M. Laurie Norton Diles, Ph.D.
Chair, Department of Communication

Phone: 501-279-4445
University of Oklahoma

About Dr. Diles

Dr. Laurie Diles joined the faculty in 2011, following several years as an adjunct instructor. She has served as a speaker for women’s classes and programs in Brazil, Czech Republic, Germany and Slovakia, as well as in the United States. Dr. Diles’ research and occasional consulting has concentrated in the area of intercultural communication, especially intercultural adaptation. Prior to moving to Searcy, she and her husband, Allen, and their two sons served for 11 years in the Czech Republic on a church-planting team. 

Charles Bane, Ph.D.

Phone: 501-279-4925
Louisiana State University

About Dr. Bane

Dr. Bane has lived in numerous places all over the country, working variously as a country music disc jockey, an oil refinery demolition specialist, a movie critic, a television producer, an eighth-grade English teacher, and an awarding-winning filmmaker. Along the way, he managed to earn various degrees including a PhD in Film History, Theory, and Criticism from LSU (Geaux Tigers!). His films have been screened at the Three Minute Film Festival, WorldFest – Houston, and the Bare Bones International Film Festival. His articles have appeared in Stephen King and Philosophy, Jane Austen and Philosophy, Hollywood’s America: Twentieth-Century America Through Film, Stanley Kubrick: Essays on his Films and Legacy, Papa, PhD: Essays on Fatherhood by Men in the Academy, and the Encyclopedia of Documentary Film.

Noah Darnell, M.A.

Phone: 501-279-4447
University of Westminster

About Mr. Darnell

Mr. Darnell has been teaching and working at Harding since he graduated in 2010. After working for International Programs, he took a few years off to get his M.A. in Documentary Photography and Photojournalism from the University of Westminster in London, and then sailed home across the Atlantic. Now he teaches journalism and visual communication courses and supports the Society of Professional Journalist chapter. Originally from Guntersville, Alabama, he is also a general aviation pilot and rescues retired greyhounds.

April Fatula, M.S.

Phone: 501-279-4181
Harding University

About Mrs. Fatula

After graduating from Harding in 1999 with degrees in print journalism and Spanish, Mrs. Fatula joined the University as director of news services, a role she served for nine years. On behalf of two public relations and marketing agencies in Little Rock, she coordinated national and regional public relations and media relations efforts for a wide variety of Arkansas-based clients for 10 years. Her work has been recognized with multiple Prism Awards, presented by the Arkansas Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America. She is a contributing writer to regional magazines and blogs on a regular basis, and is a past contributor to The Christian Chronicle. She assists as advisor of the award-winning Bison newspaper and Petit Jean yearbook and teaches courses in public relations. She serves as a member of the board of directors for Midnight Oil: A Kibo Outpost and Mission Machine. She and her husband, Aleks, have three children.

Patrick Garner, Ph.D.

Phone: 501-279-4635
University of Oklahoma

About Dr. Garner

Dr. Patrick Garner has taught communication at Harding for 38 years. Besides being a classroom teacher in the Department of Communication, he is also a teacher and one of the founding participants in the Honors College. Dr. Garner also directs the forensics program and the undergraduate fellowships program. His academic interests include interpersonal communication, nonverbal behavior, persuasion, small group communication, and the effects of technology on interpersonal behavior. In the Honors College his course emphasizes the development of postmodern thought as well as the effects of present and future technology on culture. He planned and helped execute a ground-breaking intersession course last May on the origins and diffusion of coffee. The class was conducted in Ethiopia, Oman, Turkey and France. He has been married to the former Mona Lee Moore for 38 years, having four children and eight grandchildren. He is an elder at the Downtown Church of Christ.

Dutch Hoggatt, Ph.D.

Phone: 501-279-4886
Ohio University

About Dr. Hoggatt

A graduate of Abilene Christian University, Dr. Hoggatt has worked as a television news producer, reporter and anchor at stations in West Texas. He has served as an announcer and manager at a number of radio stations.  His video production experience has included the production of documentaries in Israel, Greece, Turkey and England.  Dr. Hoggatt teaches media, audio, and radio production courses.  He serves as the advisor for media production majors and sponsors the university chapter of Radio Television Digital News Association.  He also manages the university radio stations KVHU 95.3 and AM1660.

James E. Miller, Ph.D.

Phone: 501-279-5180
University of Tennessee

About Dr. Miller

Dr. Miller worked as a contributing writer for the Knoxville News Sentinel and Knoxville Business Journal for three years. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee and has published and presented research at dozens of conferences around the country. Dr. Miller served as chair of the Department of Communication from 2014 to 2019 and received the university’s Teaching Achievement Award in 2012. He teaches courses in writing and reporting, research methods, and media ethics. His research interests include political communication and media ethics in the digital age. Dr. Miller sponsors Harding’s chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and is a member of Kappa Tau Alpha, the national society for recognition of scholarship in mass communication. He and his wife, Sara, have two children.

Jack R. Shock, Ed.D.
Distinguished Professor

Phone: 501-279-4196
University of Arkansas

About Dr. Shock

An alumnus of Harding, Dr. Shock served in the White House as Director of Presidential Letters and Messages for President Clinton. He also worked in media relations for the Red Cross. That job took him to Ground Zero a few weeks after 9/11 where he helped tell the stories of some of the most courageous people you will ever read about. Dr. Shock is a three-time recipient of the Teacher Achievement Award at Harding, thus has been promoted to Distinguished Professor. He spends his time writing, introducing people to New York City, and rescuing dogs who need good homes.

Lori Sloan, M.B.A.
Assistant Professor

Phone: 501-279-4593
Webster University

About Mrs. Sloan

An alumna of Harding, Mrs. Sloan serves as assistant professor of Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC). She taught in the Paul R. Carter College of Business for 23 years and recently moved to the College of Arts and Humanities' Communication Department to launch a collaborative IMC degree between both colleges. Sloan holds an MBA and has taught marketing, advertising, branding, sales and ethics courses at the undergraduate level. She has served on the Arkansas Board for the Girls Scouts of America and the Board of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra. Sloan continues to do sales and marketing consulting ranging from musicians, authors, movie production projects and sales training and sports events. Her passion is teaching and interacting with college students and inspiring them to use their gifts to glorify God.

Contact Us

Communication Department is part of the College of Arts & Sciences


Fax: 501-279-4065

Mailing address:
Harding University
Department of Communication
HU 10765
Searcy, AR 72149-5615