Saint Louis University



The department has a vibrant and active community of graduate students, engaged in research, learning, and community service. Our students have a diverse set of interests and professional goals.

Second Year Graduate Students

DJ Barker, Graduate Student - Department of Communication

DJ Barger 

My primary interests lie in the fields of journalism and media studies. I am especially interested in the way those fields are changing due to the ever-increasing importance of the Internet. After finishing my degree I plan to pursue a career in journalism before returning to school to earn a PhD. While I am not from the area, I have spent much of my life in Saint Louis and have grown up loving the locals, the food, and, of course, the sports teams.



Emily Faulkner, Graduate Student - Department of Communication

Emily Faulkner 

I did my undergraduate work as a Mizzou tiger at the University of Missouri. I received a B.A. in both Communication and Sociology, as well as a Certificate in Multicultural Studies. My primary interests are in interpersonal communication and organizational communication. I am currently a Graduate Instructor for Public Speaking courses here at SLU. After earning my M.A. in Communication, I plan to take a break from academia and enter the corporate world.



Vallory Leaders, Graduate Student - Department of Communication

Vallory Leaders 

I am a recent graduate of the University of Missouri- Columbia with a degree in Organizational Communication. Continuing my education is something I was very passionate about and am very excited to take this journey at SLU! Born and raised in St. Louis, returning for my graduate education is what I've always dreamed of. My interests are in public relations as well as image repair utilizing Benoit's typology regarding celebrities, politicians and organizations. Following graduate school, I hope to continue further and eventually earn a PhD.



Ariana Martinez, Graduate Student - Department of Communication

Ariana Martinez

I consider myself a nomad. I was born in Mexico but was raised in the U.S. I grew up in Chicagoland. Billiken sports aside, I tend to avoid St. Louis sports unless Chicago is in town. I am a "daughter of Saint Louis University for-ev-er." I graduated in May 2013 with a double-major in International Studies and Communication with an emphasis in Advertising. My primary interests lie in Intercultural Communication focusing on race, gender, identity, and representation. After earning my M.A. in Communication, I hope to pursue a career in Advertising before returning to academia.  

View Ariana Martinez's LinkedIn profileView Ariana Martinez's profile


Adam Olds, Graduate Student - Department of Communication

Adam Olds 

After graduating from Boise State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication, I moved to St. Louis with my wife so that she could pursue her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree. During my first year in Missouri I worked as an admissions counselor for a St. Louis area university and also as a social media manager for several Idaho and Nevada based companies. Entering the Master of Communication program as a research assistant at Saint Louis University fulfills the next step in a lifelong goal of mine, to earn a doctoral degree and pursue a career as an educator and researcher. My primary research interests are in media cognition and media effects analysis.

Rodney Pruitt, Graduate Student - Department of Communication

Rodney Pruitt 

As a 2013 graduate of Saint Louis University, I definitely know what being a Billiken is all about! After receiving my B.A. in Communication, I decided that I wanted to acquire more knowledge in the areas of media and intercultural studies. Specifically, I am interested in qualitative research in the areas of social media, identity construction and humor. I currently serve as the graduate assistant Content Writer for SLU's Office of Undergraduate Admission. Hopefully, my interests will lead me to a path in higher education administration or the corporate world.

View Rodney Pruitt's LinkedIn profileView Rodney Pruitt's profile


Meilin Shen, Graduate Student - Department of Communication

Meilin Shen 

I received my B.A. in Journalism in China. I am interested in media studies and mass communication. Specifically, I am interested in media ethic issues, the influences of social media on traditional media, and the public reflections to media development. I decided to attend graduate school to learn more about my fields of interest and to improve my study skills.





First Year Graduate Students

Samir Adrissi 

I am a student of life trying to make my mark in this beautiful world. Born and raised in Bristol, England, I decided to moved to the U.S. to live the 'American Dream'. My primary interests are in Strategic and Organizational Communication, although, I am excited to learn as much as I can within this discipline. After earning my M.A. in Communication, I plan to begin working in the corporate world, while continuing to develop my entrepreneurial spirit.

Bretton DeLaria

After receiving my B.A. in Education with a Minor in Urban Social Analysis in 2012, I began working for Saint Louis University as the Web Marketing Coordinator for the John Cook School of Business. During my tenure in that position I discovered the extent of which communications effects higher education. I decided after launching a complete overall of, that I wanted to continue building my knowledge and skills in the area of visual communications. As I completed a Visual Communications Minor and Executive Certificate in Internet Marketing from Saint Louis University, I soon discovered my passion and interest in the general field of communications. Now serving as the Interim Director/Assistant Director of the 1818 Advanced College Credit Program at Saint Louis University, I feel a special responsibility to the program and university to advance my skills by broadening my understanding of communications. Specifically, I am interested in understanding organizational and strategic communications and how technology plays a role in obtaining the goals of an institution in a secondary and post secondary setting. My hope upon completing my graduate studies is to advance in acquiring a PhD while continuing my career in higher education administration.

Madeline Ericson

As an undergraduate at Illinois College, I obtained a BA in Communication and Rhetorical Studies as well as Spanish, accompanied by a minor in Art. As a Masters student, I intend to expand my knowledge of Intercultural Communication, particularly focusing on professional interaction between North and South Americans. I currently work as an assistant to the university, teaching two courses of Public Speaking. Beyond the stunning SLU campus, I hope to one day obtain my PhD within the field of Communication.

Corinne Gibson

In 2014, I became a daughter of Saint Louis University, graduating with a B.A. in Communication with an emphasis in Advertising. Today, I find myself at SLU once again but this time pursuing a M.A. in Communication. My primary interests lie in interpersonal communication and intergenerational communication. As a Research Assistant for the Department of Communication, I'm hoping to take the next two years to hone my research interests and skills. After earning my M.A., I plan to enter the advertising world with the hope of eventually returning to academia and pursuing a doctoral degree.

Sarah Gonzalez

Born and Raised in Spain (Madrid,) and with a Lebanese mother, I have always felt like a citizen of the world rather than belonging to a single culture or community. My Research interests fall mainly on Conflict Management and Cultural Communication. I am especially interested in the way Cultural Communication plays a role in international Conflict Mediation. Once I have completed my degree I plan on working with non-profit organizations in order to achieve social justice solutions on an international level, focusing on war refugees and their basic human rights.

Sara Hendrixson

I graduated from Harding University with a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Political Science. After working in Alabama, my husband and I ventured out of the South into the Midwest for his pediatric residency at St. Louis Children's Hospital. I spent some time working at KSDK News Channel 5 before deciding to pursue my Masters here at SLU. My primary interests are in media studies, particularly the role of social media in Middle Eastern countries. I am currently working as a professional assistant for SLU's Marketing and Communications department. After fulfilling my M.A. in Communications, I would love to continue my education in a doctoral program.

Joseph Ivancic

I graduated from Missouri State University with a degree in Organizational Communication and a minor in general business. After graduation I moved back to the greatest city on the face of the planet (Saint Louis) and began a career at a marketing engagement firm downtown. After a few years on the job I am ready and excited to take on graduate school. My main interest are in organizational and strategic communication, but I also find interpersonal communication fascinating. After school I plan on pursuing my Ph.D. and would love to be a professor one day.

Plamena Koseva

My story begins in the Balkan country of Bulgaria where I was born, continues to the beautiful country of Greece where I was raised and goes through teeny tiny Kirksville, MO where I received my B.A. in Romance Languages and Communication. After a wonderful year of teaching at Whitfield School in St. Louis, I decided to pursue my M.A. in Communication at SLU, where I was given the opportunity to be an Instructor in Public Speaking. Topics that I am particularly interested in include effective verbal and nonverbal communication between individuals of different ethnic and linguistic backgrounds and how cultural barriers, stereotypes and the media affect this communication.

View Plamena Koseva's LinkedIn profileView Plamena Koseva's profile

Jennifer Kronick

Hi! My name is Jenny Kronick, and I am thrilled to be among a privileged few who can identify themselves as both a graduate student and the ever-elusive "real person." I graduated from WashU with a major in Art History and minors in Art and Writing. As a content specialist at, my work creating viral entertainment articles opened my eyes to the social realm and how overarching the umbrella of communication truly is. My interests predominantly lie in journalism, social media, interpersonal and intercultural communication, advertising, marketing, and media audiences. I hope to further explore these paradigms while continuing to question whether or not the Oxford comma is essential to my being. Get at me, world!

Tucker Redding

I am originally from the great state of Texas. After receiving a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from Texas A&M University, I moved to Houston and worked as a Youth Minister for several years. I joined the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) in 2011 and moved to St. Louis last year as part of my studies toward the priesthood. Jesuits are encouraged to pursue their academic interests and I wanted to further my studies in the area of communication. I was excited to be accepted into the Communication graduate program this year. My interests are organizational and strategic communication.  

Brian Tomerlin

I did my undergraduate work at Missouri State University, where I received a Bachelor's of Science in Communication Studies and a minor in Art. Immediately following my graduation I began working toward my Masters. Having grown up near the St. Louis area, I was very excited to have been accepted at SLU. My primary interests are in Public Relations and Marketing. I am currently an intern at Think Tank, a small PR & Marketing firm in Illinois. I hope to continue my career in the PR and Marketing world upon receiving my Masters.

Sarah Oehlerking

I received my B.A. in Psychology from Taylor University in Upland, IN before moving back to my hometown of St. Louis. Having served in the Student Financial Services office for the past three years, I have come to love the Billiken community. My primary interests are in nonverbal communication and writing, and I am eager to meet the challenge of pursuing my M.A. in Communication while working full-time.

© 1818 - 2015  SAINT LOUIS UNIVERSITY   |   Disclaimer   |  Mobile Site
St. Louis   |   Madrid