The faculty of the School of Media and Communication includes research scholars,  journalists, television producers, new media artists, speechwriters, advertising executives and public relations practitioners. Many cross fields and bring less traditional approaches to communications and media into the classroom. By transcending these borders, the faculty of the School of Media and Communication finds compelling connections that have defined the school since it was founded in 1967 as the School of Communications and Theater.

Faculty News

Advertising Dept. instructor integrates #ALSIceBucketChallenge into first lesson

As part of her first Intro to Marketing class of the fall 2014 semester, Sue Fee, an adjunct professor in the Department of Advertising at Temple University’s School of Media and Communication, discussed the communications phenomenon that is the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

And then she did it.

Fee marched her class to the intersection of Liacouras and Polett walks, where she allowed one of her new students to dump an icy bucket of water over her head on video all in the name of education.

“I always incorporate use cases as examples for all the concepts with an active learning approach,” Fee said. “The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has been a phenomenon that will probably be studied in courses for years to come, but I wanted to capture the moment to bring the real life example to my students as it is unfolding.”

She wanted to get her students thinking about the ice bucket challenge as more than a series of viral videos, but as a successful communications campaign that has raised a significant amount of money for the ALS Association.

Fee doesn’t claim to know the secret to success of a viral campaign, but “there is something oddly compelling about watching people dump water on their heads.”

She said the combination of a challenge and a worthy cause makes the public feel good about something that is demanding so much attention.

Out of Fee’s 11 students, eight had done the challenge and all of them had visited ALSA.org as a result of the campaign.

“There were mixed feelings about whether it was all a cheap ploy for attention without any greater good, although I think some felt differently when we saw the latest fund-raising tally, 79 million plus,” Fee said.

By Jeff Cronin
SMC Communications

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SMC grows with seven new faculty members

Seven new full-time faculty members have joined the School of Media and Communication for the 2014-15 academic year. Here’s your chance to get to know a little bit about them before the first day of class.

William Cook

Visiting Assistant Professor
Department of Advertising   

Cook.webWilliam Cook received his B.A. in advertising from Temple University and his M.A. in communications from the Pennsylvania State University. He has worked in advertising and public relations, specializing in consumer and commercial home and building products. His research focuses on the global movement of culture, advertising and dissecting international brand strategies of American media conglomerates. He has
been teaching at Temple as an adjunct professor for four years.


Alison Ebbecke

Visiting Assistant Professor
Department of Advertising

EbbeckeAlison Ebbecke received her B.A. in journalism, public relations and advertising from Temple in 2006. She then dedicated nearly a decade of her career to Harmelin Media, establishing herself as a media professional with a primary focus on developing converged marketing strategies. Ebbecke has planned media campaigns at the regional and national level for a variety of brand categories including tourism, entertainment, automotive and CPG. In addition to her agency role, Ebbecke also spent the past six years teaching as an adjunct instructor for Temple’s Department of Advertising.


R. Lance Holbert

Professor and Chair
Department of Strategic Communication

HolbertR. Lance Holbert, who received his Ph.D. in mass communication from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2000, is a professor within and chair of the Department of Strategic Communication at Temple University. His scholarship infuses mass communication- and persuasion-based theoretical approaches to generate greater understanding of the role of media in politics. Most recently, Holbert has focused the bulk of his attention on the effects of varied forms of political entertainment media. He has published more than 50 peer-reviewed journal articles, is a member of a dozen editorial boards, and currently serves as an associate editor for Journal of Communication. Holbert was named the 2013 Teacher of the Year by the National Communication Association’s Mass Communication Division.



Lauren Kogen

Assistant Professor
Department of Media Studies and Production

KOGEN.webLauren Kogen received her Ph.D. in communication from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research focuses on the role of media in development and in conflict-affected regions, media coverage of crises and conflicts and monitoring and evaluation of media for development projects.


Alison Novak

Assistant Professor
Department of Media Studies and Production

Novak.webAlison Novak received her Ph.D. in communication, culture and media from Drexel University’s Department of Culture and Communication. Prior to attending Drexel University, she received a B.A. from Marist College in public relations. She has worked as a public relations consultant for the State of New York and the Hudson Fulton Champlain Quadricentennial Commission. She also currently writes for the Huffington Post. Her research focuses on the relationship between television and digital news discourses and the millennial generation’s civic and political engagement.


Tony Liao

Assistant Professor
Department of Media Studies and Production

Tony Liao received his Ph.D. from the Department of Communication at Cornell University He also holds an M.S. in Communication from Cornell University, and his B.A. from the University of Southern California. He work has been published in New Media and Society, Journal of Computer Mediated Communication, International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality, ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI), and First Monday. His research is interested in understanding augmented reality from a variety of perspectives, looking at how people utilize emerging technologies in everyday life, how emerging technologies can affect people’s perceptions of place, and how the discussion surrounding emerging technologies shapes and supports development of the technology.


Sherry Yu

Assistant Professor
Department of Journalism

YU.webSherry S. Yu received her Ph.D. in communication from the School of Communication at Simon Fraser University. Her research focuses on ethnic news media with particular interest in cultural literacy and civic engagement in multicultural society. Prior to joining the Temple faculty, she was a research fellow at the Centre for Policy Studies on Culture and Communities, Simon Fraser University, and an instructor at the University of the Fraser Valley and Simon Fraser University. Her professional experience includes serving as a researcher at ACNielsen.

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Professor edits new book on social movements

A faculty member in Temple’s Department of Strategic Communication has co-edited a new book that can be used as a “how-to” guide for planning a successful social movement.

Jason Del GandioAssistant Professor Jason Del Gandio, along with Anthony J. Nocella II, a senior fellow at the Hamline School of Law, have produced “Educating for Action: Strategies to Ignite Social Justice.” The book, written for classroom instruction as well as real-world guidance, is a collection of work from activists with experience in inspiring others to promote social change. It was published in June by New Society Publishers.

Del Gandio, an active social movement participant for the past 14 years and most recently with Occupy Philadelphia in 2011, has been teaching classes on rhetoric and public advocacy at Temple since 2006.

“Bringing together a collection of authors allows for a greater diversity of voices, insights, experiences and perspectives,” Del Gandio said. “Activism is a collaborative effort, and the book reflects that. Despite the diversity of voices, the book does have an overarching narrative theme: that idealism is not enough; you have to learn how to mold your idealism into concrete practice.”

Del Gandio said he and his co-editor have tried to show that social change isn’t easy.

“The book approaches ‘peace and justice’ as a political force involving challenge and confrontation,” he said. “Young activists need to understand that peace and justice don’t happen on their own; that changing the world is hard work.”

The book offers a history of social movements and details everything that activists need to address when fighting for social change, from communication and conflict negotiation to social media and personal consumer choices.

“Overall, the book is intended to instruct and to inspire,” he said.

This is Del Gandio’s second book on activism. In 2008, he wrote “Rhetoric for Radicals: A Handbook for Twenty-First Century Activists,” also published by New Society.


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