Multifaceted Morosoff moves up in LHSC
Photo Courtesy of Hofstra University
Associate professor of journalism, media studies and public relations Jeffrey Morosoff has been in communications for over three decades, but now he is taking on a new role. This past summer, it was announced that Morosoff would be the chair of the department of journalism, media studies and public relations at Hofstra’s Lawrence Herbert School of Communication.
“As chair of the department, you’re overseeing all department activities,” Morosoff said. “My role is to kind of direct traffic – to make sure students are getting the courses they need, that they are moving through the process of earning their degree, that they are getting the proper advisement, that they have a good number of options as they pursue their interests [and] making sure they are getting their internships.”
Administratively, his new role involves “making sure that faculty are getting the course assignments that they would like to teach and ... are best at teaching, making sure ... our schedule is manageable for both students and faculty and then interacting with administration so that we are achieving the goals that the dean and the university set forward.”
One of the things Morosoff said he is most looking forward to in his new role is getting to work with the dean of the School of Communication, Mark Lukasiewicz and spearheading new initiatives.
“I think he’s a terrific dean. He’s got a lot of vision and energy and I hope to team with him to move our program into the 2020s.”
“One of the things we are undertaking already is that we are going to spend this semester thoroughly reviewing the curriculum for all three tracks (journalism, media studies and public relations) and taking steps to enhance what we’re doing right, getting rid of what we think can be eliminated from the program and looking forward to how we can better prepare our students for the next decade,” Morosoff said. “An analysis and enhancement of our curriculum – that’s going to be a major goal of mine over the next few months [and] we could start [possibly] introducing a few new courses [or] enhancing the existing courses that we have.”
Morosoff plans to communicate with faculty, students and alumni from the department and take their input into consideration when altering courses.
“In addition to meeting with the professionals, we also plan to talk to students and recent graduates – for example, when we talk to a recent graduate we’ll say, ‘Okay, you’ve been in the workplace for three years. How well do you think Hofstra prepared you?’”
In order to increase faculty awareness of the best ways to accommodate students, Morosoff said he planned “field trips” for some of the professors in the department.
“One of the things we’re doing in October [is] taking field trips into New York City with the faculty. The PR [public relations] professors are going to meet with different agency people, then the journalism faculty will meet with different journalists,” he said. “The idea is to talk to professionals so that we can get a first-hand view of what they’re looking for in terms of new employees’ skill sets, abilities and what they see as the future of our different industries so that we can match the curriculum to anticipate what’s ahead.”
Morosoff has been teaching at Hofstra for years.“I started in 2010, so this is my ninth year as an employee of Hofstra. I’ve taught mostly PR [and] I’ve taught a couple of media studies courses.”
Morosoff has also worked at the New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) and Nassau Community College. He earned a bachelor’s and master’s in communication arts from NYIT and although he eventually became a public relations professor, he started out his career as a journalist.
“Some of the greatest PR people were former journalists – there’s so much of a correlation between the two fields,” Morosoff said. “I think the skillset is primarily the same, you’re just attacking the issue from a different point of view. Journalists are reporting the news – but telling it very objectively. PR people are advocates for their clients, but the storytelling skills that they bring to their jobs are quite similar.”
Prior to beginning his career in public relations and academia, Morosoff was temporarily a DJ and reporter.
“I was a radio DJ at a little AM radio station here on Long Island, WGLI – they went out of business probably 20 years ago. They were in Babylon and I started as a DJ there and played oldies,” he said. “I was there for about three years and then transitioned to becoming a traffic reporter. I did that for a very short period of time and then I transitioned into being a news reporter for WBLI – an FM station on Long Island. But then I kind of stumbled along the PR field.”
Morosoff said he got his first public relations job through pure “dumb luck.” In 1983, he bumped into a former colleague of his who, at the time, worked for Cablevision (now known as Optimum). She offered him a job doing public relations for the company and according to Morosoff, he “jumped into PR and never looked back.”
“I’m a huge believer in networking and I push my students to network as much as they can – because yes, it is what you know and yes, it is who you know,” Morosoff said. “I think you have to have that combination to be successful.”