Dr. Julie Gochenour is a communication professional with three decades of experience as an editor, publisher, communications director, and web content developer. In addition to a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies (communication studies, religious and spiritual communication), Gochenour has extensive experience in the areas of health, organizational, religious, and environmental and agricultural communication, including public relations and journalism. Her current research focuses on the role of communication in personal and spiritual meaning-making. She also continues to study the relationship between popular culture and communication.
Since 2010, Gochenour has taught undergraduate and graduate communication and religion courses at James Madison University and at Eastern Mennonite Seminary. She particularly enjoys introducing JMU freshmen to the broad range of human communication and brings both her expertise and her love of communication to GCOM 121, 122, and 123. “One of the first lessons I learned as a journalist is that you don’t do a good job unless you think your work fun,” Gochenour said.
Away from the classroom, Gochenour’s favorite activities include cultural studies, graphic design, public speaking, and swimming. An award-winning writer and editor, Gochenour has published broadly outside the scholarly arena and is currently at work on a book about secular spirituality. She and her husband, Gary, are natives of the Shenandoah Valley and have been married for more than 30 years. They live on the Gochenour family’s 250-acre working farm in Shenandoah County.
“I’ve enjoyed almost every minute of my career but teaching communication is the most fun I’ve ever had. JMU students are amazing.”