Department of Communication, Journalism, and Public Relations

Wilson Hall, Room 316
371 Wilson Boulevard
Rochester, MI 48309-4486
(location map)
(248) 370-4120

General Department Questions:
Debra Koehler

Student Organizations

Student Organizations

Joining a student organization is an important part of your academic growth at Oakland University. Below are Journalism/Communication student organizations to consider.


The Oakland Post is Oakland University's student newspaper. It has a historical presence at OU in providing an independent journalistic student voice. It has a separate governing board and publishes weekly during the fall, winter and spring semesters. The faculty advisor is Garry Gilbert, director of the journalism program. For more information, visit The Oakland Post.

The OU
The OU News Bureau is a group of dedicated journalism students committed to the coverage of Oakland University and surrounding counties in southeastern Michigan.
Here is where students are given the opportunity to create their own assignments, do their own research and experience what it is like to work in a real-life newsroom. They have a passion for writing, a knack for grammar and an unwavering dedication to telling the truth. The faculty advisor is Brian Hlavaty, visiting instructor in journalism. You can contact The OU News Bureau at or visit The OU News Bureau. Video and audio for the OU News Bureau site is supplied by Cathy Shafran’s TV News class. You can reach her at


WXOU is the student radio station that provides programming seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. on 88.3 FM (exact broadcast schedule varies daily). As of October 2000, WXOU broadcasts are available on the university website. And, WXOU has received university approval to broadcast through Nibblebox, a webcast provider used by universities nationwide. WXOU has a long history at OU beginning its broadcast on 88.3 FM in 1996. Christine Stover is the Coordinator for Broadcast Services. For more information contact Christine, visit the radio station on the lower level of the Oakland Center, or visit WXOU.
The Association
for Women in
Communications at OU
The Association for Women in Communications (AWC) at OU is a professional organization that champions the advancement of women across all communications disciplines by recognizing excellence, promoting leadership and positioning its members at the forefront of the evolving communications era. The organization offers programming and leadership opportunities that aim to assist students in launching successful careers. The AWC at OU is open to women and men alike. Our membership drive occurs every fall and we invite you to join us. For more information, please contact Faculty Advisor, Dr. Rebecca Mercado Jones.
Iota Eta, is the local chapter of Lambda Pi Eta, the communication national honor organization. Iota Eta began in the winter of 2000 and recognizes outstanding academic scholarship within Communication.  Members will strengthen their academic portfolios and resumes, and may pursue opportunities to attend Communication conferences or apply for research awards through the national organization.  At graduation, members will wear red and white cords denoting their status as members of this honors society.  The faculty advisor of the organization is Christine Stover.
Interested students can contact Christine Stover for more information about the group and the application process.
The Society
of Professional
The Society of Professional Journalists is the local chapter of the national society that promotes freedom of the press. SPJ is dedicated to the perpetuation of a free press so that citizens are well informed in order to make decisions regarding their lives, and their local, national and global communities. SPJ at OU hopes to connect students who are pursuing all forms of journalism with each other, as well as with professionals. Upon graduation, student members can transfer to their local chapter. For information on membership and meetings, please contact Director of the Journalism Program, Garry Gilbert.
Oakland University
Speech Team

Oakland University Speech Team

The Oakland University Speech Team (or Oakland Forensics) will offer students the opportunity to develop research, critical thinking, organizational, persuasive and oral communication skills.  As a member of this competitive intercollegiate speaking and acting team students will not only spend quality time strengthening communication skills, students also get to see, hear and compete against some of the strongest communicators in the nation.

Students can enhance theatrical and public speaking skills, while learning worthwhile organizational and pre-professional strategies that will allow for positioning to receive potential networking connections for future alignment in a multitude of professional fields.


Oakland University’s Forensics Team was founded by Karen Seelhoff, whom was the team’s director and coach from 1979-1985. In 1981, the team’s 3rd year, the team went to their first national tournament. Oakland University attended the National Forensics Association’s national tournament for the first time with a 14 student contingent. In 1986, charter member Kathryn Kent Rhadigan took over as director and coach, assisted by former member John Rhadigan. In the first ten years, the team had 45 quarter finalists, 19 semifinalists, and 6 finalists at the National Forensics Association’s national tournament. In addition to these individual accomplishments, the team placed 7th overall in the nation in the years 1986 and 1988.

The Oakland University Forensics program continued competing through the 1990s. The team began to take a more active role within the Michigan Intercollegiate Speech League, hosting tournaments and creating a reputation for themselves around the state. In 1997, Lisa Campbell took over as director and prepared to lead the team into a new century. Lisa coached the program for over 10 years and led multiple students to success at an array of State and National competitions.

In June 2012, Charlie Rinehart began directing the team and is currently running the program, which has been rebranded as the Oakland University Speech Team. The current team, as it is organized presently, continues to grow and prosper under the leadership of Charlie. The team has taken multiple state champions in individual categories since the year 2012. On the national circuit, the team has had a strong showing since 2013, increasing the number of student participants, events and improving on the overall team results. The Oakland University Speech Team looks forward to continuing the almost 40 year reputation it holds within the national forensics community.