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Academic Dept The content below is information specific to this academic department's fields of interest.

About the Faculty and Staff

Faculty

Eugene L. Alesandrini
Chair of the Department of Communication, Media, and Theatre, Associate Professor of Communication, and
Associate Professor of Adult Education

Office: Caldwell Hall 141
Phone: (740) 826-8374
Email: genea@muskingum.edu

Academic Degrees: B.S. Bradley University; M.A. Eastern Michigan University

Favorite classes include: Interpersonal Communication, Small Group Communication, Fundamentals of Speech, and Foundations of Adult Education.

Best Muskingum Memories: Coming to Muskingum and building a Forensics team from students that we’re recruited out of Fundamentals of Speech Classes. That was 27 years ago and to this day I still keep in touch with all of them. They made Muskingum feel like home and family for me.

Hobbies:  Any outdoor activities including hunting, fishing, and just hanging out in the woods. I also enjoy travelling both in the states and abroad. Favorite destinations for fishing would be Lake Michigan for Salmon, Southern Ontario for Northern Pike, and North Central Florida for Bass and anything that's biting in the ocean. Favorite international destination is Umbria and all of Central Italy. Favorite companion in all of the above activities is my wife, best friend, and professional confidant, Dr.  Joyce Alesandrini.

Academic Interests:  I taught inner-city high school for nearly five years and fell in love with teaching.  After taking on a Fundamentals of Speech course at Bradley University, I decided to go back to school and earn a graduate degree.  It was during that time I met and was mentored by Professor Gail Compton, who taught me by example how to be a truly fine teacher.  Later, it was another mentor during my doctoral studies, Professor Gary Conti, who taught me to practice what I preached, and the value of learner-centered education.  

Tom German
Associate Professor of Digital Media Design
Office: Caldwell Hall 142
Phone: (740) 826-6139
Email: tgerman@muskingum.edu

Academic Degrees: B.A. Muskingum University; M.A. Ohio State University; Ph.D. Ohio State University

Favorite Class: Visual Communication, but really any class where the students are putting forth an effort makes the classes as a whole more enjoyable.

Best Muskingum Memories: There are those times when you have a student that exceeds expectations and their light suddenly comes on. At that point they start producing more than they or I thought they could. They become confident and competent in what they are doing and it really is a great thing to see.

Hobbies: I like to watch movies, listen to music, and to try to make guitars. This involves me learning how to use power tools, the physics of string harmonics, wiring, and soldering of the guitars. I am really obsessed with making cool guitars.

Academic Interest: I was doing Digital Media Design before there was a name for it. I had a lot of enthusiasm for computers, technology, and art, even before computers were commonplace. I did radio and audio production more than anything else in college, but was competent in video. Once I graduated and began to work in television, I found the opportunity to combine all of my seemingly random interests and began to incorporate computer-generated graphics into the mix. Every job I had valued the fact that I could bridge audio/video/computers/graphics into my productions. I like to be creative. I like to solve problems. I like to think about things (a lot). Those attributes are good for a lot of things, and I think they're great for media careers. Digital media are great for people who like to use technology to express creativity.

Jeffrey D. Harman
Professor of Communication and Director of Broadcasting
Office: Caldwell Hall 149
Phone: (740) 826-8375
Email: harman@muskingum.edu

Academic Degrees: B.A. Grove City College; M.A. Clarion University of Pennsylvania; Ph.D. Bowling Green State University

Favorite Class: Media Production Classes. I like all of the mediaproduction classes and the variety of those classes. I especially like the more advanced production classes when I get to teach those. Those classes where students get a hand on opportunity to develop their skills and work on their projects and discover the power of the tools that they have in front of them.

Best Muskingum Memories: The activities surrounding John Glenn’s trip to space is a highlight because of everything that was going on. The students put so much intense focus on the coverage of the event. It all went well beyond the classroom because everyone was involved. We had a team down at Cape Canaveral and wall to wall coverage. There were even satellites on the quad to pick up extra coverage from news sources.


Hobbies: Music. I enjoy different kinds of music and wish I had more time to play saxophone and steel pan.

Academic Interest: I knew from a very young age that radio was a magical thing, and I played radio as a kid. This included into high school, I played with transmitters that got the attention of the FCC. I knew that I wanted to do radio.

Ronald N. Lauck
Associate Professor of Communication and Theatre
Office: Caldwell Hall 153
Phone: (740) 826-8372
Email: rlauck@muskingum.edu

Academic Degrees: B.A. Bluffton College; M.A. Bowling Green State University; M.F.A. University of South Dakota

Favorite Class: I enjoy teaching all of my classes when the students are engaged and engaging.


Best Muskingum Memories: One humorous moment happened when we had just finished painting the floor in Little Theatre and everything was just about ready for dress rehearsal.  Somebody left a can of paint out and I stepped in it, spilling it all over the newly painted floors.  Students thought it funny when I cussed.  Most think I don’t and I rarely do.

Hobbies: I like to cook when I have time.  I like gardening and raise many of my own seedlings.  I enjoy photography and another of my paying endeavors was wedding photography.   I particularly like to arrange still-life photos as well as those of flowers.  I enjoy flower arranging and worked several years in a florist shop.  

Academic Interest: Mrs. Ensign, my high school college prep English teacher thought that I should be in radio or theatre or something like that.  I had to read the part of Macbeth when we studied it in class.  Then she began assigning me parts for various school activities, mostly in oral interpretation.  In high school, the closest I came to theatre was pulling the curtain in the Senior Class Play, which Mrs. Ensign directed. In my second year of undergraduate work, I discovered theatre and light.  Mr. Sprunger was leading the theatre program and I tried out for T.S. Elliot’s play, Cocktail Party and didn’t get a part, but rather the invitation to be stage manager.  That went swimmingly well and before I knew it I had a job as campus stage manager and it paid money!  The most interesting part of this was the lighting and how it worked or didn’t work.  By my Senior year, I was designing lighting for recitals, theatre recitals, and still working as stage manager for the campus. I was then encouraged by one of my mentors, Mr. Dickey, in undergraduate school to do graduate studies.  When I began my professional career, it was as an elementary school teacher and the coach for the high school drama club.  Theatre turned out to be more fun than elementary school, so I went back to graduate school and studied Speech and Theatre at Bowling Green State University.  While there, Professor Wilcox and Professor Addington encouraged me further.  Although I did not act immediately on their recommendations, I finished my graduate studies at University of South Dakota, studying theatre production and design.

Lisa M. Marshall
Associate Professor of Communication, and WMCO Station Manager

Office: Caldwell Hall 147
Phone: (740) 826-8189
Email: lisam@muskingum.edu

Academic Degrees: B.A. Muskingum University; M.A. Ohio University; Ph.D. Bowling Green State University

 

Favorite Class: Audio Production. I like that it is a combination of book work, practical application, and we get to make radio. In that class particularly, students are excited to be in it, they want to be in it, it’s a choice for them and they don’t have to take it. I enjoy watching students grow in it. I like to be more of a coach in that class, I tell students let me help you and you willingly accept criticism to make you a better student and performer. Overall I enjoy the dynamics and the energy of that class.

Best Muskingum Memories: Start of WMCO Weekend It was an initiative from the students. Student Senate had $10,000 to give away in a campus-wide programming contest and the Program Director at the time said "I think we can win!" I didn’t need any more challenge than that. The notion that “We are a radio station and let’s give back” showed a maturity among the students. Giving away great prizes to students are a lot of fun, but raising donations for local community charities has always been the primary goal." I look forward to it every year to be able to say “Wow we did it again and we can give this money and food to the community.” Seeing the students get excited about it helps me every year and seeing the new energy that is brought with each group makes me happy.


Hobbies: I enjoy spending time with my Golden Retriever, Maggie! Maggie is a Canine Good Citizen, so I take her to nursing homes during school breaks to try and make people’s day. Students might also be surprised to know I am a big NASCAR fan. I grew up with the sport, my Grandpa watched it when I was a kid and it’s something I have grown to love. Everyone in my family has their own favorite driver and we like to go to races for vacation.



Academic Interest: Always wanted to be a teacher, all through my childhood. I also had a love for media. As a kid I would play meteorologist and make home videos to send to my cousins in the Army about family and holiday gatherings. You’ll also hear me talk about I would play radio with the family dog. I'd sit in the yard with a cassette player and announce the songs to her when no one else was listening. Then when I got to college I saw what Dr. Harman did, the ability to be in the class room, outside the class room, and have dynamic relationships with students on different levels. I also really enjoyed journalists like Katie Couric growing up and the way she portrayed herself as a woman in the media industry. And I thought, "Can I merge all this?" And that’s when I thought I should be a Professor!
Debbie Phillips

Deborah K. Phillips
Professor of Communication

Office: Caldwell Hall 143
Phone: (740) 826-8180

Email: dphillip@muskingum.edu

Academic Degrees: B.S. University of West Alabama; M.A. University of Wyoming; Ph.D. Florida State University

Professional Interests:  My research interests include popular culture topics such as sports rituals, gambling and gender differences, Canadian and U.S. television differences, gender and media interests and speech pathology.

Personal Interests:  I enjoy heavy metal music, concerts, college football (especially Florida State University) swimming, water skiing and horseback riding.

Rachel R. Pollock

Director of Forensics and Instructor of Communication
Office: Caldwell Hall 137
Phone: (740) 826-8458

Email: rpollock@muskingum.edu

Academic Degrees: B.A. Heidelberg College; M.A. Miami Unversity

Favorite Class: Storytelling Self Society. It is a special topics course based on a journal of the same name. It is a survey course so in place of performing, we answered the question: “What is the current function of storytelling in the United States today?”  Students interviewed family members and participated in Storycorps, a national initiative to archive America’s voice in sound. Their stories were the first from Muskingum to be housed in the national Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

Best Muskingum Memories: My second year of coaching forensics, senior Kevin Triskett won first in the state in Impromptu Speaking. At nationals, Kevin placed thirteenth in the nation in the most competitive event. I remember him calling me, and he was so proud. He had used what we had discussed in practice and went against the grain, and did really well doing it. My first year coaching debate at Muskingum students Tanner MacLaine and Andrea Richard won 2nd at nationals in Portland as the underdogs. Their only regret was never getting to try Portland’s famous bacon doughnuts because to their surprise, they kept winning each round!  In 2014 new debaters Beth Ford and Carter Brown swept State Novice and brought home first place in Parliamentary debate.

Hobbies: I have two boys, so I enjoy watching Dr. Who and playing board games with them. I also like to write plays and travel. I love learning language and have an interest in Deaf culture.

Academic Interests:  Oral History and American Folklife, Storytelling, especially Storycorps.

Diane Rao
Professor of Theatre
Office: Caldwell Hall 151
Phone: (740) 826-8373
Email: drao@muskingum.edu

Academic Degrees: B.A. Gannon University; M.A. Bowling Green State University; Ph.D. Bowling Green State University

Favorite Class: Any class where the students are curious and have a passion to learn.
I enjoy teaching Dramatic Literature, because even if we’re reading a play I’ve read dozens of times before, I always discover something new because of things students say in our class discussions.  

Best Muskingum Memories: Many of my favorite memories as a teacher have been outside the classroom.  I spend a lot of time in rehearsal, so I get to interact with students in a different way.  I’ve had so many wonderful moments in rehearsals over the years; moments when an actor would discover something for the first time, or make a connection, and those moments are probably the most rewarding.

Hobbies: I like to read, bake, and watch Television.  

Academic Interest: My dad was a professor, so I grew up surrounded by college life.  But when it comes to theatre, I suppose it’s because I’ve seen how much of an impact the live performance of a play or a musical can have on an audience.  I grew up doing theatre and always loved being on stage, but as I got older I discovered directing, which even more was rewarding.  

 

Staff

Mark Bohach
Broadcast Engineer

Office: Caldwell Hall 252
Phone: (740) 826-8378
Email: mbohach@muskingum.edu

 

Connie Thomas
Secretary
Office: Caldwell Hall 131
Phone: (740) 826-6120
Email: cthomas@muskingum.edu