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Tenure-Track Faculty

Headshot of Jeffrey Layne Blevins

Jeffrey Layne Blevins

Professor of Journalism & Public and International Affairs, Journalism



Dr. Blevins is a Professor in the Department of Journalism (51%) & School of Public and International Affairs (49%). His recent book, Social Media, Social Justice, and the Political Economy of Online Networks (University of Cincinnati Press, 2022) won the 2023 National Indie Book Award for Non-Fiction E-Book, as it explores the role of social media in social justice and political campaigns.  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 media contact for national outlets, including The Washington Post, New York Times, NPR, VOA, and other venues.
Headshot of Brian (Bri) Calfano

Brian (Bri) Calfano

Department of Journalism & School of International and Public Affairs , Journalism



Google Scholar    Muck Rack    TV Reel

Brian Calfano (Ph.D., N. Texas) is a Professor of Journalism and directs UC's Digital Broadcast News Certificate
A working TV reporter with multiple EMMY nominations, Calfano is repped by CBK Media Management. His stories have appeared on Spectrum News 1, WKRC Cincinnati (Local12), Fox 2 St. Louis, Fox 4 Kansas City, Ozarks Fox, KOLR, KNWA, and KLBK, among others. In the last five years, he has received more than a dozen awards from the Broadcast Educator Asso., Missouri Broadcasters, Ohio AP, SPJ, and The Press Club of Cleveland. WABC-TV New York featured portions of his documentary work in its 75th anniversary celebration in August 2023. In 2022, Calfano established the Journomentary project. He is the director and executive producer of the award-winning 2024 documentary Al Primo & His Eyewitness News Revolution. The documentary made its New York City premiere at WABC in May. In 2023, Calfano created the first higher education partnership with the broadcast video management platform Latakoo

In total, Dr. Calfano has over 100 peer-reviewed publications across the social sciences. These include the books God Talk: Experimenting with the Religious Causes of Public Opinion (Temple), A Matter of Discretion: The Political Behavior of Catholic Priests (Rowman and Littlefield), Human Relations Commissions (Columbia), and Exploring the Public Effects of Religious Communication on Politics (Michigan).

Coverage of his academic work includes The Washington Post/Monkey Cage, Nieman Lab (Harvard), Newsweek, and The London School of Economics Blog. Research grantors include HUD, NSF, APSA, The Scripps Howard Foundation, and the SSSR. 

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Alfred J. Cotton III

Assistant Professor, Journalism



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, Journalism



Sean Hughes has over 30 years of professional documentary, photojournalism and design experience. He is currently a full-time Professor-Educator, specializing in photojournalism, multimedia and media design in the Department of Journalism at the University of Cincinnati, as well as a working documentary director, videographer, and photojournalist.

Prior to that, Hughes was the Art Director for both CityBeat newspaper, The Sondheim Review international magazine, and the national print and online publication Everything Sondheim. 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 was converted to 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.

In 2016, he shot, edited and co-directed the documentary The Intimate Realities of Water, which won Best Documentary and Best Overall Film at the Los Angeles International Film Festival. It was also a finalist for Best Documentary at the Paris Arts and Music Awards. In the North Carolina Film Awards it was selected as the winner of its Board of Director's Award. At the Hollywood International Independent Documentary Awards it won Best Cultural Feature, Best First-Time Filmmakers, Best Writer, and Best Narration awards. At the United International Film Festival it took home first place for best documentary, and it was included in the Louisville International Festival of Film.

In his follow-up documentary, Thirsty and Drowning in America, Hughes revisited his role as videographer, editor and co-director with Adrian Parr. From 2020-2021, they earned official selection honors at the American Documentary and Animation Film Festival, the Montreal Independent Film Festival, the International Independent Film Festival Hollywood, the Amsterdam World International Film Festival, Docs Without Borders Film Festival, and the Lift-Off Global Network festivals in Melbourne and Berlin.
Headshot of Robert J. Jonason

Robert J. Jonason

Professor - Educator, Journalism



Professor-Educator 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 recipient of a Scripps Howard Journalism Entrepreneurship Institute fellowship, he teaches a class on the concepts and practices of media entrepreneurship. In addition, he is the department's internship director, the editorial adviser of The News Record, UC's student-run news organization, and the adviser to UC's student chapter of the Online News Association, which he established shortly after arriving at UC.

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. For six consecutive years under his direction, IndyStar.com was named Indiana's best news site by the Hoosier State Press Association. 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 Inquirer.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

Professor Educator, Journalism



Leonard N. Penix, J.D., a professor educator for the Department of Journalism, College of Arts and Sciences, has more than 32 years of daily print and digital news 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 also spans 32 years, including 25 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.  He is the author of "An Introduction to Media Law and Ethics," which was published by Cognella Academic Publshing.
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 has served as a member of the law committee. Penix was invited to speak about fake news and the erosion of trust in college media at the 2019 ACP/CMA National College Media Convention Oct. 31 to Nov. 2, 2019, at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Washington, D.C. He delivered a speech in 2013 for approximately 1,000 people in Austin, Texas, and later gave a presentation and speech 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. 
Headshot of Jenny Wohlfarth

Jenny Wohlfarth

Educator Professor, Journalism



Jenny Wohlfarth is an award-winning magazine journalist with 30+ years of professional experience who has been teaching journalism at UC since 2000, originally as a part-time adjunct instructor while she was working full-time as a magazine editor. After completing her M.A. degree in English (emphasis in editing and publishing) at UC, she helped build the UC Journalism Program -- which later became the UC Department of Journalism -- while teaching courses in feature writing, magazine writing, news writing, editing and specialty reporting topics.

Now a full professor (in the educator/teaching track), she teaches a wide range of courses across the curriculum: Feature Writing & In-Depth Reporting, Magazine Writing, Environmental Journalism, Science & Nature Writing, Travel Writing, Women in Journalism, Advanced Magazine Writing, Magazine Publishing, and International Field Study in Journalism -- all courses she created and developed. She was the department's first director of undergraduate studies, from 2012-2019, and has served as faculty adviser for several student journalism groups, including the UC chapters of the Society of Professional Journalists (UC-SPJ), Association of Black Journalists (UC-ABJ) and a handful of student-run online magazines.

Professor Wohlfarth’s work has been published in numerous national magazines, covering topics ranging from art/design, architecture, agriculture and animals to business, environmental and social issues, nature/science and travel writing. She has been honored by numerous reporting awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for her work in feature/magazine writing, beat reporting and lifestyle reporting.

Her journalism career began shortly after she completed an undergraduate degree in creative writing (composition) at the University of Evansville (Indiana). She landed a full-time job in journalism—at a horse magazine in Texas—and quickly fell in love with reporting. She is a former staff editor/managing editor/executive editor at several national magazines—including the Cincinnati-based design publications HOW Magazine and I.D. (International Design) Magazine—and is a longtime contributing editor to Cincinnati Magazine. She is vice-president of the Greater Cincinnati Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), and an active member of the national SPJ, the Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ) and, most recently, the National Association of Science Writers.

Professor Wohlfarth has been honored with numerous teaching/advising awards, including the UC Department of English William C. Boyce Award for Excellence in Teaching, the SPJ David L. Eshelman Outstanding Campus Adviser Award and the University of Cincinnati Honors Program’s Excellence in Teaching Award—all honors based on nominations from her students and advisees. In 2022, she was nominated by a student for the prestigious UC George Barbour Award for Good Faculty-Student Relations.  

She has a keen interest in active-learning techniques and has co-presented on SoTL (scholarship of teaching and learning) topics at numerous conferences, including the International Lilly Conference for College Teaching and the International Society of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Annual Conference. She is an advocate of innovative, student-centered instruction methods, and has frequently been tapped to lead training sessions for faculty on active-learning techniques, contemplative teaching strategies and methods for increasing student engagement. Her professional work and her involvement in teaching faculty-led study-abroad courses for the UC Honors Program have enabled her to travel to and write about fascinating places around the world, including Mexico, Cuba, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Namibia and Iceland.

Affiliate Faculty

Headshot of Omotayo O Banjo

Omotayo O Banjo

Professor, Journalism

Van Wormer Hall


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



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 The Marketing of Children's Toys with Rebecca Hains (2021), and 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



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 has testified as an expert witness and consulted on gerrymandering cases in state and federal courts and wrote an amicus brief submitted to the Ohio Supreme Court in Preterm Cleveland v. Yost. David's political analysis has been quoted widely including in the New York Times, Washington Post, and The New Yorker. David has worked as a speechwriter for political and academic leaders including Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley, and Ohio State University President Gordon Gee.

Emeriti Faculty

Headshot of Jon Christopher Hughes

Jon Christopher Hughes

Professor, Journalism

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

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.


Headshot of Evajean S ONeal

Evajean S ONeal

Business Administrator, Journalism

1210B Crosley Tower


Headshot of Bethany Stollar

Bethany Stollar

Program Coordinator - Undergraduate, Journalism