Faculty News

Kathy German, a professor in MAC, received the annual Kenneth Burke Society award for her analysis of Native American themes in science fiction television. It was presented at the annual conference in Minneapolis MN in March. Kenneth Burke was an internationally prominent rhetorical critic whose theoretical work on dramatism greatly influenced contemporary rhetorical criticism. German also has a new book titled “Promises of Citizenship: Film Recruitment of African Americans in World War II.” The book was published by the University Press of Mississippi.

Ron Becker, an associate professor in MAC and CMS, was the recipient of the Excellence in Teaching Award from members in The National Society of Leadership and Success: Sigma Alpha Pi chapter at Miami University. This award is given to individuals who teach with passion, inspire students beyond the classroom, demonstrate dedication to developing students beyond academic qualifications or who make a positive difference in the lives of society members.

Bob Batchelor, a visiting assistant professor in STC, has a book coming out in September title “Stan Lee: The Man Behind Marvel.” The biography will chronicle Lee’s early life though his early days as an editor at Marvel Comics. After working in the comics industry for decades, Lee decided to go for broke and began co-creating a new stable of heroes, including the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, Iron Man, the Avengers, and the X-Men. Batchelor examines Lee’s works in detail, including the 1960s comics that made Marvel rise above other publishers. He also chronicles the risks Lee took to get his characters published, and the efforts he made to make comic books part of mainstream culture throughout his career. Finally, he examines how Lee changed American culture and became a central figure in American entertainment history. Batchelor’s two sections of STC 359 are completing service learning work for The Hot Sardines, a NYC "hot jazz" band that has received rave reviews and sells out shows around the world. The students have conducted content marketing campaigns, media relations, research, and marketing analysis for the band.

Rosemary Pennington, an assistant professor in JRN, published a research article on the Steubenville rape case came out in print in New Media & Society in December. Pennington also published a piece at Huffington Post called 'Changing the News Narrative on Rape' to coincide with the article's publication. Pennington was also chosen to participate in an international research network funded by the German Research Foundation on media and culture. It's called the "Young Scholars Network on Culture and Media Uses and Effects." The first meeting will be in Berlin in June.

Leland Spencer, assistant professor at the Hamilton campus who is an affiliate faculty in MJF, has published a book “Women bishops and rhetorics of shalom: A whole peace.” Spencer also has published two articles: “Regressing, progressing, or transgressing on the small screen? Transgender characters on U.S. scripted television series.” In Communication Quarterly and “What’s so funny about a snowman in a tiara? Representations of transgender and gender non-conforming characters in children’s animated films,” in Queer Studies in Media & Popular Culture. Spencer also received the Janice Rushing Early Career Research award from the Southern States Communication Association earlier this year.

Patricia Gallagher Newberry, senior lecturer in JRN, will run for secretary-treasurer of the Society of Professional Journalists this September, after chairing a task force aiming to reduce the size of the national SPJ board from 23 to nine. Additionally, JRN faculty members Steve Siff and David Wells joined Newberry as judges in the annual Sigma Delta Xi awards of the Society of Professional Journalists, selecting the New York Times Magazine's "Fractured Lands" project as the winner for public service for magazine journalism. Outside the office, Newberry directed “Guys & Dolls” for the Nativity Players, leading a 50-person cast in the Players 39thand final production.

Shara Clark, an instructor in STC, served as a judge for the PRSA Bronze Anvil Awards (national competition through Public Relations Society of America). Clark also is serving as the Community Services Director for Cincinnati PRSA.

Annie-Laurie Blair, a senior clinical professor in JRN, officially was named an affiliate professor in Miami’s Institute for the Environment and Sustainability. Annie will be teaching at Miami’s Dolibois European Center in Luxembourg during the 2017-18 school year.

Cheryl Heckler, an associate professor in JRN, will team up with photojournalist and videographer Vivian Borger to travel villages and small towns of the Canadian Province of Ontario two or three weeks in June 2017 to interview citizens about the country's yearlong celebration of its sesquicentennial. In particular, they will interview citizens in rural areas -- individuals whose stories seldom make national news. The interviews will be released via social media as short podcasts, Youtube and Facebook posts. Heckler and Borgert also will launch a WordPress page with the theme: "As Canadians embrace 150 years, two Yanks embrace 150 Canadians."