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Media Studies

Media Studies explores how the media shapes and constructs the world. It develops the skills necessary to analyze and control media messages and identify attempts at manipulation in order to successfully navigate a complicated, media-filled world.

Media Studies maintains its status as a creator and provider of unique and forward-looking curriculum designed to embrace and explore the mediated nature of our constructed worlds. Media Studies is creating a new minor in social media, a series of courses to prepare students to think critically about ways in which social media has changed the way we perceive and interact with our world, manage our relationships, and construct our identities. Students will be prepared to move into rapidly developing careers in managing social media—an increasingly crucial component to establishing and maintaining institutional identity and promotion in areas ranging from education to business to government.

Media Studies continues its outreach to local academic institutions. Common Ground High School contacted Dr. Ro Conforti and asked her to advise and consult with six students regarding their senior capstone project on Women’s Rights and media representations of women and their impact on childhood development. Shoreline Girls United, a non-profit organization that offers opportunities for middle-school girls to speak out and take action on topics that “matter most” to them, contacted Dr. Ro Conforti. The executive director consulted with Dr. Conforti on curriculum for the upcoming spring conference on Gender and Media. The executive director is also interested in working with Ro to facilitate a media literacy workshops, girls’ coalition groups and parent seminars in the future. 

Media Studies Department

Recent Departmental and Faculty Successes

Dr. Karen Burke continues as the co-director of the WAC Program and was awarded a Curriculum Related Activities Grant, “Implementation of Critical Reading and Writing Best Pedagogical Practices” for the Writing Across the Curriculum Program. She attended the 5th Biennial International Conference for Critical Thinking and Writing Beyond Two Cultures: STEM, WAC/WID and Challenging Academy at Quinnipiac University. She recently revised and created a Media Studies course, Propaganda in the Media, as at Tier III course.

Dr. Ro Conforti was invited to become a member of the first Interactive Communication Advisory Board at Post University. In 2014, she launched her website pinkyorkie.com (Pink Yorkie Media) with the mission to blend media literacy and awareness with the representations of women and gender in advertisements, movies, television, and other forms of mainstream and digital media. She continues as the founder and long-term advisor of the Media Studies Club. This year’s activities included film screenings and discussion panels, a Culture Jam, the Net Neutrality Information Session, Anti-Consumer Valentine’s Day event (Be my Un-Valentine), Museum Day to New York, new member welcome lunch meetings.

Dr. Charlene Dellinger-Pate created and taught a new Tier III course, Political Satire and New Media. She is also currently designing a Media Studies course for the Honors College.

Dr. Wesley O’Brien continues as the chair of Media Studies and accompanied three students as their advisor to the annual conference of the Popular Culture Association-American Culture Association in New Orleans. Closer to home, he served as a panelist for the screening of Selma sponsored by Southern’s Multicultural Center, Department of Residence Life and Office of Judicial Affairs.  Among the many initiatives as the current Director of the LEP, he co-organized and co-facilitated the first initiative to assess Critical Thinking and Writing Competency. He is an ambassador for Southern having been invited to address the North Haven High School Graduating Class of 2015.