Navigate our site!

Interim Director of Public Relations and
Communication Instructor


Peter Van Houten
GW 403A / LH 151B
Casper College
125 College Drive
Casper, WY 82601

B.A., M.B.A., University of Wyoming
Ph.D., Colorado State University

  • Biography
  • Course Information
  • Personal

I grew as a child of the military, meaning we moved often throughout my childhood and teen years. After living in Germany and France through age 5, we resided for many years in various states across the American West. I graduated from the University of Wyoming in journalism and public relations, and worked for several years for newspapers and magazines as a reporter and editor in Wyoming, California and Idaho. In 1992, we moved back to Wyoming where I worked at Wyoming Medical Center, first as a communication specialist at the hospital, and eventually as the director of the marketing and public relations offices. I left the hospital as the director of the foundation. I came to Casper College 11 years ago, where I teach a variety of classes in journalism, film, public relations media and communication. I am active in the community on a couple of non-profit boards.

This list includes classes that I have taught in the past as well as classes taught today. I also teach two public relations courses for the University of Wyoming at Casper College every couple of years.

CO/M 1000 Introduction to Mass Media: Explores the nature and function of the mass media in contemporary society. Begins by examining some major theoretical conceptions of the communication process, concentrating on how communication creates and sustains culture. Other topics include the effects of the media on media consumers, special characteristics of the various media, and public policy issues in regard to mass media.

CO/M 1040 Introduction to Human Communication: An introduction to the nature and function of human symbolic communication in its various settings. The role of symbolic communication on the interpersonal level as a method of establishing and defining human relationships will be examined, as will the relationship of symbolic communication to the establishment and maintenance of larger behavioral, economic, and cultural processes and structures.

I taught this class with other instructors as part of a team-teaching approach. I have never taught it on my own.

CO/M 1080 Talking About Fundraising and Talking About Working with the Media: This course will focus on unique or specific communication situations, for which there are often special strategies or rules for effective communication. It may be repeated under different topics to a maximum of three credits.

CO/M 2100 Reporting and Newswriting: Learning the meaning of news, beginning newswriting, development of news sources, selection and organization of information, variations in types of news, the developments and trends of journalistic forms, and social and legal responsibilities of the press. Practice in gathering and writing news. Preparation of articles for campus newspaper. Prerequisite: ENGL1010 or permission of instructor.

CO/M 2180 Introduction to Film Studies: Introduction to film esthetics and critical approaches to studying and writing about film. Includes examination of photography, production, scripting, sound, composition as well as theoretical and social concerns.

CO/M 2190 Basic Video Production: Basic camera operation, sound, lighting, scriptwriting, planning, budgeting, and editing introduce the fundamentals of corporate and educational single-camera video production. Students will work in a variety of crew positions to create private or institutional videotapes.

CO/M 2200 Broadcast Production: Introduction to the fundamental technical and production concepts in radio, television, and motion pictures. Actual experience with equipment and an understanding of its operation are emphasized. Prerequisite: CO/M 2190 or permission of the instructor.

CO/M 2340 Editing and Production: Evaluation, selection and preparation of news copy for publication. Practice in copy reading, proof reading, headline writing, and page layout. Use of photography and advertising in page layout. Prerequisite: CO/M 2100.

CO/M 2355 Introduction to Media Photography: This course is designed for students to gain a general understanding of digital camera operation and the development of photojournalism and its role in a visually-oriented world. Students will use digital cameras for their photographs and will learn how to manipulate them in Adobe Photoshop. Prerequisite: CO/M 2100, or permission of the instructor.

CO/M 2370 Independent Video Production (1-2CR) (Max. 2): With approval of the instructor, the student designs and implements one or more independent or institutionally-related video projects. Prerequisite: CO/M 2230.

CO/M 2380 Cinema History: A study of the development of film from 1895 to the present in relation to historical forces shaping the film industry in the form of artistic movements, world history, popular taste, technology, economics, and politics. Weekly screening of historically significant films supplement readings, lectures, and discussions. Prerequisite: ENGL 1010 or permission of instructor.

CO/M 2390 Independent Publications: Students interested in work on the newspaper or the literary/art magazine will work in advertising, photography, records, circulation, editorial and writing/editing. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

CO/M 2475 Independent Study (1-3CR) (Max. 6): An opportunity for students to develop projects in their particular area of interest within the communication discipline. Prerequisite: CO/M 1040, consent of instructor, and completion of at least six hours of 2000 level CO/M credits.

CO/M 2480 Cooperative Work Experience (1-3CR) (Max. 6): Laboratory work consists of paid on-the-job training independently arranged and accompanied by academic instruction. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.

I am married with two daughters. In my free time, I enjoy reading, writing and word puzzles. I also like playing all forms of sport, even though I usually play badly. This includes golf and basketball. I love all types of movies, and have spent the last two years watching a lot of older films made before 1980. I especially enjoy the movies from 1940 to 1960, when the film industry was most inventive. I am a proud member of a stock club that began in 1999 and has dramatically outperformed the market. I also love music, especially alternative music from 1994 to today. I tend to lean toward bands from England, especially those groups composed of brothers. I can’t explain the logic here, though I have seen my favorite band, Oasis, in four different venues including one memorable night in Dublin, Ireland. I am a huge Minnesota Twins fan and still dream of getting discovered some day on a softball diamond. My dream job, other than teaching at Casper College, would be playing third base for the Twins. I greatly enjoy traveling, and feel fortunate to have a brother living in Northern Ireland. Finally, I most enjoy my wife and girls and time with them in the Wyoming outdoors. My future goals are to learn Spanish and how to play the piano‚Ķ unless of course, the Minnesota Twins come calling.

  CC   CC  
Casper College
Casper College
Return to the previous page A to Z Index NonDiscrimination/Privacy Policy Home Page A to Z Index Event Calendar Search our site Find anyone at Casper College New Media @ CC Home Contact Us Mission Statement A to Z Index Previous Page