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Welcome to Blinn College Communication Studies Program

The Communication Studies program offers courses that fulfill the College’s mission of providing courses that meet transfer requirements in the arts and sciences. Speech courses aid students as they seek employment in business and industry. Our program helps students develop communication and presentational skills that improve their success in job interviews and interactions in the workplace.

Deborah Vavra , Interim Fine Arts Division Chair – Professor of Communication Studies Office Location: Classroom Building, Office #18 (979) 830-4241

Deborah VavraDeborah Vavra joined the Blinn College faculty in 1996. She completed her undergraduate work in Speech Communication at Texas A&M University and her graduate work in Communication at the University of Houston where she was named the Outstanding Graduate Student in 1992. She has completed post-graduate work in Health Communication at Texas A&M University, with an emphasis on health narratives.  She currently teaches SPCH 1315 (Public Speaking) in face-to-face, blended, and web-enhanced formats.

In addition to teaching Speech courses, Deborah has been very active in student organizations. She has served as the Director of the Blinn College Cheerleaders and as an Advisor for Phi Theta Kappa (international honor society for two year colleges). 

For her dedication and leadership in education, Deborah is a two time recipient of the NISOD award and the Robert Giles Distinguished Advisor Award. She has also been nominated three times for the Blinn College Teaching Excellence Award.

In her free time, Deborah enjoys spending time with family and friends, travel, cooking, reading, antiquing/junking, and scrapbooking.  She and her family reside in the Brenham area.

Karin Dahmann, Professor of Communication Studies Office Location: Classroom Building #28 Phone (979) 830-4212

Karin Dahmann A member of the Blinn College Fine Arts faculty since 1999, Karin Dahmann received a B.A. degree from Sam Houston State University and a M.Ed. degree from Stephen F. Austin University.

Prior to joining the Blinn College faculty, Karin was instructor of Speech at Weatherford Junior College in Weatherford, TX and Tarrant County College in Fort Worth, TX. She has 20 years of teaching experience in Speech, Theatre Arts, and English.  She taught at Weatherford High School, Jasper High School and Burkeville High School.

Karin currently serves Blinn College as a member of the Professional Development Committee and has served as a Phi Theta Kappa advisor. Through her association with Phi Theta Kappa, she was inducted into the Texas Hall of Honor for Outstanding Advisors.

Karin teaches SPCH 1315 (Public Speaking) and SPCH 1321 (Business and Professional Communication) in blended and internet formats.

Tracy Matthies, Interim Fine Arts Assessment Coordinator - Professor of Communication Studies Office Location: Classroom Building – Office #23 (979)830-4444

Tracy MatthiesTracy Matthies is a graduate of Blinn College and Texas A&M University.  She earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees in Speech Communication with a minor in Journalism (undergraduate) and emphasis in Health Communication (graduate). 

While working as a teaching assistant at Texas A&M University, Tracy realized her passion for teaching college students.  She regularly teaches courses in Public Speaking and Introduction to Speech Communication in traditional and distance education formats.  Additionally, as a trained yoga instructor, she enjoys teaching a yoga course for the Division of Health and Kinesiology.

Tracy has been eager to take on various responsibilities since joining the Blinn College faculty in 2004 including teaching a freshmen orientation course, mentoring students through a scholarship program, volunteering in student leadership events, and serving on various committees.  Tracy is a former advisor of the Beta Alpha chapter of Phi Theta Kappa (2005-2007) as well as a student organization for communication studies.  Tracy is passionate about supporting, teaching, and learning from her students. 

Theatre Arts/Communication Studies Faculty

Bradley A. Nies, Director and Professor of Theatre Arts/Communication Studies. Office Location: Dr. W.W. O'Donnell Performing Arts Building, Rm 113, (979) 830-4269

Bradley A. NiesTheatre Arts Director since 1990, Bradley Nies earned an A.S. in Theatre Arts from Amarillo College, a B.S. degree in Radio/Television/Film from West Texas State University, and a M.A. degree in Communication (Theatre Emphasis).

In 2007 Mr. Nies received the Blinn College Professional Association Teaching Excellence Award.

In 2008, he was honored by the Texas Educational Theatre Association with the Community College Educator of the Year Award.

He currently holds memberships through such organizations as the Texas Educational Theatre Association and the Texas Community College Speech and Theatre Association.

Through Blinn College, Bradley Nies has served in various office appointments for the Blinn College Professional Association, as well as the Blinn College Faculty Council.

Under the direction of Bradley Nies, students enrolled in the Blinn College Theatre Arts program actively participate in Delta Psi Omega, the national theatre fraternity, and the Texas Community College Speech and Theatre Association Play Festival.

Mr. Nies's years of committed service to his students and Blinn College have provided a venue of exciting and engaging theatrical productions and classroom experiences.

Field of Study in Communication Studies

SPCH 1311 Introduction to Speech
SPCH 1315 Public Speaking
SPCH 1318 Interpersonal Communication
SPCH 1321 Business & Professional Speaking
SPCH 1342 Voice and Diction
SPCH 2341 Oral Interpretation