Faculty & Staff

324 McEwen Hall
The State University of New York at Fredonia
Fredonia, NY 14063
(716) 673-3410


Kathleen McDonoughKathleen McDonough
Associate Professor/Department Chair
(M.F.A., San Francisco State University, 1997)

Joining the communication faculty in fall 2000, Kathleen McDonough teaches Rhetoric of Vision and Sound, Multimedia Integration, Documentary Production, supervises the Sheldon Multimedia Lab and is the production coordinator. Before coming to Fredonia, she taught at Ngee Ann Polytechnic in Singapore. She has also lived in Italy and Denmark.  As both a historian and documentary producer, Ms. McDonough is interested in making documentaries which explore the commonalities in human experience that cross temporal and cultural boundaries. Her research interests focus on historical films and what they reveal about the society that made them.  Ms. McDonough enjoys hiking, travel, foreign films, and Medieval/Renaissance music.

Tammy Bankoski Tammy Bankoski

Tammy Bankoski is the department secretary.  She previously worked in The State University of New York at Fredonia School of Music as a keyboard specialist.  Prior to coming to Fredonia, Ms. Bankoski worked as assistant to the director of housing at Chautauqua Opportunities and as an office assistant at Jamestown Community College in Dunkirk.  She holds an associate's degree in accounting from Alfred.  Ms. Bankoski and her husband, Bob, were born and raised in the area.  They have three children: Taylor Marie, Gunnar Scott and Quinn Marie. 

Jessica Akey Jessica Akey
Assistant Professor
(Ph.D., University at Buffalo, 2010)

Jessica Akey joined the Fredonia Department of Communication in 2011. She teaches Fundamentals of Communication, along with communication studies courses such as Group Communication and Health Communication. Her research interests focus on health messages, both interpersonal and mass mediated. The bulk of her graduate research was done on providing effective social support to individuals managing eating disorders. She’s currently working with a group of professionals in Buffalo to open an Eating Disorder Consultation Center. In terms of mass mediated health messages, Dr. Akey is interested in the crafting of persuasive messages that attempt to alter individuals’ health behaviors and the theories guiding their successes or failures. When not in the classroom, she enjoys being home with her husband and three children. Even when she is not running after her kids, she is still moving – whether in a 5k, a sprint triathlon, or roller skating as part of Buffalo’s roller derby league, the Queen City Roller Girls, of which she’s been a member since 2006.

Bond Benton Bond Benton
Assistant Professor
(Ph.D., University of Vienna, 2010)

Dr. Benton joined the Fredonia Department of Communication in 2010 as a professor of public relations. He teaches courses that focus on ethical persuasion as it applies to building relationships with various publics through the mass media, organizational communication, and community outreach. A particular focus of Dr. Benton’s research is international communication and public diplomacy. Dr. Benton resided in Austria for the last six years where he worked with the U.S. State Department in helping staff at various embassies better tell the American story to the world community. His research focuses extensively on the public diplomacy nations use to highlight attractive aspects of their cultures to build relationships with diverse international audiences. Dr. Benton’s research also reflects his interest in pop cultural artifacts such as graphic novels including a forthcoming book chapter he has written on “the death of Captain America.” He also enjoys movies of all kinds, video games, podcasts, Rammstein, comic books, bumming around Europe, and passionately following the sorry lot that is the Kansas City Royals.

Dan BerggrenDan Berggren
Professor Emeritus

Following a 27-year tenure at Fredonia, Professor Dan Berggren left the faculty in 2004 to pursue his music career full time. He now resides in Ballston Spa, N.Y. Visit his Web site at www.berggrenfolk.com.


Linda Brigance Linda Czuba Brigance
(Ph.D., University of Iowa, 1999)

Linda Brigance joined the communication faculty in 1998. She teaches Communication Studies courses such as Gender and Communication, Communication Theory, and Persuasion. She also teaches Rhetoric and Criticism, a department core course. Her teaching and research interests revolve around a curiosity about everyday public persuasion, such as political rhetoric, product advertising and entertainment venues like film, television, and public spaces like Disneyland and historical sites. Her most recent presentations and publications have focused on the representation of gender by women’s history museums and historical sites. Before teaching college, Dr. Brigance worked in corporate communications and marketing for heath care and arts organizations. In her spare time, Dr. Brigance enjoys traveling, reading, practicing Tai Chi, and watching independent and foreign films.

Ann CardenAnn Reynolds Carden
Associate Professor
(M.S., Buffalo State College, 1997)

Ann Carden came to Fredonia in 2002 to help develop the public relations major.  She has 29 years experience in public relations and broadcast journalism.  She is the co-author of "Public Relations Writing Worktext: A Practical Guide for the Profession" (3rd ed.) and has written chapters for several other books.  Ms. Carden's research interest focuses on the use of public relations in heritage tourism and the cultural phenomena that sometimes results.  Her work has appeared in several scholarly journals, as well as professional publications.  She is the recipient of 16 Excalibur Awards for excellence in public relations programming presented by the Buffalo/Niagara chapter of the Public Relations Society of America.  She was named the chapter’s Public Relations Practitioner of the Year in 2001 and is one of 27 public relations practitioners in Western New York Accredited in Public Relations by PRSA.  She has been inducted into PRSA's College of Fellows, the highest distinction granted by PRSA, given to less than 500 public relations practitioners in the country. Ms. Carden received a master’s degree in public relations management from Buffalo State College and a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from West Virginia University.

Joe Chilberg Joseph C. Chilberg
Professor Emeritus
(Ph.D., Ohio University, 1979)

Joe Chilberg came to SUNY Fredonia in 1987, where he taught communication studies for 23 years until his retirement. He believes that you just don't learn about communication -- you use it to make a difference. He conducts research in the area of group communication and is an expert in the art and science of conducting meetings. His present research interests are in facilitating dialogical conversation for group and organizational learning. He has served as a meeting facilitator, trainer, and consultant on effective meeting communication practices for corporate and public organizations. He spends his leisure time making wine, gardening, cooking, horseback riding, and discovering the wonders of life with his wife, Janet, and son, Jackson.

Mike Igoe Mike Igoe 
Assistant Professor
(J.D., University of New Hampshire School of Law)

Mike Igoe joined the Fredonia Department of Communication after spending the previous three years teaching journalism at United International College in Zhuhai, China. Zhuhai is one of China’s coastal cities, located about an hour’s ferry boat ride from Hong Kong. During his time in China, he also traveled extensively and estimates he’s taken thousands of pictures of the country. He previously taught journalism for five years as an adjunct professor at Buffalo State College. For 30 years, Dr. Igoe was a television consumer reporter at network affiliated stations in Wilkes-Barre/ Scranton, Pa.; Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minn.; and, Buffalo, N.Y. At WGRZ TV in Buffalo, he was well known for his "2 On Your Side" feature that solved problems for viewers. As a journalist, he won a number of awards for his work. His areas of expertise are broadcast journalism, convergent journalism, and media law. In addition, he is also the author of two books published by McGraw Hill: “Blending East and West: Understanding the Changing Chinese Society” and “Painless Presenting Made Easy." Dr. Igoe finds it somewhat ironic that he now should be associated with Fredonia since for about 25 years he’s been asked if he has any connection to Igoe Hall, a residence hall on campus.

Jane Jackson Jane Jackson
Associate Professor
(M.A., Humboldt State University, 1974)

After 25 years of professional work in the film and television industry, Jane Jackson returned to teaching with the same enthusiasm that drove her success in the field. Ms. Jackson's background in production offers students knowledge beyond the academic tradition. Her work included corporate television, educational films, broadcast video and feature films, managing Francis Ford Coppola's studio in San Francisco. Recently, she has produced and directed several documentary programs for Public Television. Her series of video poems toured throughout the states, showcased in galleries and museums. Her other production activities include "The Quiet Sound," an award winning documentary about Western New York Native American artists, which was adopted for the Dean Schwartz French/American Cultural Emersion program. She recently completed "Windows," an experimental drama about personal loss, which will be submitted to festivals.

Laura Johnson Laura Johnson
Associate Professor
(Ph.D., University of Florida)

Laura Johnson's career in broadcasting began in 1981 at WHIL-FM in Mobile, Ala. During her broadcasting career, she was an announcer, music programmer, producer, music director, and station manager at public radio stations in Alabama, Arkansas, and Florida. Her past radio productions include programs about American popular song, the music of Scandinavia, classical music, folk music, the blues, public affairs, and a college sports network. She produced and/or hosted programming that featured a number of prominent individuals including President Clinton, Sen. Hillary Clinton, former Sen. Dale Bumpers, Phillip Glass, Roberta Peters, Fred Waring, Robert Moog, Alvin Poussaint, Paolo Soleri, John Harbison, Aprile Millo, and many others. Her research interests include the history and regulation of noncommercial and religious broadcasting, the regulation of electronic media, and media history. She holds a master's degree in business administration from the University of West Florida and a bachelor's degree in music from Florida State University.

Bill Jungels Bill Jungels
Professor Emeritus

Professor Bill Jungels has been producing documentaries since he left the faculty in 2003. His latest work, "Crossing the Line," follows the struggle of workers in Mexico, the United States and Canada against the negative results of free trade.

Mark Kiyak Mark Kiyak
Assistant Professor
(M.F.A., University of Miami)

Originally from New Jersey, Mark Kiyak earned a bachelor's degree in film production from the University of Miami in 1981 before embarking on a career in broadcasting at WLRN, a Miami public broadcasting station.  He then worked at NBC in New York City for more than 20 years and, in the process, won two EMMY awards for his technical work during the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia.  Mr. Kiyak eventually left NBC and returned to the University of Miami, where he completed his master's degree in fine arts in 2003.  He taught at Valdosta State University in Georgia before joining SUNY Fredonia's video production faculty.  His research interests revolve around his fascination with the psychology/ecology of media systems and the media reform movement.  He also has directed an experimental dance video and a video production of an original stage play for the state of Georgia’s “Education: Go Get It” initiative, which was later shown on public television.  When not in the classroom, he and his wife, Stephanie, love to travel and search for treasure in antique stores and “junque” shops, where he is always trying to add to his collections of baseball memorabilia and rare records.

John Malcolm John Malcolm
Professor Emeritus

Although "officially" retired, Professor John Malcolm still occasionally teaches communication courses. In his spare time, he is helping to build a hiking trail, which, he says, has taken him from Newhouse, where he received his degree, to the outhouse.


Tracy Marafiote Tracy Marafiote
Associate Professor
(Ph.D., University of Utah)

Tracy Marafiote joined the department in 2007. She teaches in the communication studies area, including classes in intercultural, interpersonal, and organizational communication, and conflict and negotiation. Dr. Marafiote earned her bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of South Florida, and received her doctorate from the University of Utah, where she taught courses in communication and gender studies, and in the university's David Eccles School of Business. Motivated to bridge her environmental activism and academic work, her current research focuses on the impact of cultural forces and identities on social change in general and, specifically, on the passage of the Wilderness Act of 1964. As a scholar of critical/cultural studies and environmental communication, her future goals include examining the intersections of gender, race, class, and nature with sustainability and environmental justice. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoor activities of backpacking, mountain biking, and hiking, and the indoor pastimes of cooking-and eating!-diverse foods.

Elmer Ploetz Elmer Ploetz

Assistant Professor
(M.A., University at Buffalo, 2006)

After 28 years in the newspaper business, Elmer Ploetz joined the department to help start the journalism major. He has worked as a reporter and editor (the last 23 at The Buffalo News), but has also been involved in radio, Web development and video documentary. One of his current projects is finishing off a video/Web documentary on the early years of the Buffalo punk rock scene. Convergence of the traditional and digital media is one of Professor Ploetz's goals, both in his own work and as he helps prepare students for a new era in journalism.

Ted Schwalbe Ted Schwalbe
Distinguished Service Professor
(Ph.D., University of Southern California, 1980)
The State University Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching, 1986

Ted Schwalbe has been teaching at Fredonia since 1980; he chaired the department from 1989 to 1998 and from 2003 to 2012. His teaching and research areas of interest include communication and computer technologies, mass media law, media management, and international media. In the last ten years he has been very active in the area of international media development and has headed four major U.S. State Department projects in various countries in Eastern Europe and Africa. He is a fanatic bowler (at one time had his professional card) and also enjoys sports (playing, watching, and coaching). He loves to travel to places most people don't want to go to. Dr. Schwalbe has received four Fulbright Awards to teach at the American University in Bulgaria in Fall 1997, the University of Swaziland during the summer of 2002, the University of Pecs in Hungary in fall 2004, and the Polytechnic University in Namibia in summer 2007.


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