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Meet the new chair of the journalism, media studies, and public relations department

By: Allyson Judge

Special to the Chronicle

Carol Fletcher is a professor of journalism at Hofstra University. Some of the classes she teaches include "News Writing and Reporting" as well as "Feature and Magazine Writing." Not many students know, but Professor Fletcher is now the new chair of the Department of Journalism, Media Studies and Public Relations Department at the University.

"The new position entails helping students and faculty with schedules and classes, working with faculty to advance an agenda for the department and fulfilling the needs of the department, as well as communicating those needs to the Dean’s office and in turn communicating to the faculty information from higher up in the University,” said Fletcher.

Fletcher was given the job as chair of the department when former chair Bob Papper retired at the end of the 2013 school year. Fletcher began teaching journalism at Hofstra in 2000.

“I was an adjunct [professor] for about 12 to 13 years before that. I also taught a couple of semesters part time at NYU and was also a [teaching assistant] at Berkeley," said Fletcher.

Before she came to the University, Fletcher worked in the magazine industry as a writer, reporter and editor. She

“I wrote for women and science magazines," said Fletcher. "I always had an interest in science and health so I started working at Discover Magazine when it was first founded and then one job lead to another.”

When Fletcher was busy teaching classes, she didn't always get the chance to learn what other faculty members in the department were doing in their classroom or for research. Her new position has given her this opportunity as well as a chance to respond to the major changes in current media.

“it is a really exciting and challenging time to be involved in media because so many changes are going on in the industry and we as a faculty have to respond to that… That poses a lot of challenges and I am really excited to see how we can work to do that," said Fletcher.

Fletcher hopes to bring many improvements  to the School of Communication, notably further  communication between faculty and students, so they can work together to face the challenges of the rapidly changing world of journalism.

If there is one thing that Fletcher would like to say to students it is, “… Take advantage of [the School of Communication]; join a club today, get to know a faculty member, start writing for the student media, start producing, join PRSSA and just take advantage of everything in this building because it’s pretty incredible.”

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