Lara Needham, Ph.D.
Dean, School of Communication / B.A., Communication, Hanover College; M.A., Public Communication, American University; Ph.D., Health Communication, University of Kentucky.
Teaching/research interests: Public communication, including public relations and campaigns, media and children, health communication and political communication; Public speaking and rhetoric, including persuasion, business communication and basic public speaking.
Lara Needham has more than a decade of experience in the field of communication as a health researcher, writer, speaker and educator. Her research includes an examination of the impact of physician’s persuasive messages on older women’s mammography noncompliance. She is also the founder and CEO of BabyPro, an award-winning children’s media company that produces sports-themed DVDs for babies and toddlers. BabyPro’s products have appeared in numerous national media outlets including Parenting and Scholastic magazine, and have received fifteen national awards. Needham teaches classes in Public Relations, Children and Media, Mass Media and Politics, Public Speaking and Business Communication.
Gail R. Henson, Ph.D.
Professor / B.A., English, DePauw University; M.A., English, University of Louisville; Ph.D. English, University of Louisville.
Teaching/research interests: End-of-life communication; media effects on children,communication and the elderly, intercultural communication,international communication, educational policy especially regarding literacy.
Gail Henson, Professor and Chair, founded Bellarmine’s Department of Communication in 1987. Henson’s academic interests in end-of-life communication, communication and the elderly, and intercultural communication are reflected in her research, teaching, as well service to a great number of organizations, including Louisville’s Metro Healthy Communities Initiative, Highland Community Ministries, and Bellarmine’s Multiculturalism Task Force.
Dr. Henson’s publications include “Managing Anger within Healthcare Systems: Necessary Strategies for Quality” in the Proceedings of International Conference on Healthcare Systems, “Communicating Last Things: Strategies for Teaching about Death and Dying Through Art, Music, and Literature,” in Proceedings of Hawaii International Conference on the Arts and Humanities, and “The Effects of Television on Children and Adolescents” in the Basic Handbook of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (John Wiley Publishers, 1999). She is also the author of The Gentle Agitator: An Oral Biography of Dr. Samuel Robinson (2008, Bellarmine University Press).
Ruth R. Wagoner, Ph.D.
Director of Graduate Studies / Professor / B.A., History, Bellarmine University; M.A., Rhetoric and Public Address, Western Kentucky University; Ph.D., Organizational and Interpersonal Communication, University of Kentucky.
Teaching/research interests: organizational communication (how people use communication to get work done), critical thinking skills (identifying most important issues, linking premises and conclusions with evidence), opening statements in trials.
Ruth Wagoner was inducted into the Hall of Fame for the American Mock Trial Association in 2007. She is Director of Graduate Studies for the Master of Arts in Communication. She has won several teaching awards and is included in Who's Who Among America's Teachers. Publications include " “How Supervisors Convey Routine Bad News: Facework at UPS," Southern Communication Journal, Spring, 1999. Presentations include "Storytelling in Opening Statements of Courtroom Trials,” Speech Communication Association National Convention, Fall, 1992 and “Mock Trial as a Tool for Teaching Critical Thinking,” National Communication Association Meeting 2004. Wagoner's current research interest is in how mock trial develops critical thinking skills.
Kyle S. Barnett, Ph.D.
Associate Professor / B.A., English and Philosophy, Indiana University-Indianapolis; M.A., American Culture Studies, Bowling Green State University; Ph.D., Radio-Television-Film, University of Texas-Austin.
Teaching/research interests: media studies, media history, media industry studies, sound studies, popular music studies, cultural studies.
Kyle Barnett’s publications include “Furniture Music: The Phonograph as Furniture” in the Journal of Popular Music Studies, “The Selznick Studio, ‘Spellbound’ and the Marketing of Film Music,” in Music, Sound, and the Moving Image, and "The Recording Industry's Role in Media History" in Convergence Media History. He is former co-editor of The Velvet Light Trap and former graduate editor of Flow.
Kimberly A. Parker, Ph.D.
Associate Professor/ B.A., Political Science/Municipal Management, University of Central Oklahoma; M.A. Urban Affairs, University of Central Oklahoma; Ph.D., Communication (Interpersonal and Social Influence), University of Oklahoma
Dr. Kimberly Parker is Associate Professor in the School of Communication. She received her Ph.D. in Interpersonal/Social Influence with an emphasis in Health Communication. Dr. Parker has taught at the University of Oklahoma, Georgetown College, and the University of Central Oklahoma, before joining the Bellarmine University faculty. She has extensive teaching experience at both the undergraduate and graduate level, having taught Principles of Communication, Public Speaking, Statistics, Persuasion, Interpersonal Communication, Conflict and Communication, Research Methods, Communication Theory, Social Marketing, Health Communication, Gender, Integrated Marketing Communication and Business Communication.
Dr. Parker’s research interests include interpersonal, social influence, and integrated marketing communication, often with an emphasis in health. Her program of study has consistently been applied to extending our knowledge of Inoculation Theory. Dr. Parker’s inoculation work has appeared in numerous publications. She is also interested in increasing our understanding of interpersonal sexual communication and has recently extended her research to the area of bullying in the workplace. Her work has appeared in Human Communication Research, Communication Research Reports, Journal of Public Relations Research, Communication Quarterly, Health Communication, The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Central Business Review, The International Journal of the Image, Communication Studies and other publications.
In addition to her academic work and teaching, Dr. Parker worked for the Institute for Child Advocacy for many years. She worked for a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) project aimed at reducing teen pregnancies. Dr. Parker served as the health communication/social marketing liaison and worked with faith initiatives. Dr. Parker also coordinated the Teen Outreach Program (TOP), a program aimed at reducing school drop out and teen pregnancy rates and improving school achievement.
Winnie Spitza, J.D.
Chair of Undergraduate Studies / B.A., Journalism and Public Relations, Western Kentucky University; M.A., Communications, University of Kentucky; J.D., Law, University of Louisville.
Teaching Experience/Interests: Public Speaking, Interpersonal Communication, Business and Professional Communication; Public Relations, Communication Theory, Media Law.
Work Experience: Legislative correspondent, United Press International; Asst. Community Relations Manager, Louisville Free Public Library; Editorial Asst., Public Affairs Office, Internal Revenue Service; Private Civil Law Practice, Indiana.
In addition to teaching a variety of communication courses at Bellarmine, Winnie Spitza’s background is in journalism, public relations, and business communication. She has worked as a legislative correspondent for United Press International, community relations manager for the Louisville Free Public Library, and as an editorial assistant for the Internal Revenue Services’ Public Affairs Office. She has also served as an attorney in a private civil law practice in the state of Indiana.
Moira O’Keeffe, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor / B.A., Liberal Arts with a concentration in Media Studies, New School for Social Research; M.A., Broadcasting, Telecommunication and Mass Media, Temple University; Ph.D., Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania.
Teaching/research interests: Visual communication, film and media studies, cultural studies, digital media.
Moira O’Keeffe’s research deals with the cultural influence of popular entertainment media. Her current project focuses on the impact of how science is portrayed in fictional films and television programs. She has presented portions of this work at the 2008 National Communication Association Doctoral Honors Seminar and the 2008 Society for Cinema and Media Studies Conference. Her article about the formal features of Argentine documentaries, “Evidence and absence: Documenting the Desaparecidos of Argentina” was published in Communication, Culture and Critique in 2009.
Instructor / B.A., Telecommunication, University of Kentucky; M.A., Radio/Television/Film, University of Kansas.
Teaching Experience/Interests: Public Speaking, Television Sports Broadcasting and Sports Media Relations.
Work Experience: In his previous position as Sports Director/Executive Sports Producer with WAVE TV in Louisville, KY, Gary Fogle created the daily schedule of sports coverage, scheduled crews and handled all logistical items for the sports department. He produced and often anchored or reported daily sports stories. In addition he supervised and led the five-person sports department and managed their budget.
Fogle also served as Sports Reporter/Anchor and Photographer for WHAS TV in Louisville. Fogle still does some on air work on occassion for both WHAS and WAVE TV.
Regular Part-Time Faculty
Regular adjuncts include (but are not limited to): Chris Becker, Raymond Bailey Ph.D., Kimberly Conley, Linda Raymond, Matt Schuster, Michael Strawser, Jim Wagoner, and Ann Zeman.