Seven new faculty members join SMC’s ranks

You might see a few unfamiliar faces around the School of Media and Communication this year, as SMC welcomes seven new professors to the faculty. Here’s your chance to learn a little bit about them before the first day of class.

Murali Balaji, Assistant Professor (Teaching/Instructional)

Department of Media Studies and Production

Specializing in critical media studies, namely political economy and the study of masculinity, Balaji spent the previous three years at Lincoln University, including two as the chair of the mass communications program. A former award-winning journalist, Balaji has written the critically acclaimed The Professor and The Pupil (Nation Books, 2011), which examines the lives of W.E.B Du Bois and Paul Robeson, and has co-edited two others, Desi Rap (Lexington/Rowman & Littlefield, 2008) and Global Masculinities and Manhood (University of Illinois, 2011). He is the co-founder and former executive director of The Voices of Philadelphia, a media education organization dedicated to citizen journalism and media fluency training among marginalized populations within the city.

Guillermo Caliendo, Assistant Professor (Teaching/Instructional)

Department of Strategic Communication

Receiving an MA in communication studies from California State University, Los Angeles, and a PhD in rhetoric with a concentration in media studies from the University of Pittsburgh, Caliendo’s research focuses on discourse analysis dealing with race/ethnicity and gender/sexuality. Besides serving in various editorial boards, he has published numerous book reviews and chapter contributions. Most recently, his article “MLK Boulevard: Material Forms of Memory and the Social Contestation of Race Signification” appeared in the Journal of Black Studies. He is currently working on “Disciplining Sexuality: Milk, Cultural Amnesia, and the Rhetoric of Sexual Containment.” At Temple, he will teach Persuasion, Rhetorical Theory and Political Communication

Joseph Glennon, Assistant Professor (Teaching/Instructional)

Department of Advertising

For the last 15 years, Glennon has been a highly sought after copywriter and creative consultant working with both advertising agencies and directly with clients. He has taught courses in a range of advertising topics, specializing in the art of copywriting. His professional writing career began as a screenwriter in Los Angeles, working with the producers of Cheers, Frasier, Home Improvement and other comedies. His work also included feature films. Glennon is a native of Boston and an unapologetic member of the Red Sox nation.

Stacey Harpster, Assistant Professor (Teaching/Instructional)

Department of Advertising

Since receiving her MBA in marketing from the Temple University Fox School of Business and Management and her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, Public Relations and Advertising from the Temple University School of Media and Communication, Harpster has served a diverse list of clients in industries including: automotive, hospitality and tourism, consumer goods, homeopathy, fashion, higher education, finance and technology. She began her career at the Temple University Small Business Development Center (SBDC), where she founded and led the SBDC Creative Department. After the SBDC, she moved on to hold senior level account management positions in various Philadelphia firms, including Kanter International (now Finch Brands) and Brownstein Group.

Adrienne Shaw, Assistant Professor

Department of Media Studies and Production

Since receiving her PhD in communication from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, Shaw has held postdoctoral posts at the Mudra Institute for Communication Ahmedabad, the University of Pittsburgh and Colorado State University. Her research focuses on popular culture, the politics of representation, cultural production and qualitative audience research. Her primary areas of interest are video games, gaming culture, representations of gender and sexuality and the construction of identity and communities in relation to media consumption.

Kristine Weatherston, Assistant Professor (Teaching/Instructional)

Department of Media Studies and Production

Weatherston is a PhD candidate in the interdisciplinary Media, Art and Text program at Virginia Commonwealth University. Her interests combine theory and practice in areas of video production including genre studies, screenwriting and literary adaptation, documentary and nonfiction, producing and directing for film and television, as well as editing and post-production design.

Laura Zaylea, Assistant Professor, (Teaching/Instructional)

Department of Media Studies and Production

Since receiving her MFA in film from the San Francisco Art Institute, Zaylea has served as a film lecturer in the Department of Communication at Georgia State University. Zaylea has written/directed a feature film, has created many short films and media art installations and is currently converting her award-winning screenplay into a multimedia digital novel. Her research and creative production interests include experimental film making and media production, LGBTQ media and the process of adapting traditional media into new media forms and formats. Her feature film Hold The Sun was awarded Best Avant-garde Film from the 2010 Amsterdam Film Festival and her screenplay Closer Than Rust was one of the winners of the 2012 Atlanta International Film Festival Screenplay Competition.


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