Cynthia Bascom

Professor of Communication; Chair, Departments of Communication and Graphic Communication


Ph.D. in Mass Communication, Ohio University
Master of Business Administration (Marketing Concentration), Ohio University
Bachelor of Fine Arts (Graphic Concentration and Art Education), Denison University


Dr. Bascom’s diverse background encompasses the art, science, and business of communication. Being trained as an artist/designer and then as a businesswoman, she appreciates the aesthetic qualities of communication, yet understands the dynamic economic forces that shape marketing communication in the U.S. and globally. Dr. Bascom’s career includes working in children’s television (Sesame Street and The Muppet Show), new product development in the toy industry, market research for shopping networks, and curriculum development for the Indianapolis Children’s Museum. Courses that she teaches in the Communication and Graphic Communication programs include, Fundamentals of Speech, Mass Communication, Advertising, Public Relations II, Media and Society, Senior Seminar, and Senior Project.

She is especially honored to have received the Educator of the Year Award (an award voted upon by the student body) her first year teaching at Bluefield College. She has also received the Distinguished Faculty Award and was Bluefield College’s first female teacher to be promoted form associate professor to the rank of full professor.

Stephen Bird

Professor of Communication


Ph.D. in Communication Studies (Journalism emphasis), Regent University
Master of Arts in Mass Communication (Journalism emphasis), Central Missouri State University
Bachelor of Arts in English/Journalism, Averett University


Dr. Stephen V. Bird has taught college students for more than 20 years, working at several universities. Dr. Bird directed a journalism education non-profit in the National Press Building a block and a half from the White House for nearly 5 years. A full-time journalist for more than 5 years, he also pursued an active freelance career for many years. As a freelance writer, he wrote for The Associated Press, The Washington Times, The Boston Herald, The Roanoke Times, Virginia Living Magazine, and a number of other newspapers in Virginia. His work for The Associated Press appeared on websites all over the country including ESPN, The New York Times, Fox News, and The Baltimore Sun.

Courses that Dr. Bird teaches include Media Writing, Journalism, Media Ethics, Media Law, Sports Journalism, Press and Politics, and Storytelling with Video.

Mimi Merritt

Assistant Professor of Communication; Director of Institutional Effectiveness


Master of Arts, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Bachelor of Arts, Duke University


Mimi teaches journalism and communication law classes at Bluefield College. A graduate of Duke University with a bachelor’s degree in English, she earned her master’s degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In addition to teaching, Mimi serves as faculty adviser for the online student newspaper, The Rampage; as Director of Institutional Effectiveness; and as secretary of the Faculty Committee, which she chaired for five years. Before coming to Bluefield College, Mimi worked 12 years as a journalist for newspapers in North Carolina and Virginia; as an information specialist at Virginia Tech; as a technical writer and editor for PDR Communications in Lexington, Kentucky; and as a writing tutor and freelance journalist. She is married to Rob Merritt (Dean of the College of Arts and Letters at BC), and they have two children: Charlie and Caroline. Mimi is a member of Christ Episcopal Church in Bluefield, West Virginia, where she has taught Sunday school and served on the Vestry. She served eight years as president of Blue Mountain Performing Arts, a non-profit community concert provider for which she is now a grants writer.

Allen Roberts

Instructor of Graphic Communication


Currently pursuing a Master of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications, West Virginia University
Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design/Advertising with a minor in Studio Art, Concord University


Mr. Roberts comes to Bluefield College after working for more than a decade in the local news media — first as an editor at the Bluefield Daily Telegraph, and most recently as Internet Director for WVVA-TV.

A lifelong resident of the region, Roberts is a 2002 graduate of Concord University, where he earned a BA in Graphic Design with a minor in Studio Art.

After graduation, Allen spent nearly seven years at the Telegraph, where he was responsible for page layout, headline writing, and editing in the daily edition. He was a two-time winner of ‘Best Front Page’ from the West Virginia Press Association during this time.

In 2010, Allen joined WVVA, the market-dominating NBC affiliate, where he oversaw all of the station’s interactive efforts, including the website, mobile apps, text alert services, social media, and the design of many online ad campaigns. He also appeared on-air as host of the weekly ‘Web Minute’ segment.

While at WVVA, Allen received the 2014 award for ‘Best Use of Digital Media’ from the West Virginia Broadcasters Association.

In addition to his full-time duties in the local media, Allen began teaching Graphic Communication classes in an adjunct role at Bluefield College in the spring of 2010, which he continued to do until accepting a full-time position at the college.

Allen is thrilled to be a part of the Bluefield College family and is pursuing his Masters degree in Integrated Marketing Communications at West Virginia University.

Courses that are taught by Professor Roberts include Typography Design and History, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Photography, Dreamweaver and Flash, InDesign, Storytelling with Video, Senior Portfolio, and Designing for the Graphic Customer.