ;-)


Kendra Clauser, MA

Program Chair, Theatre
Assistant Professor of Theatre
Areas of Specialization: 

Kendra Clauser is Program Chair and Assistant Professor for Vincennes University’s Theatre Program. Kendra previously taught at IUPUI and IPFW. In addition to teaching each year, she directs three productions and provides design support for costuming. Her directing and costuming experience includes educational and community theatre, such as a recent production of Our Town and the world premiere of Alice of Old Vincennes: A Musical. She also teaches theatre during ARTventures Summer Camp hosted at VU.

She earned her MA in Public History and Master’s Certificate in Museum Studies from IUPUI. In addition to her BA in theatre, she is currently working on her MA in Theatre at Regent University.


Karen Braselton, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Communication
Areas of Specialization: Health Communication, Communication Studies, Language Brokering, Culture

Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL:   Doctor of Philosophy, major areas of study  Speech Communication: Intercultural Communication and Communication Pedagogy

Dissertation: “Intercultural Encounters Between United States Health Care Providers and Hispanic Immigrant Health Care Seekers: A Critical Ethnography”

My areas of interest include: relational communication, intercultural communication, language brokering, health communication, and teaching at-risk students.  The courses I teach are Speech, Interpersonal, Communication Studies, Oral Interpretation of Literature, and Advertising.


Ann Hefner, M.F.A.

Assistant Professor of Communication
Areas of Specialization: Speech, Interpersonal Communication

Ann Hefner has been teaching at the college level since 2000. She holds an M.F.A. in Theatre Performance from Northern Illinois University. She completed coursework for an M.A. in Communication from University of Southern Indiana. She also has a certificate in Human Resource Management from Cornell University. She has been teaching courses in Speech, Interpersonal, and Organizational Communication, as well as Theatre Appreciation and Voice and Articulation. Ms. Hefner enjoys working with the students of the Communication Club.


Kathy Lay, MA

Assistant Professor of Communication
Areas of Specialization:

Kathy earned her BS in Speech Communication at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville and her MA in Communication from Eastern Illinois University.  She taught English Composition at Indiana State University for over 10 years, and gained administrative expertise serving as the Assistant to the Chief Judge of the Fifth Judicial Circuit in Illinois.  She has also created and conducted trainings for various organizations and published multiple inspirational articles and devotions. Currently, she is thrilled to be teaching Communication once again.



Marsha Heath, MA
Assistant Professor of Communication
Areas of Specialization: Speech, 



Communication Secretary


JoEllen Horne
Secretary, Performing Arts and Communication


Student Success Story

D’Lee Vieck – VU Alumna 2015

You may have heard the quote, “communication is the key.” Communication skills are one of the most highly sought after skills within both the work place and relationships. I knew that a career within communications was for me. Right after high school, I attended Vincennes University. Being able to develop a personal relationship with my professors was what I desired in a school and VU had exactly that. While going to school, I was able to gain valuable communication experience at a local not for profit organization in Vincennes as their Media Management Intern. I graduated Magna Cum Laude from VU with an Associates of Science in Public Relations and then transferred to the University of Southern Indiana. Because VU has articulated their transfer programs, the transition to the university was seamless.  After obtaining my Bachelors of Science in Public Relations and Advertising at USI, the job search began where I ultimately landed a great opportunity at Vincennes University, my alma mater.  I am currently the Program Coordinator for Project EXCEL which is Indiana’s first dual credit program that offers transcripted college credits to eligible high school students. Without Vincennes University, I would not be where I am today. I am proud to call myself a Trailblazer!

Student Success Story

Kyle Hultquist 

I started my junior year of college at the University of Southern Indiana in August. Since my start I’ve been enjoying my classes and making new friends as I continue my communications studies degree. I’ve also become an officer in USI’s College Republicans Club. In my hardest core class, my large project involves doing an ethnographic study over a certain culture. I’m conducting my research over gym culture, focusing on nonverbal communication and social interactions at USI’s weight room. So far it’s been really fun and interesting, I can’t wait until I’m finished to see the results.

Student Success Story

Holly Bittner

Holly Bittner graduated from Vincennes University in May 2018 where she received her Associates of Science in Public Relations and Communication.  Ms. Bittner was involved in various clubs such as the Communications Club, National Leadership Honor Society, and Alpha Beta Gamma Business Honor Society.  Ms. Bittner continues her education in the baccalaureate public relations and advertising program at the University of Southern Indiana where she is excelling academically. In the meantime, Holly has completed numerous internships and job opportunities that have strengthened her expertise in the field of communications. Her overall ambition in life is to seek God's will and perfect plan for her life.  Ms. Bittner touts that her degree in public relations and communication from Vincennes University has provided her valuable insights in networking, media resources, and professional speaking skills in order to become the best public relations administrator possible.