Before discovering my passion for teaching, my first life was spent as an Emmy Award winning Producer/writer. I’ve chased down hard news stories and produced entertainment/public affairs segments for PBS, NBC and CBS. I’ve enjoyed conversations with the likes of industrialist/philanthropist Armand Hammer, Oscar winning actor Denzel Washington and trailblazing publisher John H. Johnson. I’ve had a fulfilling media career. But as a writer who has witnessed the birth of the personal computer, the Internet, Netflix and Amazon.com, nothing pleases me more than using multimedia technology to tell a great story. What writer doesn’t want to send their creative work to the world with the click of a “mouse,” and even better, hear back? This love of “stories” and new avenues to deliver them, imbues my teaching with joy every day.
My educational philosophy is one of engagement. It’s at the core of my teaching. Whether it’s through lecture, dialogue, video, or social media, the purpose is to grab, engage and share knowledge with my students. I believe in using a variety multimedia tools/web technologies to promote deeper critical and analytical thinking. The media industry changes so quickly it requires those who enter to have a fearless commitment to life-long learning. Teaching media students how to adapt in this ever changing environment, to reach the audience and deliver the story; this is the best part of my academic work.
My research interests surround converging and emerging technologies for information dissemination and transmedia production. I research new trends and their application in communication, applying the knowledge to the development of cross-platform media content. Respond to Violence (R2V), a new multimedia initiative focusing on violence prevention and intervention, was developed out of this work. I designed the project to give voice to those impacted by various forms of violence. The R2V web site, respondtoviolence.com, forms an online community where local and national resources are made available. The website serves as the public face of the project. This multi-platform leverages media and Internet technologies to create a virtual public square for discourse on violence, stimulating individual and collective action. Each year R2V develops multimedia content highlighting one issue. The productions engage organizations, community leaders, academic professionals, students, victims and offenders to encourage dialogue and promote change. Respond to Violence is housed under Governors State’s Civic Engagement and Community Service Center.
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