Meet Communication Faculty

Dr. Jeffrey Bile, PhD, Associate Professor

Jeffrey Bile (Ph.D. Ohio) joined our faculty in 2004. Professor Bile’s courses cover such topics as language, reason-giving, communicative influence, social behavior, criticism, conflict, dialogue, deliberation, debate and decision-making. Dr. Bile is particularly interested in the connections between communication, the construction of cultures, material consequences and complicity. His work in critical communication studies emphasizes ecological and feminist perspectives on the relationships between communication, culture, gender, and the natural world. His work has been presented to professional conferences on more than two dozen occasions. He has published seven competitively-selected journal articles and three scholarly book chapters. Professor Bile coached numerous national debate champions and previously taught at the University of Utah, Southern Illinois University, The College of Wooster and Ohio University.

Dr. Melissa Miller Chastain, Associate Dean, Chair

Dr. Melissa Miller Chastain is Associate Dean of the College of Social Sciences & Humanities and is Chair of the School of Communication. Her education includes a Ph.D. in Communication, Duquesne University; M.A. in English Literature & Theory, Duquesne University; and B.A. in English Literature from Westminster College. Dr. Chastain has been at Spalding since 2004, teaching undergraduate courses such as Public Speaking, Communication Theory, Leadership, and Senior Capstone as well as graduate classes such as Decision-Making, Change Acceleration in Organizations and Capstone Projects. Accomplishments include past president of National Association for Communication Administration; Lumina Foundation’s National Communication Association Learning Outcomes Project and Teaching Interfaith Understanding Project funded by the Henry Luce Foundation. Dr. Chastain’s research interests include the philosophy of communication, communication ethics, interreligious dialogue and the work of 20th century German, existential phenomenologist, Edith Stein. Publications include “Learning Outcomes and the Importance of Stakeholder Feedback,” Communication Education and "Communication Ethics: Edith Stein," An Encyclopedia of Communication Ethics.

Dr. Donna Elkins, Professor

Dr. Donna M. Elkins joined Spalding’s School of Communication as a professor in July 2015. She was previously the Dean of Academic Affairs and a professor of communication for Jefferson Community and Technical College’s Southwest Campus. She completed her Ph.D. in Communication at the University of Kentucky and also holds a master’s degree in political science from the University of Louisville, as well as a master’s degree in mass communication and a bachelor’s degree in journalism and government from Morehead State University. In 2016 Dr. Elkins was selected as a University of Alabama Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations Educator Fellow. Her current research interests include socialization of organizational newcomers and balancing self-disclosure with privacy when seeking social support.