Author ORCID Identifier

Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts



First Advisor

Aaron Anderson

Second Advisor

David Leong

Third Advisor

Neno Russell

Fourth Advisor

Keith Byron Kirk



Communication at The Center: A Modest Proposal for an Oral Communications Center at Virginia Commonwealth University

Bryant E. Pugh, BFA

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Fine Arts at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Virginia Commonwealth University, 2021

Committee Chair: Aaron D. Anderson, PhD, Department of Theatre

This thesis explores the potential for the creation of an oral communication center on the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University. It utilizes the author's personal experience in teaching oral communication in higher education and his students' experience. It examines the primary research, both past, and current, in the subject area of oral communication and its impacts on the college student population. It also examines multiple collegiate oral communication centers and the best practices instilled within their walls, ultimately breaking down significant barriers in student communication anxiety and overall communication competency. This thesis reveals the gravity of the dilemma that Virginia Commonwealth University faces in the absence of an oral communication center on its campus. The rewards and complexities of creating a communication center are closely scrutinized. However, with specific attention paid to two unique centers in Chapter 2, a roadmap for developing and facilitating such a center at VCU is realized in Chapter 3. Ultimately, this thesis aims to provide real-world experiences, methods, and research to argue and confirm why Virginia Commonwealth University should establish an oral communication center accessible to its entire population.


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