School of Communication and Media - Fall 2013


News Highlights . . .

Greetings students, alumni, colleagues and friends. At the School of Communication and Media, we continue to build a culture of great excitement and energy, offering our students unique learning opportunities within the classroom and beyond. 

Our curriculum provides learning experiences across multiple disciplines and ensures that our graduates leave with a broad understanding of the media world and what capabilities are required to succeed in the rapidly changing set of industries. In addition to our dedicated faculty, professional experts teach specialized courses that tackle emerging issues and skills. This semester, Ambassador and editor of “Diplomatically Incorrect,” Muhamed “Mo” Sacirbey is teaching Digital Diplomacy; actor and art director Einar Gunn is teaching Acting for Filmmakers; communications and social media specialist Marni Lawler McDonough is teaching Organizational and Group Leadership; graphic designer and visual artist Enrique Maitland is teaching Motion Graphics; and filmmaker and digital media artist Amir Husak is teaching Projects in Emerging Media in the graduate program.

Our students have been very busy creating new media content in various courses and using traditional and new platforms to disseminate it and engage new audiences. WMSC-90.3 FM, the campus radio station, is expanding its programming tracks in news and entertainment through coverage of a range of issues and events including Constitution Day, the 2013 New Jersey Gubernatorial Debate hosted on our campus and elections, and live broadcasts of baseball and softball games. Under the direction of Prof. Steve McCarthy, the School also launched WiredJersey, a news Web site. Here, students across programs work collaboratively to provide coverage of campus and community events and affairs.

The School’s initiatives to create ongoing dialogue on campus about the changing landscape of communication and media fields forge ahead. Our Colloquium Series, Salon Series, and Film Forum Series have hosted many of the top minds in news, filmmaking, digital production, and public relations. Included among them are: Dawn Porter (director/producer of Gideon’s Army); David Fathi (director, ACLU National Prison Project); Brooke Hammerling (founder of Brew Media Relations); Kahane Cooperman (executive producer of The Daily Show); Ben Kalina (documentary filmmaker); Sam Pollard (film and television editor); Liza Béar (experimental filmmaker and artist); and Joe Nocera (The New York Times Columnist). Also, our Filmmaking program in partnership with the Montclair Film Festival (MFF), is bringing back Behind the Screen: Media Careers 101 on November 23 this year.  The all-day event will feature nine, 45-minute seminars on careers in filmmaking by industry professionals. This year’s highlights include Emmy-award winning speakers such as cinematographer Michael Slovis, and documentary filmmakers Ross Kaufman and Albie Hecht.  Panels include: Make Your Own 3-D Movie, The New Journalism, Storytelling with the Camera, Music and Film, and more. 

The Center for Cooperative Media, the New Jersey Commons, and their numerous partners continue to bring together students, faculty and media professionals with the goal of improving the quality and quantity of New Jersey’s local media. Some highlights for this semester include a hackathon that interrogated the connections between legislation money, and politics, training workshops for citizen journalists, and 2013 NJ election coverage collaborations. The upcoming Internship Fair on November 19, 2013 provides students with amazing opportunities for hands-on training either on our campus or at the partner headquarters facilities. 

The School held its first annual alumni event on October 13, 2012 at the Dumont TV Center. This was the first time that alumni from all the School’s areas - Communication Studies, Film, and Television and Digital Media - gathered together. The event had presentations from the Dean of the College of the Arts, Dan Gurskis, me and NJTV. Alumni from each area also made presentations. Seventy-five alumni attended the event.

I hope you will take some time to explore some of these exciting initiatives of the School of Communication and Media. We look forward to welcoming you at some of our upcoming events.

Merrill Brown,

People Spotlights . . .Faculty, Students


HUGH CURNUTT published “You Can’t Handle My Truth: Reality TV’s Trompe-l’oeil Effect and the (Im)possible Reality of its Participants” in the journal Psychoanalysis, Culture & Society. He presented “Performing the Real on the Jersey Shore: Shifting Labor Models in a Post-Network Era” at The New Jersey Council for the Humanities and “The Low-End Touch: Contact-Sensuousity in the Digital Age” at the annual conference of the Eastern Communication Association. He chaired the panel “Showcase of Research on Social Movements and Public Discourses” at the annual conference of the National Communication Association. Curnutt was also interviewed twice by The Record on binge television viewing and reality TV character archetypes.

ROBERTA FRIEDMAN continues her work on urban architecture and psychogeography with a series of video installations called Cosmopolis: 49 Waltzes for the World. 49 Waltzes for the Gated City was installed at both the University Film & Video Association (winning third prize in a juried exhibition of new media), and at the George Segal Gallery at MSU. This year she was invited to create another Waltz piece in Casablanca. In addition, she is producing a feature documentary film Are We Not Men? A Devo Documentary, with director and colleague ANTHONY PEMBERTON.  The film is expected to premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in 2014.  Friedman’s work "Indian Rubber Head" was exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art, (MOCA) L.A.; "Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A." was included in multiple shows; and she also published a film review in the Millennium Film Journal.

HARRY HAINES presented “Balancing Religious Freedom with Freedom of Speech” at the President’s Commission on Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity, and Diversity at MSU on Affirmative Action Day. He also presented his work on “Aboveground and the Ally: Soldier Opposition to the Vietnam War” at The New Faces of War: A Conference for Historians and Activists. Haines was inducted into the Executive Club of the Western States Communication Association this year.

DICK HINCHLIFFE participated in a panel on “Radio Convergence” at the College Boradcaster’s Inc. (CBI) annual convention. As the manager of the radio station, Hinchliffe oversaw the move of WMSC to its new updated facilities in Schmitt Hall. He also produced interviews with media partners (WBGO, NJ News Commons, The Montclarion and others) as well as expanded news, talk, public affairs and sports coverage including live play-by-play baseball and live softball reports for WMSC.

STEVE JOHNSON participated in a panel organized by WNYC public radio in Newark that examined current trends in journalism in New Jersey and a panel at Middlesex College’s annual Writers’ Conference on trends in journalism in New Jersey. He helped organize the first "Hack Jersey" conference, sponsored by MSU’s New Jersey News Commons, and also produced five and a half hours of online video for the conference and participated in the Dodge Foundation’s New Jersey: A Laboratory for Media Innovation conference. Johnson serves as the advisor to MSU’s student newspaper, The Montclarion. He maintains an active blog on current issues in journalism.

TODD KELSHAW presented “Democratizing Campus/Community Partnerships: The Shift from “Service-learning” to “Engagement-Learning” at the annual convention of the Eastern Communication Association. At the same conference, he served as respondent to the panel, “The Confluence of Communication and Climate in the Workplace,” and chaired the panel, “Community-based Learning in an Age of Confluence: Issues and Applications.” Kelshaw was an active participant in the MSU Community-Based Participant Action Research (CBPAR) Think Tank and followed multiple webinars offered by the Peer Development Network for the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification as an MSU representative.

CHRISTINE LEMESIANOU presented “Learning Unbound” at the First Annual Montclair State University Distinguished Teacher Award Lecture event sponsored by the Provost’s Office and the Research Academy for University Learning. She also presented her work on “Place-Based Education & Student Engagement: Tales from the Field” at the annual conference of the Eastern Communication Association. She led the external review of the Department of Communication at Southern Connecticut State University and provided a comprehensive review of the department’s programs and assessment efforts and recommendations for the continuous improvement of academic program quality.

LARRY LONDINO continues to work with the United States Golf Association as a member of their task force on African American Golf Archives.  He is currently editing a series of interviews he conducted with black golfers that will be part of their oral history, as well as contributing materials and expertise for a planned exhibit in February highlighting original African American golf clubs in America. He is also collaborating with PATTY PIROH on the production of a documentary about the School of Education’s Montclair-Newark Urban Residency Program.  They are completing shooting and beginning post-production. They are also producing a series of instructional videos for Mountainside Hospital, which he will be directing. 

YI LUO was the recipient of the PRIDE Award for Outstanding Contribution to Public Relations Education for 2012 by the National Communication Association. Her published work include: “A dialogue with social media experts: Measurement and challenges of social media use in Chinese public relations practice” in Global Media Journal (lead author), “A multilevel model linking strategic communication, sensemaking, and emotions during change” in the International Journal of Decision Sciences, and “Empowerment and internal activism during organizational change: A relocation story in China” in the International Journal of Strategic Communication (lead author). Luo also presented “Social media activism against state Charities: The case of Guo Meimei and the Red Cross Society of China” at the annual International Public Relations Research Conference and “Strategic social media management and public relations leadership: Insights from industry leaders” at the annual conference of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.

STEVE MCCARTHY continues to extend his activities and collaborations in the SCM with the production of a one-hour feature program for Dr. Neil Baldwin’s “The Scientific Imagination: Where do Ideas Come From” and the co-production (with David Sanders) of a two-year documentary project about a Swedish NGO Spiritus Mundi as they bring a performing arts program (Hayatuna) to orphans and disadvantaged youths in Jordan. This project engages College of the Arts' students in extensive, global collaboration. McCarthy also supervised multiple projects: a one-hour student documentary film,  American Voices, about the Cali School of Music’s Vocal Accord tour of Austria and Italy; the production by a group of students and recent graduates of four public service announcements for the Dodge Poetry Festival held in the fall of 2012 in Newark; the production of several video pieces for “An Evening For the Arts,” the signature event for the College of the Arts; and a documentary by SCM students called Overseas Neighbors which tells the story of the 60-year, sister-city relationship between Graz, Austria, and Montclair.

CHRISTOPHER MCKINLEY continues his research that examines health messages, food marketing to children, cultivation factors and viewer involvement, and information seeking. He published “Re-examining the link between cultivation factors and viewer involvement: Investigating viewing amount as a catalyst for the transportation process” in Communication Studies, “Food marketing to children on Spanish-language television” in the Journal of Health Communication (co-author), and “Health cues: A content analysis of health-related messages in food advertisements targeting children” in Health Education (co-author). McKinley also had two published entries in the Encyclopedia of Media Violence and the Encyclopedia of Health Communication. He also presented his work at the annual conference of the National Communication Association.

KARL NUSSBAUM performed his video performance piece "Hilbert Space" in November 2012 at a retrospective of his films at the Ex-Ground Film Festival in Wiesbaden, Germany, where he was also on the Jury. He was awarded two international artist residencies for summer 2013: One by M4Gastatelier in Amsterdam and, the other, at the Virginia Center for Creative Arts. He also performed his video performance piece "Hilbert Space" at the closing ceremony for the International KurzFilm Festival Hamburg, June 9, 2013.

ANTHONY PEMBERTON continues his work as director/writer/executive producer on his feature film, Buddha’s Little Finger, which is an adaptation of Victor Pelevin’s Russian best-selling novel and is currently in post-production. The film has received 2.1 million euros in funding. He also continues his work as director/producer on Are We Not Men? The Devo Documentary 2013 which is the official authorized documentary about the band DEVO. The project is in the re-editing stage and will be entered into competition in the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. The project has received extensive media coverage. He also served as a panelist for the 2012-2013 Princess Grace Awards.

JOEL PENNEY published “(Re)Tweeting in the Service of Protest: Digital Composition and Circulation in the Occupy Wall Street Movement” in New Media & Society and “Visible Identities, Visual Rhetoric: The Self-Labeled Body as a Popular Platform for Political Persuasion” in the International Journal of Communication. He also presented “Responding to Offending Images in the Digital Age: Censorious and Satirical Discourses in LGBT Media Activism” at the 2013 International Communication Association conference in London, UK and began publishing an academic blog “Viral Politics.”

BEVERLY PETERSON released her latest film, a 45-minute documentary, What Killed Kevin, which focuses on workplace bullying this year. She also released the interactive transmedia documentary version, Her work has garnered national attention and coverage by the Huffington Post, the Washington Post, and Psychology Today. She continues to present her work on this topic to conferences both nationally and internationally, more recently at the University Film & Video Association conference and is involved in efforts to create legislation. Peterson also served as post-production consultant for NJTV’s 2013 American Voices and as post-production supervisor for NJTV’s 2013 One Heart. She is also part of the  two-year documentary project about a Swedish NGO Spiritus Mundi as they bring a performing arts program (Hayatuna) to orphans and disadvantaged youths in Jordan

PATTY PIROH was promoted to Associate Director of Broadcast and Digital Media Facilities in April, 2013. She directed “The Scientific Imagination,” an hour-long webcast and completed 30 Carpe Diem programs, which aired on Comcast and Cablevision. She also served as coordinating producer for the 16-program series The Giblin Report, a series that is produced for Assemblyman Thomas P. Giblin, and Destination Montclair, a series produced by the Township of Montclair. Shecontinues shooting footage and interviews for a new documentary about the Montclair-Newark Urban Teaching Residency Program. 

MARC ROSENWEIG was co-producer and panelist for “Tiger and the Media: Before and After” at the third International Conference on Sport and Society. He also moderated and produced the Fall 2012 panel at the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center on “Covering the NFL” and the spring 2013 panel on “Media Coverage of Major League Baseball.” Rosenweig hosted and produced special Carpe Diem shows with content from all the panels and interviews with recipients of the Allen B. DuMont Broadcaster of the Year Award. In conjunction with the Montclair State University Global Education Center he delivered a lecture on the business of the CNBC global networks to MBA and undergraduate students visiting MSU from the University of Graz in Austria at the CNBC Headquarters in Englewood Cliffs.

DAVID SANDERS produced the promotional video and video profiles for Hayatuna Amman, an arts outreach program to orphans and refugees in Jordan run by Swedish NGO Spiritus Mundi. Sanders also served as the executive producer for the 2012 American Eagle Awards show and as producer, for the 2012 National Music Council Leadership in Music symposium and webcast. He completed his work on developing educational tools for kids that address creative property issues and his work as executive producer/concept designer for the animated video for this program, The Flying Bicycle, received a $30,000 grant from the Music Publishers Association of the United States and received a Communicator Award form the International Academy of the Visual Arts, as well as a Telly Award. Sanders also moderated a panel on the current status of Tunisia following the revolution with Professor Amel Jaidi from Manouba University in Tunis and three TVDM students and participated in a panel at the New Jersey Communication Association Conference on “Keeping Pace with Technology: Preparing for Curricular Changes and Challenges.”

SUSAN SKOOG was invited to workshop her latest feature length screenplay “Mommy” in July at the Squaw Valley Community of Writers annual conference. She produced and moderated three panels for the Montclair Film Festival Behind the Screen: Media Career Day – “On Line Content Creation”, “Producing” and “Production: Wardrobe and Sets” and coordinated for the SCM the MFF’s Underdog Film Festival in February, an all-day film festival of Academy Award-nominated short films.

LARRY WEINER wrote and produced a feature length audio drama that will be broadcast on Sirius/XM Satellite radio and a video for the 2013 Autism New Jersey fundraiser. Weiner also scripted a half-hour webisode and wrote and developed a comic book as part of a transmedia project for the Radio Repertory Company of America. He also produced the video Behind the Scenes for the Curtain Call awards.


Students in Television and Digital Media continued to produce the weekly on-campus new show Inside MSU as well as 12 segments of Carpe Diem, the award-winning, half-hour magazine show that airs on Comcast and Cablevision in northern New Jersey.

Students in the Public Relations Management class traveled to White Plains, NY, in March to help officials in the New Jersey Advertising Club coordinate the judging of the more than 700 entries for this year’s New Jersey Advertising Awards. Members of the Westchester Advertising Club judged the entries, and SCM students organized and produced the event (advisor LARRY WEINER).

The Zeta Chapter of the Lambda Pi Eta (LPH) Communication Studies Honor Society of the National Communication Association at Montclair State, held its second annual “LPH Symposium” on April 19. Undergraduate students KATIE BEGLEY, KRISTEN BUNK, MARIA ESPAILLAT, and THOMAS SANTORO presented the top research papers of the year. The presentations were followed by an induction ceremony and a social gathering. The event was attended by more than 100 students and family members (LPH advisor, JOEL PENNEY).

In April, two SCM students, JACK SMITH IV and KAITLYN SCHOEFFEL (accompanied by DAVID SANDERS), traveled to Washington to lobby Congress on behalf of music education. The group met with U.S. Senators Barbara Miklski (D-MD), Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and several members of the House of Representatives.

In April, a team of SCM PRSSA students gave a presentation on transmedia applications to SGW Integrated Marketing Services, one of the state’s leading communication firms.  The purpose of the presentation was to provide the agency with ideas on how to infuse transmedia concepts into the agency’s existing accounts.  Montclair State University’s Public Relations Student Society of America chapter, under the direction of LARRY WEINER, hosted a Fundraiser for Autism New Jersey, featuring actress Moira Kelly, on Monday, April 29 at Memorial Auditorium.

On May 3, the SCM and the Montclair Film Festival co-sponsored “NJ Shorts: New Visions from MSU” in Montclair. Nine films, narrative and documentary, directed by students in the filmmaking and documentary programs were featured.

In May, SCM public relations students presented their promotional campaign to the NJ Ad Club to convince them that New Jersey colleges and universities can become a part of the “Choose New Jersey” state initiative created by the lieutenant governor’s office to encourage business development in the state. The Montclair State chapter of PRSSA will now be overseeing the participation from all NJ universities in this initiative.     

Two SCM Film Festivals were held on May 13 and 14, and featured student non-thesis and thesis films.

Senior SCM students’ ROB DICKINSON and KENNY SPOONER’S documentary film American Voices, which followed Montclair State University’s Vocal Accord chamber choir through Europe, was aired by NJTV on June 4 and 6. The film was a coproduction of the SCM and the John J. Cali School of Music (executive producer STEVE MCCARTHY).

SCM film graduating senior JENNA LEUNG’S thesis film Folded Hope was screened at the Cannes Film Festival as part of the American Shorts section. The film is about a terminally ill girl who finds hope in folding 1,000 paper cranes. Directed and written by Leung, the film was shot in Bloomfield.