Shavonne Shorter, Ph.D.


Shavonne Shorter
Associate Professor and Special Assistant to the President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Bachelor of Arts, Communication Studies - Frostburg State University

Master of Arts and Ph.D., Communication - Purdue University

Contact Information

Dr. Shavonne R. Shorter is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Studies and the Special Assistant to the President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. She is a native of Maryland where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies at Frostburg State University. She went on to receive her Master of Arts and Doctorate of Philosophy degrees in Communication from Purdue University in Indiana.

Dr. Shorter’s area of study is Organizational Communication. Her passion is to prepare her students for life at the organizations that they will work in post-graduation. Classes that she frequently teaches include Small Group Communication, Communication for Business Professionals, and Nonprofit Communication. Her research examines how diversity—or the lack of it—sends specific messages to audiences both internal and external to organizations. She enjoys publishing work that will help to increase the amount of minority professors in higher education and that critiques stereotypical media representations of Black individuals.

Dr. Shorter is honored to be the faculty Co-Chair of the President’s Commission on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (PCDEI) as she works alongside her colleagues to continue to ensure that our university is a place where every student can achieve their dreams. In her work as Special Assistant, she leads the charge of accomplishing the goals outlined in the diversity, equity, and inclusion strategic plan she authored with the PCDEI. For more information on the work of the PCDEI, please see our website, .

She has also directed a number of programs with a diversity, equity, and inclusion focus at the university including the Frederick Douglass Institute for Academic Excellence, the Frederick Douglass Learning Community, and the Jump Start Program, which is a pre-college preparatory initiative.

Dr. Shorter happily serves as an executive board member of the Pennsylvania Black Conference on Higher Education and the United Way of Columbia and Montour Counties. She is also a member of the National Communication Association, Legislative Assembly. In her spare time, she can be found mentoring students both individually and as a part of the student organizations she advises.

Selected Publications:
Brown, N. R. & Shorter, S. R. (2020). A qualitative investigation of peer advice in the context of diabetes management. Journal of Communication in Healthcare, 13(3), 169-176.

Shorter, S. R. (2019). The complex girlfriend: Toni Childs as a hybrid controlling image on Girlfriends. In S. B. White & K. Harris (Eds.), Representations of Black Womanhood on Television: Being Mara Brock Akil (pp. 33-46). Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.

Beerman, R. J. & Shorter. S. R. (2018). Meeting students where they are: Using social justice as a call for participation. In K. Copeland & G.L. Castleberry (Eds.), Competition, community, and educational growth: Contemporary perspectives on competitive speech and debate (pp. 189-197). New York, NY: Peter Lang Publishing.

Shorter, S. R. (2016). Black student-faculty mentorship programs: A means to increase workforce diversity in the professoriate. In C. L. Scott & J. D. Sims (Eds.), Developing workforce diversity programs, curriculum, and degrees in higher education (pp. 43-61). Hershey, PA: IGI Global.