Andy Finn

Andy Finn

Andy Finn

Associate Professor

Public communication, media systems

T. Andrew Finn is an Associate Professor of Communication at George Mason University. He teaches communication because communication is one of the most important set of skills any young person needs in life. His favorite subjects to teach are interpersonal communication, public speaking, intercultural communication, and communication theory.

He likes teaching interpersonal and small group communication, because everyone can benefit from practical models, information, tips, and self-reflection about their relationships.

He likes teaching public speaking because so many students will eventually have the ability to change their little corner of the world. If they can see that now, they find extra motivation to start now and practice hard. Some even commit to regular, ongoing improvement after the course to get a jump on their presentation skills.

He likes teaching communication theory because any first course on theory also covers its relationship to research, evidence, and the how we know - or can agree on - something. The standards for knowledge vary not only across academic disciplines, but across sub-disciplines of communication.

Andy received a B.S. in Mathematics from St. John Fisher College (Rochester, N.Y.), an M.A. in Experimental Psychology from SUNY at Geneseo, and an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Washington University (St. Louis). He has previously taught communication at the University of Kentucky, Rutgers University, the University of Maryland, and New York University.

Andy is a member of the International Communication Association. He has served as Chair of both ICA's Communication and Technology (CAT) Division and NCA's Human Communication Technology (HCT) Division.

Andy came to academia after a career in the tech sector, primarily with AT&T and Bell Laboratories, working on communication and information technologies from a variety of perspectives including computer programming, human factors and user interface design, technology implementation and training, voice mail product management, and voice processing product line planning.

Andy started at GMU in 2000. In 2010, the students of the Department of Communication voted Andy Finn "Professor of the Year."  The students awarded that honor to him again in 2011.

Andy Finn is also a professional keynote speaker and trainer. He is a member of the National Speakers Association and serves on the Board of its Washington, DC Chapter (NSA-DC). He speaks and trains on presentation skills, personal and professional development, interpersonal communication skills, and paradigms and perspectives.

Andy was a founding member of the George Mason University Toastmasters club in 2008 and is a Distinguished Toastmaster. GMU Toastmasters meets on the Fairfax campus every Wednesday at 12 noon, except the 3rd week of each month, when we meet on Thursday. Check the web site for information.

Andy is also a radio talk show host. The Andy Finn Show began on WRFL radio (Lexington, KY) in 1999. After a 3-year hiatus, it moved to WGMU radio (Fairfax, VA) in 2004, and finally to WEBR (Fairfax, VA) in 2006. Previous shows, segments, and writings can be found at:

In 2009 Andy teamed up with Associate Professor John Clark (University of Kentucky) and his weekly radio show is now called The Finner & Clark Expedition. You can hear it every Monday evening, 9-10 PM (on Cox Cable Fairfax, VA's Channel 37, Comcast Cable Reston, VA's Channel 27, and Verizon FIOS TV's Channel 37 in Fairfax, Prince William, and Stafford Counties, and on the Internet.

Courses Taught

Comm 100 - Public Speaking

Comm 101 - Interpersonal and Small Group Communication

Comm 200 – Introduction to Communication

Comm 250 - Introduction to Research Methods

Comm 431 - Information Technologies & the Political Process

Comm 435 - Computers and Communication

Comm 535 - Organizational Communication

Comm 536 - Communication Consulting

Tele 350 - Telecommunications Systems

Tele 450 - The Structure of the Telecommunications Industry

Tele 730 - Telecommunications Management

Web Sites

There's a New Yorker joke that just tickles me no end. A public speaker is introduced with: "Our next speaker looked into the abyss and took a few notes." I suppose it's funny to me because, unless you're a scientist carefully and systematically collecting data, you're probably like most of us: we may have strong opinions, but all we've really done to develop them is take a few notes and then start talking!

The web sites below cover the gamut of what I see when I look into the abyss - whatever that actually means . . .

Finn Land  -  Andy's Early 21st Century GMU Web Site (Great archival and fun info;  all courses since 2008 are on Blackboard instead)

The Andy Finn Show  -  Andy's Longest-running Radio Show - Audio and Text Archives

Finner & Clark Expedition  - Current Radio Show, Co-Hosted with John Clark (University of Kentucky)

Courses Taught

Public speaking
Interpersonal communication