School of Communication and Media - Spring 2015


News Highlights . . .

The early weeks of the spring semester at the School of Communication and Media have highlighted significant initiatives around important public issues. Across the School, there are numerous ongoing activities, tied together by important themes, that we hope resonate throughout the University and throughout the larger region.  A principal theme across these activities is community engagement.   

Whether referring to our major "Tracking Christie" February event with WNYC on Governor Chris Christie’s presidential campaign and his performance as the state’s top executive or the ongoing projects related to the School’s Inequality Project or the work of the SCM’s Center for Cooperative Media in training journalists across the state, these projects and others highlight a major focus of our school. 

The list also includes our Film Screening Series, open to the public, and now a cornerstone of the College of the Arts’ project, the Film Institute at Montclair State.  It includes our work in building campus radio station WMSC as an important source of discussion about University activities while also offering broadcast coverage of Montclair State sports events for students, families, community members and the MSU alumni network.

The common idea revolves around the challenge of engaging with and serving our many communities in significant ways. By creating these programs and initiatives designed to encourage meaningful student participation throughout our programs, the SCM is creating opportunities to make a difference around the University, surrounding towns and throughout the state.  Whether that means working for charitable organizations in helping them develop communications-related initiatives, or bringing great filmmakers to our campus to improve the educational and community life of Montclair and surrounding communities, this engagement can take on many forms. 

This engagement approach is also a critical part of the ongoing school-wide initiative The Inequality Project. This project brings the School together in course work, volunteer activities and in many other ways around economic, social and political issues with a focus on work with important community institutions like the Community FoodBank of New Jersey or the Orange Community School Initiative.  The umbrella project can include topics like economic and health inequality, gender or racial bias, prison reform, and criminal justice. Our program in December, “Jersey Justice” produced in partnership with the MSU Department of Justice Studies, brought significant public attention to crisis in our prison system. Panelists for that public event, which attracted an audience of 300, included former New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey.

Our view at the School of Communication and Media is that we are working with our students to give them the skills and background to not just thrive in their careers or in their industries of choice, but to also take those same capabilities and use them in their personal lives.  That can mean participating in local civic and political organizations through volunteer work, and through participation in national or local nonprofit groups.  Developing an academic understanding of the communication revolution, refining individual communication skills, and learning how to use production tools in digital media, audio production, filmmaking and television all give students the opportunity to participate and contribute to the larger public dialogue. While, of course, there is focus on career skills, in the world we live in, multimedia proficiency or creative use of social media will lead our graduates not only into the professional marketplace but, also, give them the capabilities to be just as successful in their communities. Today’s SCM programs are designed to address both components of our students’ future paths.

Merrill Brown,


People Spotlights . . .Faculty, Students, Alumni


Faculty Spotlight: Prof. David Sanders

Dr. David Sanders designed and now coordinates the SCM’s new audio/sound design program concentration and teaches sound design and audio production for film, television, music and theater.  Read more...



Faculty Spotlight: Prof. Roberta Friedman

Associate Prof. Roberta Friedman is about to visit Cuba to showcase her new video installation created in conjunction with her video partner, Dan Loewenthal, at the sixth annual International Videoart Festival  in Camaguey. Read more...



A Pitch to be Among Super Bowl Commercials

Students in SCM vied for a spot among the Super Bowl commercials with a Doritos spot. Read more...



Student Spotlight: Catherine Baxter - Making Headlines

Senior Catherine Baxter is editor-in-chief of Montclair State University's student-run newspaper The Montclarion. Read more...



Alumni Spotlight: Halley O'Brien

Alumna Halley O’Brien's job is to snowboard, travel and make videos. Read more...


Alumni Spotlight: Desiree Santiago

Alumna Desiree Santiago is working as a PR practitioner. Read more...

For more faculty, student and alumni features, news and announcements, as well as issues of the School's e-newsletters, visit here.