School of Communication and Media -- Fall 2012


Director’s Corner –
Welcome from Merrill Brown

As the inaugural director of the new School of Communication and Media (SCM), I am delighted to have joined a team of exceptional educators and enthusiastic, ambitious students. Our Fall 2012 semester is off and running, and there is much to be excited about.  

First off, SCM is offering a full complement of academic programs, including undergraduate concentrations in audio/sound design, communication and media arts, communication studies, documentary, electronic journalism, filmmaking, health communication, organizational communication, public relations and television production, as well as a graduate program in public and organizational relations.  Faculty from our former academic units of Broadcasting, Communication Studies and Filmmaking have worked hard to realize a progressive curriculum for each of these areas that are now housed under one umbrella.  (You can learn more about our academic offerings here.) 

We also just launched a School Speaker Series, which brings leading-edge media professionals to campus  (and complements our successful Film Forum program.)  Our most-recent event featured a panel of top journalists who engaged in a lively discussion of the 2012 presidential campaign coverage.  Events such as these and our on-campus partnerships with NJTV, WNYC and NJ News Commons provide significant opportunities for students to learn from some of the top experts in the field. 

Scroll down to click on recent “News Highlights” as well as see what our faculty, students and alumni have been up to (under “People Spotlights”). Whether you are an enrolled student, alumnus, community member or colleague, we regard you as part of our School of Communication and Media family.  We look forward to seeing you on campus!

Merrill Brown,

News Highlights . . .

School Hosts Post-election Forum Featuring Leading Journalists, Political Analysts

SCM Students Track Voting Problems Caused by Superstorm Sandy


School Students Participate in Creative Research Center's Second Annual Symposium

New Graduate Students in Public and Organization Relations Program Produce Community Meeting

School of Communication and Media Launches Speaker Series

School of Communication and Media's New Director Merrill Brown Interviewed on "Carpe Diem"

Read TVDM's Newsletter "On-Air"

Merrill Brown Named Director of the School of Communication and Media


Montclair State Studios Get High Praise from "NJ Today"


Department of Communication Studies Co-hosts Third Annual Curtain Call Award

Alumnus Tom Kaminsky is the "Jam Master" (New York Post)

Department of Communication Studies' Chair Harry Haines Interviewed by Movie Geeks United

Broadcast Students Produce Special Webcast "Get a Job"


Public Relations Students Raise More than $2K for Autism NJ

Montclair State "In the News:" The New Storytelling (Star-Ledger)

People Spotlights . . .Faculty, Students, Alumni


HARRY HAINES published the lead essay, "Soldiers Against the Vietnam War: Aboveground and The Ally," in Part 2 of the definitive four-volume series titled Insider Histories of the Vietnam Era Underground Press, edited by Ken Wachsberger and published by Michigan State University Press. With student/veteran KENNETH SVOLTO, he presented a session titled "Asking, Telling, and The Sky Did Not Fall" at the New Jersey LGBTQ Student Leadership Conference held at MSU. Presented a paper at the Symposium on Imagination in the Post-9/11 World: How Have We Changed?, sponsored by MSU's Creative Research Center. Performed in the MSU production of Dustin Lance Black's 8, a dramatic reading of court transcripts of the federal trial involving California's Proposition 8.

CHRISTINE LEMESIANOU received the 2012 University Distinguished Teacher of the Year award and presented a paper titled "The Whole World Is Watching: Accusations and Apologies in the Global Era" at the New Jersey Communication Association Convention at Monmouth University.

TODD KELSHAW presented a paper titled "The Value of Humility in Campus-Community Encounters" at the New Jersey Communication Association Convention at Monmouth University. Chaired a panel, "Applied Communication in Entertainment Contexts," and served as respondent on a panel titled "Continuity and Change in Organizational and Larger Societal Contexts" at the Eastern Communication Association's Convention at Cambridge, Mass. Presented a paper titled "The Semantic Web, Crowds, and Collective Action" on the program It's a Small World: The Impact of Global Communication in the 21st Century at Montclair State.

HUGH CURNUTT received the 2012 National Communication Association's Emerging Scholar Award in the area of Critical and Cultural Studies and published the following essays: "Flashing Your Phone: Sexting and the Remediation of Teenage Sexuality" in Communication Quarterly, "Durable Participants: A Generational Approach to Reality TV's 'Ordinary' Labor Pool," in Media, Culture & Society [Research presented at the National Communication Association Convention at New Orleans]. Served as chair of a panel titled "Cultivating New Kinds of Mediated Reality: A Fresh Look at Cultivation Theory Research" at the National Communication Association Convention at New Orleans, La., and as secretary, Mass Communication Division, National Communication Association.

YI LUO received the Montclair State University Student-Faculty Research Award, a research grant from the Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations at the University of Alabama, and published the essays: "Demystifying the Social Media Use and Public Relations Practice in China" in S. Duhe (Ed.) New Media and Public Relations; (with collaborators) "Contemporary Chinese Public Relations Education: Development and Challenges" in the Asian Journal of Communication; and (with collaborators) "An Inside-Out Exploration of Chinese Public Relations Education" in the Journal of Public Relations Review,  which also received the PRIDE Award for Outstanding Contribution to Public Relations Education for 2012 by the Public Relations Division of the National Communication Association (NCA). She also presented the following papers: "Effective Public Relations Leadership in Organizational Transformation: A Study of Multinationals in Mainland China" at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication Conference at St. Louis; "The Influence of Confucianism on the Legitimacy of Chinese Organizations" at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication at Chicago; and "A Dialog with Social Media Experts: Measurement and Challenges of Social Media Use in Chinese Public Relations Practice" at the International Communication Association Conference at Phoenix.

published the essay titled "Examining the Presence of Problem Gambling Awareness Messages on College Counseling Center Websites" in Health Communication, and his essays "Cultivation Theory" was accepted for publication in the forthcoming Encyclopedia of Media Violence, and "Food Marketing to Children on Spanish-Language Television" was accepted for publication in a forthcoming issue of the Journal of Health Communication. Presented the following papers: "Pulling the Plug on Grandma: Obama's Health Care Pitch, Media Coverage, and Public Opinion" at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication Conference at Chicago, and "Investigating the Multidimensionality of Character Involvement and Its Impact on Viewers' Binge Drinking Perceptions" at the National Communication Association's Convention at New Orleans.

JOEL PENNEY published a book review "Black Dandyism and the Styling of Black Diasporic Identity" in Text & Performance Quarterly. He also presented the following papers:  "Citizen-Advertisers: Promotional Culture, 'Mediated' Commodity Displays, and Political Action" at the International Communication Association Conference, at Phoenix; and "Visible Identities, Visual Rhetoric: The Self-Labeled Body as a Medium for Political Persuasion," and "Theorizing Connections Between Embodies Political Expression and the Dialogical Public Sphere: Some Notes from a Dissertation on Political T-Shirts," both at the National Communication Association Convention at New Orleans.

LARRY WEINER Developed and sustained key relationships with Autism New Jersey, Hackensack University Medical Center, Opera New Jersey, the Alliance for Arts and Health New Jersey, and the New Jersey Advertising Club, all client organizations for which "Red Hawk Communications," a boutique public relations agency operated by our chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), provides PR services. Developed new relationships with XM/Serius Radio and Goya Foods for Red Hawk Communications to embark on projects in the coming year. Also represented the Department/School in dialog with Autism New Jersey to develop a proposal for a certification program for human resources professionals working with autistic adults in the workplace.

DICK HINCHLIFFE Developed relationships with key regional and national professional and collegiate radio associations, and organized the first national College Radio Day in cooperation with other college radio stations in New Jersey and throughout the U.S. Facilitated the station's first simulcast of a webcast originating in the DuMont Television Center. Developed strong alumni connections, including a weeklong "Alumni Takeover" in which graduates who now work professionally in radio and related fields returned to campus and performed on-air duties.

LARRY LONDINO directs the location shoots and also serves as one of the videographers on a television documentary spotlighting the Newark-Montclair Urban Residency Program, with PATRICIA PIROH and documentary filmmaker Ken Browne. Also attended the Third International Conference on Sports and Society (Cambridge, England) and presented a panel as part of a parallel session, “Celebrity and Legacy:  Tiger and the Media:  Before and After,” exploring Woods’ relationship with the media before and after the disclosure of his extramarital affairs and served on an Emmy-judging panel “Sports-Series.” He was appointed to a task force by the United States Golf Association and the Professional Golfers Association and serves on the oral history committee in an effort to catalogue and produce a series of additional interviews with African American golfers and also other people who had some influence and impact on black golf.  In February, attended the symposium (and task force committee meeting) "American Champions and Barrier Breakers" highlighting the careers of Jackie Robinson, Joe Louis and Althea Gibson, discussing their contributions to fostering racial tolerance through sport at the USGA Museum.

STEVE  McCARTHY developed and produced five webcasts titled MSU Remembers: 10 Years After 9/11, Don't Laugh at Me (focus on bullying), We Are As One (in reaction to an anti-gay bias incident on campus), Arab Spring: One Year Later (focusing on Tunisia), and Get a Job. Developed key relationships with NJTV and submitted student-produced video pieces used in the nightly statewide broadcasts. Produced a video documentary about the Cali School of Music's Vocal Accord tour of Austria and Italy. Began a two-year documentary project in conjunction with Dr. DAVID SANDERS focused on the efforts of Swedish NGO Spiritus Mundi to help orphans and disadvantaged youths in Jordan. Directed students in the production of public service announcements for the Dodge Foundation's Poetry Festival scheduled this October at Newark's New Jersey Performing Arts Center.

BEVERLY PETERSON completed and secured educational/non-theatrical distribution for her feature-length documentary, What Killed Kevin?, about workplace bullying, which this year, has been featured in the major media outlets such as the Washington Post, Huffington Post, Virginia Public Radio, and Chronicle of Education. Presented Research at NJCA's 16th Annual Conference Program, "Documentary in the Age of New Media."

PATRICIA PIROH directed Remembering 9/11:  Ten Years Later, a live, two-hour webcast, and Don’t Laugh At Me, and We Are As One live webcasts in response to the bias incidents on campus. Also directed Arab Spring live webcast. Served as coordinating producer for the series The Giblin Report, a series that is produced for Assemblyman Thomas P. Giblin. Coordinating producer for Destination Montclair, a series produced by the Township of Montclair, and began shooting a new documentary about the Montclair-Newark Urban Teacher Residency Program with LARRY LONDINO.

MARC ROSENWEIG moderated the ongoing series of panels jointly sponsored by the Broadcasting Department and the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center on Sports Media Ethics. Procured Tom Kaminski, WCBS radio Traffic and Transit Manager Editor,  for the department’s Allen B. DuMont Broadcaster of the Year Award and interviewed him for a special edition of Carpe Diem. Anchored MSU Remembers: 10 Years After 9/11, and Don’t Laugh at Me,  and served as an interviewer and script editor for the webcast Arab Spring--- One Year Later. Serves as columnist for, which takes a critical look at key media industry issues, including ethics, sports media and media management.  The website has more than 1,600 subscribers who receive a five-day-a-week email newsletter with links to a variety of columns and key media industry news.

DAVID SANDERS developed copyright education curriculum for primary schools under a grant from the Music Publishers Association of the United States, who commissioned the project through the National Music Council of the United States. Served as executive producer of “The Copy Kid,”an animated video short, designed to illustrate the importance of respecting creators and the work they create, that was produced as a tool for the copyright education curriculum in partnership with Emmy Award-winning artist Bevin Carnes. Produced the National Music Council’s annual American Eagle Awards honoring Nile Rogers , Peter Yarrow, Paquito D’Rivera, and The Doris Duke Foundation. Member of task force of intellectual property advocates organized by the Recording Industry Association of America convened to research and make a recommendation for a management company to receive the creative communities endorsement to oversee the new .music top level domain proposed by ICANN (International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) for the Internet. Created an international arts education project with the Swedish NGO Spiritus Mundi that will bring several MSU broadcasting students, as well as selected arts education students, to Jordan and Egypt over a two-year period. 


LINDSAY RASSMANN and RYAN MILLER were the student producers for One Heart, a segment about a heart donation and the impact on the families that donate and the families that receive organ donation, that aired on NJ Today and was featured in the Montclair Film Festival New Visions From Montclair State University.

ROB DICKERSON, JACKIE LODER, TANJA REKHI and IAN ELLIOTT participated in the Tunisia project.

LINDSAY RASSMANN participated in the Jordan project.

Our chapter of Lambda Pi Eta (LPH), the student honorary society, organized and conducted its first Distinguished Paper Symposium in conjunction with its annual awards ceremony and induction ritual, presenting the following student research papers:

  • "Friendship Behind the Screen" Lauren Buglione, Michael Delcalzo, Jessie Drescher, Erin Levine, and John Trocano
  • "Propaganda Analysis: The Tea Party"Amanda de Zayas and Melissa Murphy
  • "Television's Role in Children's Language Development"  Kyle Stuber
  • "Building Communication Theory: Romantic Assessment Theory" Brian Johnston, Anthony Smith, Leah Szymanski, and Jessica Van Truen

Our chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) received administrative permission to organize a student-operated boutique public relations agency using the title "Red Hawk Communications." The ambitious group conducts public relations functions for a variety of non-profit organizations. The PRSSA also played a vital role in developing and implementing an aggressive alumni outreach program, including a Homecoming event that attracted graduates from the 1960s onward. 


TANIA IVANOVA, ’09 was nominated for three Emmy Awards for her work on Due Process.

NICK CLUNN ('01) was recognized by two journalism associations this year for exposing improper overtime payments that were made to the Paterson mayor and other city officials after the Hurricane Irene disaster. The series of stories, which appeared in The Record, led to the return of $50,000 in overtime payments, scrutiny from state officials and reforms to city policies. The stories won First Place, Local News, from the state chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, and Second Place, First Amendment, from the New Jersey Press Association. Clunn has been a staff writer at The Record since 2007.

LISA MARIE LATINO (Broadcasting, '06) recently moved her production company, Long Shot Productions, to Fairfield. The pre- and post- production facility opened in the summer, and many MSU alumni, students and staff attended the grand opening event on June 22nd. 

PHIL MCCRICKARD  (2011) is currently working as script coordinator for ABC News' Good Morning America. He began work last winter, after meeting fellow alum CRAIG VIECHEC (2007) during the Senior Seminar networking project in April '11.

August ’11, January ’12 and May ’12 grads currently employed (in New Jersey unless otherwise indicated) include:

BIANCA BENEVENGA, Freelance Technical Associate, News 12, Edison
SARAH BROTHERTON, PA, Networks, MTV Networks, New York, N.Y.
CRISTIAN DEMARCO, News writer, Telemundo, Fort Lee,
BRIAN HENRY, PA, Fox NewsChannel, New York, N.Y.
BOB HOFFMAN, Media Manager, NJTV, Montclair
KEEGAN KINGETER, Set PA, Made In Jersey, CBS Television, N.Y.
RANDALL PAYTON, Technical Operations, Control Room/Studio Coverage, CNBC, Englewood Cliffs
JASMINA POLANCO, PA, IW Productions, New York, N.Y.
ERIC TITUS, CBS Page, CBS Network, New York, N.Y.
KYLE WILLIAMS, PA, CNBC, Englewood Cliffs