Meet the 2017 Tow-Knight Disruptive Educators

Standout professors – whose approaches to teaching ensure that students succeed in the ever-evolving online news space – have been selected by the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism to a fellowship in which each will champion a specific aspect of journalism education. As a Disruptive fellow, they will engage other educators in the Disruptive Educators Facebook group, in person and in any way that proves effective.

Fellows will participate in the ONA17 Educators Meetup on Friday, Oct. 6, at 3:30 p.m. ET during the three-day conference in Washington Oct. 4–7.

Follow the Disruptors via this Twitter list; see them on a Google map.

MEET THE #ONA17 DISRUPTIVE FELLOWS

Glen Osten Anderson

Glenn Osten Anderson: Assistant Professor, Shenandoah University

Anderson teaches undergraduate design and visual classes, emphasizing film, digital documentary and

multimedia journalism and advises student media. A former BBC senior producer for social news and streaming and widely published documentarian and videographer, he is also an adjunct professor at James Madison University.

TOW KNIGHT FELLOWSHIP FOCUS
Advancing News Videography:
How to show, not just tell, by infusing traditions like cinema verité and subject-guided storytelling into news video.

Jake Batsell

Jake Batsell: Associate Professor, Southern Methodist University

Batsell worked for more than a decade as a print journalist before learning to shoot and edit video as The Dallas Morning News Metro Desk’s “hybrid” reporter. Since joining SMU in 2008, he has taught digital journalism, technology reporting, media entrepreneurship and investigative reporting while also coordinating the Division of Journalism’s digital student media operations. He’s specifically interested in getting students to build interaction skills (ie., interviewing) beyond the confines of campus and their friends.

TOW KNIGHT FELLOWSHIP FOCUS
Pushing Students to Venture Afield:
How to motivate and inspire students beyond their comfort zones and get into the community when reporting stories or researching entrepreneurial ideas.

Mark Berkey-Gerard

Mark Berkey-Gerard: Department of Journalism Chair, Rowan University

Berkey-Gerard is the chair of the department and teaches online journalism and data journalism courses. He aims to build “the process of experimentation” into his courses and digital bootcamp, nurturing an entrepreneurial mindset. His current research interests include mobile journalism, data journalism, trauma journalism, and the online news community in Philadelphia.

TOW KNIGHT FELLOWSHIP FOCUS
Experimental Mindset:
How to infuse an experimental or entrepreneurial mindset into the storytelling process via new technologies and platforms.

Jan Lauren Boyles

Jan Lauren Boyles: Assistant Professor, Iowa State University

Boyles is an assistant professor of journalism/big data and affiliate faculty of human computer interaction at Iowa State University. Boyles focuses on integrating “the experimental culture of digital newsrooms” and shadows news workers. She’s specifically interested in integrating the experimental culture of digital newsrooms into my classroom.

TOW KNIGHT FELLOWSHIP FOCUS
Data Journalism for Beginners:
How to teach foundational data skills to journalism undergraduates.

L. Simone Byrd

L. Simone Byrd: Associate Professor, Alabama State University

Earlier this year, Simone was selected as one of 15 journalism professors from 12 states and three countries to participated in the annual Scripps Howard Journalism Entrepreneurship Institute, a rigorous five-day seminar at Arizona State’s Cronkite School. She’s specifically interested in delivering the knowledge and instructional tools for understanding the modern business models for news, including content generation, prototyping, journey mapping and overall UX design.

TOW KNIGHT FELLOWSHIP FOCUS
Implementing Complex Projects:
How to run “skill drill” exercises to keep students engaged and re-evaluating their abilities needed to develop the confidence needed to execute digital media endeavors.

Laura Castañeda

Laura Castañeda: Professor of Professional Practice, University of Southern California

Castañeda has been a staff writer, editor and columnist for The San Francisco Chronicle, The Dallas Morning News, and The Associated Press in San Francisco, New York and Mexico. She is currently the Academic At-Large officer for the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ). She and a colleague helped students launch an outlet for Latinx audiences called Dimelo, which means “tell me” in Spanish. Stories are posted on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Medium.

TOW KNIGHT FELLOWSHIP FOCUS
Curriculum Management:
How journalism programs can teach reporting, writing and critical thinking along with key digital skills with the same number of units. Plus how to grow a student social media outlet, like one serving young Latinos/as.

Michelle Ferrier

Michelle Ferrier: Associate Professor, Ohio University

The changing media ecosystem has dramatically affected how people receive the news. Ferrier became interested in how these changes affected communities through her experience as a former newspaper editor around 2007 when media outlets began making these drastic changes. Ferrier continues her innovative research in the data visualization of what she calls “media deserts” or areas where fresh, local news is lacking.

TOW KNIGHT FELLOWSHIP FOCUS
Innovation Ecosystems:
How to build out the university infrastructure and curriculum to sustain student media projects with a focus on ensuring diversity of ideas, founders and products

Mary Glick

Mary Glick: Associate Professor and Chair of the Journalism Department, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

Glick is former associate director of the American Press Institute in Reston, Va., and is a former associate professor of journalism at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Oswego, where she was also founder and director of the Center for Community Journalism. She’s specifically interested in hands-on exercises — including games — like her 2-hour “Journalism Innovation Challenge.”

TOW KNIGHT FELLOWSHIP FOCUS
Student Media:
How to instill a sense of innovation, intrepreneurship and entrepreneurship and see it flourish within student media organizations.

Jonathan Groves

Jonathan Groves: Associate Professor and Department Chair, Drury University

Prior to coming to Drury, he worked for 14 years as a professional journalist at various newspapers as a reporter, an editor, and an online geek. He then spent two years at the University of Missouri-Columbia as a Reynolds Journalism Institute doctoral fellow studying how the Internet was changing the face of journalism. He now devotes his time to exploring the new media and its impact on journalism.

TOW KNIGHT FELLOWSHIP FOCUS
Innovation in Podcasting and Audio Storytelling:
How small programs with limited budgets can leverage free tools and existing assets to innovate at student radio stations.

Ted Gutsche

Robert “Ted” Gutsche: Assistant Professor, Florida International University

Gutsche teaches critical and cultural interpretations of the news and strive to help students and reporters explore better ways of producing storytelling through community based journalism. “Journalism is now at the foundation of informing art, theatre, mixed media, AI, facial recognition, and audience analysis to tell stories of disruptions to environments, society, and truth,” Gutsche said.

TOW KNIGHT FELLOWSHIP FOCUS
Assessment:
Creating rubrics and assessments for measuring journalism coursework and products based on the needs of academic and professional standards.

Hamil Harris

Hamil Harris: Adjunct Professor at Morgan State University

Harris spent more than two decades at the Washington Post, where editors said he “is a determined reporter who combines a relentless pursuit of breaking news with a gift for successfully conducting interviews in the most difficult situations.” As an adjunct at Morgan State, he teaches a mobile journalism course entirely on a cell phone.

TOW KNIGHT FELLOWSHIP FOCUS
Mobile Only:
Reporting, writing, storytelling and socializing via cell phones.

Lisa Heyamoto

Lisa Heyamoto: Senior Instructor of Journalism, University or Oregon

As an award-winning journalism instructor at the University of Oregon, she cultivates the next generation of journalists by combining foundational skills with critical thinking and digital agility. She plans to further explore journalistic practices that build trust with the community, such as engagement journalism, social journalism and solutions journalism.

TOW KNIGHT FELLOWSHIP FOCUS
Community Engagement:
Helping students understand what drives and disrupts trust between journalism organizations and the communities they serve.

Michael Marcotte

Michael Marcotte: Professor of Practice, University of New Mexico

Marcotte teaches multimedia reporting and supervises the news innovation/collaboration project he founded, New Mexico News Port. His career includes managing the newsrooms of KPBS in San Diego and KPLU in Seattle. Marcotte is specifically interested in operating a publishing enterprise inside the curriculum — including the need to manage it, staff it, edit it, experiment with it and fund it.

TOW KNIGHT FELLOWSHIP FOCUS
Developing the Teaching Hospital Model:
How a small department can provide real-world experience for students and draw professional partners to the cause.

Michael McKisson

Michael McKisson: Assistant Professor of Practice, University of Arizona

McKisson is the chief technology nerd on the faculty. He is currently working with students on virtual reality and 360-degree-video storytelling, drone videography and sensor journalism.He advises the school’s Online News Association student group and is a core member of News Hack Arizona, a weekend hackathon for journalists. He teaches classes in digital storytelling, news startups and mobile application development.

TOW KNIGHT FELLOWSHIP FOCUS
Creating Disruptive Colleagues:
Rather than pushing colleagues toward digital disruption in the curriculum, pull them with easy-to-launch projects that excite students and fellow faculty members.

Erik Palmer

Erik Palmer: Associate Professor and Chair of the Communication Program, Southern Oregon University

Palmer teaches social media and visual communication. His latest research explores the impact of social photography on the practice of professional media photography. Palmer is specifically interested in the emerging connection between strategy and journalism.

TOW KNIGHT FELLOWSHIP FOCUS
Strategic Thinking:
How to help students drive individual and organizational success using an instructional mix of Design Thinking, Lean/Agile startup principles, analytics, scalability, and a commitment to ethical practice and social responsibility.
Reinventing College: A Design Thinking Course in Higher Education
Design Thinking and its Perils

Ron Yaros

Ron Yaros: Associate Professor, University of Maryland, College Park

Ronald Yaros researches the cognitive aspects of how to produce the most engaging multimedia and how news consumers seek, select, and share that information online and on mobile device. He currently leads a team of researchers from four departments to develop a funded project with high schools described at sciencebeat.org. Dr. Yaros offers a combination of more than 20 years of experience as a reporter/anchor in radio and TV with nearly 20 years as a researcher.

TOW KNIGHT FELLOWSHIP FOCUS
“Mobilizing” Multimedia News:
Using evidence-based research to help students produce and deliver “mobilized” multimedia stories that engage more users with more content for longer periods of time regardless if users scan, seek or read the news.

Susan Zake

Susan Zake: Assistant Professor, Kent State University

Zake teaches multimedia storytelling, Web programming for multimedia journalism, reporting public affairs, big data and media ethics. She’s specifically interested in creating assessment rubrics for measuring academic achievement.

TOW KNIGHT FELLOWSHIP FOCUS
Effective Experimentation:
Best practices for teaching classes in smaller blocks, or teaching some digital skills in short workshops.

The Tow-Knight Disruptive Educators project is affiliated with the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism. For more information about the Disruptive fellows program, contact jprofs@journalism.cuny.edu

REVISIONS/EDITS: Reworded some topics; added links to fellows’ work.