Experienced faculty with diverse interests
The faculty members in the Department of Languages, Cultures and Communication bring decades of teaching and research experience and deep knowledge of the importance of communication. The majority of our faculty members hold doctorate degrees in their chosen field, and they represent diverse areas of expertise.
Faculty in communication studies specialize in areas that include interpersonal, organizational, public and media studies, as well as crisis response and health communication.
Modern languages faculty with expertise in literature, linguistics and international and intercultural communication help students acquire foreign language proficiency to work with bilingual populations and enter a global workforce. In addition to applied skills, language students experience a robust program of literature, film studies and linguistics in Spanish, French, German and Portuguese.
Dr. Jeana Paul-Ureña holds a doctorate in Spanish and Portuguese from Texas Tech University. Her research interests include women writers, film studies and music. She is a former President of the Southwest Council of Latin American Studies (SCOLAS) and currently serves as Editor of The SCOLAS Journal.
Brittany Adkison-King holds a master’s in Spanish from the University of North Texas.
Dr. Carlos Cuadra
Dr. Carlos Cuadra holds a doctorate in Spanish from the University of Colorado at Boulder. His research interests include poetry, film and literature. Dr. Cuadra leads the department’s weekly Spanish Conversation Table.
Dr. Paulo Dutra
Assistant Professor, Spanish and Portuguese
Dr. Paulo Dutra earned his doctorate in Spanish at Purdue University. He leads the department’s weekly Portuguese Conversation Table. His research interests include Peninsular and Brazilian literature.
Catherine Huh holds an All But Dissertation in communication from the University of California, Davis. Her research interests include relationships between citizens and the news media.
Dr. Joyce Johnston
Dr. Joyce Johnston has taught all levels of French language, Francophone literature, culture and civilization as well as introductory Spanish. Her primary research interests are 19th century French women dramatists, French theater, gender and humor. She is the author of the book Women Dramatists, Humor and the French Stage: 1802-1855. Johnston holds a Master of Arts in French literature and a Ph.D. in French literature from Indiana University.
Assistant Professor, Communication Studies
Dr. Carrie Kennedy-Lightsey holds a doctorate in communication from West Virginia University. Research interests include interpersonal communication and the dark side of communication.
Dr. Larry King
Dr. Larry King earned his doctorate in communication from the University of Oklahoma. Research interests include public and political communication and assessment.
Lecturer, Communication Studies
Laurie Lawrence holds an ABD in communication from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Research interests include public awareness and communication of issues such as human trafficking.
Dr. Linda Levitt
Dr. Linda Levitt earned her doctorate in communication from University of South Florida. Her research interests include the intersections of media studies, cultural memory and gender studies. Levitt is the coordinator of the gender studies minor.
Kathleen McGough holds a master’s in communication and public relations from SFA.
Dr. Gabriela Miranda-Recinos
Dr. Gabriela Miranda-Recinos earned a doctorate in Spanish from the University of California at Riverside. Her research interests include 20th and 21st century literature from Mexico and Colombia and cultural networks in Latin America and Brazil.
Dr. Perry Moon holds a master’s in French literature from Indiana University. His research interests include film studies and the work of Jean-Paul Sartre.
Kelsey Pelham earned a master’s in Hispanic studies from Stephen F. Austin State University.
Dr. José Neftalí Recinos
Dr. José Neftalí Recinos holds a doctorate in Spanish from the University of California at Riverside. His research interests include 20th and 21st century Mexican and Central American fiction and their intersection with narrative, critical posthumanism, disability and anthrozoological studies. He is the coordinator of SFA’s Latin American Studies minor.
Tom Reynolds holds a master’s in English from Stephen F. Austin State University.
Dr. Sudeshna Roy
Dr. Sudeshna Roy holds a doctorate in communication from Washington State University. Her research interests include intercultural communication, peace and conflict studies and the media.
Dr. Gregory Smith
Dr. Gregory Smith earned a doctorate in communication from the University of South Florida.
Dr. Elizabeth Spradley
Dr. Elizabeth Spradley holds a doctorate in communication from Texas A&M University. Her research interests include narratives, the transition to parenthood, work-life balance, risk communication and health communication.
Dr. Tyler Spradley
Dr. Tyler Spradley earned a doctorate in communication from Texas A&M University. His research interests include crisis and risk communication, high reliability organizations, leadership and conflict management.
Dr. Louise Stoehr
Dr. Louise Stoehr holds a doctorate in German from the University of Texas. Her research interests include applied linguistics and the learning of German, language learning technology, modern German literature, literary translation and comparative cultural studies with an emphasis on sustainability issues.
She leads the department’s weekly German Conversation Table, and she is the faculty sponsor/advisor for SFA’s German Club.
Dr. James Towns
Dr. James Towns holds a doctorate in communication from Southern Illinois University. His research interests include interpersonal communication, crisis communication and mentoring.
Dr. Juan Carlos Urena
Dr. Juan Carlos Urena holds a doctorate in Hispanic studies from Texas A&M University. His research interests include music, poetry and literature, as well as creative artistic production.
Kimberly Squyres Wagner
Dr. Kimberly Wagner holds a master’s in communication from Stephen F. Austin State University. She is the director of SFA’s award-winning debate team and the recipient of SFA’s 2012 Outstanding University Adjunct Faculty Member award.
Kim Wells earned a master’s in Spanish from Stephen F. Austin State University.
Tyler Welsh holds an All But Dissertation in communication from the University of Texas.
Dr. Christopher Sams
Dr. Christopher Sams holds a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from Youngstown State University, a Master of Arts in linguistics from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a Ph.D. in romance linguistics from SUNY University at Buffalo. He holds an advanced certificate in forensic linguistics from The Forensic Linguistics Institute, and he is a certified online course developer and instructor at SFA. He is the coordinator of the English education program. Under his guidance, the English education program at SFA has become one of a half-dozen programs in the state of Texas to be nationally certified with the National Council of Teachers of English.
Dr. Jessica Sams
Dr. Jessica Sams’ research and teaching interests include general linguistics, psycholinguistics and neurolinguistics, English etymology and grammar and the study of literature from a linguistic perspective. She holds a Bachelor of Science in English from Truman State University and a Master of Arts and a Ph.D. in linguistics from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Sams created SFA’s unique Invented Languages course, which includes the study of languages invented for works like The Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones.