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Andrew Kenneth Gay
MFA, Film and Digital Media, University of Central Florida, 2010; BFA, Film Production, University of Central Florida, 2006; BA, English and Philosophy/Religion, Flagler College, 2003
Andrew Kenneth Gay teaches Digital Cinema courses in storytelling, screenwriting, directing, producing, production management, film festival programming, career design and development, and short film production. He earned the university’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 2021. He is the former board president of Film Southern Oregon, sits on the board of the Oregon Media Production Association, is a programmer for the Ashland Independent Film Festival, and serves on the Teaching Committee for EDIT Media (Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Teaching Media). Read Full Bio
Kristin Hocevar, PhD
PhD, Communication, University of California at Santa Barbara, 2017; MA, Communication, University of California at Santa Barbara, 2013; BA, American Studies, Connecticut College, 2007
Dr. Kristin Hocevar currently teaches courses on health communication, risk and crisis communication, health and new technology, and communication research, among other topics. She is also faculty in SOU’s undergraduate Healthcare Administration and graduate Master of Business Administration programs. She has worked in television, documentary film, and web production for multiple Public Broadcasting Service stations and affiliated organizations. Additionally, Dr. Hocevar has worked in communication for the United States Navy and taught in Public Health. She has conducted research both internationally and locally on a variety of digital media-related topics, and her current research focuses on shared health information and communities facilitated by the Internet, as well as quantitative methods and measures related to communication and health.
MLIS, Leadership and Administration, Emporia State University, 2017; MIIS, Crisis & Health Communication, Southern Oregon University, 2015; BS, Psychology and Communication, Southern Oregon University, 2013
Erica Knotts teaches a wide variety of communication courses including Conflict Resolution, Nonverbal Communication, Small Group Communication, and Negotiation. She is particularly curious about observing the art of face-to-face communication in real world environments as she deploys practical learning experiences in the classroom
Chris Lucas, PhD
PhD, Radio-TV-Film, University of Texas at Austin, 2011; MA, Radio-TV-Film, University of Texas at Austin, 2000; BA, Liberal Arts, Evergreen State College, 1990
Christopher Lucas was awarded a doctorate in media studies from the University of Texas in 2011 with specializations in media industry studies and film studies. He teaches courses in documentary and non-fiction cinema, screenwriting, cinematography, film editing, and online journalism. His publications include “Contemporary Hollywood Cinematography,” from Cinematography, part of Rutger University Press’s Behind the Silver Screen series, and “Cultural Policy, the Public Sphere, and the Struggle to Define Low Power Radio,” in the Journal of Radio Studies. He has presented research at the Society for Cinema and Media Studies, International Communication Association, Broadcast Education Association, and Popular Culture Association. In 2005, he co-founded and edited flowjournal.org, a popular site for scholarly media criticism. Dr. Lucas also works as a writer and filmmaker. He produced the documentary Above All Else, which premiered at SXSW in 2014, and numerous shorts and commercial projects as a staff producer with Fiege Films in Austin, Texas. He was an associate producer on The Sensitives (Tribeca, 2017) and Living Springs, an interactive environmental documentary about Barton Springs in Austin. He has been a participant in the Spotlight On Documentaries Forum at IFP’s Film Week and Doc Society’s Climate Story Lab.
Erik Palmer, PhD
Associate Professor – Chair of Communication
PhD, Journalism, University of Oregon, 2008; MA, Photojournalism, University of Texas at Austin, 1995; BA, Journalism, Texas State University, 1986
Dr. Erik Palmer teaches social media, visual communication, and media entrepreneurship. The list of innovative courses he has launched at SOU includes Strategic Social Media, Social Media Campaigns, Design Thinking, Creative Industries, Comic Studies, Creative Careers Bootcamp, Sports Communication, Mobile Photo & Video, and Digital Life. He also recently completed a sabbatical year as a 2019-20 U.S. Fulbright Scholar at the University of Ghana. In his most recent scholarly work, he has explored changes in the culture of image-making motivated by the emergence of visual social media platforms such as Instagram, Pinterest, and Tumblr, and presented his findings at international peer-reviewed conferences, and he edited a special issue on Really Social Photojournalism for Visual Communication Quarterly in 2017. He has twice been honored with Tow-Knight Fellowships in Disruptive Journalism Education and convened with cohorts of Disruptive Fellows at the Online News Association’s 2017 and 2018 conferences in Washington, DC, and Austin, Texas. Please take a moment to visit his website.
Alena Ruggerio, PhD
PhD, Communication, Indiana University, 2003; MA, Communication, Ohio University, 1997; BSC, Communication, Ohio University, 1996
Dr. Alena Ruggerio (she/her/hers) teaches Public Speaking, Interpersonal Communication, Persuasion, Argumentation, and Critical Thinking, Advanced Public Speaking, Becoming a Communication Scholar, Political Communication, Women Transforming Language, Evaluation of Public Communication, and Conflict Management. She has led study abroad programs in Oviedo, Spain, and Athens, Greece. She was honored to receive the Distinguished Teaching Award from Southern Oregon University, the Outstanding Visiting Faculty of the Year Award from AHA International, the Most Warm and Welcoming Professor Award from the Associated Students of Southern Oregon University, and the Frances A. Lieber Memorial Associate Instructor Award from Indiana University. The editor of Media Depictions of Brides, Wives, and Mothers (Lexington Press) and co-author of The Practice of Feminism: Communicating for Social Change (Waveland Press), Dr. Ruggerio’s research at the intersection of rhetoric, feminism, and religious studies has appeared in book chapters, scholarly journals, and web publications. She is active in the National Communication Association and the Western States Communication Association and serves as Affiliate Faculty of the SOU Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies Council.
Precious Yamaguchi, PhD
PhD, Communication Studies, Bowling Green State University, 2010; MA, Communication, Pepperdine University, 2005; BA, Studio Art, Humboldt State University, 2003
Dr. Precious Yamaguchi teaches intercultural and international communication at SOU. Her academic research is interdisciplinary, focusing broadly on issues of culture, identity, generation, technology, social media, and international textile markets. Her single-authored book, The Journeys, and Strength of Japanese American Women: Stories and Life Experiences During and After World War II, was published by Lexington Books in 2015. She has received the Distinguished Faculty Award, a Raider Academy Award, and the Queer Resource Center’s Erika Giesen Outstanding Faculty Award during her time at Southern Oregon University, and also a Top Paper Award from the National Communication Association. When Dr. Yamaguchi is off-campus, she enjoys traveling, painting, hiking, and spending time with family and friends from all over the world.