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Aug. 13, 2012

Charles Atkin, chairperson of MSU communication department, dies

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Charles Atkin, chairperson of Michigan State University’s Department of Communication and a University Distinguished Professor of communication, has died. He was 66.

An MSU faculty member since 1971, Atkin has served as communication department chairperson for 15 years.

“Chuck was a dear friend and colleague to so many of us in the communication department as well as the college,” said Pamela Whitten, dean of the College of Communication Arts and Sciences. “His contributions to the communication discipline places him among the very best in the field’s history.”

Atkin taught and conducted research on media campaigns, particularly in the health field. His current research focused on campaign strategies for prevention of breast cancer and of risky alcohol use. He was the author of four books on media and alcohol use.

In 1998, he was honored with the MSU University Distinguished Professor award. He also was a Fellow of the International Communication Association.

He earned a bachelor’s degree from MSU and a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin.

A memorial service will be at 4 p.m., Aug. 26, in Room 147 of the College of Communication Arts and Sciences Building.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations can be made in memory of Dr. Charles Atkin to MSU -- Department of Communications, 535 Chestnut Road, Room 300, East Lansing, MI 48824.


Michigan State University has been working to advance the common good in uncommon ways for more than 150 years. One of the top research universities in the world, MSU focuses its vast resources on creating solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges, while providing life-changing opportunities to a diverse and inclusive academic community through more than 200 programs of study in 17 degree-granting colleges.

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