Full Time Faculty with Bios

Merrill Brown
Director, School of Communication and Media
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Merrill Brown was named inaugural Director of the MSU School of Communication and Media in August 2012.  He was the founding Editor in Chief of MSNBC.com and the founding Editorial Director of News21, a component of the Carnegie Knight Initiative on the Future of Journalism Education.  Brown has held positions in newspaper and magazine publishing and in cable television before beginning his work in digital media in 1994. He has also worked with dozens of early stage ventures and traditional media companies as a strategy consultant, board member and adviser. 

Hugh Phillips Curnutt  

Hugh Phillips Curnutt, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Media Studies and Criticism
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Hugh Curnutt works in the areas of critical media and cultural studies. His research is broadly concerned with evolving communication technologies and the shifting intersection of media producers and consumers. His main project explores the changing televisual landscape, especially the relationship between television and reality TV's participants. His work also examines the cultural impact of mobile technologies and self-authored media content on contemporary celebrity. His interests include media and cultural history, philosophy of communication, psychoanalytic theory, technology, and television studies.

Roberta Friedman, MFA
Associate Professor
Coordinator of Filmmaking
Documentary Film, Film Forum, Major Studio Project
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Roberta Friedman has had a wide and varied media career, with work spanning a large assortment of film and video productions, which have been shown extensively in the United States and Europe. Her projects have ranged from the commercial, such as her work for George Lucas on Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back, to the esoteric, with experimental work – such as her interactive video The Erl King, which was acquired by the Guggenheim Museum for its permanent collection.

As an independent filmmaker, she has produced and directed many short films, receiving grant funding (including NYSCA, NEA, a BFI Filmmaking Grant, Australian Film Commission grant) and winning awards at various festivals (including Athens International Festival, Sinking Creek Festival, Brooklyn Film Festival, FILMEX). She had a two-evening retrospective of her work in December 2009 at the Millennium Film Workshop, and Kandinsky: A Closer Look, a film she produced with her partner Grahame Weinbren, was shown weekly from September 2009 through January 2010 as part of the Kandinsky retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum. Her film, Bertha’s Children, screened at the Berlin Film Festival in February 2008, and her film Future Perfect, screened at the Rotterdam Film Festival in January 2008. Her experimental films are in the collection of the Australian National Film Library and have been selected to be preserved and housed by the Academy of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles, Calif.

Friedman has extensive production and post-production television and documentary credits. She worked with Michael Moore on The Awful Truth, his weekly documentary series for Bravo Channel and Britain’s Channel 4 in the U.K. She has worked for HBO, Bravo, A&E, WNET, Channel 4 and more. She was the executive producer of HERE! Family, a television series about gay, lesbian and transgender families, currently being broadcast on the HERE! Network, and out on DVD in 2006. She produced the biography of Stockard Channing for Bravo, and produced and developed a one-hour weekly series – “ID: It’s Dance!” – an issue-based, rock-and-roll weekly dance/talk show for WWOR.

She is currently producing a documentary film about the 1980s band, DEVO.

Tara George, M.S.
Associate Professor
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Tara George joins the School of Communication & Media as an Associate Professor of Journalism – Local Media. Before coming to Montclair State University, she was an Associate Professor of Journalism at Purchase College, State University of New York. Prof. George has also worked as a journalist in London and New York, spending a number of years as a staff writer for the New York Daily News covering local, metro and national stories. Her freelance work has appeared in The New York Times, Poynter.org and New Jersey Monthly. She is a contributing author of the book, Brooklyn: A State of Mind (Workman, 2001).

Harry Haines  

Harry W. Haines, Ph.D.
Media Industries, Theoretical and Critical Analysis, Gender Studies, Broadcast Journalism
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Dr. Harry W. Haines is the former Chair of Communication Studies and headed a Task Force responsible for organizing the new School of Communication and Media at MSU. His research includes the critical analysis of Vietnam War literature, memorials, films, and television programs. His teaching assignments include the Department's introductory course, as well as courses on gender and a variety of theoretical issues. He has worked in news and public affairs programming at public and commercial broadcast stations.

Richard Hinchliffe, M.A.
General Manager/Radio
Telephone: 973-655-3135
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Richard (Dick)  Hinchliffe brings the classroom to the airwaves at WMSC-FM, where he serves as General Manager for Radio.  His course, “Radio Production: WMSC-FM On the Air,” provides a conceptual framework for radio programming and creates a learning laboratory for students to produce work for radio broadcast.  Classroom assignments include studio and field production which contribute music , news, talk, public affairs and other programming elements to WMSC (90.3FM) and the station’s live webstream at wmscradio.com.  Students often use the class as a springboard for their involvement (both on and off the air) at WMSC.  As DJs, talk show hosts, reporters and producers, they help to create programming for listeners on campus, in greater Montclair, and – via the internet – around the world.

As a radio station manager, producer and reporter, Mr. Hinchliffe has worked with students and professional colleagues at Bloomberg Radio, WNYC Radio, NPR, The Associated Press,CBS Radio News and elsewhere.  He brings expertise in news and music programming, staff development, strategic planning and multimedia, multi-platform program distribution. His industry articles include "The News from Poems: Radio and the Humanities" and "A Commitmentto Excellence: Radio News for the 21st Century."


Steve Johnson
Assistant Professor
Television and Digital Media; Web Journalism
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Steve Johnson joined the MSU faculty in fall 2012 to teach multimedia journalism, after a long career in Web, TV and newspaper journalism. Prior to MSU, as senior regional editor, he supervised the 85 New Jersey news Web sites in AOL's Patch. He is the former Online Editor for The Associated Press, a long-time senior producer for MSNBC.com, executive producer and reporter for Court TV, and spent several years as a newspaper reporter in Atlanta and Chattanooga. He is the faculty adviser for The Montclarion, MSU's student newspaper and Web site.


Todd Kelshaw, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Coordinator of Communication Studies
Group and Organizational Communication
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Dr. Todd Kelshaw (Ph. D., University of Washington) is an Associate Professor of Communication Studies. His scholarship addresses stakeholder participation in organizations and groups, with special concern for deliberative and dialogic dimensions of democratic civic engagement, community-based organizational partnerships, and service-learning pedagogies. His applications include research and curricular/co-curricular initiatives affiliated with the American Association of State Colleges and Universities' American Democracy Project and the Association of American Colleges and Universities' Bringing Theory to Practice. His writings have appeared in various edited books (such as Communication as…: Stances on theory and the Handbook of research on social interaction technologies and collaboration software: Concepts and trends) and scholarly journals (such as Communication Theory and the International Journal of Public Participation). As well, he is a co-editor of the book, Partnerships for service-learning: Impacts on communities and students. Dr. Kelshaw's honors include a Mandela Award for Outstanding Leadership in Diversity (from MSU's Office of Equity and Diversity) and an Outstanding Service-learning Faculty Award (from MSU's Center for Community-based Learning).


Christine A. Lemesianou, Ph.D.
Associate Director
Coordinator, MSU Basic Communication Program
Social Influence, New Media, Globalization
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Dr. Christine A. Lemesianou is the Associate Director of the School of Communication and Media and an Associate Professor of Communication Studies. She has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in public and organizational relations, persuasion and new media, public speaking, research methods and globalization and has a strong interest in creating innovative pedagogical practices. Her research agenda is interdisciplinary and some of her ongoing projects examine communication and identity, globalization and borders, critical pedagogy, digital rhetoric, and new media and interactive technologies. She is a frequent participant at regional and national conferences and is currently working on a manuscript that interrogates emerging global literacies. She also serves as the Director of the Basic Communication Program at MSU and offers workshops and training on presentation skills and communication coaching.


Lawrence J. Londino, Ph.D.
Television and Digital Media 
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Dr. Lawrence J. Londino has written, produced and directed a variety of radio, television and film projects over a 40-year career, most recently a public television documentary, Ripple in The Water, and wrote produced and directed A Place for Us: The Story of Shady Rest, which traced the history of America’s first African-American country club.  He is currently completing a documentary highlighting MSU's Newark-Montclair Urban Residency Teachers program.  He is the author of Tiger Woods: A Biography (ABC-CLIO, 2010).

 Yi Luo

Yi Luo, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Graduate Program Coordinator
Organizational Communication, Public Relations
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Dr. Yi Luo joined the Montclair State faculty as an assistant professor of Communication Studies focusing on organizational communications and public relations. She received her Ph.D. in Communication from the University of Maryland, College Park. Her dissertation examined how members of multinational organizations in China made sense of change and how these multinationals managed communication programs during these chaotic periods of time. Her primary research interests include: organizational communication, change management, public relations management, global public relations, and social cognition.

Steve McCarthy, B.A.
News Producer
Telephone: 973-655-7361
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Steve McCarthy is an Emmy Award-winning network TV news producer. A former staff producer for 60 Minutes and Dateline, he formed McCarthy Productions, Inc in 2001 and produced, photographed and edited projects for 60 Minutes, Dateline, Charlie Rose, MSNBC, PBS, BBC America, Reuters and others. In 2006, he directed and wrote an independent film Finding Paddy and he is currently in production of a pilot for a series called Who Says I Can't, which will feature extreme athletes with disabilities. Steve McCarthy is a member of the Director's Guild of America.

Christopher McKinley  

Christopher McKinley, Ph.D.
Health Communication
Telephone: 973-655-3438
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Dr. Christopher McKinley specializes in health communication and media effects. In particular, he examines the role that messages play in shaping individual’s health perceptions and behaviors. Dr. McKinley’s research addresses important public health issues, including, but not limited to, binge drinking, childhood obesity, disordered eating habits, and mental health concerns. His research has been published in Health Communication, Journal of Health Communication, and Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. Dr. McKinley is currently investigating how public opinion toward health care reform is impacted by presidential rhetoric and mass media messages.

 Joel Penney

Joel Penney, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
New Media
Telephone: 973-655-4261
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Dr. Joel Penney is an Assistant Professor of Communication Studies, specializing in new media, cultural studies, visual communication, critical race and sexuality studies, consumer culture, and political communication and theory. His research focuses on the uses of participatory and digital media forms for social and political advocacy as well as for the construction of collective identities. Dr. Penney has published essays in journals such as Communication, Culture, and Critique and Popular Music and Society, and has contributed chapters to the books Joystick Soldiers: The Politics of Play in Military Video Games and Queer Identities/Political Realities. He is currently working on a book project based on his dissertation that explores the uses of political T-shirts in the digital age.

Anthony Pemberton, BFA
Associate Professor
Filmmaking, Major Studio Project
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Daily Variety cited Tony Pemberton as “One of Ten Directors to Watch” when his first feature film, Beyond the Ocean, premiered in the Dramatic Competition at the Sundance Film Festival. It was nominated for a Grand Jury award, and received the Princess Grace Foundation Statue Award. Beyond the Ocean weaves together a character’s life that is split in time by her own immigration and memory and was made independently in Russia, Austria, and America by Go East Film, Intrinsic Value, and Ursula Wolschlager.

Pemberton has previously shown films at The Anthology Film Archives, the Kino Museum in Moscow, the Whitney Museum of American Art, as well as major festivals in America and Europe. His projects have been awarded funding from The Princess Grace of Monaco Foundation, the Jerome Foundation, Arts Matters, New Jersey State Council on the Arts, and Arts Link. He is a graduate of the State University of New York at Purchase with a BFA in film in 1990, as well as the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts’s Bard College with an MFA in film in 1993. He is also the director of the BFA in Filmmaking program at Montclair State University.

Beverly Peterson
Assistant Professor
Television and Digital Media; Documentary
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Beverly Peterson's documentaries have been broadcast internationally, and screened at major festivals including; HBO, PBS The Sundance Channel, The Sundance Film Festival, Human Rights Watch, Museum of Modern Art, Brooklyn Museum of Art, The Walker Art Center, The Warhol Museum, The Kitchen. 71 West Broadway: Ground Zero, New York, NY was selected as part of the memorial presentation at the Library of Congress, which has included it in the national 9/11 film archive. Portions of Invisible Revolution, were featured on ABC’s 20/20, Dateline, and HBO specials on domestic terrorism. Peterson is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Broadcasting at Montclair State University.


Patricia Piroh
Associate Director
Broadcast & Digital Media Facilities
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Patricia Piroh is the Associate Director of Broadcast and Digital Media Facilities, a position she was appointed to in April of 2013. 

Piroh helps to facilitate all productions relating to partnerships, working with academic departments in an effort to integrate productions with faculty and students to maximize the educational value of the relationship. Recent projects include a partnership with the West Orange Police Department in the documentary of a live-shooter drill in a local school, employee training videos for Mountainside Hospital, and studio-based programming for a PR company. Piroh also teaches Practicum, Senior Seminar and Television Production Company.

Before April she was a producer for the Television and Digital Media Program at Montclair State University.  She co-produced a documentary, A Ripple in the Water:  Healing Through Art, which has been in over 15 international and national film festivals, and has aired on PBS across the U.S.  For eighteen years she has been the series producer for Carpe Diem, an award-winning magazine format program that airs throughout New Jersey, producing over 500 half hour programs.  She was also the coordinating producer for programming appearing on NJN Public Television, including two health series: Tomorrow’s Medicine Today and Take Care with Dr. Max Gomez.

Her production credits range from news to sports to daytime drama and include the 2008 election coverage and Democratic National Convention for NBC News, the 2004 Republican National Convention for NBC News, the 1998 XVIII Winter Olympic Games for CBS Sports and the New York City Marathons 1987-1991 with ABC Sports. Piroh has an MA in Communication Arts and also has 18 years of teaching experience.

Her work has been recognized by the South African International Film Festival, Cinema Verite Film Festival, GirlFest Hawaii, Global Peace Film Festival,  U.S. International Film and Video Festival, Telly Awards, IABC Gold Quill Awards, CAPE Award for Best Educational Series, and APEX Grand Award of Excellence.

Lise Raven, M.F.A.
Associate Professor
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Associate Professor of Film Lise Raven is an award-winning filmmaker who enjoys making both narrative and documentary films. Raven’s first feature film, LOW, screened in over 30 international film festivals.  In 1995 she helped to found the SLAMDANCE FILM FESTIVAL, after which she wrote and directed three films for the SHOWTIME Cable network. In 2000 Raven moved to Berlin, Germany after being awarded the DAAD Berliner Künstlerprogramm Artist Residency in Film.  While in Europe, Raven’s feature film project,Snipe, was funded by the Irish Film Board.  In 2011 she worked with the Philadelphia Museum of Art to create a short video which was included in the ROBERTO CAPUCCI: ART INTO FASHION exhibition. Raven's 2014 award winning feature film KINDERWALD is the second part of THE KINDERWALD TRILOGY, a trilogy of films that are inspired by fairy tales about children lost in the woods.


Marc Rosenweig  
Associate Professor
Coordinator of Television and Digital Media
Producer, Journalism
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Marc Rosenweig is Associate Professor in Television & Digital Media at Montclair State University. He became a full-time faculty member in the fall of 2007, following a career of more than three decades as a television reporter, producer, executive producer and program manager. 

Rosenweig was a member of program management teams that launched CNBC and the YES Network for the New York Yankees. He was senior vice president of programming and production for King World Productions, where he supervised news magazine, talk and court shows. Previously, he worked as a reporter, producer and executive producer at television stations in New York, Miami, Detroit and New Orleans.

At WWOR-TV in New York, he worked with the investigative unit which was honored with the DuPont Columbia Award. During his tenure at King World’s Inside Edition, the news magazine became the first (and only) syndicated news program to receive the George Polk Award.

Rosenweig has a Master of Science degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and a Bachelor of Science in journalism from Ohio University. In 2010, he received the L.J. Hortin Distinguished Alumnus Award from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University.


Photo of David Sanders

David Sanders, Ph. D.
Television and Digital Media; Audio/Sound Design
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Dr. David Sanders is a Professor in Television and Digital Media at Montclair State University. Before joining the Montclair State faculty, Dr. Sanders was Director of the Music, Business, & Technology Program at New York University and Dean of the Audio Arts Division at Center for the Media Arts in New York City. He has also served on the faculties of the City University of New York and The New School University.

Dr. Sanders brings great depth of audio experience to his teaching. A musician and composer, he has written electro-acoustic scores for film, television, commercials, modern dance, and multimedia. As an engineer/producer, he has worked on an eclectic mix of projects ranging from classical to R & B. As a product specialist/artist endorsee for Korg keyboards, he has been involved in research and development as well as marketing for the company?s line of synthesizers and MIDI products. In addition to his duties as producer of Inside MSU, a weekly campus television news program, audio supervisor for Carpe Diem, the MSU Broadcasting Department?s award-winning weekly cable show, and faculty advisor to WMSC, the University’s campus radio station, Dr. Sanders currently teaches courses in television production, audio production, multi-track recording, sound design, computer music, MIDI, and music technology at Montclair State University, Mercy College, and New York University.

Susan Skoog, M.F.A.
Screenwriting, Filmmaking
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Susan Skoog is a filmmaker and producer and has taught screenwriting and directing at the School of Communication and Media's Filmmaking Program for the past six years. She received the Professing Excellence Award for Outstanding Educational Practices in 2014.  In 1998 Ms. Skoog wrote, produced and directed the feature film Whatever, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and went on to screen at major film festivals throughout the world.  Whatever was released theatrically worldwide by Sony Pictures Classics. Ms. Skoog has written screenplays for Warner Brothers, HBO, MTV Films among others.  She has also had a successful career as a writer, director and producer of numerous television programs for such networks as VH1, Turner Network Television, Turner Classic Movies, AMC, FX, MTV, CBS, Fuse, Rave HD, TBS, Tru TV/Court TV and PBS.   

 Larry Weiner

Larry Weiner, APR
Coordinator for Public Relations CART/SCM
Public Relations
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Larry M. Weiner, APR, began his public relations/communication consulting career in 1982, and over the next 25 years performed both project and campaign work for Fortune 500 companies (Pepsi-Cola, Allied Signal Corporation, Schering Plough, Parke-Davis, Johnson & Johnson), government agencies (NJ Department of Environmental Protection), consumer agencies (AAA, Food Marketing Institute of America), industry associations (National Concrete Masonry Association), individuals (Lorena Ochoa), and many others (BMW, Sharp Electronics, Fujifilm, Sony). He began his teaching career as a William Paterson University adjunct in 1989, teaching business communication courses. He joined the Montclair State University Communication Studies faculty in 2003, first as an adjunct, then as a half-time instructor, finally joining full time as the Coordinator of Public Relations for the College of the Arts and in support of the task force forming the School of Media Arts and Communications. He received his Accreditation in Public Relations certification from the Public Relations Society of America in 2008.

Kelly Whiteside, M.S.
Journalism, Sports Media
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Kelly Whiteside joins the faculty of the School of Communication and Media as an Assistant Professor in Sports Media and Journalism. Whiteside spent 14 years at USA Today as the lead Olympics writer, World Cup soccer writer and national college football writer. She has covered seven Olympics, eight World Cups as well as the NFL, NBA, Major League Baseball, NHL and major college sports. Prior to joining USA Today, she was a reporter at Newsday and a staff writer at Sports Illustrated. From 1998-2004, she was an adjunct professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and from 2012-2013 a part-time lecturer at Rutgers University teaching sports journalism.

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