About Me

Image 53Welcome to my Digital Neighborhood! I believe one person can make a difference. My hero, Fred Rogers, is a person who made a difference in the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. He believed, as do I, we have a responsibility to be good neighbors and show neighborly expressions of care.

Today our neighborhoods are digital, global, and mobile. We carry them in our pockets. The person we interact with everyday isn’t necessarily the person living next door. Our neighbors are the people we interact with on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snap Chat. We have a responsibility to be good digital neighbors.

While some convincingly argue we need to turn it off, I’ve never been one to believe we can solve a problem by pretending its not there or ignoring it. For better or worse, social media are here to stay.

I’ve dedicated my life to teaching with and about the media but I’m passionate about how we can work together — as a digital community – to make our digital neighborhoods kinder, safer, and more inclusive.

One of the ways we can do this is to create and share beautiful content. I believe digital storytelling is a revolutionary act! It is a miracle we have the ability to tell and share stories with a little device we carry with us. Mobile technologies are amazing tools for communication.

I’ve been fortunate to be able to produce media and teach others how to produce media for almost two decades using a variety of platforms. In high school, I worked as an intern on my first cable television commercial. From there, I was hooked.

During graduate school at Rutgers University, I worked as an Assistant Producer for an instructional video series about customer service in higher education. I was fascinated with how being involved with production changed the way I viewed different content.

During my doctoral studies at Rutger’s  School of Communication, I developed a concept called media mindfulness. I argued learning how to produce content changed the way we viewed it. With a limited budget, I needed to find a way to teach the production process without video cameras for my dissertation research. With the help of my dissertation advisor, Dr. Robert Kubey, and the generosity of Animaction , owner Clifford Cohen, I was able to integrate stop motion animation as a storytelling production process.  You can read the results of my dissertation here.

During this same time, I also worked as an Assistant Producer for a local cable access show, Fact Chicks. The intention of the program was to highlight women in politics throughout the state of New Jersey.

As an Assistant Professor of Digital Communication, my work involves providing students hands-on production learning experiences in addition to teaching traditional media studies, communication and journalism courses. As President of the New Jersey Communication Association, I am actively involved with my professional community.

With mobile technologies readily available everyone has access to the tools.  My hope is to encourage others to use the tools to make the world a better place. Remember we always have choice for how we use the media — as a tool or as a weapon. I think we have a responsibility to build healthy digital neighborhoods!

“When I say it’s you I like, I’m talking about that part of you that knows that life is far more than anything you can ever see or hear or touch. That deep part of you that allows you to stand for those things without which humankind cannot survive. Love that conquers hate, peace that rises triumphant over war, and justice that proves more powerful than greed.
―Fred Rogers