Mon. Jul 4th, 2022


     Dr. Mary Braz, Assistant Professor in the Communication Studies Department, earned her undergraduate degree at Michigan State University in communication. She continued her education with a masters degree at Northern Illinois University and studied communication. At Michigan State University she earned her Ph.D. in communication with emphases in group dynamics and social influence.


        Braz started at WCU in the fall of 2008. She has taught as an instructor and graduate teaching assistant at other institutions since 2002. She advises the Graduate Student Organization in communication. She has advised it since she founded it last year. 


      Braz routinely teaches small group communication, groups in organizations and societies, graduate research methods, and public speaking in the summer and winter terms. 


     Her best professional achievement is receiving recognition of teaching excellence from the Honor’s College at WCU.


     Braz’s best life achievement is the “relationships I have with my family and friends.” Her current academic goal is “to offer a course on jury decision-making. This course would give WCU students the opportunity to understand processes and consequences of jury decision-making by analyzing communication between jurors.” She hopes to begin offering it in Summer 2012.


     Her current non-academic goal is sewing curtains for all of the windows in her house. 


      When asked what she loves most about teaching she said, “the students at WCU. My students are bright, engaged, and can apply course concepts and theories to their lives outside the classroom in insightful and impressive ways.” The thing she loves most about WCU is enjoying “collaborating with my colleagues to shape curriculum and research.”


       Her advice to students is to “avoid stagnation. You don’t have to have your entire life, or even the next four years, all figured out right now. But don’t let indecision lead to inaction. Work toward any goal right now, knowing you can always change courses later if need be.”


       Braz made a final comment and said, “Thank you to the students, faculty, and staff at WCU for making this such a great place to work.”


      Her office is located in 404 Main Hall. She can be contacted via e-mail at

     Rebekah Balmer is a fifth-year student majoring in women’s and gender studies and sociology. She can be reached at

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