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 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.
(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.
(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.
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 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
Ann Reynolds Carden
(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.
Joseph C. Chilberg
(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.
(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.
(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.
(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
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.
(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.
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.
(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.
(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.
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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