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Mary Donato


Contact Information

Department of Communication Studies Armstrong Hall, Room 108 P.O. Box 6293 Morgantown, WV 26506

Office Phone: (304) 293-3905

Areas of Study Emphasis

  • Family Communication
  • Health Communication


Mary E. Donato is from Fairmont, West Virginia. She earned her B.A. (2011) in both Communication Studies and English and her M.A. (2014) in Communication Theory and Research from West Virginia University. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate at West Virginia University, where her research emphases include Family Communication and Health Communication. She is also pursuing a graduate certificate in Gerontology. As a Graduate Teaching Assistant, Mary has taught and served as course administrator for numerous courses during her tenure at West Virginia University including interpersonal communication, communication in contemporary society, communication and aging, and persuasion. She also serves as an undergraduate academic advisor for the Communication Studies department. Mary focuses her research on the communication processes of different family dyads including siblings, parent-child, and in-laws. Particularly, her research has looked into understanding antisocial communication behaviors including conflict and bystander behavior. Currently, for her dissertation, she is investigating the use and effectiveness of fear appeals parents engage in with their children regarding risky health behaviors. Mary is an active member of the National Communication Association, Eastern Communication Association, and Southern Communication Association.


M.A., Communication Studies, West Virginia University

B. A., Communication Studies, West Virginia University


Seelio: Sharing Student Work

Students enrolled in COMM courses are asked to study the theory and process of human communication so that they can apply this knowledge to understanding real-world issues. As part of this process, COMM students have adopted the Seelio platform – a social media platform that allows students to create an online portfolio of their coursework that is easily accessible to the public. Sharing these portfolios shows the importance of the COMM degree while also giving prospective employees a clear, accurate look at the academic work our students are doing.

Seelio Student Coursework Showcase

Academic Advising

Our advisors are available during the summer, fall and spring semesters during office hours. Check 108 Armstrong Hall, call 304-293-3905, or e-mail an advisor to check office hours for the semester (see below for contact information).

The COMM academic advisors are:

Nikki Loy –
Dr. John Shibley –
Mary Donato –


Request a Mountaineer Intern

Professional Field Experience (PFE) is a key element in the undergraduate COMM curriculum that allows students to gain experience in applying their classroom knowledge to a variety of corporate and organizational environments. Organizations looking for students with an in-depth understanding of communication areas that include (but are not limited to) communication theory, data analysis, health communication, interpersonal communication, organizational communication, and social media/communication technology now have the opportunity to request an intern from the Department of Communication Studies at WVU. Use the form below to read up on our PFE program, and to request a Mountaineer intern today.

Organization Intern Application