Journalism & Media Studies

Journalism & Media Studies
140 7th Avenue South
St. Petersburg Florida 33701
Phone: 727-873-4850
Fax: 727-873-4034

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Faculty and Staff

Eight full-time faculty members teach in the Department of Journalism and Media Studies. 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.

Monica AncuMonica Ancu, Associate Professor and 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:


Chris CampbellChris Campbell, Multimedia Specialist

Chris Campbell is a multimedia specialist at VideoWorks, the department's in-house video production studio.





Edgardo DangondEdgardo Dangond, Technical Director

Edgardo Dangond is a technical director at VideoWorks, the department's in-house video production studio.




Photo courtesy of Melissa Lyttle/Tampa Bay TimesDeni Elliott, Chair, Professor and 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 well over 100 journal articles, book chapters and trade magazine pieces, as well as two books. 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. 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 pubic radio show, Ethically Speaking. Dr. Elliott served as the Ethics Officer for the Metropolitan Water District of Souther 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.

Phone: 727-873-4857. E-mail:


Casey Frechette, Assistant Professor

Dr. Frechette is a visiting assistant professor in the journalism and media studies 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:


Rob HookerRob Hooker, Adjunct Professor

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.



Janet K. KeelerJanet K. Keeler, Visiting Assistant Professor

Janet K. Keeler is the Food and Travel Editor for the Tampa Bay Times in St. Petersburg, where she has worked for 20 years. She had more than 30 years newspaper experience, including news reporting, and news and features editing. She is the author of Cookielicious: 150 Fabulous Recipes to Bake & Share, which was published in 2010 by Seaside Publishing. Her newspaper work has been recognized by the Association of Food Journalists, Florida Society of Newspaper Editors, the Society of American Travel Writers, the Society of Newspaper Design, the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Association of Sunday and Feature Editors. Janet’s story, “The Crock-Pot That Saved Dinner Time,” appears in an anthology of work by American writers, Best Food Writing 2001. She earned a B.S. in journalism from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, Calif., and holds a master's degree in Journalism and Media Studies from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg.



Donovan MyrieDonovan Myrie, Adjunct Professor

Donovan is a Ph.D. student in the graduate program at Union Institute & University in Cincinnati, Ohio. On occasion, he freelances as a field producer for NBC News Channel. He taught journalism, writing, production, and advertising classes at the University of Tampa. Prior to working full time in higher education, he held various positions in television broadcast and cable organizations. Donovan is a three-time Emmy Award winning broadcast journalist. He’s also received awards from the National Association of Black Journalists, New York Festivals International TV Programmers, and Black Filmmakers Association. In December of 2011, Donovan published his first work of fiction entitled The 9/11 Project: A Journalist’s Perspective. The book is an historical accounting 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. • In 2008, he launched, an online resource for journalists and meteorologists covering hurricanes and tropical storms in the Atlantic basin. StormFacts was created for experienced and novice journalists as a one-stop reference tool.

Phone: 727-873-4736. E-mail:


Casey PetersonCasey Peterson, Academic Program Specialist

Casey Peterson is a staff member in the Department of Journalism and Media Studies at USF St. Petersburg, where he assists with administrative duties for both the physical and online degree programs. 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:


Mary SheddenMary Shedden, Adjunct Professor

Mary Shedden is a reporter for WUSF Public Media and Health News Florida. The past 20 years, she’s covered beats from business and education, to crime scenes and murder trials. A former reporter at The Tampa Tribune and, her work has been recognized by the national Associated Press Sports Editors and Society of Professional Journalists in Florida. She also won seven Green Eyeshade Awards, a SPJ honor recognizing top stories in 11 southeastern states. In 2012, she served as a yearlong regional fellow with the Association of Health Care Journalists. She is a 1990 graduate of the University of Florida.



Dr. Tony SilviaTony Silvia, Professor

Dr. Silvia joined USFSP's Department of Journalism and Media Studies as 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. Dr. Silvia has also garnered three Emmy Awards, an Associated Press Award for best documentary, has authored more than two dozen published articles in both academic and industry journals, and published three books: Student Television in America: Channels of Change (1998), Global News: Perspectives on the Information Age (2001), and his most recent, Baseball Over the air: The National Pastime on the Radio and in the Imagination (McFarland, 2007). A fourth book, Baseball's Father and Son Broadcasters, will be published in spring, 2009, and a fifth, titled Power Performance: Effective Multi-Media Communication, was published by Blackwell of Oxford, England in 2010. He regularly teaches "Senior Seminar" and special topics courses, including "Sports Journalism" (Spring 2009).

Phone: 727-873-4047. E-mail:


Dr. David M. SnyderDavid M. Snyder, Visiting Assistant Professor

David M. Snyder was a staff writer/beat reporter for the Clearwater Sun and St. Petersburg (now Tampa Bay) Times. He also served 34 years in the Naval Reserve as a military journalist NCO and public affairs officer, retiring in 2001 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 federal courts since 1983, Dr. 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. Dr. 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.



mark waltersMark Jerome Walters, Professor

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 is director of Digital Initiatives and 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:


Paul WangPaul Wang, Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director

Paul (Xiaopeng) Wang received his doctoral degree in journalism and mass communication from the E. W. Scripps School of Journalism, Ohio University. Before joining the department of Journalism and Media Studies, he taught Graphics of Communication and graphic design labs at Ohio University. His research interests include visual communication, new media and international communication. He worked as the editor-in-chief, editor at the news departments at and, two leading news websites in China. He also has experience working for several newspapers and the China Central Television (CCTV) in Beijing, China. In our department, he teaches "Intro to Visual Communications," "Web Publishing," and "Newspaper and News Publication Design.

Phone: 727-873-4856. E-mail:


Debbie WolfeDebbie Wolfe, Adjunct Professor

Debbie Wolfe is the owner of Debbie Wolfe Consulting, LLC and Wolfe Tracks Productions, a full-service video production company. For nearly 20 years, she was the technology training editor at the St. Petersburg Times (now, The Tampa Bay Times). Her background is as a reporter, managing editor, photojournalist, stringer for the Associate Press, college-level journalism educator/administrator and news researcher. Her 1978 B.A. degree in journalism is from Michigan State University and her 1989 M.A. degree in mass communications is from the University of South Florida, Tampa, summa cum laude. She served as a founding member of the international newsroom training editors group and was active from 1990 to 2009 with the Investigative Reporters and Editors. She is currently a member of the National Press Photographers Association. She teaches various courses in our department, including "Writing for the Mass Media," "Photojournalism," "Video Storytelling," "Web Publishing," "Beginning Reporting," "Advanced Reporting," "Multimedia Journalism" and "Research Methods." When she is not teaching, Deb enjoys adventure vacations, kayaking with her cameras and gardening.

You can access Debbie's Web page at

Phone: 727-871-6658. E-mail:


Emeritus Faculty

Jay Black

Jay Black, Emeritus Professor

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.


Bob DardenneRobert Dardenne, 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.



Dr. Mike Killenberg

G. Michael Killenberg, Emeritus Professor

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-Democrat and 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); and Interviewing: 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.





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