Meet Communication Faculty

Dr. Sarah Beach, PhD

Lecturer – Communication

Sarah Beach teaches interpersonal communication, public speaking, business, leadership, and health communication, among others. She is a rhetorical scholar with an interest in the circulation of rhetoric, especially in digital spaces. In particular, she's been interested in ambient rhetoric and internet communication, and how memetic culture online participates in and reinforces offline “worlding” of received knowledge(s) and information(s).

Dr. Jeffrey Bile, PhD

Associate Professor

Jeffrey Bile (PhD 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.

Melissa Miller Chastain, PhD

Dean, Enrollment Management & Strategic Initiatives

Dr. Melissa Chastain joined Spalding University in 2004. Her higher education experience includes academic leadership, enrollment management, recruitment, new program and partnership development. At Spalding, she is a tenured faculty member in the School of Communication, has served as Chair for the School of Communication, Associate Dean for the College of Social Sciences & Humanities and is currently the Dean of Enrollment Management and Strategic Initiatives with responsibility for Admissions, Financial Aid and Marketing & Communications. Chastain is Chairman of the Kentucky Authority for Educational Television (KET) and the Kentucky Educational Television Foundation.  She is currently Past President of the Kentucky Communication Association and has served as President for National Association Women’s Business Owners KY Foundation and the Association of Communication Administration.  She is a journal reviewer for the Kentucky Communication Journal and the Journal for Communication Administration. Additional accomplishments include Business First’s 20 People to Know in Education & Workforce Development, the Lumina Foundation’s Learning Outcomes Project and keynote address on Edith Stein and the Rhetoric of Responsibility. Chastain holds a PhD in Communication, Duquesne University; MA in English Literature & Theory, Duquesne University; and BA in English Literature, Westminster College.

Donna Elkins, PhD


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 PhD 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.