Melissa B. Wanzer, EdD Professor of Communication Studies

Melissa B. Wanzer, EdD

Melissa Bekelja Wanzer, EdD received her Master of Arts degree in Communication Studies from Syracuse University in 1992. She then went on to pursue her EdD in Communication in Instruction from West Virginia University. Wanzer received teaching scholarships at both Syracuse and West Virginia University. She taught one year at Kutztown
University before joining the faculty at Canisius College in 1995.

From 1993-1995, Wanzer was an instructor in the Instructional and Organizational Masters programs for the Communication Studies Department at West Virginia University. She taught several sections of Interpersonal Communication in the undergraduate program and was the course director for multiple sections of the same course. Wanzer has both presented and published manuscripts in areas such as health communication, affinity-seeking, teacher misbehaviors, and humor in the organizational, instructional, and medical contexts. She has also conducted a number of collaborative projects with nurses and physicans at Women and Children's Hospital in Buffalo, NY.

Wanzer teaches Research Methods, Interpersonal Communication in Organizational Contexts, Small Group Communication, and Persuasion and Social Influence in the Master of Science program in Communication and Leadership and similar courses in the undergraduate program. One of her favorite undergraduate courses to teach is "Constructive Uses of Humor".  She is the 2007 recipient of the College of Arts and Sciences Faculty Scholarship Award. In 2009, she received the Donald H. Ecroyd & Caroline Drummond Ecroyd Teaching Excellence Award from the Eastern Communications Association. 

Wanzer is also the club advisor for The Association of Women in Communication (AWC). The club has sponsored a variety of events including a shadow program, networking luncheon, speaker series, fundraisers, and departmental newsletter. AWC members travel each year to the Eastern Communication Association conventions where they present research papers in poster format. 

Wanzer's hobbies include running, cycling, swimming, and reading. At the end of her second year at Syracuse University, Wanzer met her husband of 14 years Steven. She has an 8-year-old daughter (Claire), a 4-year old daughter, Ella, and a dog (Bernice). As she enters her 11th year, Wanzer feels blessed to have the opportunity to work with the talented students, faculty, and staff at Canisius College.

Courses taught include:
COM 101 - Communication in Contemporary Society
COM 204 - Interpersonal Communication
COM 304 - Family Communication
COM 307 - Human Communication in Contemporary Society
COM 327 - Gender Differences in Human Communication
COM 337 - Constructive Uses of Humor
COM 604 - Persuasion and Social Influence
COM 605 - Research Methods
COM 630 - Interpersonal Communication in Organizational Contexts

  • Gender Differences in Communication, Interpersonal Communication (Family, Humor, Persuasion), Small Group Communication