School of Communications welcomes
two new staff members

Two new staff members and former Elon students have been added at the School of Communications this summer: J. McMerty and Colin Donohue.

J. McMertyMcMerty , a 2000 graduate, has worked at Elon for the past six years, splitting his time between the School of Communications and TV services as the Senior Video Producer. As of June 1, McMerty began working entirely for the school as the Coordinator of Video Projects for the School of Communications.

He will be asked to organize and run FreshTV, a freshmen engagement program geared toward broadcasting and cinema students. He will also oversee the production of Phoenix Weekly, which airs during ESPN2’s local sports break at 8:30 a.m. Saturday on select cable systems in central North Carolina. He will also assist with Elon Docs and teach one section of Digital Media Convergence per semester.

McMerty, who has been at Elon for 12 years as both an employee and a student, is working on finishing his Master of Fine Arts at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He has begun work on his thesis, a documentary about Roy Howard, who was an esteemed journalist and editor. He was also the chairman of Scripps Howard from 1922-1952. As a journalist, Howard interviewed such foreign leaders as Russian dictator Joseph Stalin and Japanese emperor Showa Hirohito. Howard also scooped the World War I armistice, reporting on it four days before it occurred.

Much of the material about Howard is housed in the archives at Indiana University’s School of Journalism. Former Elon School of Communications Assistant Dean Brad Hamm has provided McMerty with access to the archival information. Hamm serves as the Dean of the School of Journalism at Indiana.

“As I finish my (master’s) and really think more about both teaching and being a professional,” McMerty said, “I think (getting the master’s) is a really good step with the (Elon) program growing and getting better students all the time. It’s nice to work with young students who can dream a little bit and make things happen. There are really fantastic opportunities (freshmen) can have right off the bat.”

Donohue , a 2005 graduate in journalism, has returned to Elon after earning his master’s degree in journalism from the University of Memphis in 2007. He will serve as the Coordinator of Student Media for the School of Communications. His primary job responsibilities are to advise The Pendulum, Elon’s student newspaper, maintain the news side of the school’s Web site, teach one section of Media Writing per semester and work with all student media groups to encourage and hasten media convergence efforts on campus.

At Memphis, Donohue worked as a graduate assistant for the Newspaper Research Journal, a scholarly journal that publishes research about U.S. newspapers. He handled all copy editing and business related duties for NRJ. To fulfill his graduation requirements, Donohue helped design and develop an updated NRJ Web site. The new site features online manuscript submission, online review submission, a more comprehensive historical description of the journal and up-to-date news about NRJ.

Additionally, Donohue critiqued the book Baseball and the Media: How Fans Lose in Today’s Coverage of the Game for the spring 2007 edition of NRJ. He also worked as a sports reporter at the Memphis Commercial Appeal, the largest circulating daily in the Mid-South.

“During my brief two-year absence from Elon and the School of Communications, I gained a better understanding of the importance of media convergence,” Donohue said. “I’m excited about the opportunity to impart my new knowledge to the students at Elon. I envision the student media groups forming closer bonds and relationships in the very near future, which will increase exponentially the quality of news coming from Elon’s campus.”


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