July 20, 2009

Brooten named interim chair of radio/TV

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Associate Professor Lisa Brooten is the new interim chair in Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Department of Radio-Television.

Gary P. Kolb, dean of the College of Mass Communication and Media Arts, recently announced Brooten’s appointment, which became effective Thursday, July 16. The appointment is subject to ratification by the SIU Board of Trustees.

“She will be a terrific part of the administrative team,” Kolb said. Brooten is gaining recognition as a first-rate scholar in Southeast Asian media studies, he said.

Brooten joined the radio-television faculty as an assistant professor in 2002 and became an associate professor in 2008. She replaces associate professor Phylis A. Johnson, who served as interim department chair for the last year, but is returning to the faculty to work on research and book projects, Kolb said.

Brooten said it’s an honor to be interim chair while the search for a permanent chair continues. In addition to serving as department chair, Brooten will teach one graduate course each semester. She will teach a class on globalization and the media this fall, and a graduate class in alternative media in the spring, both of which are central to her own research.

“It’s an exciting, dynamic department,” she said. “We have such a diverse range of faculty with a lot of initiatives and energy.”

Brooten said the department will continue curriculum revisions as the media industry also continues to change. She also wants to continue and build upon the positive relationship the department has with WSIU.

“Our department and our college perform an important function in terms of the University’s mission,” Brooten said. “Media education is a foundational component of a good, solid liberal arts education, and it’s vitally necessary to be a good national and global citizen in today’s world. That central mission of the department and college is something I’ve been committed to for a while and happy to be a part of.”

From February through August 2008, Brooten spent three months each in Thailand and the Philippines as a Fulbright Scholar, looking at newly emerging media reform efforts in those two countries.

Brooten earned dual bachelor degrees in economics and communications from the University of Pennsylvania in 1986. She earned a master’s in international development, and a doctorate in international communications, from Ohio University.

Her experience includes working as a producer, program host, engineer and program director for Philadelphia’s WXPN-FM, and later as production assistant and director at WHYY-FM for “Fresh Air,” a national arts and entertainment show distributed by National Public Radio. She also taught in Thailand and South Korea. Prior to coming to SIUC, she taught and was a graduate assistant at Ohio University.

Brooten and her husband, Stephen Fessler, live in Carbondale. The couple has one daughter, Jesse.

Work on the position description for department chair is under way. Kolb said he hopes to re-advertise the post in August. The college will have a “very aggressive” national search. Kolb said he hopes the search can be concluded by the end the of the year.

While the search continues for the a permanent chair for radio-television, Kolb is pleased with the success of four of the five administrative searches in the college.

Deborah A. Tudor, the former chair and associate professor in the Department of Cinema and Photography, is associate dean, and Walter C. Metz, formerly of Montana State University’s School of Film and Photography, is Tudor’s replacement as associate professor and department chair. Jan Roddy, an associate professor in cinema and photography, is director of the college’s Graduate Studies Program, and Greg Petrowich is executive director of WSIU Public Broadcasting.