Faculty & Staff

Niall Stephens

Department Chair, Associate Professor

Office: C-218
Phone Number: 508-620-1220 x4227
Email: nstephens@framingham.edu

INTERESTS: Dr. Stephens’ Ph.D. dissertation is about the mediation of globalization in rural southern Chile. His academic research and writing interests include: the public sphere, global media & globalization, environmental communication, and media ecology. His work has been published in Critical Studies in Media Communication, Communication Currents, International Journal of Communication, and Human Ecology.

EDUCATION: B.A., University College Dublin; Ph.D., University of Massachusetts Amherst

COURSES: COMM250 Media/Society/Self, COMM220 Principles of Mass Communication


Christopher J. Bowen

Associate Professor

Office: Leave of Absence, Spring 2022
Phone Number: 508-626-4965
Email: cbowen1@framingham.edu

INTERESTS: Professor Bowen’s latest areas of research and production are vlogging and podcasting—recently developing new courses for the department on these means of communication. Focal Press published his books’ fourth editions [ Grammar of the Shot ; Grammar of the Edit ] in 2018, and he is beginning the manuscripts for the 5th editions during 2022. Current projects include dabbling in acrylic, oil, and pastel painting, as well as a fiction book manuscript. His favorite colors (now) are Hi-Viz Yellow and Neon Green. He rides motorcycles. Sasquatch = Yes.

EDUCATION: B.A., Brandeis University; M.F.A., Boston University

COURSES: COMM209 Audio Production: Podcasting, COMM226 Writing for Visual Media, COMM262 Television Studio Production, COMM280 Introduction to Film Production, COMM309 Video Editing and Effects, COMM317 Video Production: Vlogging, COMM380 Advanced Film Production, COMM410 Senior Portfolio in Film Production, COMM490 Independent Study, and COMM495 Internship in Communication, Media, and Performance


Mary Kate Caffrey

Assistant Professor

Office: OC 304
Phone Number: 508-626-4999
Email: mcaffrey1@framingham.edu

INTERESTS: MK "Kate" Caffrey is an award- winning theatre artist and educator. Her full length plays include Mother’s Bliss, Mother's Woe, which had a full production at Framingham State University; Pandora's Box, which had a staged reading at Threshold Theatre, and Oh Mighty ISIS. Dover Sherborn Middle School produced her two one act plays Midsummer Dreaming and Lazy, Hazy, Crazy. She has written numerous ten-minute plays including E Pluribus Unum, in God we Trust produced by Scribe Stages in Los Angeles and My Dancing Days Are Over a finalist for the Warner International Playwrights Festival 2020. Caffrey is currently working on two TV Pilot/Treatments, A World of Their Own: Vanessa and Virginia and Higher Ed. Her textbooks The Natural Actor, and Celebrating Live Theatre: An Introduction are published by Cognella. She is a member of the local Boston's Proscenium Playwrights and the national Playwrights UNITE playwriting groups. Kate is an award-winning professional theatrical director (over 60 productions), theatre producer and artistic director. She is a founding member and Producing Artistic/Education Director of Boston’s award - winning Threshold Theatre, and served as Education Director at The New Theatre (Boston) and Artistic Director of the Triangle Theatre (Boston). She began her career in theatre as an actor, but rarely has time to tread the boards these days. Before coming to Framingham State, Caffrey taught at Northeastern University, UMASS Boston, Suffolk University and Massasoit Community College and has extensive experience teaching all aspects of theatre, writing and human communication to students of all ages. She is a proud member of The Dramatists Guild (DG), Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC), Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP), Theatre Communications Guild (TCG), and Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) and presented workshops in theatre and playwriting at their conferences in Montreal (2014) and Boston (2018). Professor Caffrey sits on the Board of Directors of StageSource, which provides leadership and services to advance the art of theater in the Greater Boston and New England region. She loves to travel with her son and spouse, revels in laughing and making others laugh, and is an avid bicyclist, gardener, yogi, singer, guitarist and beginning angler. 

EDUCATION: B.A., Boston College; M.A., Northwestern University; M.F.A., Lesley University


Sarah Cole

Associate Professor

Office: OC 321
Phone Number: 508-626-4215
Email: scole@framingham.edu

INTERESTS: In addition to directing and acting, Professor Cole is a playwright. Currently, she is focusing on play writing and ethnography. Her last full length play, "Aftermath," has been presented in New York City, Stockholm Sweden, and here at Framingham State University.

EDUCATION: B.A., M.A., Kansas State University, Ph.D., The Union Institute

COURSES: COMM201 Oral Interpretation of Literature, COMM212 Drama Workshop, COMM260 Voice and Articulation, COMM314 Acting, MLSL121 American Sign Language


Robert Johnson, Jr.


Office: WL C-207A
Phone Number: 508-626-4684
Email: rjohnson1@framingham.edu

INTERESTS: Professor Johnson is an award-winning documentary and experimental filmmaker. He received a Fulbright Specialists Grant to teach documentary filmmaking in Rwanda and served as an expert for the State Department’s cultural diplomacy program, "American Documentary Showcase." His films include two that provide a comprehensive understanding of fair use exemptions for media makers, and another that won several awards for its portrait of the contributions made by African Americans during WWII. He has exhibited video art and experimental films, photography, and paintings at galleries and in festivals across the country. He is also the recipient of the 2012 Distinguished Faculty Award for “Excellence in Scholarship/Creative Activity.”

EDUCATION: B.A., Rutgers University, M.F.A, School of the Art Institute of Chicago

COURSES: COMM130 Visual Communications, COMM226 Writing for Visual Media, COMM259 African Americans in Television and Radio, COMM280 Introduction to Film Production, COMM312 Screenwriting, COMM366 Documentary Filmmaking, COMM410 Senior Portfolio in Film Production, COMM490 Independent Study, COMM495 Internship in Communication, Media, and Performance



Audrey Kali


Office: WL-207B
Phone Number: 508-626-4677
Email: akali@framingham.edu

INTERESTS: Dr. Kali is interested in how human communication entails a synthesis of verbal language, visual images, and nonverbal performative expression. Her research has explored the rhetoric of contemporary debates about humane standards in animal agriculture and she both directed and appeared in a documentary film about the contentious ethical guidelines in the production of animals for food, Farm and Red Moon. She has also served as a reviewer for the Journal of Critical Animal Studies. Her work on communication and human expression has been published in Communication Quarterly, Rhetoric Review, and the popular textbook, The Rhetoric of Western Thought. She received a Fulbright Scholar Award to teach at the University of Malawi and enhance the curriculum of communication and culture. Currently, she is interested in the intersections of art and science, and how these disciplines necessarily complement each other in the communication of science to a public audience. Her work in the macrophotography of insects is a case in point about how the arts and humanities support scientific inquiry.

EDUCATION: B.A., Chatham University; M.A., Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh

COURSES: COMM115 Human Communication, COMM205 Small Group Communication, COMM207 Interpersonal Dialogue, COMM213 Advanced Public Speaking, COMM215 Science Communication, COMM322 Persuasion and Social Influence, and COMM328 Argumentation and Advocacy



Ashley McDowell

Visiting Lecturer

Office: Whittemore Library
Phone Number: 5086264683
Email: amcdowell@framingham.edu

COURSES: COMM130 Visual Communication

Maura Webster

Visiting Lecturer

Office: Whittemore Library
Phone Number: 774-249-5582
Email: mwebster4@framingham.edu

INTERESTS: Ms. Webster is the Founder, CEO, and Chief Strategist at LillaBlu Strategies, a marketing company focused on authentic, creative, strategic, and people-centered marketing. Maura launched LillaBlu in an effort to bring authenticity back to marketing, to empower entrepreneurs and small business owners to show up and be “real.” Her approach combines strategy with coaching and mentorship so that all entrepreneurs have the knowledge, skills, and ability to grow their business and managed the marketing team and assets that will enable them to succeed.

In addition to teaching public relations here at FSU, Ms. Webster also teaches multi-channel communications at Clark University.

EDUCATION: B.A., International Affairs, George Washington University; MSPA, University of Massachusetts Boston

COURSES: COMM275 Public Relations

Brian Wilson

Full Time Temporary Faculty

Office: WL UM22
Phone Number: 508-626-4671
Email: bwilson6@framingham.edu

INTERESTS: Brian Wilson is a visual communications specialist who works with companies and institutions helping to convey their mission and message. Using the latest technology, Brian works with clients including Princeton University and Mass General Hospital to develop and implement branding, marketing, advertising and social media campaigns. Brian has worked with high profile clients on a wide range of diverse subjects, from brain surgery to sitting U.S. Supreme Court justices.

Brian brings his knowledge of communications to his research and the classroom. His personal research and artwork examines our visual perceptions of the world and aims to challenge the conventional limits of two and three-dimensional media. He is interested in the human connection to visual data, and how this relationship keeps evolving given the rapid pace of technological advancement in social and digital media. Brian began this research while completing his MFA thesis, Seeing Without a Lens: Investigations of Abstract Photography and the Photograph as an Object in 2015. Since that time, he has continued to contribute to this area of research on visual information, social media and society.  Most recently, Brian has been researching the photograph as an object through the study of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Next steps in this research agenda include deeper investigations of the growing NFT ecosystem, the economic implications of NFTs and their impact on the field of visual communications.

His work can be seen on his websites:
Commercial work: brianwilsonphoto.com
Fine art work: brianwilsonart.com

Liz Mazar Phillips

Administrative Assistant

Office: May Hall 107 & WL-C203
Phone Number: 508-626-4683
Email: ephillips4@framingham.edu

EDUCATION: B.A., Lyon College; M.S., Boston University