Professor of Communication, SST Leader- Peru
Department Chair

Education

BA, Goshen College, 1981
MA, NEW YORK UNIVERSITY, 1988
PHD, RUTGERS UNIVERSITY, 2001

Current Projects

  • Pacifists in Chains Thumbnail of Book JacketIn 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 accompanied the release, beginning with First Friday in Goshen at Better World Books in December and continuing in 2014 in Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Manitoba. For more information, see the Johns Hopkins University Press catalog.
  • Serving as member of Conference Working Committee to plan symposium and traveling exhibit at the National World War I Museum in Kansas City. The symposium, “Remembering Muted Voices: Conscience, Dissent, Resistance and Civil Liberties in World War I through Today,” will be held in October 2017.
  • Launched a Write on Sports camp in Goshen in July 2013. The second annual camp will be held in July 2014. 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

Presentations on Standing in Chains at Elizabethtown College (February 2014), Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society (May 2014), Hutterite colonies in Manitoba (May 2014), and McNally Robinson Booksellers in Winnipeg (May 2014).

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.

Courses

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.

 

Selected Publications

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 was featured in the fall 2013 catalog of the Johns Hopkins University Press and was 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)

Leadership of Study Service Term Units

  • Peru (2007-2008)
  • Peru (2014-2015)

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Employment

2000-present
Professor of Communication
Goshen College
2004-present
Copy Editor
The Mennonite Quarterly Review
2000-present
Faculty Adviser
The Goshen College Record, weekly newspaper
1997-2000
Staff Editor
The New York Times
1989-1997
Reporter and copy editor
The Record of Hackensack, N.J.