2019-2020 officers

Religion and Media Interest Group members attending the AEJMC conference in Toronto chose officers for the 2019-2020 academic year. Officers lead program planning, research competition, teaching programming, PF&F programming, newsletter, website and all other RMIG efforts. Our new officers are:

Head: Greg Perreault, Appalachian State University

Vice head: Bellarmine (Bella) Ezumah, Murray State University

Research chair: Taisik Hwang, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee

Teaching co-chairs: Rebecca Frazer, Ohio State University, and Michael Longinow, Biola University

Newsletter co-editors: Michelle Baker, Penn State University, and Joe Grimm, Michigan State University

Professional freedom & responsibility chair: Paul Glader, The King’s College in New York City

Membership chair: Derek Moscato, Western Washington University

Head: Greg Perreault is a multimedia journalism professor at Appalachian State University. He’s a media sociologist who researches phenomena associated with journalism and gaming.

His research appears in the New Media & Society, Journalism: Theory, Practice & Criticism, Journalism Practice, Journalism Studies, and Games & Culture. His papers have won awards from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. Prior to entering academia, he worked as a journalist for seven years. He’s worked as a sports reporter for the Palm Beach Post (circ. 145, 000), served as managing editor of a hyperlocal multimedia website Columbia Faith & Values, and had work published at USA Today, Miami Herald, and The Los Angeles Times.

Greg holds a Ph.D. from the Missouri School of Journalism and an M.A. in Communication, Culture, Technology from Georgetown University. email

Vice head: Dr. Bellarmine (Bella) Ezumah is an associate professor and director of graduate programs in the Journalism and Mass Communications Department of Murray State University, Kentucky. She teaches graduate and undergraduate classes in mass media theory, international communications, mass media effects, media in contemporary society, and new technologies.

She has directed over 40 theses and other empirical research with undergraduate and graduate students. Bella has published more than 22 peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, and conference proceedings and has presented her work at several national and international conferences. She has received six best-paper awards. The Murray State Alumni Association named her its 2014 Emerging Scholar. Her research interest is multi-disciplinary incorporating mass media effects, international communication, religion and media, and the impact of emergent technologies on education, business, and interpersonal realms.

Bella’s research is informed by a wealth of experiences — having lived, studied, visited, and conducted research in several countries including Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda, Jamaica, Greece, Austria, Germany, Canada and the United States. Bella has received several grants and awards including a National Science Foundation grant to study educational technology adoption in Nigeria and Ghana and a Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program grant to research and develop a new journalism and mass communication curriculum/program in Uganda. email

Research chair: Taisik Hwang (Ph.D. University of Georgia) teaches and does research in the area of social media, strategic communication, public opinion, and religion and media at University of Wisconsin Milwaukee.

His research currently focuses on how various organizations utilize social media to better engage with their community and to fulfill their goals and missions.

His teaching areas include social media analytics, social media and society (seminar), and web design and data visualization (online). email

Teaching co-chair: Rebecca Frazer is a Ph.D. student in communication at The Ohio State University, where she is also pursuing a joint master’s in public administration in the John Glenn College.

Rebecca’s research focuses on the impact of entertainment media on people’s political and moral views. Prior to starting her Ph.D., Rebecca worked briefly in public relations, and she taught high school debate and communication classes for several years. email

Teaching co-chair: Michael Longinow, a former RMIG head, is a former chair in the Department of Media, Journalism & Pubic Relations in the School of Fine Arts & Communication at Biola University in Los Angeles County, California. His teaching areas are convergent journalism writing, reporting, and philosophy and ethics. He has made cross-cultural understanding, particularly between faith communities, an underlying theme of his pedagogy in all courses.

His recent research areas have been trauma in journalism and the role of Millennials in trends facing the media industries in the U.S. and internationally. He taught English and Journalism previously at Asbury University in Central Kentucky.

He grew up in greater Chicago where, in a mixed ethnicity home, he learned the interplay of Slavic and Latino groups in their faith practices, media and cultures. His undergraduate degree from Wheaton College, Illinois, led to a MS in journalism from the University of Illinois (Urbana). His Ph.D from the University of Kentucky focused on the role of media (print and broadcast) in the growth and development of Christian liberal arts colleges and universities in the U.S. (1888-1942). email

Newsletter co-editor: Michelle Baker is an assistant teaching professor in the department of advertising and public relations at the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications at Penn State University. She directs the College’s online programs in strategic communications, including the newly developed Master of Professional Studies in strategic communications. Baker has been teaching both in-residence and online courses for Penn State since 2009 and has nearly 20 years of teaching experience in higher education. She has worked as a journalist and freelance writer, and she served as the assistant editor for Bucknell University’s alumni magazine.

Baker’s research explores such topics as the impact of spirituality on health decision-making, health messaging designed to reduce stigma associated with illness, and most recently the marketing ethos of televangelism, particularly marketing messages within the Word of Faith movement. She also explores media messages related to antisemitism and representations of the Holocaust in popular film. email

Newsletter co-editor: Joe Grimm is visiting editor in residence at Michigan State University’s School of Journalism. He teaches and is course coordinator for the first real reporting class most students take and teaches editing for print and digital, professional branding and a course in cultural competence. The cultural competence course is called Bias Busters. It has published 15 guides about cultural groups. Guides cover Muslim Americans, American Jews, Chaldean Americans, African Americans, Hispanics and Latinos, East Asian cultures, Native Americans, gender identity, veterans, police officers, Indian Americans and more.

Grimm plans to spend the next few years exploring religious groups starting with Hindus, Buddhists, evangelical Christians and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The guides are available through online booksellers including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Google Play and Kobo in print and digital editions. He has published seven other books on his own. Grimm has a B.A. and M.A. in journalism from the University of Michigan and worked for more than 25 years at the Detroit Free Press, most as recruiting and staff development editor. email

Professional freedom & responsibility chair: Paul Glader is associate professor of journalism at The King’s College in New York City, where he co-advises the student news outlets and directs the McCandlish Phillips Journalism Institute. He spent 10 years as a staff writer at The Wall Street Journal, covering a variety of beats including technology, health/science, travel, metals/mining and finance. He’s written for countless publications including The Washington Post, The Associated Press, Der Spiegel, The Indianapolis Star, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Christianity Today and Forbes.com.

Glader received a M.S. from Columbia University as a Knight-Bagehot Fellow at the graduate schools of business and journalism. He is a media scholar and EMBA participant at The Berlin School of Creative Leadership at Steinbeis University in Germany. He lived in Germany from 2011-2013 as a Robert Bosch Foundation fellow and as a European Journalism Fellow at Freie Universität in Berlin. He has a B.A. in political science from the University of South Dakota, where he was a Neuharth Scholar and edited the USD Volante.

His research and writing interests include the startup economy/technology innovation; journalism ethics and history/the new journalists; urban planning/transportation; Religion and media; Europe/Germany/Scandinavia; parenthood/fatherhood; creativity in leadership and media entrepreneurship. He enjoys surfing, reading and traveling with his wife and two daughters. email

Membership chair: Derek Moscato is an assistant professor in the department of journalism at Western Washington University. Moscato’s research interests lie at the crossroads of environmentalism, globalization, strategic communication, and media ethics. His recent work has appeared in International Journal of Communication, Journal of Communication Inquiry, Public Relations Inquiry, and International Journal of Strategic Communication. A 2019 research collaboration with RMIG members Brian J. Bowe and Mariam Alkazemi, “An Appeal to Shared Values: Faith, Advocacy, and Persuasion in the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ Public Relations,” was recipient of AEJMC’s Newsom Award for Global Ethics and Diversity (PR Division). He received his PhD from the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism and Communication. email

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