Dwight Pallmeyer

Dwight Pallmeyer, PhD

  • Associate Professor
Media Expertise:
  • Communications & Marketing
  • Technology

Programs I Teach


  • PhD, Communication Studies (1994)
    Northwestern University (IL)
  • MA, Mass Communication (1981)
    University of Minnesota--Twin Cities (MN)
  • BA, Journalism (1979)
    Valparaiso University (IN)

About Me

My goal as an educator is to get students to think and motivate them to want to learn more. It is not to get students to regurgitate facts or simply mimic what I say. Therefore, my classes are organized around ways to get students to think, to think about their thinking, to learn basic communication theories and skills, and then to use that orientation to further develop their personal learning goals and lifetime objectives. 

I see teaching as a collaborative effort. It is not about me "teaching" students, but rather an engagement between students and professors, as we work together in an environment that benefits all of us and our interactive communities. That is why I have always advocated working on a first-name basis; I teach best when the teaching is in conjunction with my teaching peers.

I started teaching in the speech communication department at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois, after working in radio and marketing research. I started teaching there while also serving as the news director of WVIK in the mid-sized "Quad-Cities" market. Earlier I had worked as a news director at a radio station in Wyoming. After six years at Augustana, I completed my PhD at Northwestern University and then taught communications for three years at Utica College in upstate New York and three years in the journalism program at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, California. 

I came to Widener in 1999 and served as the director of the communication studies program from 1999 to 2014. One of my chief concerns was increasing the space for the department and advocating for a new building for communication studies. In 2013, the department moved into Widener's new Freedom Hall, an 18-thousand square-foot building featuring a television studio, focus group rooms, production suites, cinema viewing room, study suites, offices, classrooms, and more. I also teach in the media informatics program at Widener and helped develop its initial curriculum. I have also served as Chair of Media Informatics.

Research Interests

My research includes three areas: 1) news audiences; 2) media critics and criticism; and 3) utopian versus dystopian views of the exponential growth in digital technologies, a phenomenon, sometimes referred to as "The Singularity."  I am also keenly interested in communication technologies as they continue to evolve—both video and audio production. We are living in an incredibly exciting period for communications. 


  • DeWerth-Pallmeyer, D. Assessing the role audience plays in digital broadcasting today and tomorrow. In Digital technology and the future of broadcasting: Global perspectives, Abingdon, Oxon, UK: Routledge, Forthcoming.
  • DeWerth-Pallmeyer, D. (2006). The critics: Stories from the inside pages feature-length documentary. Distributed by Films Media Group, Lawrenceville, NJ, and by Contemporary Arts Media, Western Australia.
  • DeWerth-Pallmeyer, D. (1997). The audience in the news. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.


  • Widener University, Provost Grant, 2012
  • Cambridge Who's Who among Executives, Professionals and Entrepreneurs, 2008–2009
  • Omicron Delta Kappa, National Leadership Honor Society, 2006

In the Media