School of Communication and Media - Fall 2014


Director's Corner . . . 

Greetings students, alumni, colleagues and friends. At the School of Communication and Media, we have developed a culture built upon the great excitement and energy that an extraordinary faculty and student group provide. As a result we are offering students unique learning opportunities within the classroom and beyond.  Our programs and approaches to communication and media education are unique, contemporary and constantly evolving to meet what are rapidly changing fields.

This fall, the School welcomed students to its new BA degree in Journalism. Approved in February by the New Jersey President’s Council, the new degree option is a significant addition to our programs and serves as a springboard for experimentation with emerging journalism trends, business models, and journalism education practices between faculty, Center for Cooperative Media (CCM) staff and media partners, and students. Kelly Whiteside joined the faculty this fall as an assistant professor in sports media and journalism and Tara George joined the program as an associate professor in local journalism.

The School also launched “The Inequality Project,” a year-long effort to provide thought-provoking discussions, events, scholarship and creative media projects about the subject of inequality. Students, faculty and staff, media partners and community organizations are working on individual and collaborative projects to tell the multifaceted story of inequality. A major partner for the SCM this semester is the Community FoodBank of NJ and we are also exploring in-depth issues of social justice. You can follow our efforts throughout the year.

In addition to its summer study-abroad programs, the SCM is continuing this year to extend its global outreach efforts. The School launched the student exchange study-abroad program with Bournemouth University in England and the first students arrived this semester. Several of the School’s programs are involved in this collaboration including Communication and Media Arts, Public Relations, Television Production, and Digital Media. In November, I made my second visit to Bournemouth University where I was fortunate enough to give a lecture and meet with many students and faculty.  Other members of our faculty have been to Bournemouth and there is growing excitement about our joint efforts. Their school is Europe's largest media school and they are in a position to offer our students and faculty very meaningful opportunities.

The School has also launched the Montclair Film Institute, a new initiative dedicated to the preservation, growth and enrichment of the art of film. The Institute currently hosts screenings of films presented by their creators, which are free and open to the public, is collaborating with the Montclair Film Festival on the "Behind the Screen" program for aspiring young filmmakers and finalizing other programs and activities for 2015. The MFI joins our other events offerings, including Film Forum, and SCM's Speaker, Colloquium (also a course), and Salon series, among others, that foster dialogue among our students, faculty and professionals from various media industries.

Our students currently produce the weekly, on-campus news show Inside MSU, and the award-winning news magazine, Carpe Diem, as well as the website, the student newspaper The Montclarion, and the University’s “underground” radio station, 90.3 WMSC-FM. On October 3, WMSC-FM, served as NJ headquarters for "College Radio Day," a global event to raise awareness of the impact college and high school radio stations have on campuses and local communities.  In a related development, Prof. Steve McCarthy, also Television and Digital Media (TVDM) staff producer, assisted College of the Arts' Dean Daniel Gurskis in launching a project that will result in the production of two pilot episodes of NJTV’s Treasures of New Jersey to the School. This could lead to students producing a regularly scheduled program on NJTV.

Be sure to read the "News Highlights" section following below for articles related to the initiatives, people, and events I've briefly alluded to, among others, in addition to updates as to what our faculty, and current and past students have been up to here and in their communities. If you want to find out more about us, connect with us on our social media platforms including Facebook and Twitter. And please visit us in our new home Morehead Hall, now the home of our entire faculty group. We welcome your feedback on all that we’re doing.

Merrill Brown,


Jump to:  News Highlights | Spotlights on: Faculty | Students | Alumni


News Highlights . . .

 Nationally Respected Sports Journalist Kelly Whiteside Joins Faculty

Kelly Whiteside joined the faculty this fall as an assistant professor in Sports Media and Journalism. Prior to that, Whiteside spent 14 years at USA Today as the lead Olympics writer, World Cup soccer writer and national college football writer. Prior to joining USA Today, she was a reporter at Newsday and a staff writer at Sports Illustrated. Read more...








Transmedia Projects Class Explores 1917 Act of Terrorism in Lyndhurst, New Jersey

A little-known series of incidents that constituted the first acts of foreign terrorism on American soil will soon be made well known thanks to the Transmedia Projects class. Read more...









Faculty Spotlight: Karl Nussbaum










WMSC-FM Serves as NJ Headquarters for College Radio Day Around the World

On October 3, 90.3 WMSC-FM, Montclair State University’s “underground” radio station, took part in College Radio Day, a global event to raise awareness of the impact college and high school radio stations have on campuses and local communities. Read more...








Student Spotlight

Three students work as a team to revolutionize the teaching of opera. Read more...








Winners of First New Jersey High School Media Challenge Announced








Alumni Spotlight: Jenna Rocca







Center for Cooperative Media Launches Local News Lab

SCM's Center of Cooperative Media has announced the launch of the Local News Lab, a collaborative initiative focused on creating a sustainable future for local journalism that helps build and strengthen local communities. Read more...









Alumni Spotlight: Ken Spooner









HESAA Recognizes College of the Arts Alumnus

Nicholas Patriarca '14 is commended by HESAA’s executive director. Read more...








Film Student Shows Work at Cannes

Film student Jamison LoCascio's Track 3 was selected for exhibit at the famed international Cannes festival. Read more...






Real World 101

Professionals bring skills and networks to the classroom as adjuncts. Read more...








Tony Award Winner Headlines Benefit for Autism

Tony-award winner Laura Benanti headlined Montclair State University’s third annual concert to benefit Autism New Jersey on May 1. Read more...

Congratulations 2014 School of Communication and Media Award Recipients and Graduating Students








College of the Arts' Students Receive
Cento Amici Scholarship at Annual Spring Dinner

Student scholarship recipients from five academic institutions, including Montclair State University, received Cento Amici awards. Read more...


University Authors Recognized for New Books and Media

At the sixth annual reception for Montclair State University authors, staff and administrators gathered to recognize those who had recently authored books, or produced CDs or DVDs, and to browse through the displayed works. Read more...

SCM Joins Partnership with Peak Performances in "Dance for Film" Project


People Spotlights . . .Faculty, Students


Read about our faculty's recent achievements here.


Students majoring in Television & Digital Media--including Tonya Moken, Tayler Zuppa, Brianna Seneca, Michael Panepinto, Weaam Ali, Jen Conod, and Jack Smith IV--continued to produce the weekly on-campus news show Inside MSU as well as 30 segments of Carpe Diem, the award-winning, half-hour magazine show that airs on Comcast and Cablevision in northern New Jersey. TVDM student work is also featured on the program's new website.  Other projects included 10 episodes of The Giblin Report, seven vignettes for Mountainside Hospital, the Robert McCormick tribute video, plus videos for the Newark Regional Business Partnership and the Feliciano Center for Entrepreneurship.

Students majoring in Public Relations and affiliated with the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) hosted the fifth annual Curtain Call Award Show on the Montclair State campus, which took place on February 23, 2014.  On  May 1, they also planned and hosted a third annual fundraiser for Autism New Jersey.

Students majoring in Communication and affiliated with the Lambda Pi Eta Honor Society (LPH) organized and held the third annual LPH Symposium and Induction Ceremony in April 2014.  They also sponsored and organized a group trip to the New York Women in Communication conference (NYWICI), as well as numerous discussion events for their LPH meetings..

Communication Studies major Ariel Belisle founded the Wellness Health and Media (WHAM) club on campus.

The Transmedia class created a campaign for the Metropolitan Opera Guild.  The Public Relations Management class created strategic PR plans for the organization SCORE.

Seven Filmmaking majors--Jenna Leung, Nick Capra, Kristi Dake, Bryan Scuteri, Jamison LoCascio, Tom Mika, Stephen Bodossian--directed narrative and documentary films that were presented by the Montclair Film Festival as part of “NJ Shorts: New Visions from MSU.”


  • Magdalena Doris (Broadcasting, 2012) is a reporter for News 12 The Bronx.
  • Kelly Jones (Broadcasting, 2010) is editorial assistant to Scott Pelley on The CBS Evening News and 60 Minutes.
  • Phil McCrickard (Broadcasting, 2011) is segment producer and script coordinator at ABC’s Good Morning America.
  • Karolina Miziolek (Broadcasting, 2006) is a producer at Bloomberg Television in Hong Kong.
  • Niki Santana (Broadcasting, 2012), Ian Elliott (Broadcasting, 2013), Jasmina Polanco (Broadcasting, 2012), Robert Hoffman (Broadcasting) and Theresa Lewis (Broadcasting, 2012) work for NJTV News.
  • Tanja Rekhi (Broadcasting, 2012) and Asha McKenzie (Broadcasting, 2012) are reporters for WENY-TV in Elmira, New York.
  • Leigh Scheps (Broadcasting, 2007) is a reporter for Verizon’s Fios 1 News.
  • Jackie Loder (Broadcasting, 2013) is a producer and weekend assignment editor for NBC 40 in South Jersey.
  • Ronald Tomaino (Broadcasting, 2008) is a studio director for News 12 New Jersey (and an adjunct in TVDM).
  • Brittany Ungano (Broadcasting, 2014) is a production assistant at WABC-TV.
  • Ana Garza-Gomez (Broadcasting, 2013) is a graphics PA at CBS News.
  • Steve Milone (Broadcasting, 2010) is EVS video replay operator for NY Yankees games at YES Network.
  • Bobby Melok (Broadcasting, 2009) is a web producer for (World Wrestling Entertainment).
  • Brian Henry (Broadcasting, 2012), Sarah Meyers (Broadcasting, 2012) and Lex Ruscil (Broadcasting, 2008) work in production at Fox News Channel.
  • Amanda Olsen (Broadcasting, 2013) is a technical operations specialist at NBC Universal.  
  • Lindsay Rassmann (Broadcasting, 2013) and Jeff Onorato (Broadcasting, 2013) are on the production staff for Paula Zahn: On the Case, which airs on the Investigation Discovery Channel and is produced by Weinberger Media.
  • Jack Smith IV (Broadcasting, 2014) is a reporter for The New York Observer.
  • Stephanie Petchers (Broadcasting, 2013) is a production assistant for Al Jazeera America.