Media and Journalism Week Kicks off April 23

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences hosts its annual Media and Journalism Week, featuring a keynote presentation by a television studio executive, alumni panel, screenings of two films and a launch party for The Little Rebellion, a student-produced multimedia news publication.  All events are free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served at most events.

Schedule of Events

KEYNOTE PRESENTATION: 4/23 6 p.m. Honor’s Center 
Things kick off with a keynote presentation on Wednesday April 23rd at 6 p.m. at the Honor’s Center in College Hall. Barry Katz is the Senior VP/ General Manager NEP Studios New York. At NEP Studios, Barry is responsible for the overall management and operation of nine independent television studios in New York City, playing a key role in sales, client management, staff development, and studio design and build. Barry has led the way in HD studio development – opening six HD studios since becoming General Manager. Studios include spaces for The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, Al Jazeera America, and Glen Beck. Learn about his career and opportunities in the broadcast industry for all majors.

FIRST SCREENING: 4/24 6:30 p.m. LC102
Thursday, April 24th kicks off the first of two film screenings. Join New Paltz Professor Tom Cznarty for the film ‘Uneasy Sisters: Voodoo and Christianity In New Orleans.’ Professor Cznarty co-directed the film. It was be screened at LC 102 at 6:30 pm April 24th. Ava Kay Jones will be presenting a Q&A after the documentary.

ALUMNI CAREER PANEL: 4/28 11 a.m. in SUB 62/63

Our alumni career panel will be on Monday, April 28.  Panelists include Erin Brady (05’, Producer Nightline) Claudia Gallo (13’ Assistant Editor WWE), Kaleigh Griffin (13’ Independent Producer), Kim Mas (Assistant Graphics and Video Editor at Hearst Digital), and Sarah Miller (Writer/Producer for NBC’s TodayShow).

Lorna Tychostup

Lorna Tychostup’s Film “Bordering on Treason” will be screened Tuesday, April 29.

SECOND SCREENING: 4/29 6 p.m. LC102
Our second screening will take place on Tuesday, April 29 at 6 p.m. in LC102. The film ‘Bordering on Treason’ is a documentary that focuses on photo journalist and journalism professor Lorna Tychostup’s visits to Iraq shortly after the U.S. invasion in 2003. Her work, deemed ‘bordering on treason’ by Fox News, takes a human look at the Iraqi people during the war.

THE LITTLE REBELLION LAUNCH: 5/1 6p.m. College Terrace
Finally, join the Media and Journalism Society for The Little Rebellion Launch Party at the College Terrace on Thursday, May 1 at 6 p.m. Come celebrate our multi-medianews publication created by students in the journalism program and advanced editing class. There will be games, prizes, and lots of food.

Let’s celebrate an excellent year together in style!
Media and Journalism Week is presented by the Media and Journalism Society (a Broadcast Education Association Student Club) and The Department of Communication and Media. Special thanks to Campus Auxiliary Services and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Meet the James H. Ottaway Visiting Professor of Journalism

2014 James H. Ottaway Visiting Professor of Journalism Sonia Shah will be introduced to the campus community on Tuesday, Feb. 4 at 6 p.m. in the Honors Center in College Hall. President Christian will interview Shah about her life and journalism career. The event is free and open to the public.

Shah is an investigative journalist who covers science, human rights, and international politics. She is the author of several critically acclaimed and prize-winning books, including The Body Hunters: Testing New Drugs on the World’s Poorest Patients (New Press, 2006) and Crude: The Story of Oil (Seven Stories Press, 2004). Her latest book, The Fever: How Malaria Has Ruled Humankind for 500,000 Years (Sarah Crichton Books/ Farrar, Straus & Giroux, July 2010), is based on five years of original reportage in Cameroon, Malawi, Panama, and elsewhere. Shah also served as the editor of the anthology Dragon Ladies: Asian American Feminists Breathe Fire (South End Press, 1997).

A former writing fellow of the Nation Institute and the Puffin Foundation, Shah is a frequent keynote speaker, and has lectured at universities and colleges across the country. Her writings on science, global health, and politics have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, The New York TimesScientific American, and Foreign Affairs among other publications. Her work has been supported by The Nation Investigative Fund and the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting.

Shah is teaching a journalism seminar this semester called “Science, Environment, and Disease: New Approaches to Science Journalism.”

If you have questions about Tuesday’s event, please email Lisa Phillips at

About the Professorship

The James H. Ottaway Sr. Visiting Professorship, SUNY New Paltz’s only endowed professorship, is named for the founder of Ottaway Newspapers Inc., now the Dow Jones Local Media Group, which operates print and online community media franchises in seven states. The flagship newspaper of the chain is the Times Herald-Record in Middletown, N.Y. For more information, visit .

Journalism Student Publishes Creative Nonfiction

Kelly Seiz

By Despina Williams Parker

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences junior Kelly Seiz has published a creative nonfiction piece in Sassafras Literary Magazine.

The story, entitled, “Pluck,” is a firsthand account of life as a trichotillomaniac, an obscure mental disorder similar to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in which those afflicted involuntary pull out their hair either unconsciously or deliberately under times of stress.  The following is an excerpt:

“The divorce is finalized and her mother wins primary custody. Kelly turns ten and they move off of her beloved mountain and down into the village. Soon after, the edges of Kelly’s eyelids grow bare. By now, she’s strategized that if she only plucks gradually, the main body of lashes will be enough to keep her secret hidden.

Middle school proves horrendous with her pudgy body and creepy eyes. The other children are starting to become opinionated, but remain unstructured enough to ask inappropriate questions and draw insensitive conclusions.

“Why do you only have some eyelashes?” Kelsey asks in the bathroom, her gaggle of mini-bitches eagerly waiting a response.

“I’ve always been like this,” Kelly responds flatly.

“But in elementary school you had eyelashes,” she asks undeterred. Their curiosity radiates like heat. Kelly’s cheeks grow hot.

The story published in Sassafras is a condensed version of Seiz’s much longer story.

Seiz, a Journalism major, was published three times last semester.  The other two pieces were published in the Legislative Gazette as collaborative pieces for James Gormley’s Public Affairs Reporting class.

“Fall 2013 was such a great semester for me.  I had so many amazing opportunities,” Seiz said.

To read more of “Pluck,” visit

Journalism Professor Explores Flash Fiction


College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Professor Howard Good’s meditations on the literary genre known as flash fiction appeared in author Michael Alexander Chaney’s web blog,

Good described his own work in the genre as “prose poems,” that are unconstrained by conventional definitions of character or plot.

Good considers his work, “My Heart Draws a Rough Map,” published by Blue Hour Press in 2009, an example of an extended prose poem.  The book is told in a series of 19 related poems.

“I realized for perhaps the first time that I had found a form that was particularly congenial to my outlook and talents,” Good wrote.

While noting the difficulty of offering advice to young writers, Good urged writers to be willing to take risks.

“They shouldn’t be afraid to experiment — and fail. Trial and error can be a pretty good teacher. Refining my writing has proved to be a never-ending process. It’s searching in the dark for a black hat that isn’t there,” he wrote.

Good also urged young writers to submit their work for publication, the sooner the better. The submission process, Good noted, “toughens [writers] up for the inevitable bumps and bruises of a writing life.”

Good, a journalism professor at the State University of New York at New Paltz, is the author of 12 poetry chapbooks. He has been nominated four times for a Pushcart Prize and five times for the Best of the Net anthology. His first full-length book of poetry, Lovesick, was released in 2009 by Press Americana.

To read Good’s complete article, visit

LA&S Students Achieve Success in Communication and Media


Claudia GalloKaleigh Griffin

Claudia Gallo (left) and Kaleigh Griffin (right) wrote and produced a short film, “Unsung Hero,” that was accepted in the Woodstock Film Festival Documentary Shorts category.

2013 was a banner year for current students and alumni in the Department of Communication and Media.  Students presented at national conferences, had their films accepted in prestigious film festivals and earned awards for film production.

In October, four Communication and Media alumni had their Seminar in Digital Filmmaking projects accepted in the Woodstock Film Festival Documentary Shorts category.  Their work screened in two venues:  Upstate Films in Rhinebeck, NY and at the Woodstock Playhouse.  The film is not available online as it is currently being considered for screening at other film festivals.  They are Claudia Gallo (currently employed at the WWE in Ct. as an editor), Kaleigh Griffin (who is currently a production coordinator for an independent film), Lindsay Nimphius (Currently working for Microsoft) and Kerri Sheheen (who is currently freelancing in and around New York City).

The department also we had students cover the Woodstock Film Festival for their ‘Fiercely Independent’ YouTube channel:

An example of their work can be found here:

In August, student Sasha Ribowsky and recent graduate Eric Solwaskie (now working for Umbra Soundstage and Motorcycle Museum in Newburgh) won the first place prize for the National Association of Broadcasters for their PSA ‘Room for New Ideas’ They were flown to Anaheim, CA where they were awarded with plaques, and Sasha secured a scholarship.

This past April, the Broadcast Education Association recognized Kim Mas and Josh Rosman at their annual Festival of Arts in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Kim and Josh’s PSA was peer-reviewed (3rd place in Spots) in the national competition.  (

Student Miriam Ward secured a scholarship for this year through the Broadcast Education Association (competitive scholarship).

Students also earned the Eli Jaffe Award (regional award) for their piece “Son Down after Sun Down.”  The students (all class of ’13) were Chris Sarmiento (currently a music video director), Katelyn Jones (currently employed at WDST and Umbra Sound Stage) and Ben Golden (currently freelancing in and around the Hudson Valley).  The film can be found here:

Finally, students earned a Bronze Telly for their documentary “From the Ground Up.” Those students were Eric Sowalski, Sam Lobo (who interned at CBS and is now a freelance video editor), and Clark Slater (who currently works for MTV) this past spring.

Student Presentations and Publications

Francesca Rogo (Class of 2013 – with Dr. Jason Wrench) “The Mysterious Case of Cosmo Sludge” In Wrench, Schuman, and Flayhan’s Casing Public Relations (Dubuque: IA: Kendall-Hunt)

Austin Schatz (Class of 2014 – with Dr. Jason Wrench) “Not in my Backyard!” In Wrench, Schuman, and Flayhan’s Casing Public Relations (Dubuque: IA: Kendall-Hunt)

Esi Efissima Yamoah (Class of 2013), Austin Schatz (Class of 2014), Robert Revello (Class of 2014), Francesca Rogo (Class of 2013), Jenna Harris (Class of 2014), Alexandra Sofen (Class of 2013), and Alexandra Harvazinski (Class of 2013) presented their research “Examining the Zombie Phenomenon and Perceptions of a Zombie Apocalypse” at the Eastern Communication Association in Pittsburgh, PA.