The School of Communication Studies (COMS), one of five schools in the Scripps College of Communication, was renamed in 2002 from the School of Interpersonal Communication (InCo). The program, in some fashion, has been part of the fabric of Ohio University since 1808 when the first courses on logic (dialectic) and persuasion (rhetoric) were taught in English.  The School of Interpersonal Communication was created in 1964 as one of three programs in the newly created College of Communication. Since then our scholarly instruction and research in organizational and interpersonal communication, health and relational communication, public advocacy and cultural studies in a globally and technologically advanced society continues to explore the challenges inherent to human communication. 

For a review of our contemporary program, please explore both the Undergraduate, Master's degree and Doctoral pages to gain a better understanding of our curriculum, as well as the Faculty/Staff Directory to review the scholarly interests of our faculty.


Honoring visionaries and trailblazers is a longtime COMS tradition, and a cherished part of our ever-evolving history. We are proud to recognize scholars, Paul H. Boase and Elizabeth G. Andersch, through two unique awards.

Paul H. Boase delivering class lecture

Paul H. Boase was regarded as a visionary in the field of communication. The founding director of what was then called the School of Interpersonal Communication, Boase led a faculty charged with developing a distinct niche for the study of human communication within Ohio University’s new College of Communication. Ahead of his time in many ways, Boase—whose specialty, like many communication scholars of the time, was public address—helped create a school in which scholars could explore facets and forms of communication beyond public speaking. As a result of his founding leadership of the School from 1964-1981, COMS today is internationally known for engaging questions of communication that span a variety of contexts. Dr. Boase died December 13, 2000. The Boase Prize for scholarship was created to, in the words of his wife Connie, “keep his name alive” in the field.  Befitting his legacy, the award is given annually to scholars who have demonstrated outstanding scholarship in any area of communication.

NEW! The faculty of the School of Communication Studies at Ohio University welcome nominations for the next Paul Boase Prize competition. 
Materials must be received by April 1st, 2024, for consideration. View or download the full call HERE.


Past winners of the Boase Prize:

  • 2016 Dr. Ronald C. Arnett 

  • 2015 Dr. Karen Foss 

  • 2014 Dr. Karen Tracy 

  • 2013 Dr. Kent A. Ono 

  • 2012 Dr. Patrice Buzzanell 

  • 2011 Dr. Brenda Allen 

  • 2010 Dr. Barbara Sharf 

  • 2009 Dr. David Seibold 

  • 2008 Dr. Bonnie J. Dow 

  • 2007 Dr. Carole Blair 

  • 2006 Drs. Robert Hariman and John Lucaites 

  • 2005 Dr. Gerry Philipsen 

  • 2004 Dr. Martin Medhurst 

  • 2003 Dr. James Andrews 

Elizabeth G. Andersch - Headshot

Elizabeth G. Andersch joined the faculty at Ohio University in 1943 and was the first woman to be accorded tenure and promotion to Full Professor within the school. Dr. Andersch was recognized for her efforts to promote women and other historically excluded voices at Ohio University and beyond through teaching and mentorship. As described by Paul Boase, the School Director who established the Elizabeth G. Andersch Award in 1973, the award honors “the tradition of excellence in teaching, research, and service she embodied as a member of our faculty.” 

Past winners of the Andersch Award:

  • 2014    Dr. Arvind Singhal

  • 2012    Dr. Ann Bainbridge Frymier

  • 2011    Dr. Larry Frey

  • 2010    Dr. Ronald C. Arnett

  • 2007    Dr. Sandra Petronio

  • 2006    Dr. Art Bochner

  • 2005    Dr. Fredric M. Jablin

  • 2004    Dr. Karlyn Kohrs Campbell

  • 2003    Dr. Gustav Friedrich

  • 2002    Dr. Larry Grossberg

  • 2001    Dr. Eric Eisenberg

  • 2000    Dr. Robert Scott

  • 1999    Dr. Sue DeWine

  • 1998    Dr. Leslie Baxter

  • 1997    Mr. Matt Lauer

  • 1996    Dr. Julia Wood

  • 1995    Dr. Steve Duck

  • 1994    Dr. Jesse Delia 

  • 1993    Dr. Erwin Bettinghaus 

  • 1992    Ms. Nancy Cartwright 

  • 1991    Dr. Linda Putnam 

  • 1990    Dr. Everett Rogers 

  • 1989    Dr. Walter Fisher 

  • 1988    Dr. W. Barnett Pearce 

  • 1987    Dr. Ray E. Wagner 

  • 1986    Dr. L. Edna Rogers 

  • 1985    Dr. Don Faules 

  • 1984    Dr. Samuel Becker 

  • 1983    Dr. Robert G. Gunderson 

  • 1982    Dr. Gerald R. Miller 

  • 1981    Dr. Loren Reid 

  • 1980    Dr. Paul H. Boase 

  • 1979    Dr. W. Charles Redding 

  • 1978    Dr. Jeffrey Auer 

  • 1977    Dr. Virginia Hahne 

  • 1976    Dr. Bowler Aly 

  • 1975    Dr. Barb Leib-Brilhart 

  • 1974    Dr. Mary Ellen Ludlum 

  • 1973    Dr. Ruth A. Wilcox