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John Chapin teaches video

Like many students, Dr. John Chapin was attracted to Penn State Beaver because of the combination of the small campus setting coupled with the reputation of Penn State.

“Penn State has an international reputation. I like the small-campus feel, while still being part of a large, established system,” said Chapin, professor of communications.

Before coming to Penn State in 1998, Chapin was a teaching assistant at Rutgers University in New Jersey while finishing his doctorate. He also taught part time at two New Jersey community colleges.

Teaching is Chapin’s passion. “I’ve been teaching at some level since 1985.”

Chapin attributes his own success to the influence of his teachers. “I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for a few key teachers’ encouragement and support,” he said.

Chapin teaches three classes each semester, ranging from lower-level communications classes to upper-level journalism classes.

“My favorite classes are cinema arts and TV production,” he said.

“I like the film course, because there is always lively discussion. Everyone likes movies and has something to say. TV production is fun, because I get to spend time with students while they work on projects.”

In addition to teaching, Chapin is involved in the community around the campus and has turned that work into his research specialty.

“I volunteer quite a bit for several domestic violence and sexual assault centers,” he said. “My research area is health communication. Specifically, I study violence prevention campaigns.”

Both the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and the U.S. House of Representatives have given Chapin legislative citations for his outstanding research and volunteer work.

He has received numerous other awards, including a national research award from NOVA (National Office of Victim Assistance) and Pennsylvania’s Speaker of the Year from the Pennsylvania Communication Association.


Ph.D. in Communication, Information, and Library Studies
Rutgers University

Master of Science in Communications Studies/Mass Media
Shippensburg University

Bachelor of Science in Education
Bloomsburg University