Faculty & Staff

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Tenure-Track Faculty

Headshot of Jeffrey Layne Blevins

Jeffrey Layne Blevins

Professor, Journalism

22 B McMicken Hall

513-556-0788

Dr. Blevins is a Professor in the Journalism Department.  Tenured in the Department of English & Comparative Literature, he also holds affiliate appointments in Department of Political Science and The Cincinnati Project.  His Scholarship is grounded in U.S. telecommunication law and policy and engages critical political economy theory.  Dr. Blevins' published research has examined media ownership regulation, First Amendment jurisprudence on media ownership regulation, Internet media policy and the politics of the telecommunication policymaking process.  He has provided expertise on electronic media regulation and Federal Communications Commission policymaking to international, national, regional and local news media.  In 2009 Dr. Blevins served as a federal grant reviewer for the Broadband Technology Opportunity Program administered by the National Telecommunication and Information Administration and the U.S. Department of Commerce.  He is a frequent opinion-editorial columnist for major news outlets, including USA Today, The Cincinnati Enquirer, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and other venues.
Jeffrey Blevins CV
Headshot of Brian Robert Calfano

Brian Robert Calfano

Interim Head, Department of Journalism , Journalism

22 McMicken Hall

513-556-3943

Brian Calfano (Ph.D., N. Texas) is Professor of Political Science and Journalism, and the Interim Head of Journalism. He coordinates UC's Political and Public Affairs Reporting Certificate

Books: God Talk: Experimenting with the Religious Causes of Public Opinion (Temple U. Press), Assessing MENA Political Reform, Post Arab Spring (Lexington), A Matter of Discretion: The Political Behavior of Catholic Priests in the U.S. and Ireland (Rowman and Littlefield), Muslims, Identity, and American Politics (Routledge), Understanding Muslim Political Life in America (Temple U. Press) Human Relations Commissions (Columbia U. Press), Exploring the Public Effects of Religious Communication on Politics (U. of Michigan Press), and The American Professor Pundit (Palgrave). Dr. Calfano has 55 peer-reviewed articles in journals across political science, urban politics, journalism, sociology, and criminology. 

His academic work has appeared in The Washington Post/Monkey Cage, Nieman Lab (Harvard), Newsweek, and the London School of Economics Blog (among others). Research grantors include the National Science Foundation, American Political Science Association, Scripps Howard Foundation, and Society for the Scientific Study of Religion. Dr. Calfano is co-coordinator of the APSA Religion and Politics Section mentoring program and is an affiliate of The Cincinnati Project.

A working TV reporter, Calfano is repped by CBK Media Management. His stories have appeared on Spectrum News 1 Ohio, WKRC Cincinnati (Local12), Fox 2 St. Louis, Fox 4 Kansas City, Ozarks Fox, KOLR, KNWA, and KLBK, among others. His work received awards from the Broadcast Educator Asso., Missouri Broadcasters Asso., Ohio AP Managers and Editors, and Society of Professional Journalists.
CV  Google Scholar  Muck Rack  Vimeo
Headshot of Alfred J. Cotton III

Alfred J. Cotton III

Assistant Professor, Journalism

13D McMicken Hall

513-556-4404

Dr. Cotton is an Assistant Professor in the Journalism Department.  A critical media scholar, his research focuses broadly on ethics in mass communication both through practice and theory.  He has published and presented research exploring race and representation in news media, media framing, and organizational crisis communication.  He has taught courses on diversity in the media, journalism and media ethics, media literacy, social media, popular culture, and interpersonal communication.

Educator Faculty

Headshot of Sean Hughes

Sean Hughes

Director of Undergraduate Studies, Educator Professor of Journalism, Photojournalism and Design Coordinator, Journalism

13A McMicken Hall

513-556-1311

Sean Hughes has over 25 years of professional documentary, photojournalism and design experience. He is currently a full-time Associate Professor, Educator of Photojournalism and Media Design in the Department of Journalism at the University of Cincinnati, as well as a working documentary director, videographer, photojournalist, and publication art director for Everything Sondheim.

Prior to that, Hughes was the Art Director for both CityBeat newspaper and The Sondheim Review national magazine. While at CityBeat he won over 20 local, state and national awards for photography, web and graphic design from Ohio and Cincinnati Society of Professional Journalists, Cleveland Press Club, Association of Alternative Newspapers (AAN) and AWN, including two-time Ohio SPJ's Designer of the Year (2004 and 2006). 

His photojournalism and documentary work runs the gamut: from NCAA basketball finals to extensive documentary studies in Cuba and India; coverage of medical teams in Oaxaca, Mexico; an official photographer for the Bunbury Music Festival; and numerous magazine features. He also served as the director of photography for the first-ever U.S.-held World Choir Games in 2012. Hughes was also one of six photographers chosen state-wide to create a “re-photographic” survey of Ohio sites documented as part of President Roosevelt’s New Deal in the 1930s, through the Farm Security Administration (FSA). The project was organized by the Ohio Humanities Council with support from the National Endowment for the Arts. The photo survey is now a touring exhibit, with a featured exhibit as part of the FotoFocus Biennial in 2012: Images of the Great Depression: A Documentary Portrait of Ohio 1935-2010.

Recently, his cinematography, editing and co-directing role in the award-winning documentary The Intimate Realities of Water led to ten film festival awards including Best Documentary and Best Overall Film awards at the Los Angeles International Film Festival.
Headshot of Robert J. Jonason

Robert J. Jonason

Educator Associate Professor, Journalism

510 Swift Hall

513-556-5902

Educator Associate Professor Bob Jonason teaches convergent media classes, including the News Collaborative, a journalism capstone class that produces multimedia stories for syndication to local news outlets. The class gives students a hands-on learning experience that blends technical and production skills with story ideation, research and reporting. Stories by Jonason's students have been honored by the Associated Collegiate Press, the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, and the Society of Professional Journalists. Student-produced videos have been recognized with regional Emmy Awards.

A 2017 recipient of a Scripps Howard Journalism Entrepreneurship Institute fellowship, he also teaches a class on the concepts and practices of media entrepreneurship. In addition, he is the department's internship director, the business manager of The News Record, UC's student-run news organization, and adviser to UC's student chapter of the Online News Association.

His background includes more than three decades of experience in professional journalism. For a decade he was a leader in digital media at The Indianapolis Star. He directed The Star’s Online Services department, leading all digital media operations and initiatives and serving on the company's executive committee. During this time The Star achieved tremendous growth in digital traffic and revenue and won many local, state and national awards for its digital efforts, including a national award for community service and Best News Website by the Hoosier State Press Association for six years. Jonason also was an editor for 12 years at Philadelphia Newspapers, first in the newsroom of The Philadelphia Inquirer and then as a founding editor of Philadelphia Online, now Philly.com. Early in his career, he was a reporter and editor on The (Fort Wayne) News-Sentinel staff that was honored with a Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting.

He has taught journalism classes as an adjunct professor at Indiana University and as an instructor at Ball State University. He is a member of the Online News Association, College Media Business and Advertising Managers and the Associated Collegiate Press
Headshot of Leonard N. Penix

Leonard N. Penix

Educator Professor, Journalism

22A McMicken Hall

513-556-5978

Leonard N. Penix, J.D., McMicken College of Arts and Sciences,  educator associate professor and news track coordinator, Department of Journalism, has more than 32 years of daily newspaper experience, including 29 years at The Cincinnati Post, where he worked as  production supervisor, assistant metro editor, suburban editor, editor of the online edition, page designer and copy editor. His career as a college educator spans 26 years, including nearly 20 years at the University of Cincinnati.  Professor Penix was licensed in 1985 by the Ohio Supreme Court as an attorney for the practice of law. He has two Bachelor of Arts degrees from Michigan State University, one in English and the other in journalism, and a doctorate in law from Chase College of Law, Northern Kentucky University. He has published approximately 7,500 articles and news stories, many distributed nationwide through the Associated Press, Scripps Howard and New York Times wire services.  
Penix has delivered speeches at national and regional conferences about media law and related topics for the American College Press Association and the College Media Association, which he formerly served as a member of the law committee. He deliveed a speech about three years ago for approximately 1,000 people in Austin, Texas, and last year returned to Austin to lead a presentation and speak about Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act and Section 512 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and related Internet Media Law topics at the 94th annual National College Media Convention hosted by the American College Press/College Media Association held Oct. 28 to Nov. 1, 2015.

Leonard N. Penix CV
Headshot of Jennifer Wohlfarth

Jennifer Wohlfarth

Educator Professor, Journalism

13B McMicken Hall

513-556-0934

Jenny Wohlfarth has been a magazine journalist since 1993 and has taught at UC since 2000; she currently serves as the department's Director of Undergraduate Studies and Magazine Track Coordinator. She is the faculty adviser for UC's online student magazine, Verge, and the UC chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ). Before coming to UC full-time, Jenny worked for numerous award-winning national magazines; she is a former executive editor of I.D. (International Design) Magazine and a former managing editor of HOW Magazine. She has published articles in a wide variety of national consumer and trade magazines, covering art, architecture, animals/agriculture, business, conservation/environment, design, travel and urban/social issues. She is a contributing editor at Cincinnati Magazine and continues to write for several national magazines. She has co-presented at numerous teaching conferences, including the Lilly International Conference on College Teaching and the International Society of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Annual Conference, and has been honored with teaching and writing awards, including the 2012 David Eshelman Outstanding Campus Adviser Award, a national award given by the Society of Professional Journalists. She has served as a juror for the Sigma Delta Chi Awards for Excellence in Journalism sponsored by SPJ and several national magazine journalism and graphic-design competitions, including contests managed by Writer’s Digest, HOW Magazine, The Thoroughbred Times and The American Horse Publications. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and the Society of Environmental Journalists. 

Affiliate Faculty

Headshot of Omotayo O Banjo

Omotayo O Banjo

Associate Professor, Journalism

121-A McMicken Hall

513-556-2142

Omotayo Banjo, PhD (Penn State University, 2009) focuses on representation and audience responses to racial and cultural media. Her work has been published in peer reviewed journals including Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, Communication Theory, Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, Journal of Media and Religion, and Race and Social Problems. She has also presented her research at regional, national and international conferences which include the International Communication Association, National Communication Association, Association for Education  in Journalism & Mass Communication, and the Collegium for African-American Research.  Dr. Banjo teaches courses related to media theory, identity, and race. She is also an affiliate faculty of Africana Studies, Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies, and Journalism.
Headshot of Nancy A Jennings

Nancy A Jennings

Professor, and Director of the Children's Education and Entertainment Research (CHEER) Lab, Journalism

120CA McMicken Hall

513-556-4456

Dr. Jennings studies the impact of media on the lives of children and their families and public policies and practices involved with children’s media.  Her research focuses on children's cognitive and social development and their use of media.  She employs experimental design as well as qualitative methodologies to explore children’s relationships with media characters.  She has also conducted evaluation research on educational media and outreach programs and content analyses and textual analyses of media content.  She has authored Tween Girls and Their Mediated Friends (2014) and co-edited 20 Questions about Youth and the Media with Sharon Mazzarella (2018).  Dr. Jennings has published on other topics including virtual environments, children’s advertising, families and media, and media violence. She provides parent education programs on children’s media use, directs the Children’s Education and Entertainment Research (CHEER) Lab, and has published peer-reviewed journals articles in journals such as New Media & Society, Journal of Family Communication, Journal of Children and Media, and Learning, Media and Technology.  She has also published book chapters in the Handbook of Family Communication, the Handbook of Children and Media, and 20 Questions about Children and Media.
Headshot of David Niven

David Niven

Associate Professor, Journalism

1207 Crosley Tower

513-556-3305

David Niven (Ph.D., Ohio State University) teaches American politics and conducts research on political campaigns, gerrymandering, political communication and death penalty policy. David is the author of several books including The Politics of Injustice: The Kennedys, The Freedom Rides and the Electoral Consequences of a Moral Compromise (University of Tennessee Press) and has published research in numerous journals including the Journal of Politics, Political Research Quarterly, Polity, Social Science Quarterly, Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly,  and the Journal of Black Studies. David was an expert witness in Ohio APRI v. Larry Householder, a case challenging Ohio's congressional districts as an unconstitutional gerrymander. David's politcal experience includes serving as the speechwriter for Ohio Governor Ted Strickland and for Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley's campaign for president.

Emeriti Faculty

Headshot of Jon Christopher Hughes

Jon Christopher Hughes

Professor, Journalism

225A McMicken Hall

JON HUGHES, Emeritus Professor of English & Journalism, is an award-winning reporter, author and photojournalist. He has been on the staffs of three daily and two alternative newspapers in addition to writing and producing radio dramas and a television documentary on Cuba. Hughes is the author, editor, or major contributor to 11 books. More than 1,200 of his photographs have been published and his images have been exhibited internationally. He is director of photography of the award-winning documentary series "The Intimate Realities of Water."
 
Photojournalism published in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Associated Press, Village Voice, Sun Magazine, Cincinnati Magazine, Ohio Magazine, Boulevard, New Letters, Worth Magazine, Tributary, Cincinnati Enquirer.

Photojournalism Exhibits: Taft Museum, Fototeca de Cuba (Havana), Indiana University, University of Cincinnati, United State Air Force Academy, College of Mount St. Joseph, ArtWorks, Pittsburg State University.
Headshot of James C. Wilson

James C. Wilson

Professor, Journalism

13A McMicken Hall

513-652-7562

James Wilson serves as a Magazine/Narrative Nonfiction Track adviser and has a Ph.D. in American Literature from the University of New Mexico.  He has worked as a feature writer for newspapers in northern New Mexico and as an editor at Prairie Schooner and Saltillo magazines. He has published creative nonfiction in both literary and consumer magazines. His books include: Vietnam in Prose and Film (1983), John Reed for the Masses (1987), The Hawthorne and Melville Friendship (1990), Embodied Rhetorics: Disability in Language and Culture (2001), and Weather Reports from the Autism Front:  A Father's Memoir of His Autistic Son (2008). His current project, Sex in the Time of Revolution, is an auto-fiction about the summer of 1972, which he spent with a French companion traveling in the former Yugoslavia.

Staff

Headshot of Ashley D. Hutchison

Ashley D. Hutchison

Business Administrator, Journalism

McMicken Hall

513-556-4452

Headshot of Ekaterina  Plamenova Katzarova

Ekaterina Plamenova Katzarova

Program Manager, Journalism

McMicken Hall

513-556-4440