Archive for June 2010

Summertime in the City

June 11, 2010

Elon in New York City students with Central Park in the background

The Elon in New York City summer program is off to a rousing start.

On Mondays, students in “The Streets of New York” class will examine America’s greatest city, from Wall Street (business) to Madison Avenue (advertising) to Broadway (theatre). Each student also selects a particular street for intensive study, and students have gone to the New York Public Library to begin their projects.

On Tuesdays through Fridays, students are interning at professional sites such as “60 Minutes,” Fox Sports en Espanol, Food Network, Fremantle Media, Alvin Ailey Theatre, Peppercorn Strategic Communications, Green Pine Films and Ariel Publicity.

I visited the program site yesterday. The School of Communications arranged for summer housing in a residential building operated by The New School, in the Chelsea district of Manhattan. Perfect location. Small and functional rooms. Great views (a number of students can look out the window and see the Empire State Building reaching toward the sky).

Students in the Elon in NY program also have been paired with recent Elon alumni who already have established themselves as successful professionals in New York. This mentoring relationship involves alums currently working at such places as ABC, CBS, Pfizer, Ketchum Sports & Entertainment,, NewsMax Media and Sony Music Entertainment.

Ah, to be young and spending 10 weeks in New York City! You can keep up through the class blog here.


NBC, CBS, FOX and Geraldo

June 11, 2010

My four-day visit to New York City this week included being on the set and in the control room for the live evening newscasts at NBC and CBS, followed by a similar on-set experience at FOX that included a Geraldo Rivera commentary.

The media visits were compliments of Elon connections at each network.

Elon parent Brian Williams invited me to sit in on the Wednesday afternoon editorial meeting where the evening newscast is planned. The topic was oil, oil, oil. That evening, an Elon colleague and I watched the NBC Nightly News from the control room.

On Thursday, thanks to Elon Advisory Board member Michael Radutzky, a senior producer for “60 Minutes,” I interacted with correspondent Morley Safer in the “60 Minutes” corridors, then watched Katie Couric present the evening news, which included her handling a soccer ball for a World Cup feature.

On Friday, thanks to Advisory Board member Michael Clemente, senior VP at FOX News, I was on the set of “America’s Newsroom” when it included television personality Geraldo Rivera opining about the Joran van der Sloot murder case.

The professionalism required to produce these complex newscasts is extraordinarily high — from newsgathering to graphics to presentation.

Leadership Team

June 1, 2010

It’s been a remarkable decade.

Elon established the School of Communications in 2000, and now we are the academic home to 20% of the student body and have more than 50 full-time faculty and staff.

School of Communications leaders: David Copeland, Brooke Barnett, Kenn Gaither,
Frances Ward-Johnson, Paul Parsons, Connie Book, Don Grady and Jessica Gisclair

Vibrant organizations go through occasional leadership transitions, and this is a year for us to do so. Effective today, associate dean Connie Book has been elevated to associate provost for academic affairs at Elon, and this in turn has propelled other leadership transitions in the school.

Department chair Don Grady is now an associate dean, as is Communications Fellows director Kenn Gaither. Associate department chair Jessica Gisclair has become the department chair, and Frances Ward-Johnson is succeeding Gisclair. At the university level, Brooke Barnett will lead Elon’s commitment to diversity as a faculty fellow in the president’s office.

In fact, the only ones remaining in our current roles are David Copeland as graduate program director — and me as dean.

It’s a great team, and we look forward to building an even more vibrant learning environment for our students.