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Batchelor Named New Communication Chair


GREENVILLE, Pa.—Thiel College will welcome Bob Batchelor, Ph.D. as Associate Professor of Communication and Pedas Endowed Chair in Communication, a position he will assume this fall. He will also be the executive director of the new James Pedas Communication Center.

Batchelor comes to Thiel College from Kent State University, Kent, Ohio, where he was an assistant professor in the school of journalism and mass communication. Prior to his time at Kent State, he was a public relations instructor at the University of South Florida, Tampa, Fla.

He is the author or editor of more than 21 books, including The 1900s; The 1980s; The 2000s; and American Pop: Popular Culture Decade by Decade (4 volumes), Cult Pop Culture (3 volumes) and John Updike: A Critical Biography (2013). He is a member of the editorial advisory board of The Journal of Popular Culture and editor of the Contemporary American Literature series published by Scarecrow Press. Batchelor also serves as the Media & Marketing Director of the John Updike Childhood Home Museum in Reading, Pa.

“The roadmap to success today begins and ends with communication skills,” said Batchelor. “Employers tell us again and again that what they really desire in young workers is the ability to communicate, think critically and understand contextual links that lead to higher order skills. The new communication center will be a home for students to build these skills as a part of their overall education.”

With the introduction of a new academic building – the first to be built on the campus in over forty years – which will be situated in the heart of campus, Thiel College is placing presentational literacy at the heart of its curriculum. Regardless of major or area of study, all Thiel College students will benefit from the center’s dynamic classrooms, learning spaces and media-rich environment with sophisticated labs and studios. Recognizing that communication and critical thinking are foundational skills necessary for success in today’s global economy, Thiel College is committed to providing its students with resources and guidance to develop those skills.

“Bob Batchelor is a renowned scholar and skilled teacher, as well as an experienced administrator in both academe and the corporate world,” said Lynn Franken, Ph.D., vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college. “As executive director of the Pedas Communication Center, he will work with faculty and staff to develop the Center into an intellectual hub at Thiel and for the local and regional community.”

Batchelor earned his doctorate in English at the University of South Florida and a master’s in history from Kent State University. He earned his bachelor’s degree in history, philosophy and political science from the University of Pittsburgh.

About Thiel College

Thiel College is an independent college founded in the Lutheran tradition. Located in Greenville, Pa., the College offers 60 majors and minors, 24 varsity sports, and an 11:1 student-faculty ratio. The College is also home to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing program and graduate programs in, Business Administration, Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Communication and Leadership, Physician Assistant and Speech-Language Pathology. All of Thiel College’s master’s degree programs offer innovative and accelerated five-year paths which allow students to earn a bachelor’s and master’s degree in five years. A dedicated faculty paired with dynamic research and internship opportunities produce outstanding graduate school and job placements. Coeducational from its beginnings, the College remains committed to diversity and inclusion. The College combines tradition with innovation as it honors its past and celebrates its future.

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