Speech Communication


Tech communication students explore options


July 5, 2014, Monroe News-Star

RUSTON — The possibilities for a career in a communications field are not necessarily endless, but they certainly have a wide range.

“Students in our School of Communication will be able to enter business, public relations, government work, news media, nonprofits, journalism, education, broadcast journalism, and the film or entertainment industry,” said Donald Kaczvinsky, dean of the College of Liberal Arts. “In fact, degrees in communications are some of the most sought after in the current market.”

The newly formed School of Communication at Louisiana Tech University merges the disciplines of journalism, speech and theater to offer students a well-rounded and highly-marketable degree. As each of the fields are converging with technological advancements, the School of Communication will put all the skills in one place.

“Consistently, employers state that they are looking for students with strong oral and written communication skills,” Kaczvinsky said. “In other words, it's a hot field. I also feel these are the skills that are at the core of a liberal arts education. We have reorganized to give greater emphasis to the array of communication skills we teach. We also allow students to work a vastly greater range of the communication formats than previously available, including social media, films, digital design and web media.”

According to the 2013 Job Outlook Study from the National Association of Colleges and Employers, the ability to verbally communicate with persons inside and outside the organization was identified as the top “soft” skill sought by employers when recruiting college graduates.

Lisa Merritt, an instructor of speech communication, said she is excited about the future collaborative efforts.

“It’s an invigorating opportunity to work directly with faculty in each of the disciplines and to appreciate the work that each area is doing all in an effort to better serve the students,” Merritt said. “Communication studies is a major ideal for students with multiple interests and diverse talents.”
Louisiana Tech is seeking to prepare all of its students, regardless of major, with strong communications skills that many employers don’t feel are being provided by the nation’s colleges and universities. A 2012 Chronicle of Higher Education and American Public Media study titled, “The Role of Higher Education in Career Development: Employer Perceptions,” found that when it comes to the skills most needed by employers, job candidates are lacking most in written and oral communication skills, adaptability and managing multiple priorities, and making decisions and problem solving.

Blake Bolin, a junior journalism student, said he thinks Louisiana Tech’s new School of Communications will offer students more opportunities.


Young Alumnus of the Year Recipient for 2013


Yound Alumnus of the Year 2013 


Alumnus of the Year 2013


Tippen, a 2004 Speech Communication graduate from West Monroe who lives in the San Francisco area, is a Public and Government Affairs Representative and Special Projects Manager for the Chevron Corporation.  He serves as a company spokesman on global issues ranging from climate change, labor negotiations, energy policy, and fuel prices, to refining/manufacturing operations.  He is also a member of Chevron's global crisis response team that assists with public and government affairs in any crisis surrounding its global operations in over 100 countries around the world.

In addition to serving on the front lines of the company, Tippen also provides strategic media relations and external communications counsel to C-level executives and global operating companies particularly around crisis issues including oil spills, facility fires, protests, and other operating issues.


Louisiana Tech Debate Makes State History


Debate award


For the first time in Louisiana state history, a team has been accepted to the Worlds Universities Debate Championship. Louisiana Tech University will be sending a debate team to the largest and most prestigious debate tournament in the world. Sam Hathorn, a sophomore education major from Alexandria, and Ben Markway, a senior accounting major from Deville, will compete in late December in Chennai, India.

Ben Markway said “I’m extremely excited and honored to be given this opportunity to represent Louisiana Tech University at the Worlds Universities Debating Championship in India. This is a chance of a lifetime, and I can’t wait to compete.”

The Worlds Universities Debate Championship (WUDC) accepts only the top debaters from the top debate programs, which is a held in a new country every year. The admissions process starts7 months prior to the actual competition. Thousands of debate programs from around the world submit applications, but only 300 teams are chosen. This year’s competition will be held in Chennai, India.

Sam Hathorn explains “The thrill of competitive debate at the world championship level makes for a promise of an amazing experience. Without the education that I’ve learned at Tech, this level of competition wouldn’t have been possible.”

Tech’s debate team has been on a hot streak this past year. The team started last season at the United States Air Force Academy beating teams such as Duke, Cornell and Michigan; and ending the season taking second place at Purdue. As the team has been expanding within the National and International circuits, there are no signs of their momentum slowing.

If you would like any further information concerning the Louisiana Tech Debate Team, please contact Shane Puckett, Director of Debate, at spuckett@latech.edu.


Our Mission

Through teaching and research, the Department of Speech Communication addresses the many ways communication functions to create, sustain, and transform personal life, interpersonal relations, small group relations, organizational culture, cultural conversations in society, and the effects of ethics and the media on society; promote competencies required for various modes of communication; and develop skills for analyzing, interpreting, and critiquing communication problems and questions.

Main Statement

Today's careers require the ability to communicate clearly, both verbally and in writing, and to understand how communication works within organizations and small groups and between individuals.  Our diverse, rapidly-changing society rewards those who communicate persuasively and effectively with consumers, clients, and others across cultural boundaries.  The Department of Speech offers a B.A. degree in Speech Communication that prepares you for success in your career by offering: 


  • Outstanding Faculty

Our faculty are committed to quality teaching and learning.  You will learn the latest theories and principles as well as practical applications.  Many of our faculty are well known in their fields of study, and all stay current through a combination of research activities and communication consulting.

  • Flexibility

The degree provides career flexibility - you do not have to decide during your college years on a specific career pathway.  You can enjoy the advantages of a college education and the special advantages that come with excellent communication skills, because these skills are highly valued by all employers including those in business, industry, nonprofit, organizations, government, and educational institutions.

  • Opportunities for Intercollegiate Competition

Many students, including non-majors, elect to join our Debate Team,  which consistently ranks at or near the top in competitions across the nation.  Debate provides students with invaluable experiences in improving communication skills, which are an asset in almost any career, including law.

  • Commitment to Students

The department values its students and treats them accordingly.  You will be able to work with your adviser to design a program that meets your individual needs, and faculty will work hard to make sure that you have a rich learning experience as you progress through the program.

  • Dynamic Students

Students who select speech communication as their major enjoy communication and are generally more adept at managing interpersonal dynamics.


Department Honors Outstanding Students

The Department of Speech hosted a reception in the GTM Auditorium May 2014 to recognize and honor its outstanding students in speech during the academic year 2013 - 2014.

The awards went to the following students:

Speech Debate Achievement Award

Hannah Schilling

Speech Communication Outstanding Undergraduate

Sarah Jones

College of Liberal Arts Outstanding Students

Speech Communication:  Sarah Jones


Individuals are treated in a nondiscriminatory manner-that is, without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national or ethnic origin, disability, age, sexual orientation, genetic information, citizenship, or status as a covered veteran.  The institution and program comply with all applicable laws, regulations, and executive orders pertaining thereto.

  • Apply Now!
Debate Team