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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Faculty & Staff

Page address:

Department Faculty, Adjunct and Staff


Adjunct Faculty

  • John Cross, Amanda Dyslin, Shane Frederick, Lisa Cownie.

Department Administrative Assistant

Robyn Lundsten

Phone: 507-389-6417

Department Faculty

Amy Lauters, Associate Professor & Chair

Phone: 507-389-5523


Amy Mattson Lauters received a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, a master's degree in mass communications from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and a doctorate in mass communication with an emphasis in history and American Studies at the University of Minnesota. She taught at Wichita State University for two years before joining the MSU faculty in 2008. She was also the program director for WSU’s TRIO Communication Upward Bound.

Chuck Lewis, Professor

Phone: 507-389-5524


Chuck Lewis is an alumnus of MSU's mass comm program. He began teaching at MSU in 1986 as a teaching assistant while earning a master's degree in history. After earning that degree, he taught full time in the mass comm program for two years before enrolling at the University of Minnesota, where he earned a Ph.D. in mass communication. He then returned to the MSU mass comm faculty and has earned tenure and the rank of professor. His teaching specialties include introductory mass comm courses, basic and advanced reporting, history, ethics and visual communication. Before joining the MSU faculty, he worked as a newspaper reporter, photojournalist and professional photographer.

Jane McConnell, Associate Professor

Phone: 507-389-5801


Jane McConnell earned bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism and mass communication from Iowa State University and a Ph.D. in mass communication from the University of Iowa. She has extensive experience in public relations and specializes in teaching public relations writing and research, mass comm ethics and history. She taught in the public relations sequence of the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Oklahoma for five years before joining the MSU faculty in 2001.

Heather McIntosh, Assistant Professor

Phone: 507-389-6417


Heather McIntosh joins MSU's mass media department after appointments at Boston College and Northern Illinois University. She holds a Ph.D. in mass communications from the Pennsylvania State University, a master's degree in communication studies from Northern Illinois University, and a bachelor's degree in English with a journalism minor from Northern Illinois University. Her previous teaching experience includes a broad range of courses in media studies, including social media, television, film, and gender. She is co-editor of Documenting Gendered Violence: Representations, Collaborations, and Movements (Bloomsbury, 2015).

Ellen Mrja, Associate Professor

Phone: 507-389-1814


Ellen Mrja is the senior member of the mass communications department, joining its faculty in 1978. Her bachelor's degree is from Minnesota State University, Moorhead . She earned a master's degree and completed work toward a doctorate at the University of Minnesota . A former department chair, her current research interests and teaching specialties at MSU include First Amendment law, strategic communications campaigns and online communications. Before joining the MSU faculty, she worked as public relations director at L'hotel Sofitel, Bloomington; director of promotions and producer at KCCM-FM, Moorhead; station manager at KIDA-FM, Moorhead and advertising copywriter, KVOX-AM, Moorhead.

Mavis Richardson, Associate Professor

Phone: 507-389-3299


Mavis Richardson earned a bachelor's and a master's degree from North Dakota State University and a Ph.D. in mass communication from the University of Minnesota. She has taught at MSU for two years, and holds the rank of assistant professor. Richardson's scholarly research includes coverage of American Indian protest events by various print media. She has public relations and journalism professional experience and teaches introductory mass communication, public relations, ethics and writing courses.

Rachael Hanel, Assistant Professor

Phone:  507-389-1247


Rachael Hanel is a graduate of MSU’s mass communications program and a graduate of the Creative Writing Ph.D. program at Bath Spa University. She worked as an adjunct instructor at MSU for 11 years, teaching a variety of courses in the mass media department. Before taking the assistant professor position at MSU, she worked as a curriculum manager for Kaplan University, where she oversaw online course development. She also has many years of freelance writing, newspaper reporting and copy editing experience.  Her memoir, We'll Be the Last Ones To Let You Down:  Memoir of a Gravedigger's Daughter, was published in 2013 by the University of Minnesota Press.