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Dr. Claire Van Ens

Claire Van EnsClaire Van Ens, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Communication Studies and Theatre, graduated from University of San Diego as a non-traditional student with a B.A. in Communication Studies. She earned an M.A. in Communication Studies with a specialization in Rhetoric from University of Texas at Austin, and her master’s thesis analyzed the performance art of Karen Finley. Van Ens holds an an interdisciplinary Ph.D. from University of Texas at Austin in the areas of Communication Studies (Performance Studies), Anthropology (Folklore), and Radio-Film-Television. Her dissertation looked at images of large women in Hollywood films.

Van Ens taught at Central Michigan University for two years before joining the faculty at Kutztown University. She teaches Interpersonal Communication, Gender Communication, Family Communication, Interviewing: Communication Principles, Foundations of Oral Communication, and Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies. Her research interests include personal narrative, gender, film, and performance art.

Van Ens served as director of KU DiversityFest IV and has co-chaired the KU DiversityFest Speaker Series. She is a member of the Women’s and Gender Studies Advisory Board, and APSCUF Gender Issues Social Justice Committee, in addition to involvement on several other campus committees. Van Ens is also a board member for the Mid-Atlantic Women’s Studies Association and serves on the National Communication Association (NCA) Performance Studies awards committee.

She is an avid reader, cook, and animal lover.