Visual Arts and Communication


Department Chair

Office Manager

Academic Adviser


  • Beus, Yifen, Film (2000) B.A. 1987, National Chengchi University; M.A. 1989, Brigham Young University; Ph.D. 2000, Indiana University.
  • Chen, Chiung Hwang, Communications (2001) B.A. 1985, World College of Journalism, Taipei; B.A. 1991, Brigham Young University–Hawaii; M.A. 1994, University of Iowa; Ph.D. 2000, University of Iowa.
  • Stout, Daniel, Communications (2013) B.A. 1979, Brigham Young University; M.A. 1985, University of Georgia; Ph.D. 1993, Rutgers University.

Associate Professors

  • Merrill, Jeffrey B., Art (2011) B.F.A. 1997, Brigham Young University; M.F.A. 2011, Academy of Art University.
  • Toluta'u, Viliami H., Art (1991) B.A. 1980, Brigham Young University-Hawaii; M.F.A. 1983, Brigham Young University.
  • Yergensen, Brent, Communications (2018) B.S. 2004, Idaho State University; M.A. 2006, Eastern Illinois University; Ph.D. 2011, University of Nebraska, Lincoln; Executive Leadership Cert. 2015, Cornell University.

Assistant Professors

  • Allred, Mason, Communications (2018) B.A. 2007, Brigham Young University-Hawaii; M.A. 2008, University of California, Berkeley; Ph.D. 2015, University of California, Berkeley.
  • Kwon, Jihae, Art (2015) B.F.A. 1999, University of Utah; B.F.A. 2003, University of Utah; M.A. 2014, The Corcoran College of Art & Design.
  • McConnell, Robert, Art (2015) B.S. 2011, Brigham Young University; M.F.A. 2014, Maryland Institute College of Art.

Affiliated Faculty Members

  • Beus, David, Film (2000) B.A. 1989, Brigham Young University; M.A. 1994, University of North Carolina; Ph.D. 2002, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Special Instructors

  • Christy, Olivia, Art Education (1985) B.A. 1981, Brigham Young University.
  • Houghton, Caryn, Art History (2009) B.A. 1992, Brigham Young University; M.A. 2014, California State University, Dominguez Hills.
  • Merrill, Ann, Art History (2013) B.S. 1996, Brigham Young University.
  • McConnell, Anna, Art (2017) B.S. 2011, Brigham Young University.
  • Saenz, Monique, Photography (2003) B.F.A., Brigham Young University-Hawaii. M.F.A. 2010, Academy of Art University.
  • Skaf, Daniel M., Video Production (2006); B.A. 2001, Brigham Young University–Hawaii; M.F.A 2005, Dodge College of Film & Media Arts, Chapman University.   

Emeritus Faculty

  • Alisa, Mata'umu (1997-2011)
  • Compton, D. Chad (1992-2017)
  • Miller, Dwight E. (1978-2012)

Programs and Degrees

The Department of Visual Arts and Communication offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree (art) as well as bachelor's degrees in art, art education, and communication studies. Students may also earn an academic or a skill-based minor or certificate in these fields. Students are required to meet with their faculty advisor and academic advisor to plan an academic schedule. Programs offered in the Visual Arts and Communication Department include the following and are described below.

Programs and Degrees

Programs Outcomes

Upon completing a major in Art, students will:

  1. Demonstrate studio proficiency in hand crafted visual art production techniques.
  2. Demonstrate studio proficiency in digital imaging and computer software production techniques.
  3. Demonstrate methods of critical thinking through critique, compositional analysis, and interpretation of the elements and principles of design.
  4. Demonstrate informed understanding and appreciation of the history of art, theories of art, and the role of art in education through written and oral communication.
  5. Demonstrate proficiency in professional practices of visual arts documentation and presentation through portfolio production and exhibition.
  6. Demonstrate leadership and self-directed learning through independent study, student research and internship.


Upon completing a major Communication Studies, students will:

  1. Understand history and diversity of the communication discipline.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of communication theory and application.
  3. Think critically to develop innovative and well-founded perspectives.
  4. Broaden knowledge of role of media in various cultures.
  5. Use technology to communicate effectively in various settings and contexts.
  6. Demonstrate appropriate and professional ethical behavior.

Programs Descriptions

Visual Arts

The visual arts curriculum serves five main purposes: (1) to prepare competent professionals in various fields of visual arts; (2) to qualify artists and designers to solve conceptual and technical problems inherent in visual arts; (3) to train art students to critically assess and discuss works of art; (4) to prepare art educators for teaching the visual arts at the secondary level; and (5) to generally develop individuals' aesthetic sense by helping them experience art.


Communication Studies

Media of communication play a crucial role in shaping the world we live in: from the press, to social media, to film and to other entertainment media. The communication studies curriculum teaches students the foundation of ethical and effective communication. The curriculum includes a wide range of topics, addressing important issues such as media criticism, message design, media processes and effects. Students are expected to develop analytical, leadership, teamwork skills, and the ability to articulate, in verbal and written forms, ideas in the contemporary media landscape.

Career Opportunities

Visual Arts

The Art major prepares students for many visual art and humanity-related careers and provides a solid foundation for art and design graduate programs. Studio art majors can specialize in one of two media tracks (graphic design, or painting). Students in the graphic design track are trained as graphic designers in digital and print media for branding, publication, and web design, including additional skills in illustration, photography, and video. Students in the painting track are trained to work as self-employed freelance artists, with the skills necessary to develop gallery exhibitions. The BFA program is designed to raise the skills of students to professional levels and to develop a professional portfolio for career development, graduate school, and higher education opportunities. A degree in art education certifies a student to teach in elementary and secondary levels.

Communication Studies

A major in Communication Studies provides a rigorous degree that prepares students for graduate professional programs in business and public administration, public relations, journalism, as well as for graduate academic programs in fields such as communication studies, media studies, American studies, and other interdisciplinary programs. 

As a terminal degree, the major prepares highly desirable and competent professional consultants, business and government communications specialists, freelance or writers for journals, magazines, or other media outlets.

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