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New Faces: The School of Communications Welcomes Dean, Journalism Historian and Two Broadcast Professors

A dean and three new professors are walking the hallways of McEwen this fall. The new faces come from Kansas, Virginia, Indiana and North Carolina.

New Communications faculty

Dean Paul Parsons came to Elon July 1, after 16 years as a professor and administrator at Kansas State University. "What a place!" Parsons said of Elon. "My mouth dropped open when I toured the facilities, saw the technology and met the faculty and students. Elon already has an outstanding School of Communications, and my job is to lead the faculty to make it ever better." Parsons has 10 years of professional experience, primarily with United Press International and The Associated Press in Arkansas, where he was state broadcast editor. He graduated from Baylor University when its size was similar to Elon's today. After earning a Ph.D. in communications at the University of Tennessee, he served eight years as associate director and another five years as journalism head in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Kansas State, where he received the single Outstanding Teaching Award from the College of Arts and Sciences. Parsons has authored two books and was a Fulbright Professor in Beijing, China, in 1992-93 and a visiting professor in Singapore in 1999-2000.

Associate Professor David Copeland joined Elon from Emory & Henry College, where he was named Virginia Professor of the Year in 1998-99 by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Copeland is Elon's new occupant of the A.J. Fletcher Endowed Chair. "Joining the communications faculty at Elon is a great honor for me," Copeland said. "Being around so many people who are committed to providing the best education possible for students makes you strive even more to be a better instructor. I've already discovered that Elon students want to be engaged in class and have good insight into the workings of mass communications." Copeland is the current president of the American Journalism Historians Association, which has its annual conference in San Diego this fall. He has eight years of professional experience with North Carolina newspapers, and earned his B.A. from Wake Forest University, an M.Div. and Th.M. from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Copeland is the author of six books published or forthcoming, focusing mostly on colonial American newspapers and the Antebellum period.

Associate Professor Vic Costello came to Elon from Gardner-Webb University in North Carolina, where he taught in the Department of Communication Studies for six years. "The transition to Elon has been very enjoyable for me," Costello said. "The faculty and students here have helped me to feel right at home, and it's very exciting to be a part of a growing school and university where so many new and exciting things are taking place." Costello has professional experience in television broadcast operations and production management, and has served the past 12 years as a video production consultant, producer and director. He specializes in live-event production, video news releases and corporate-image videos. He has served as a technical director and production consultant for the Electronic Retailing Association for the past 10 years. Costello earned a B.S. in radio-television production from Western Carolina, an M.A. from Regent University and a Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee. His dissertation exploring television audience involvement within the electronic "fan" culture of the Internet was awarded the Kenneth Harwell dissertation of the year award from the Broadcast Education Association in 2000.

Assistant Professor Brooke Barnett came to Elon this fall from Indiana University, where she completed her Ph.D. by writing a dissertation on visual portrayals of the accused in television crime coverage. She has five years experience at WTIU in Bloomington, Ind., as a documentary producer, reporter, news director and interview host/producer. "I'm thrilled to be at a school like Elon where I can get to know my students on a more personal level," she said. Barnett earned a B.A. at Georgetown College in Kentucky and an M.A. in journalism at Indiana before entering the Ph.D. program. Her research interests include visual communication and media law. She has published articles in Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, Visual Communication Quarterly and the Federal Communications Law Journal.

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