Teaching experience

I have taught university courses in multiplatform news writing and editing, social media, communication research methods, journalism history, and communication law and ethics. …

bluelineA list of the courses I have taught and the accompanying syllabi. Please contact me if you have any questions or would like more information.


COM 111: Introduction to Mass Communication

Help students develop an informed critical perspective concerning the debate over media culture as a force for both democracy and consumerism. Provide an understanding of mass media history, how media industries are structured and who their major players are. Encourage students to consider how the media influence, and are influenced by, culture.

COM 112: Media Writing

Introduce the variety of mass communication media that students may encounter in their professional careers. Focus on writing techniques used by the mass media, including techniques for newspapers, news websites, radio and television, and public relations. Also provide instruction in grammar, spelling and Associated Press style.

COM 285: News Writing and Reporting

Familiarize students with the journalistic style of writing to help prepare them for careers as reporters or editors. Provide instruction in the basic formats and strategies used in print and online media, including traditional and alternative news lead and story structures. Teach students to write with economy and clarity, to exercise sound news judgment and to consider the needs of their audience.

COM 293: Editing

Teach students the basics of editing for print and online media, including editing to fix spelling, grammatical and style errors; editing to improve clarity, flow and story structure; and editing for taste and fairness. Help students learn to write effective headlines, photo cutlines and other display type for print and online newspapers. Provide instruction in the basics of news design and the use of Adobe InDesign.

COM 345: Communication Law and Ethics

Familiarize students with legal and self-imposed regulation of mass communication in the United States. Deal with essential legal topics, including First Amendment protections, libel, privacy, obscenity, free press/fair trial, contempt of court and copyright. Also focus on the ethical ramifications associated with such topics and equip students with ethical theories and tools to help them exercise sound judgment.

COM 490: Selected Topics – Social Media Strategy

Introduce students to a variety of social media platforms and show how communication professionals may use them strategically for information gathering, reporting, publicity, promotion and audience engagement. The course is designed to broaden students’ understanding of social media principles and ethics while providing practical experience in social media planning, content creation and analytics..

COM 520: Applied Mass Communication Research (graduate course)

Show master’s students how various research techniques may be used to solve practical mass communication problems. Introduce students to a variety of quantitative and qualitative research methods, including surveys, experiments, content analysis, focus groups and participant observation. Guide students through the process of proposing a research project, conducting a literature review, obtaining Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval, designing and executing a survey, collecting and analyzing data, and using SPSS for descriptive and inferential statistical tests. Students present their research findings during a poster session at an on-campus student research conference and write a full research report.


COMM 1421: Writing for the Media

Introduced students to writing, information-gathering and copy-editing techniques across media platforms.

Syllabus (Spring 2011)

COMM 2135: Communication Research Methods

Provided an overview of scholarly communication research. Introduced journalism, public relations and communication studies majors to common quantitative and qualitative research methods, including surveys, experiments, content analysis, textual analysis, participant observation and in-depth interviewing.

Syllabus (Spring 2015)

COJR 2431: American Journalism (history)

Presented a survey of the history of American journalism from colonial times to the present, helping journalism and public relations majors develop an understanding of journalism in a broader social and political context.

Syllabus (Spring 2015)

COJR 3422: Social Media in Journalism and Public Relations

Proposed and developed the new elective course, which began as a special-topics offering for undergraduate journalism and public relations majors and later was approved as a permanent addition to the curriculum. Introduced students to a variety of social media tools and the ways in which they may be used by journalists, public relations professionals and citizens for information gathering, reporting, publicity and engagement.

Syllabus (Spring 2015)
Course blog (Spring 2014) — NOTE: Some links may no longer be functional.

COJR 3426: Magazine Writing

Provided an overview of the U.S. magazine industry. Taught students how to research and write magazine articles and how to identify target publications.

Syllabus (Fall 2009)


J8008: Qualitative Research Methods in Journalism (graduate course)

Provided an overview of mass communication research and introduced master’s students to common qualitative research methods.

Syllabus (Summer 2008)

J2100: News Writing

Introductory journalism lab course for undergraduates. Students produced print and broadcast news stories and completed multimedia convergence projects.

Syllabus (Fall 2006)


“Candidate” Training Program

Taught weekly classes in news writing and reporting for students seeking to become staff members at Penn State’s independent student newspaper.

Syllabus (Fall 1997)