Faculty and Staff Directory
Eight full-time faculty members teach in the Department of Journalism and Digital Communication. Professionals from local and national media who teach part-time round out our faculty. We also enjoy talented technical staff. Students in the department have access, as well, to faculty members in Tampa and the other USF campuses and may work with faculty at The Poynter Institute.
Coordinator of Undergraduate Studies
Dr. Monica Ancu studies the role of online technologies, especially online social media, in political campaigns. Within this framework, she investigates how political candidates and voters use social network Web sites, blogs, podcasts, online advertising, etc. and how these online technologies affect political communication and political behavior. She also is interested in political advertising and media framing of political events. Her research appeared in Journalism Studies, American Behavioral Scientist, Journal of Broadcast and Electronic Media, as well as in several books. Ancu teaches visual communication, Web design, online journalism and new media classes. She received her Ph.D. degree in mass communication from the University of Florida in 2006.
Phone: 727-873-4736. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Multimedia Specialist, VideoWorks
Chris Campbell is an adjunct professor as well as a multimedia specialist at VideoWorks, the department’s in-house video production studio. He films and edits online distance learning classes and other videos for departments within the university as well as for local businesses. He teaches photojournalism and video storytelling classes. Before coming to the University of South Florida at Saint Petersburg, Chris worked as a biologist studying animal behavior as well as an environmental educator. He completed his M.A. in Journalism and Media Studies at USF St. Petersburg in 2013, with a concentration in documentary filmmaking. Chris completed his undergraduate degree in environmental studies from the University of California at Santa Barbara.
Eleanor Poynter Jamison Chair in Media Ethics and Press Policy
Deni Elliott specializes in ethics in public and professional life. Her work in media ethics includes more than 100 journal articles, book chapters and trade magazine pieces, as well as books in the field. Other published work in ethics addresses animal-human connection, government, higher education, philanthropy, research and teaching. Her recent books include a workbook, Ethical Challenges: Building Your Ethics Toolkit, and Ethics in the First Person: A Guide to Teaching and Learning Practical Ethics. She is currently working on an her eighth edited or authored book, Ethics for a Digital Era. Journalistic experience includes stints as ethics coach and general assignment reporter at the Philadelphia Inquirer and Louisville Courier Journal. She also produced and hosted a public radio show, Ethically Speaking. Dr. Elliott served as the Ethics Officer for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and has previously taught at Utah State University, Dartmouth College, and the University of Montana. She received an undergraduate degree in communication with a minor in journalism from the University of Maryland, the M.A. in philosophy from Wayne State University and an interdisciplinary doctoral degree from Harvard University. She was recently named to the Fulbright Specialist roster.
Phone: 727-873-4857. E-mail: Elliott@mail.usf.edu
Program ALC Coordinator
Dr. Frechette is an assistant professor in the journalism and digital communication department and the director of online research and development. He teaches digital media and researches the role of technology in learning. Before joining the University of South Florida St. Petersburg, Dr. Frechette was an interactive learning producer with Poynter’s News University, one of the world’s most innovative online journalism and media training programs. At Poynter, Dr. Frechette worked with faculty and industry leaders to design and build custom training experiences for a community of 200,000 learners. Dr. Frechette has over a decade of Web development and e-learning experience, specializing in PHP, MySQL and jQuery. He produced multimedia lessons for Navajo students at the University of New Mexico’s Technology and Education Center and DJed at KSEL in Portales, New Mexico. Dr. Frechette has a master’s in media arts and computer science and a doctorate in organizational learning and instructional technologies. His dissertation looks at the effects of animated characters in Web-based learning environments, and his research has appeared in the Journal of Media Psychology and other peer-reviewed publications.
Phone: 727-873-4174. E-mail: email@example.com
Dr. Gameel is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Journalism and Digital Communication at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg. He worked in the information technology (IT) field for several years. His career background in IT has uniquely contributed to his research and ability to teach digital and interactive media production courses. Gameel’s research builds from a media studies perspective to focus on new media, media literacy, digital inequality, political communication, and media in the Middle East. In particular, his current research in online education focuses on massive open online courses (MOOCs). Capitalizing on his IT knowledge and skills, Gameel is interested in examining the use of data and analytics to enhance learning and education and inform instructors through utilizing several analytics tools and methods. He received his Ph.D. degree from the University of Texas at Austin.
Phone: 727-873-4206. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rob Hooker spent more than 40 years as a reporter and editor at the St. Petersburg Times (now Tampa Bay Times). As a reporter, he and a colleague wrote a series of stories in the 1970s that helped send three Pinellas County commissioners to jail. As an editor, he helped supervise two reporters whose work on the Pasco County sheriff’s office won a Pulitzer in 1985. He edited a series on drug smuggling and public corruption that was a Pulitzer finalist, an examination of guardianship that led to statewide reform, and an investigation of the University of Florida football program that helped topple the head coach. For a decade, he was also the newspaper’s principal recruiter. In 1984, he researched and wrote a history of the Times on its 100th anniversary, and on its 125th anniversary he co-edited a book about the paper and Tampa Bay. He grew up in Chapel Hill, N.C., and earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Davidson College, where he was Phi Beta Kappa and editor of the campus newspaper. He received a master’s in history from Vanderbilt, with a thesis on race relations and the Mississippi news media in the early 1960s. At USFSP, he is adviser to the student newspaper and serves on the university’s Honors Program Advisory Board.
Instructor and Coordinator of Food Writing and Photography Graduate Certificate
M.A. Journalism and Media Studies, University of South Florida, St. Petersburg
Professor Janet Keeler worked in daily newspaper journalism for 35 years prior to joining the USFSP faculty. She spent 22 years at the Tampa Bay Times, serving as the paper’s food and travel editor for much of her tenure. She was the creative force behind USFSP’s Food Writing and Photography Program, which offers a graduate certificate. Keeler also spearheaded the University’s Food and Travel Writing study-abroad program, which gives students the opportunity to visit and study in France and Germany.
Keeler’s expertise include food, travel and newspaper journalism. She is the author of Cookielicious: 150 Fabulous Recipes to Bake & Share and has appeared in Best Food Writing 2001, an anthology of work by American writers. Keeler is pursuing a Doctor of Education in Program Development.
Phone: 727-873-4294. E-mail: email@example.com
Assistant Professor of Theory and Community Journalism
M.A., Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro
Ph.D., University of Tennessee
Dr. Motta specializes in environmental, community and ethnic journalism practice and education. Originally from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, he worked as a lawyer, journalist and consultant in environmental law and communication before coming to the U.S. to get his Ph.D. in Communication and Information at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Dr. Motta has headed the Neighborhood News Bureau (NNB), a working newsroom staffed by journalism students covering the historic African-American communities of St. Petersburg, since 2015. Under his direction, the NNB has spearheaded multiple investigations and projects that include environmental and health issues, the gentrification and white-washing of the local African-American neighborhoods, and the development of a website and database to rescue and distribute the rich history of St. Petersburg’s African-American residents.
Dr. Motta’s primary teaching responsibilities include community journalism, media theory, advanced and investigative reporting and media law at undergraduate and graduate levels. He is particularly interested in topics such as community-based journalism practice and education; environmental journalism, law and policy; and right-to-know laws and press freedom. He is co-editor of the book “Engaging with environmental justice: Governance, education and citizenship.” His latest article will be included in the upcoming Routledge’s “Handbook of Environmental Journalism” (2020) and his current research focuses on how community-based journalism can address historical errors committed by historical newspapers when reporting on ethnic and disenfranchised communities.
Learn more about Motta’s research and publications here.
Phone: 727-873-4856. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Office: PRW 230
Dr. Donovan Myrie is a graduate of Union Institute & University in Cincinnati, Ohio. His Ph.D. studies revolved around both Humanities and Leadership; his dissertation topic concentrated on the relationship between digital technology and independent voices with a case study analyzing nonprofit journalism. Before joining the faculty of USFSP, Dr. Myrie taught graduate and undergraduate courses in journalism, writing, production, and advertising at Columbia University, the University of Tampa, and the University of South Florida.
Concurrent with his teaching experience, Dr. Myrie freelanced for more than a dozen years as a field producer for NBC News Channel. In 2016 he was hired for the position of Investigative/Special Projects Producer at WKMG-TV in Orlando. His prior experience in television journalism includes positions of News Director (Washington D.C.), Assistant News Director (New Orleans), Executive Producer of Political Coverage (Tampa), Special Events Manager (Dallas), and News Operations Manager (New York).
Dr. Myrie is a three-time Emmy Award winner who has also received accolades from the National Association of Black Journalists, the New York Festivals International TV Programmers, and the Black Filmmakers Association. In December of 2011, he published his first work of non-fiction entitled The 9/11 Project: A Journalist’s Perspective. The book is an historical account of a number of stories connected with September 11th including but not limited to the anthrax attacks, death of Osama bin Laden, and detainees at Guantánamo Bay.
Aside from his interests in terrorism, severe weather, and digital technology, Dr. Myrie also has strong historical knowledge of U.S. commercial aviation, hurricanes and tropical storms in the Atlantic basin, and nuclear power plants.
Academic Program Specialist
Casey Peterson is a staff member in the Department of Journalism and Digital Communication at USF St. Petersburg, where he assists with administrative duties for both the physical and online degree programs. He is an adjunct professor, teaching MMC 3602: Mass Communications and Society and MMC 2100: Writing for the Mass Media. He also helps develop courses for the Digital Journalism and Design master’s degree program. Casey previously worked as office manager for the Florida Scholastic Press Association, a nonprofit organization of student journalists from middle and high schools from across the state. Casey received an undergraduate degree in political science from the University of Florida, and a Master of Arts degree from the Department of Journalism and Media Studies at USFSP.
Phone: 727-873-4881. E-mail: email@example.com
Vidisha Priyanka is currently working with Poynter NewsU as an Interactive Learning Producer. She teaches multimedia, video and interactive storytelling, analytics and user engagement to professional journalists, onsite and online. Before joining the NewsU team, Vidisha worked as Planning Editor for digital video at TBO.com, media partner of The Tampa Tribune and WFLA-TV, News Channel 8. She also worked as an Audience Editor and News and Special Projects producer for almost 10 years and helped focus resources on serving news audience. Vidisha has a master’s degree in Journalism from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg. She is a native of India and used to work as a content writer for the Web edition of India Today, the largest selling political magazine in India, and as a reporter and content producer for The Times of India, New Delhi. Photo courtesy Poynter’s NewsU.
Dr. Tony Silvia joined USFSP’s Department of Journalism and Media Studies as its Director in January 2006 from the University of Rhode Island, where he had been a faculty member since 1988. In his various roles at URI, he had served as chair of the department of journalism, director of the public relations studies program, and coordinator of internships. Dr. Silvia’s professional background is in television news, having worked as a consumer reporter and news anchor at various television stations in local markets. He also produced a series of media issues programs for PBS and worked as a correspondent for CNN, based in Atlanta, while completing a faculty fellowship with the network. His work for CNN’s science-technology features unit was recognized nationally by an award from the Broadcast Education Association and he is a fellow of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Dr. Silvia has also garnered three Emmy Awards nominations,an Associated Press Award for best documentary, has authored more than two dozen published articles in both academic and industry journals, and published six books: Student Television in America: Channels of Change (1998), Global News: Perspectives on the Information Age (2001), Baseball Over the Air: The National Pastime on the Radio and in the Imagination (2007), Fathers and Sons in Baseball Broadcasting (2009), Power Performance: Multimedia Storytelling for Journalism and Public Relations (2011) and Robert Pierpoint: A Life at CBS News (2014). He regularly presents lectures and workshops at universities, in newsrooms, and for non-profit organizations nationwide. In the department, he teaches courses that include: “Communication Ethics,” “Literary Journalism,” “Magazine and Feature Writing,” and “Beginning Reporting.” He has developed some of the department’s most popular electives, including “Sports Journalism,” and “Race, Gender, and Class in the Media.” Dr. Silvia’s seventh book, King of Blue Eyed Soul, the biography of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame musician Felix Cavaliere, will be published in 2018. Two additional projects involving classic era rock musicians are in the planning stages and an eighth book, on Social Media Ethics, is in the works.
Phone: 727-873-4047. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Facebook: Tony Silvia, Author
David M. Snyder teaches graduate courses in Digital Law and Ethics, Mass Media Law Seminar, News Coverage of Public Life and undergraduate courses in History and Principles of Communications Law, Public Affairs Reporting, Senior Seminar, Research Methods and Writing for Mass Media. He was a staff writer/beat reporter for the Clearwater Sun and St. Petersburg (now Tampa Bay) Times (1975-79). He also served 34 years (1967-2001) in the Naval Reserve as a military journalist NCO and public affairs officer, retiring at the rank of Captain (O-6). Among assignments around the world, he served as U.S. Navy spokesman for Peacekeeping Forces in Beirut, Lebanon, in the months following the terrorist attacks on U.S. forces there. Licensed to practice law in New York, Florida and some federal courts since 1983, Snyder has helped consumers, taxpayers, and the media access information and protected their right to publish it, first as a law clerk in The New York Times Co. legal department, then an associate or partner in major law firms and in solo practice since 1995. Snyder received a B.A. in English from the University of South Florida (Tampa), where he was managing editor of The Oracle and won a Distinguished Service Award from the Department of Mass Communications. He received a Doctor of Jurisprudence (J.D.), summa cum laude, and graduated first in his class from Stetson University College of Law, where he was editor-in-chief of the Stetson Law Review. Among his publications, Rediscovering Florida’s Common Law Defenses to Libel and Slander, co-authored with George K. Rahdert and published in the Stetson Law Review, has been cited by the Florida Supreme Court, among others, as a foundational work on defamation defense in Florida.
Graduate Programs Director
Dr. Walters, a professional journalist and veterinarian, teaches narrative journalism and reporting, with a focus on science and medicine. He has a special interest in alternative story forms such as audio and video. Dr. Walters founded and directs VideoWorks, the department’s digital productions studios. He is the author of five books. His writing has been praised by the New York Times, The New York Review of Books, Nature and numerous other scholarly and popular publications. Prior to joining USFSP in 2003, Dr. Walters was a visiting lecturer at Harvard Medical School. He speaks frequently on the subject of communication. Dr. Walters’ work has taken him to Africa, Asia, throughout South America and Europe and to all fifty states. He received an undergraduate degree in English literature from McGill University; a master’s from the Columbia University School of Journalism; and a D.V.M. from Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Walters is a bluegrass music enthusiast and plays the 5-string banjo.
Phone: 727-873-4544. E-mail: email@example.com
Elliott Wiser is the CEO/President of Here’s an Idea, a media consulting company. He spent 38 years in the media industry, most recently as the President and General Manager of WTSP-TV, the CBS affiliate in Tampa Bay, Florida. Previously, Elliott served as Corporate Vice President of News and Local Programming for Bright House Networks, Vice President and General Manager of Bay News 9, corporate Vice President for Time Warner Cable, News Director at WTVR-TV in Richmond, Virginia, producer at WSB-TV in Atlanta, and producer/reporter at CNN Headline News. In addition to his management experience, Elliott spent 12 years as an award-winning television anchor and business reporter. Elliott graduated from The George Washington University in Washington D.C. with a special honors degree in Broadcasting. He earned his master’s degree from the Journalism School at the University of Missouri. His thesis on the early history of 24-hour local news was recently published by the RTDNA.
Dr. Black chaired the Program for Ethics in Education and Community and was the first recipient of the Poynter Jamison Chair in Media Ethics and Press Policy, a position he held until 2003. Since 1985 he has been founding co-editor of the Journal of Mass Media Ethics. In 1997, he received the Freedom Forum’s national journalism professor of the year award. Dr. Black is co-author of Doing Ethics in Journalism and Introduction to Media Communication. He also edited Mixed News: The Public/Civic/Communitarian Journalism Debate. He’s been a reporter and copy editor for newspapers in Missouri and Ohio. His Ph.D. is from the University of Missouri. View “Last day at the office“ film.
Emeritus Professor, Deceased October 17, 2013
A veteran reporter and editor in Louisiana, New York, Washington, D.C., and Mexico City, Dr. Dardenne taught media theory and narrative journalism. He was co-author of The Conversation of Journalism and author of numerous articles and book chapters in journalism history and media effects. In 1999-2000, he taught and lectured in China on a Fulbright Fellowship. Active in community-building journalism, he helped launch several initiatives and grant programs in the region to encourage civic dialogue and participation and serves on the board of Speak Up Tampa Bay, which oversees public access TV in Tampa and Hillsborough counties. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Iowa.
In 2013, the Robert Dardenne Memorial Fund was founded in his honor. For more information and to donate, click here.
Emeritus Professor, Founding Director
Dr. Killenberg, the founding director of the Department of Journalism and Media Studies, taught media law and editing and reporting classes. He was named emeritus professor in 2006.
His professional experience includes reporting and editing positions at the Alton (Ill.) Telegraph, the St. Louis Globe-Democratand the Los Angeles Times. He is author of Public Affairs Reporting Now: News of, By and For the People (2008) and Public Affairs Reporting: Covering the News in the Information Age (1992). He is co-author of Before the Story: Interviewing and Communication Skills for Journalists (1989); The Conversation of Journalism: Community, Communication and News (1994); andInterviewing: Speaking, Listening and Learning for Professional Life (1999, second ed. 2009). In 1998, he received USF Professorial Excellence award. His Ph.D. is from Southern Illinois University.