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College of Fine Arts and Communication

Undergraduate research mentors in the fine arts:

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  • Email:

    Phone: 512-245-3765

    Research Interests: Latin American art history, decolonial theory, feminism and gender studies.

    Bio: here.

  • Email:

    Research Interests: User Experience (UX), User Interface (UI), software design, mobile app design, design thinking strategies, interdisciplinary collaboration, Internet of Things (IoT), Voice User Interfaces (VUI).

    Bio: here.

  • Email:

    Research Interests: Socially Engaged Art Practices, Photography, Art and Advocacy, Capital Punishment, Migration, Refugee Issues.

    Bio: Mark Menjivar is an artist and educator based in San Antonio, TX. His work explores diverse subjects through photography, stories and found objects while emphasizing dialogue and collaboration. Mark is also a member of Borderland Collective.
    His work has been shown at venues across the country including The Houston Center for Photography, The San Antonio Museum of Art, The Wignall Museum of Art, The University of Wisconsin-�Milwaukee, Baylor University, The Southwest School of Art and Central Michigan University.
    Mark's work has been featured by National Geographic, Artforum, TED, NPR, The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Village Voice, Gastronomica, Orion Magazine, GUP Magazine and dozens more. Faculty Profile.


    Phone: 512-245-8931

    Research Interests:  Human relationships, technology, persuasion, message development, instructional/classroom communication, applied communication research, sport communication, family communication, and transition to college.


    Dr. Burns is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Communication Studies and the Honors College and also serves as the CoDirector for the College of Fine Arts and Communication's research program, CoSearch.  He teaches large lectures of COMM 1310 and several other courses including: small group communication, interpersonal communication, sport communication, leadership, persuasion, and honors courses titled Re-Humanizing Communication and Talking Like TED.


    Dr. Burns is an applied communication researcher and conducts theoretically-based research with practical applications. He has published and presented research in the areas of persuasion, message development, higher education and the college transition, narrative influence, interpersonal communication, and family communication. Dr. Burns uses mix methods in his research.


    Dr. Burns' professional experiences outside of academia include working for NBC’s Today Show at the 2006 Torino, 2008 Beijing, 2012 London, and 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games. While at the Today Show he works on the production management and logistics team while overseeing their intern program. Dr. Burns also worked as a communication specialist for the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.



  • Email:

    Research Interests: Interpersonal communication, health communication, instructional communication, social support, coping with chronic illness and difficult life events, college student/young adult health.


  • Email:

    Phone: 512-245-2018

    Research Interests: Music Theory, Text-Music Relationships, Music Cognition.


    Cynthia I. Gonzales, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor at Texas State University and frequently presents about applications of technology to teach aural skills and music theory. Her primary area of research is text-music relationships in Arnold Schoenberg’s tonal lieder, about which she has presented at regional, national, and international conferences. As a vocalist, Cynthia has been soprano section leader for two professional choral ensembles: Santa Fe Desert Chorale (in the 1980s) and Grammy-winning Conspirare (1996-2011). She is currently President-Elect of the Texas Society of Music Theory. As Music Director at First Lutheran Church in San Marcos, TX, she has written numerous anthems for her church choir. Three of her choral works were selected for the 2017 Texas UIL Sight Singing Contest.



  • Email:

    Phone: 512-245-3401

    Research Interests: Music: jazz, popular, classical, music and identity, music and place, women and music.

    Bio here.

  • Email: here.

    Phone: 512 245-3395

    Research Interests:  Music history; music theory; music cognition; rediscovery of forgotten musicians; popular musics; world musics; and many others.

    Bio: here.

  • Email:

    Phone: 512 327-3399

    Research Interests: The arts generally but music more specifically.

    Bio: I graduated from Texas State (Southwest Texas) in 1992. I attended on a partial scholarship to play in the jazz ensemble. After graduation, I went to UT and completed a Masters in Music - jazz education.  I graduated in 1995. In 1997, I attended and completed a law degree at South Texas College of Law in Houston, graduating in 2000. I have practiced law continuously for 17 years.  I also play music on a regular basis and teach a Music Business class and the History of Rock and Roll, at Texas State.

  • Email:

    Research Interests: Voice and Dance, Dialect Discrimination, Stage Accent Authenticity.

    Bio: Kate Glasheen is an actor, voiceover artist, dialect coach, and voice & speech specialist. At Texas State she teaches vocal health and production, verse and scansion, text analysis, the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), and dialects. Kate earned her MFA in Voice Studies from the Royal Central School of Speech & Drama, University of London. Member: SAG/AFTRA, Voice & Speech Trainer's Association (VASTA), Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE).

  • Email:

    Phone: 512-245-2932

    Research Interests: Dance and Somatics.

    Bio: LeAnne Smith is a Professor of Dance at Texas State University where she has been a faculty member since 1983. She serves as Artistic Director of Opening Door Dance Theatre, founded with Karen Earl and Sandy Rodriguez in 1984. A graduate of Case Western Reserve University, LeAnne has danced the works of Erick Hawkins, Wendy Hambidge, Louis Kavouras, and Shay Ishii, among others. Her choreography has been presented throughout the United States, San Jose/Costa Rica, Edinburgh/Scotland, Giessen/Germany, Paris/France, and Athens/Greece. A recipient of the Texas State Presidential Award for Scholarly/Creative Activities, LeAnne recently served on the Academic Course Guide Manual Committee for the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. In collaboration with the Erick Hawkins’ Foundation, LeAnne works to maintain the Hawkins’ archives.