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.

Ronda Lawrence

Instructor of American Sign Language


Ronda Lawrence’s background includes over 30 years of experience working with the deaf population. She has interpreted in an exceptionally wide range of situations, including medical, legal, church, community, and academic settings. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and Masters of Special Education. She is a special education teacher and currently teaches Intermediate American Sign Language 1 and 2 at BC. Prayer is at the forefront of Mrs. Lawrence’s life, and as an interpreter, it is her belief that no other thing is more important to sign than the Word of God.

Melissa Linkous

Instructor of American Sign Language


Melissa Linkous hails from Bluefield, West Virginia, and is a proud Bluefield College graduate. She has returned to BC to teach Beginning American Sign Language 1 and 2. Finding her love for this beautiful and unique language at a young age, she has been a fluid signer for more than 30 years, and has served her community as an interpreter in both professional and personal venues for over 20 years. Mrs. Linkous is also employed by Tazewell County Public Schools and serves as an educational interpreter. She firmly believes that sign language is beneficial for everyone, as it can be used with a variety of individuals, not just with those who are deaf.

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.