Dr. Kalen M.A. Churcher

Dr. Kalen M.A. Churcher

Assistant Professor

Office Location:
Dunleavy 334


Dr. Kalen Churcher joined the Communication Studies Department in 2008. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication from Wilkes University and her Master of Science degree in Human Resources from the University of Scranton. In 2008, she received her Ph.D. in Mass Communications from the Pennsylvania State University.

Prior to coming to NU, Dr. Churcher taught fulltime for one year at Penn State University while she was completing her dissertation. She was also an adjunct professor at Wilkes University. Prior to teaching, Dr. Churcher was a newspaper reporter for nearly seven years at the Times Leader newspaper in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., and remains involved in freelance news writing.

Focus of Teaching

At NU, Dr. Churcher teaches Stereotyping in the Media, Politics in the Media, Media Literacy, Media Theory and History and Mass Media and Culture. She also teaches the Senior Seminar Course and a graduate-level Contemporary First Amendment Issues course.

At other universities, she has taught courses on mass media law, journalism, mass media and society and media ethics.

Current Research

Her research interests include the relationships between mass media, self-governance and control; the alternative media of subcultures; and contemporary first amendment issues. She is particularly interested in inmate-produced media and spent several months at the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola researching its media. Her work takes a critical/cultural approach to communications using qualitative research methods.

Dr. Churcher has published her research in the Voices of Democracy project and the Louisiana Communication Journal. She has also presented her research at regional, national and international conferences, including: the International Communication Association, National Communication Association, the Association for Education in Journalism & Mass Communication; the International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry; and the Association for Cultural Studies Crossroads in Cultural Studies.

Her paper, "You have the Right to Remain Silent or You May Choose to Put Your Words into Print: The Rikers Review and the Prison Press as Advocacy Journalism," was chosen in 2006 as a Top 3 paper by the History Division of AEJMC.

In November 2009, she presented the paper: "Governing Oneself for Life: Situating Michel Foucault's Governmentality at the Louisiana State Penitentiary" at the NCA-Chicago.

Current Involvement

Dr. Churcher is a volunteer at the Heart, Love & Soul Soup Kitchen in Niagara Falls.