Faculty Profiles

  • The faculty in the Department of Communications Media provides students with a variety of resources. Following is a list of faculty members within the Department of Communications Media who are approved to teach courses at the doctoral level.

    Rachel Fox, MFA

    Photography and Related Media, Parsons the New School for Design

    Born and raised in central Pennsylvania, Rachel Bee Porter holds an MFA in photography from Parsons the New School for Design, and a BFA in professional photographic illustration from the Rochester Institute of Technology. Her work has been exhibited in venues such as the Center for Photography at Woodstock, Texas Women’s University, Aperture Gallery in New York City, and the Samek Art Gallery at Bucknell University. Her work has also been seen in the show There’s Something Happening Here at the Brancolini Grimaldi Gallery in London, England, and the Flash Forward Festival in Boston, among many others. She has contributed work to several publications, such as Aesthetica, the British Journal of PhotographyCreative Quarterly, and Photographer’s Forum. Most recently, her work was published in Flash Forward Tenth

    Steven Kleinman, PhD in Communication

    Ohio State University

    Steven Kleinman has his research focused on (1) selective exposure to and subsequent effects of political messages in the new media environment, and (2) the antecedents of interpersonal political discussion in everyday life. He seeks to understand how political knowledge, attitudes, opinions, and behaviors evolve over time as a result of various communicative processes. Kleinman has coauthored articles in the Journal of Communication, Political Behavior, and Communication Research. Prior to attending OSU, he received an MA in television and film production from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communication at Syracuse University. Kleinman has worked professionally in film and television production, including both scripted digital video shooting and unscripted live multi-camera television production. He has worked in various positions for small independent film production studios, major television shows (ABC’s The View), and major cable networks (QVC, The Food Network). Kleinman has taught courses in persuasion, public opinion, research methods, mass communication, and media and terrorism.

    James Lenze, PhD in Instructional Systems

    Pennsylvania State University

    James Lenze has over two dozen publications or presentations focusing on virtual worlds, curriculum development, instructional technology, distance education, communications media, and synthetic writing. After earning his PhD, he spent three years as a tenure-line professor at Lawrence Technological University in Southfield, Michigan, and then subsequently assumed another tenure-line position for three years at the University of Michigan–Dearborn. He joined the faculty at IUP in 2000. He earned the rank of full professor in 2009. He co-developed the proposal for the doctoral degree with Mark Piwinsky and served with him as one of the initial co-coordinators of the program. He was appointed as the dean’s associate for the School of Graduate Studies and Research at IUP, where he served from 2008 and 2009. He also authored the curriculum proposal to offer the BS in communications media online. Over his career he has authored or co-authored successful proposals for the creation of associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. He has also developed online courses and programs. He is currently the director of VERGE (Virtual Environments Research Group in Education), a grant-funded project building a grade nine through grade 12 curriculum for boys using virtual worlds technology.

    Nurhaya Muchtar, PhD in Communication and Information

    University of Tennessee

    Nurhaya Muchtar’s primary research interests are international and intercultural communication, journalism studies, and media development in developing countries. She has a background as a broadcast journalist, media training consultant, and development aid specialist for a number of international organizations. Her background has influenced her interests in collaborative research activities with other disciplines such as adult education, women’s studies, and professional studies. Muchtar has presented her research in regional, national, and international conferences and has been active supporting a new organization called ASIRPA—Asian Society for International Relations and Public Affairs, both as chief editor and as chair of the organization. Her teaching interests include courses in international and intercultural communication, women in media, research in media, and cultural theory.

    Vicky Ortiz, PhD in Communication

    Purdue University

    Vicky Ortiz’s research focuses on the impact media can have on society. Specifically, her research focuses on student activism, media portrayals of immigrants and gender, and how mobile devices influence interpersonal communication. She approaches research qualitatively and thus privileges the voices of her participants and people in general. Ortiz’s research interests inform her approach to teaching. In the classroom, she strives to foster an environment in which community engagement, enthusiasm, and a commitment to social justice are valued. These goals are led, informed by, and accomplished through active learning, meaningful dialogue, and critical thinking. Her teaching interests include qualitative research methods, health communication, gender communication, and media effects.   

    Mark Piwinsky, PhD in Political Science

    Ohio State University

    From his background as IUP’s chief information technology officer, Mark Piwinsky brings extensive experience in technology planning, implementation, training, and financing. Success of this approach is evidenced by IUP’s recognition as one of the 25 “Most Wired” campuses in the nation and its cost-effective implementation of academic and administrative support systems. He participated in the development and coordination of the Advancing the Development of Educators in Pennsylvania to Teach with Technology grant, the NEDIC/CIMS emergency management systems grants, and the Preparing Teachers to Teach Using Technology grant, for which he was a co-recipient of the IUP Sponsored Programs Award for Outstanding Achievement in Curriculum and Instruction. As an academic administrator, he served as vice provost for Administration and Technology at IUP and director of Analysis and Planning at Ohio State University. As a political scientist and academic administrator, his work also addresses the impact of communications on the political process, public policy and public opinion, and on research methods.  

    Zachary Stiegler, PhD in Communication Studies

    University of Iowa

    Zack Stiegler’s primary teaching and research interests include media history, communication law and policy, and critical studies of popular culture. His research has appeared in Interdisciplinary Literary Studies, Explorations in Media Ecology, Teaching and Learning in Medicine, Communication and the Public, the Journal of Radio and Audio Media, the Journal of Popular Music Studies, and Javnost: The Public, as well as a number of edited volumes. Stiegler’s own edited volume, Regulating the Web, was published in 2013 by Lexington Books. He is currently working on Musical Intimacy: Construction, Connection, and Engagement, a book project co-authored with IUP alumnus Todd Campbell, which will be published by Bloomsbury Academic. Stiegler currently serves as coordinator for the Media and Communication Studies PhD program, and he is faculty advisor for WIUP-FM.

    Jeremy Waltman, MFA in Studio Art

    Florida State University

    Jeremy Waltman is a director, writer, and artist. His movies include It Plays Like Love, The Empty House, and Locomotive. His casts have included Migs Govea (Ocean’ Eight), Rya Kihlstedt (Dexter), Joseph Culp (Mad Men), Joshua Mikel (The Walking Dead), Tom Walker (Daredevil), and Claire Dellamar (Mayhem). He has a Penn State University BFA and Florida Statue University MFA, with his work starting in the graphic novels like German. He is also the creator of Weatherworn, a video game and comic series. He continues to make new work, travel, and teach. Visit Jeremy’s Website.

    B. Gail Wilson, EdD in Administrative and Policy Studies in Higher Education

    University of Pittsburgh

    B. Gail Wilson has been involved in broadcasting for over 30 years and served as faculty advisor of WIUP-FM from 1986 to 2004. Several of her publications and presentations have explored college radio programming, financing, and management. Additionally, she has researched other areas of broadcasting, including television news programming and broadcast management. She has also conducted research on career portfolio development for communications students. Wilson received the Radio/Television News Directors Excellence in Journalism Education Fellowship and the National Association of Television Programming Executives Faculty Fellowship, and she was invited to attend the International Radio and Television Society and National Academy of Television Arts and Science Faculty Seminars. She was recognized as National Member of the Year and National Advisor of the Year by the National Broadcasting Society. Among her areas of teaching expertise are broadcast news writing, presentation making, and portfolio development. Through her course, Digital Sports Production, students are engaged in producing live game content for IUP Football and Basketball. She also teaches Crisis Communication, and Teaching Communications Media in the Media and Communication Studies program. Wilson is currently chair of the Communications Media Department.