Department of Communication Studies - Fall 2011


Chair’s Corner –

Welcome to the Communication Studies Department.

There’s a lot going on in the department. Our interdisciplinary Task Force has completed the hard work of creating an entirely new curriculum that is under administrative review. It includes a revamp of established programs and entirely new concentrations. We will soon meet with design specialists to discuss a proposed production facility, including a state-of-the-art multi-platform newsroom.

Our really big news, however, is all about new personnel. In recent months, we have welcomed Dick Hinchliffe to our staff as the very first professional manager of WMSC-FM, the campus radio station that is now part of our department. Dick is leading a reorganization of the station, transforming it from club status to a major component of our new curriculum. The station is doing good things. For example, it provided a simulcast of the two-hour special program MSU Remembers: Ten Years After 9/11, the University's first live webcast produced at the DuMont Television Center. The station welcomed back several alumni who took over the air for a week. And some important news---WMSC-FM now provides daily reports on available parking spaces on campus.

We also welcomed Steve McCarthy to our staff. Steve is one of the leading video producers of in-depth news and public affairs in the New York City market. His work has appeared on every major news program, including 60 Minutes.  Steve produced the 9/11 webcast, and he has organized the electronic journalism course as a field crew that has covered major events, including the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations. He and his students produce Inside MSU, the weekly TV newscast that showcases the great fieldwork of our student crew.

Joining us also is Dr. Joel Penney, who just completed his doctoral degree at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania down in Philly. It's kind of a home coming for Joel, since he's a New Yorker. His research is cutting edge, and it looks at the so-called New Media (not so new anymore!) and how people use it for a variety of purposes. He's busy teaching Communication Theory and developing new courses that benefit from his expertise with the technology that is changing our lives.

Our student honors society, Lambda Pi Eta, is hitting a new trail, developing a Spring panel that will showcase the top student research papers and projects of the academic year. The Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), always busy, is organizing itself as a PR agency that soon will have its own name and brand. The PR students are working hard for several non-profit organizations in the health and medical field. And they also organize and produce the final competition for Curtain Call, a statewide program that discovers the top high school opera singers each year. The program is sponsored by our partner, the Metropolitan Opera Guild.

So, as you can see, it's a busy time for us but we are looking forward to an exciting semester ahead.

Dr. Harry Haines,


News Highlights . . .


Winner of 2011 Curtain Call Awards Is Announced

Montclair State University and the Metropolitan Opera Guild joined forces again to offer the second annual Curtain Call Awards. The event was held on Saturday, June 4, at the John A. Cali School of Music. Read the full article.



People Spotlights . . .


HUGH CURNUTT, assistant professor, presented the following papers: "Disavowing Desire and Sexting’s remediation of Teenage sexuality," at the annual conference of the Association for the Psychoanalysis of Culture and Society, New Brunswick, last October; and "Repurposing the real: 'Ordinary' people and reality TV’s use of durable participants," and "A Case of Postmodern 'Civil Histrionics:' The Colbert Nation Goes to Washington,' both at the annual conference of the Eastern Communication Association, Arlington, Va., in April. His “Durable participants: Reality TV’s ‘Ordinary’ Labor Pool,” Media, Culture & Society, is currently in press.

GEORGE ELIAN, instructor, developed and wrote script for a TV pilot titled Love and Contempt, currently being reviewed by HBO for presentation.

HARRY W. HAINES, chair and co-chair for Taskforce – School of Communication and Media Arts, was selected as a panelist for the following: on "Design Trends for the Mirroring of Media and Education Facilities: How Students are being prepared for Careers in Communication," sponsored by the Broadcast Education Association; and on "The state of Communication Education," sponsored by the New Jersey Communication Association.

RICHARD (DICK) HINCHLIFFE, manager of WMSC 90.3FM, created Podcasts for Institutional Investor Magazine.

TODD KELSHAW, associate professor and graduate program coordinator, presented the following at conferences: "Service-learning in political organizations: Risks and opportunities for educational institutions and students" in "Integrating communication curriculum and service-learning: Engagement and collaboration" panel conducted at the annual conference of the New Jersey Communication Association, in Paramus, N.J. in March; and "Meta-performance as ethical intervention: The Colbert Nation goes to Washington" in "Emerging trends in participatory media" panel conducted at the annual conference of the Eastern Communication Association, Arlington, Va., with HUGH CURNUTT in April.

CHRISTINE LEMESIANOU, deputy chair and director of the General Education Basic Communication Program (Fundamentals of Speech), presented the following papers: Web 2.0 in communication classrooms: Reflective pedagogical practices for reflective learning in "New pedagogies for new technologies: Teaching & learning in the 21st Century" at the 15th annual conference of the New Jersey Communication Association (NJCA), N.J., in March; Interrogating the place of technologies and the technologies of place in education in "Exploring Technology: Building Bridges for Significant Learning Experiences" at the 106th annual conference of the National Communication Association (NCA), San Francisco, Calif., in November. She was invited to participate in a focus group sessions in Public speaking and technology at the National Communication Association Convention, San Francisco, Calif. She served for 2010–2011: on the Digital Board of Advisors, McGraw-Hill Publishers, and as Special Projects Director of the New Jersey Communication Association (elected position).

YI LUO, assistant professor, presented a paper, "The Impact of Strategic Communication on Organizational Identity and Identification during Change: A case study of a multinational telecommunications company" in China at the annual Conference on Corporate Communication, New York, N.Y., in June. She has the following publications under review: A multilevel model of public relations, sense making, and emotions; Fairness, International Justice, and Communication Management during Organizational Change; Effective public relations leadership in organizational transformation: A case study of multinationals in Mainland China; Contemporary Chinese public relations education: Development and challenges; and An inside-out exploration of contemporary Chinese public relations education.

CHRISTOPHER MCKINLEY, assistant professor, presented the following papers: "Examining underlying processes of viewer involvement as predictors of binge drinking perceptions" at the Annual conference of the International Communication Association, Mass Communication Division, Boston, Mass.; (co-presented) "Health Cues: A content Analysis of Health Related Messages in Food Advertisements Targeting Children" at annual conference of the International Communication Association, Health Communication Division, Boston, Mass.; and "Investigation the multidimensionality of character involvement and its impact on viewers’ binge drinking perceptions" at the annual conference of the National Communication Association, Mass Communication Division, New Orleans, La. He has also published: “Mental health resources for LGBT collegians: A Content analysis of college counseling center websites,” in Journal of Homosexuality, 58, 138-147;  (in press) “Passing the ‘Breakfast Test’: Exploring the effects of varying degrees of graphicness of war photography in the new media environment,” in Visual Communication Quarterly; (in press) “Examining the presence of problem gambling awareness messages on college counseling center websites” in Health Communication; (under review) “Health Cues: A Content Analysis of Health-Related Messages in Food Advertisements Targeting Children,” in Journal of Youth and Adolescence; (under review) “Food marketing to children on Spanish-language television,” in Pediatrics; and (under review) “Investigating How Program Exposures Impacts Binge Drinking Perceptions: Re-examining underlying processes of viewer involvement,” in  Mass Communication & Society.

PERRY M. SCHWARZ, adjunct professor and 1988 alumnus, received the Harry L. Wheeler Public Service Award at the 29th Garden State Employment and Training (GSETA) Annual Conference held at Bally’s Hotel in Atlantic City in September. Department of Labor and Workforce Development Deputy Commissioner Richard E. Constable attended and congratulated Schwarz, internal monitor/planner for the Jersey City One Stop Career Center.  He was one of two people who received this honor with 340 individuals in attendance for the event. Schwarz is charged in Jersey City to secure the grants associated with the agency’s operating budget and to monitor technical schools, community colleges and related educational providers to ensure that they follow all local, state and federal guidelines.  The Harry L. Wheeler award is considered the highest award of the state association that makes up all of the local one stop workforce systems in New Jersey.  It is awarded to a GSETA Member who has excelled both locally and on the state level related to workforce development. GSETA represents the local leaders of the state’s workforce development system.

LARRY M. WEINER, public relations manager, was the featured speaker for the International Science Fiction convention, titled, in London, U.K. He developed a fund-raising documentary, March for Autism, in conjunction with the University’s Public Relations students and the Autism New Jersey organization. He also scripted, directed, and produced a new audio drama, Song Bird, starring Kelli O’Hara, Shirley Jones, and Ed Asner for XM/Sirius.


As part of the Department of Communication Studies' Initiative for Democratic Communication on Medicare, students in Dr. Deborah Fish Ragin's Health Psychology course teamed up with residents of Montclair's Pine Ridge senior-living center to explore public health policy and to develop new proposals. The public presentation of the teams' proposals and subsequent discussion forum took place on May 2 and the recommendations sent to legislators on ways to reform Medicare. See related video.