Faculty

Full-Time Faculty


David Ryan

Academic Director, Administrative Director
(415) 422-5524

David Ryan serves as the Academic Director and Faculty Chair for the Professional Communication and Certificate in Professional Communication programs. He teaches undergraduate courses in rhetoric, focusing on orality and literacy studies, and graduate courses in strategic and technical communication, specializing in strategic planning and usability/UX studies. His research interests relate the intellectual history of technical communication with classicism, human enhancement technologies, and...

Donna Uchida

Program Director
(415) 246-0540

Donna Uchida serves as the program director for the MA in Professional Communication program and works closely with prospective and current students as well as alumni of the program. She reviews and admits applicants in collaboration with the Academic Director and supports students in their academic journey and job search. In addition, she is responsible for the Professional Certificate program that serves working professionals and those interested in acquiring additional competency in...

Education:

University of Denver, MA in Mass Communication, 1980, University of Denver, BA in Political Science & Mass Communication, 1978

Expertise:

Internal and Executive Communication, Strategic Thought Leadership and Influence, Inclusion, Diversity and Equity, Health Communication

Moira Gunn

Associate Professor
(415) 422-5427

Associate Professor Moira Gunn is a former NASA scientist, engineer and software programmer. Gunn is internationally recognized for her work with global biotechnology business and emerging global information systems. Her pioneering research continues to investigate and inform the next generation of conscientious developers and leaders in biotechnology and information systems. As one of the leading drivers behind the Business of Biotechnology Program, Gunn teaches classes on the legal, ethical...

Education:

PhD, Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University, Lafayette, IN, MS, Computer Science, Purdue University, Lafayette, IN, BS, Computer Science, USF, CA

Evelyn Ho

Professor
(415) 422-6061

Evelyn Y. Ho is a professor of communication studies, Asian Pacific American studies, and critical diversity studies, and a faculty chair of the Honors College at the University of San Francisco. Beginning with an understanding that communication is a cultural activity and that health care systems and beliefs are profoundly cultural, Professor Ho's teaching and research focus broadly on the intersections of health, culture, and communication, with a specific focus on the use and cultural...

Education:

PhD/MA, Communication Studies, University of Iowa, BA, Speech Communication, University of Washington

Expertise:

Qualitative research, Patient education, Asian American studies

Kelly L'Engle

Associate Professor, Director of the MPH-Behavioral Health concentration
(415) 422-4730

Dr. Kelly L’Engle is a social and behavioral health scientist with 25 years experience in research and program development in the health sector. She joined the faculty of the Population Health Sciences Department in the School of Nursing and Health Professions at the University of San Francisco in August 2015. She has served as department chair and program director and teaches classes in program planning and evaluation, health communication, adolescent health, research methods, and applied...

Education:

Ph.D. Health Behavior and Health Education, Gillings School of Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC, MPH, Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, BA, Development Studies (Sociology), Brown University, Providence, RI

Expertise:

Adolescent Health, Reproductive Health, HIV and STIs, Health Communication and Design, New Media and Technologies, Substance Use, Interventions, Global Health and Populations, mHealth

Tika Lamsal

Associate Professor
(415) 422-2576

Tika Lamsal teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses on rhetoric and composition, written communication, and cross-cultural communication. Through the lens of critical ethnography, Dr. Lamsal’s research examines the intersection of linguistic, cultural, and multimodal literacies of Bhutanese refugees in U.S. contexts to demonstrate how the refugees negotiate their ways to academic, cultural, and economic transition by using their linguistic and cultural repertoires in the new locale of...

Education:

PhD in Rhetoric and Composition, University of Louisville, Kentucky, MA in English Literature, Tribhuvan University, Nepal, 1997

Michelle LaVigne

Associate Professor, Public Speaking Director
(415) 422-4366

Michelle LaVigne received her BA in English from the University of Texas, Austin and a PhD in Communication Studies - Rhetoric from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. At USF she teaches written and oral communication classes across disciplines and programs. Her classes focus on multimodality and publicity in academic, civic, and professional contexts. Her research focuses on the intersections between dance, rhetoric, and performance. In particular, Prof. LaVigne writes about the persuasive...

Theodore Matula

Associate Professor
(415) 422-5809

Ted Matula earned his PhD in Communication from The Ohio State University, specializing in rhetorical theory and its usefulness in studying popular culture. In addition to public speaking and written and oral communication, he teaches courses on popular culture, free speech, and communication ethics. His research has been published in Communication Studies and Popular Music and Society.

Education:

PhD, Communication, Ohio State University

Expertise:

Rhetorical theory and its usefulness in studying popular culture

Allison Thorson

Professor
(415) 422-5703

Allison Thorson is a Professor of Communication Studies, Director of the Interdisciplinary Committee on Children and Youth, and Director of the Child and Youth Studies Minor at University of San Francisco. She also teaches in the Master of Arts in Professional Communication program. Her research focuses on how individuals and families communicatively manage and maintain individual/relational well-being in the context of — often deemed taboo — unexpected, hurtful, or non-normative events (e.g.,...

Education:

PhD, Communication Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, MA, Missouri State University, BA, University of Northern Iowa

Part-Time Faculty


Cameron Conaway

Adjunct Professor

Cameron Conaway, adjunct professor in the Professional Communication program, is an author, former investigative journalist, and corporate communications leader whose work has appeared in Harvard Business Review, NPR, Stanford Social Innovation Review, the Washington Post, World Economic Forum, Newsweek, Forbes, and The Guardian, among other publications. With an MFA in creative writing from the University of Arizona and an executive MBA from the University of San Francisco, Professor Conaway...

Education:

University of San Francisco, Executive MBA, 2020, University of Arizona, MFA in Creative Writing, 2009, Penn State Altoona, BA in Criminal Justice, 2007, Penn State Altoona, BA in English, 2007

Expertise:

Digital Storytelling, Corporate Communications, Content Marketing, Creative Writing, Poetry

Mitchell Friedman

Adjunct Professor

Mitchell Friedman, EdD, APR develops people. Known as an enthusiastic, energetic, and insightful educator and consultant, he relishes opportunities to help others to develop their skills and abilities on the path to achieving their full potential. Dr. Friedman teaches leadership, management communication, organizational behavior, and public relations at universities located throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.

Education:

EdD, Organization and Leadership, University of San Francisco, MA, Modern European History, Stanford University, BA, History, Brandeis University

Expertise:

Public Relations, Management Communication, Crisis Communication

Larry Kamer

Lecturer
(415) 422-5662

Larry began his career as a political campaign manager and consultant, working for former U.S. Senator Paul Simon and Reps. Abner Mikva and Lane Evans of Illinois, and former California Lt. Governor Leo T. McCarthy. Today, he is a veteran public affairs strategist and an expert in the management of difficult, public-facing challenges that determine the future of reputations, brands, and careers. His skills come from more than 30 years' work as a communications consultant, an executive in...

Michael Edward Lenert

Adjunct Professor
(415) 422-5152

Adjunct professor Michael Edward Lenert has 25 years’ experience teaching law, communications, and journalism at the University level, including to MA and PhD-level students. He is a licensed attorney in California with 30 years’ experience and has taught communications law and other classes at the University of San Francisco since 2009. He is a graduate of UC Berkeley and earned his Ph.D. from The University of Texas and his law degree from Georgetown Law School. From 2005-2009, he held the...

Education:

BA, University of California, Berkeley, PhD, University of Texas at Austin

Annalise Ludtke

Adjunct Professor

Annalise Ludtke, MA is a seasoned, cross-functional communication professional with experience working at nonprofit organizations, consulting agencies, academica, and tech companies to achieve a variety of brand and communications goals. She currently serves as the digital marketing manager at Vodori, a SaaS company based out of Chicago, where she spearheads digital content and marketing efforts to drive brand awareness and pipeline growth. Prior to Vodori, she served as the senior manager of...

Education:

University of San Francisco, MA in Professional Communication, 2017, Michigan State University, BA in International Relations, 2012

Expertise:

Digital Marketing, Digital Storytelling, Content Marketing, Social Media, Branding & Brand Management

Cynthia Schultes

Adjunct Professor
(415) 422-6862

Cynthia Schultes has taught at Trinity College in Washington, D.C., and Notre Dame Seishin University in Okayama, Japan. At USF, she teaches courses in rhetoric and language as well as historiography.

Education:

PhD, History, The George Washington University

Donna Uchida

Adjunct Professor
(415) 246-0540

Donna Uchida serves as the program director for the MA in Professional Communication program and works closely with prospective and current students as well as alumni of the program. She reviews and admits applicants in collaboration with the Academic Director and supports students in their academic journey and job search. In addition, she is responsible for the Professional Certificate program that serves working professionals and those interested in acquiring additional competency in...

Education:

University of Denver, MA in Mass Communication, 1980, University of Denver, BA in Political Science & Mass Communication, 1978

Expertise:

Internal and Executive Communication, Strategic Thought Leadership and Influence, Inclusion, Diversity and Equity, Health Communication

Contact Info

Professional Communication MA

Donna Uchida, Program Director

USF Downtown Campus, 101 Howard Street, San Francisco, CA 94105 (415) 422-6708