Professor of Communication
BA, Goshen College, 1981
MA, NEW YORK UNIVERSITY, 1988
PHD, RUTGERS UNIVERSITY, 2001
- In December 2013, Johns Hopkins University Press released his book on Hutterite conscientious objectors during World War I. The narrative follows the experiences of three brothers (Joseph, Michael, and David Hofer) and a brother-in-law (Jacob Wipf), who were sentenced to 20 years of hard labor and served time both at Alcatraz and at Fort Leavenworth. Two of the brothers died at Leavenworth. A series of book presentations and signings are planned, beginning with First Friday in Goshen at Better World Books in December and continuing in 2014 in Indiana, Pennsylvania, South Dakota and other locations. For more information, see the Johns Hopkins University Press catalog.
- Launched a Write on Sports camp in Goshen in July 2013. This is a two-week camp for middle-school students that teaches writing skills by tapping into their love for sports. The camp was developed in partnership with Goshen Community Schools. Byron Yake founded Write on Sports in New Jersey in 2005.
- Preparing to publish a research article on the increasing use of profanities and obscenities in articles published in The New Yorker. The article is based on a paper presented at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication conference in Chicago in 2012.
Presentations and Lectures
Presentation on Goshen Commons, with Transition Goshen, a local chapter of the international Transition Network organization; Goshen Public Library, December 2012.
“Standing in Chains at Alcatraz: When Hutterites Were Called to War,” chapel presentations at Lancaster Mennonite School and Christopher Dock Mennonite High School, September 2012.
“Changing Standards for Offensive Language: Gate Widens at The New Yorker,” Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, Chicago, August 2012.
“Standing in Chains at Alcatraz: When Hutterites Were Called to War,” C. Henry Smith Peace Lecture, Bluffton University, February 2012; Goshen College, March 2012.
- Communication and Society
- A study of the field of mass communication and its role in contemporary society. The course might also be called “Perils and Promises of the Digital Age.” It includes an overview of the history and development of the mass media.
- Feature Writing
- Students explore different genres of feature writing, including an op-ed piece; a personality profile; a human-interest story; a critical review of a book, restaurant, movie or other subject; and a news feature. All pieces are developed over multiple drafts and submitted for publication.
- Media Law and Ethics
- The course provides an introduction to the U.S. legal system and issues like access to information, conflicts of interest, deception, fairness, libel, obscenity, plagiarism and privacy. The course is also devoted to models of ethical decision-making as they are applied to mass media issues, with special attention given to Christian perspectives.
- Communication Research
- This course serves as an introduction to theory building and research methodology of mass communication. In providing an overview of communication research, attention will be paid to both quantitative and qualitative research methods.
- Reporting for the Public Good
- This course envisions the broader Goshen community as an extended classroom, replete with interesting and important stories to tell. In reporting off campus, students will produce stories that can be shared with a diverse audience through multiple channels.
- Writing for Media
- We focus on the time-honored journalistic enterprise: gathering the facts and telling the story. Assignments include breaking news, sports, blog posts, personal radio essay, political reports, features.
“Pacifists in Chains: The Persecution of Hutterites during the Great War” documents the disturbing history of four pacifists imprisoned for their refusal to serve during World War I. The book is featured in the fall 2013 catalog of the Johns Hopkins University Press and should be released in December.
“Armed With Prayer in an Alcatraz Dungeon: The Wartime Experiences of Four Hutterite C.O.’s in Their Own Words,” The Mennonite Quarterly Review, April 2011.
“Collaboration and Conscience,” Media Ethics, Spring 2011.
“Partial Pre-Publication Review Gaining Favor at Newspapers,” Newspaper Research Journal, Fall 2006.
Freedom from Advertising: E.W. Scripps’s Chicago Experiment (A volume in The History of Communication series, edited by Robert W. McChesney and John C. Nerone, University of Illinois Press, 2007).
Honors & Awards
2011-12 C. Henry Smith Peace Lectureship, “Armed Only with Prayer During the Great War: A Story of Hutterite Brothers in the Dungeons of Alcatraz”
2005 Top Three Faculty Paper, Newspaper Division, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication
2002 Dissertation Prize, American Journalism Historians Association, Honorable Mention
1993 Livingston Awards finalist (for top journalists in the nation under age 34)
- Professor of Communication
- Copy Editor
The Mennonite Quarterly Review
- Faculty Adviser
The Goshen College Record, weekly newspaper
- Staff Editor
The New York Times
- Reporter and copy editor
The Record of Hackensack, N.J.