Our Faculty

Nancy Brule

Professor, Department Chair

Started at Bethel in 2004

Education: B.S., Moorhead State University; M.S., Mankato State University, 1996; Ph.D., University of Nebraska

Areas of expertise: Brule's research interests include family communication, adolescent/parent communication, high-risk adolescents, conflict, and abusive relationships.

Michael Dreher

Professor, Director of M.A. in Communication, Director of Forensics
Started at Bethel in 1997

Education: B.A., Speech Communication/Theater and Mathematics, North Central College; M.A., Communication Studies, University of Iowa; Ph.D., Speech Communication, Louisiana State University

Areas of expertise: In addition to teaching, Dreher is director of the forensics program. His research and publishing have focused on political and religious rhetoric, the rhetoric of mathematics and science, and forensic pedagogy. He is also interested in issues of web accessibility and standards.

Leta Frazier


Started at Bethel in 1982

Education: B.A., English, Tennessee Temple College; M.A.T., English, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga; M.A., University of Minnesota; Ph.D., University of Minnesota

Areas of expertise: Frazier conducts research in the areas of family communication, interpersonal communication, gender communication, and higher education.

Phil Frazier

Adjunct Assistant Professor

Started at Bethel in 1988

Education: B.A., Tennessee Temple College; M.Div., Northern Baptist Theological Seminary; Additional graduate work at Bethel Seminary and University of Minnesota

Areas of expertise: Frazier's research interests include interpersonal communication and family communication, areas in which he also teaches.

Andrew Gess

Associate Professor, Director of Internships

Started at Bethel in 2001

Education: B.A., Azusa Pacific University; M.Div., Fuller Theological Seminary; M.Ed., Oregon State University; Ph.D., Regent University

Areas of expertise: Gess conducts research in the areas of organizational and corporate communication, rhetorical theory, media ecology, and the study of social movements.

Peggy Kendall


Started at Bethel in 1999

Education: B.A., Communication, Bethel University; M.A., Education, University of St. Thomas; M.A., Counseling Psychology, St. Mary's University; Ph.D., Communication, University of Minnesota

Areas of expertise: Kendall has focused her research and writing on how adolescents use social media, how youth pastors are deploying these tools in ministry, and how parents can help teens use online communication in a safe and satisfying manner.

Jessica Samens

Instructor, Assistant Director of Forensics

Started at Bethel in 2009

Education: B.A., Communication, Winona State University; M.A., Speech Communication, Minnesota State University-Mankato

Areas of expertise: Samens’ research interests include disability and communication; teaching public speaking to international students; and gender communication. She is assistant director of the forensics program.

Ripley Smith


Started at Bethel in 2008

Education: B.A., University of Dubuque; M.A., University of Minnesota; Ph.D., University of Minnesota

Areas of expertise: Smith has research interests in social networks and socio-cultural adjustment, trust development in partnerships across cultures and organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), international crisis intervention processes, and prophetic rhetoric.

Scott Sochay

Associate Professor

Started at Bethel in 1999

Education: B.A., Michigan State University; MBA, Michigan State University; Ph.D., Michigan State University

Areas of expertise: Sochay's research and teaching interests include media law, media technology, and Native Americans and the media.

Artie Terry

Associate Professor

Started at Bethel in 2006

Education: B.S., TV/Radio Production, Syracuse University; M.A., Film Production, Regent University; Ph.D., Cinema Studies, Regent University

Areas of expertise: Terry's research interests include screenwriting, film, the history of film, and the films of African American filmmakers.

Joel S. Ward

Started at Bethel in 2012

Education: B.A., English Literature, Huntington University; M.A., Communication and Rhetorical Studies, Duquesne University; Ph.D., Rhetoric, Duquesne University.

Areas of expertise: Ward's research interests include interpersonal communication, communication ethics, intercultural communication and crisis communication.