Melissa Broeckelman-Post is the Basic Course Director and an Associate Professor for the Department of Communication

by Jennifer Shaskan

Melissa Broeckelman-Post is the Basic Course Director and an Associate Professor for the Department of Communication

Melissa Broeckelman-Post is the Basic Course Director and an Associate Professor for the Department of Communication. In her role as Basic Course Director, Broeckelman-Post is responsible for recruitment of instructors and tailoring of the curriculum for our fundamentals of communication (COMM 101) course—a requirement for all undergraduate students at Mason. The best thing about these roles is the balance of administrative work, teaching, and research Broeckelman-Post engages in to provide an overall positive and beneficial educational experience for both students and instructors.

As an Associate Professor, Broeckelman-Post has taught a variety of courses encompassing her many areas of interests. These include: Fundamentals of Communication (COMM 101), Research Methods (COMM 400), Graduate Seminar in Instructional Communication (COMM 653), and Research Methods II (COMM 750). Her favorite part of teaching both undergraduate and graduate courses is watching students and basic course instructors grow.

Her dedication to teaching was recognized recently when she won the John Toups Presidential Medal for Faculty Excellence in Teaching. This honor is given to those who inspire and stimulate students in higher education. Broeckelman-Post stated, “We know communication makes life better right? We are in people’s relationships, we’re improving their professional outcomes, we’re improving how they do some of their future courses and knowing that’s the effect is really motivating.”

Broeckelman-Post’s love of communication was sparked during her undergraduate education at Kansas State University. While earning her bachelors in English, her rhetoric classes were always her favorite which combined with her background in forensics led her to pursue a masters in speech communication and rhetoric at Kansas State. During her doctoral studies at Ohio University, Broeckelman-Post was given the opportunity to combine her passions for education, forensics, and communication into her research endeavors—themes that are true of her research to date.

Some of Broeckelman-Post’s current projects are years in the making—including her third textbook. “The book really brings identity, inclusion, and diversity all the way through,” which fills a significant gap in the field of communication education she explained. Broeckelman-Post is also currently contributing to several projects evaluating the effectiveness of online learning and distance learning models in regards to student performance, support, and practicality. 

Other research Broeckelman-Post is excited about is the several projects happening regarding the efficiency of the Communication Center which she helped to create. The Communication Center supports students and faculty at Mason through one-on-one coaching. While it is currently only for COMM 101 students, the goal is to gain the resources and support to expand the services to support the entire campus.

For graduating students Broeckelman-Post advises to “never underestimate the value of listening to other people and helping other people feel heard.” She emphasized that self-care needs to priority because you cannot put energy into other things properly if you are not giving energy and commitment to yourself.