February 27, 2006

Communication college attracts two new chairs

by Tim Crosby

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale's College of Mass Communication & Media Arts will welcome two new department chairs this summer, pending approval of the SIU Board of Trustees.

Deborah Tudor, of Chicago's DePaul University, is the new chairwoman of the Department of Cinema & Photography. John Hochheimer, of Ithaca College in New York, is the new chairman of Department of Radio-Television.

"This is a very good moment for the two departments who succeeded in attracting talented and accomplished professors to join them," said Manjunath Pendakur, dean of the college. "Their national and international reputation in media analysis and production would make our strong academic programs even stronger and competitive."

Hochheimer is the founder of the journalism program at Ithaca College and an internationally published media scholar. His professional media experience includes work as a news reporter, producer and on-air personality in New York, Los Angeles and Boston. He also worked as a union driver for the motion picture and television industry in Hollywood.

With a doctorate in communication from Stanford University, Hochheimer's areas of expertise include community radio, global media, media studies pedagogy, media history, spirituality and education, and popular music.

Hochheimer earned a bachelor's degree in political science at California State University, Northridge. He received his master of arts degree at Stanford.

Prior to holding an associate professorship at Ithaca College's Roy H. Park School of Communications, Hochheimer was an assistant professor at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Iowa. He also taught at Stanford, San Francisco State University and the University of Pittsburgh and overseas higher education in Germany and Romania. He is the author of numerous papers and organized scores of conferences around the world.

Hochheimer said his long acquaintances with the work of Pendakur and John Downing, director of the Global Media Research Center at SIUC, persuaded him to join the faculty.

"I've know them for many years and was familiar with their leadership," said Hochheimer, who met the two at conferences during the 1980s. "I knew the kind of program Manju is putting together at SIUC with interesting, exciting young faculty. With that, and the growth of the Global Media Research Center and the possibility of getting involved in bringing the college to the forefront internationally, I wanted to be there."

Tudor earned her doctorate in radio, television and film at Northwestern University, where she also earned her master of arts degree. She received her bachelor's degree at the University of Kentucky.

A professor in the Department of Communication at DePaul University since 1997, Tudor's interests and specialties include British, Australian and war cinema, digital cinema, sports and documentary. She is the author of the 1997 book "Hollywood's Vision of Team Sports: Gender, Race and Family." Her book manuscript on British cinema is under review by the University of Illinois Press. She also is the author of more than a dozen papers and professional presentations and numerous articles and reviews.

Tudor said SIUC's commitment to excellence is important to her.

"I was really impressed by the overall commitment to academic excellence and promoting research and teaching," Tudor said. "I found it ran very deeply, not only in the college but top to bottom. Quite frankly, they blew me away with the way they are ready to put resources on the line and the value they attached to scholarly work."

Pendakur said the successful chair searches are evidence of ongoing improvements at the University.

"What our faculty and chair searches have proven is that if you build good programs for students, develop research centers as we did with the Global Media Research Center, outstanding scholars and artists can be recruited to Carbondale," Pendakur said.

Recruiting and retaining high-quality faculty are among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the blueprint the University is following as it approaches its 150th anniversary in 2019.

John Hochheimer

John Hochheimer
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