Dean's Corner

Southern Illinois University

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Dean’s Corner

Greetings from MCMA!

Our fall semester began with the amazing total solar eclipse and attendant events. Seeing totality for the first time was an awe-inspiring experience.  It provided good experiential work for our students, too. Last spring, we began pre-production on a documentary about the eclipse. It will cover events leading up to the day, as well as the eclipse itself. I asked two of our people, Mark Stoffel and HD Motyl, to head up the documentary, which used 10 faculty, staff and student crews stationed around campus. We anticipate an early 2018 release date for the documentary. Many of our students were also involved documenting the event for social media and assisting in the public relations and marketing effort. A video by Amanda Neuhouser (Cinema and Photography May 2017 graduate) was featured on a number of university websites and can still be viewed at our MCMA Facebook page video archive. Now we are counting down to April 2024 for our next total eclipse in Carbondale.

We are excited to announce that we now have several new and revamped programs and specializations.  All three of these initiatives realign our programs with contemporary media research and practices in the field. They will greatly benefit students, helping us better prepare them for a lifelong career in one of the media fields.

The Department of Cinema and Photography debuted a new integrated curriculum this fall.  All students will take a sequence of foundation courses in photography, cinema, audio and performance that integrate theory and practice as an interdisciplinary introduction to media arts. Then students may select from intermediate and advanced courses to specialize in cinema, photography or media arts.

The School of Journalism introduced new online programs in summer 2017, including both a Bachelor of Science degree and an online certificate in Journalism and Mass Communication.

The Department of Radio-Television-Digital Media recently completed an overhaul of the Game Design and Development Minor offered in collaboration with the Department of Information Systems and Technology in the College of Applied Sciences and Arts.

River Region Evening Edition began its season on Tuesday, September 19. This year, RREE has a student news director for the first time. This new position will give additional responsibility and training to our future journalists.  This year, the student news director is Jordan Taylor.

Taylor is a senior at SIU studying Radio, Television, & Digital Media specializing in television production. This will be Jordan’s fourth year with River Region Evening Edition and WSIU-TV. From camera operations and directing to weather reporting and anchoring, he has done just about everything.

Aside from RREE, Jordan is also a newscast director for WSIL-TV 3 - an ABC affiliate in Southern Illinois. You can follow River Region on Facebook.

Finally, we have some bittersweet news about two of our senior faculty.

Eileen Meehan, professor in RTD, and Kathy Frith, professor in the School of Journalism, both retired this summer.  Dr. Meehan joined the College in 2007. Her teaching and research specialization is political economy, and she has published widely in the field, including books on the ratings industry and the Disney Corporation. She plans to remain active in her research and is still mentoring doctoral students.  Dr. Frith joined us in 2008. Her research focused on advertising, particularly international advertising, branding, and advertising and social issues. Her lengthy publications include work on women in advertising and on global issues in advertising.  We want to thank both professors for their many contributions to the college and their mentorship of our students.

We continue to increase our recruitment programs, and this fall we held our first media workshop day on campus. On Oct. 20 we welcomed students from regional high schools who will attend workshops in audio recording, advertising, journalism and video production.  Students who visit campus overwhelmingly enroll here, so this is one of the best ways we have to showcase our programs.

Much more is going on here in the college so be sure to check out our MCMA Facebook page to read about current and upcoming events.

Wishing you all a wonderful holiday season.

Deborah Tudor

Interim Dean