Meet our Faculty

Charles Mason

Department Chair

Charles Mason
Professor Charles Mason has taught photography and photojournalism at UAF since 1990. He actively and passionately pursues all kinds of photography. His work has garnered numerous awards including the Oskar Barnack Award at World Press Photo, POY awards, and others. He's also had a number of solo shows in and out of Alaska. His prints are in the collection of many individuals and museums.

Mason's photographs have been published widely, including in the New York Times, Outside Magazine, Time, LIFE and even The Weekly Reader. The cover of the bestselling book "Water for Elements" features a photograph he took here at a small circus here in Fairbanks. He's been in Pictures of the Year issues of Time, LIFE, Stern, and the Photography Annuals of PDN and Communication Arts.

Mason has a joint appointment between the Department and Communication and Journalism, and the Department of Art, where he heads the BFA and MFA sequences in Photography.  

Mason now mostly photographs his family, travels, and assignment and commercial work. He covers Alaska stories for the New York Times and is represented by Getty Images and the Well Street Art Company. When not taking pictures, Mason enjoys tending to his vast collection of carnivorous plants, practicing solo synchronized swimming routines, and spending time with his many Siamese cats.


Phone: 907-474-6217


Dr. Peter DeCaro

Associate Professor of Communication 

Office: 503G Gruening
Phone: 907-474-6799





Dr. Karen M. Taylor

Assistant Professor of Communication 

I joined the Department of Communication Faculty in 2008, after having lived in six other states and travelled in every single state except for Hawaii.  My Ph.D. is from University of Pittsburgh (with certification in History & Philosophy of Science), my M.A. is from Texas A&M University, and my B.A. is from Tulane University (with a minor in Physics).

My academic interests are primarily in organizational communication.  My research deals with communicating scientific information and the role of communication in knowledge-production. More generally, my interests are pretty eclectic and I like learning new things, so conversations on almost any topic are welcome.


Office: 503C Gruening
Phone: (907) 474-6818


Dr. Kevin L. Sager

Assistant Professor of Communication

I joined the Department of Communication Faculty in 2010. I have a Ph.D. in Communication from the University of Washington, a M.S. Ed. in Counseling and Counselor Education from Indiana University, and a B.S. in Psychology and Molecular Biology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

My academic interests include statistics, quantitative research methods, organizational communication, interpersonal communication, and small group communication. My current research focuses on superior-subordinate communication.



Office: 503F Gruening
Phone: (907) 474-5060



Dr. Amy May

Assistant Professor of Communication 

I am excited to be joining the communication department for the 2016-2017 academic year.  I have been teaching communication and humanities-based courses for almost eleven years. I started teaching while finishing my Masters at Auburn University, and I have been teaching and continuing my own education ever since. I finished my Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in May 2011.  Most recently, I taught at the University of Maryland-College Park, and I look forward to becoming part of the UAF community.

My research interests are varied.  My passion is the social construction of parenthood and the motherhood narrative.  I am especially interested in understanding the experience of women who choose alternative paths to parenthood, such as surrogacy.  Most recently, I have started to research contrapower, focusing on students who bully professors and their experiences in the academy.  



Office: 503G Gruening
Phone: (907) 474-6591


Katelin Avery

Adjunct Professor of Communication

Kaitlin Faculty Photo
I joined the Department of Communication Faculty in 2015. I have a B.S. in Community Development and Graphic Design from Portland State University. My current research focuses on workplace and organizational communication culture. 

Although I've traveled far I returned to hometown in 2009, because the geography of relationships is the geography of happiness. Fairbanks has enriched my life with family, friends, and community. On my days off I like to teach yoga, garden, hike, and spend time playing with my kid.

 101 MBS Complex

Phone: (907) 474-5846

Teaching Schedule Fall 2016:
Fundamentals of Oral Communication
W 6:00 - 9:00PM

Office Hours: By appointment 

Laura Neuffer

Adjunct Professor of Communication

Faculty Laura I have a master's degree in Communication Management from The University of Southern California and I specialize in remote communications such as online comm. After a year of teaching on campus I now teach primarily online classes for the Department of Communication. I'm also a registered yoga instructor and have been teaching yoga for over 5 years.

Leanne Burnett

Adjunct Professor of Communication

picture of leanneI graduated from University of Alaska Fairbanks with my Masters in Professional Communication in 2012 and have been delighted to be a part of the adjunct faculty of this department ever since. I have taught the public speaking classes of Comm 131x and Comm 141x.  Each semester has given me the opportunity to learn so much from my students, both from the interactions we share in the classroom and about the wide and wonderful variety of topics they choose for the speeches they give. 

Within the academic field of communication, I am particularly interested in intrapersonal and interpersonal communication, as well as intergenerational communication.  My research examined the ways in which grandparents negotiate the role transition if they become the primary caregivers for their grandchildren. 

In addition to teaching at the collegiate level, I also enjoy working with students as a substitute teacher in the Middle and High Schools of the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District. When I am not in a classroom, I can usually be found spending time with friends and family, working on various home improvement projects, or curled up in my favorite chair with a good book and a cup of coffee.

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