Professor of Communication, Record Advisor
- 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 accompanied the release, beginning with First Friday in Goshen at Better World Books in December and continuing in 2014 in Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Manitoba. In October 2015, he made presentations at the SHEA Conference for Hutterite educators in Swift Current, Sask., and at the Wisconsin Workshop at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. For more information, see the Johns Hopkins University Press catalog.
- Two book events are planned for the fall of 2017. He’ll join a Hutterite teacher in telling the story of the Hofer brothers and Jacob Wipf as a keynote presentation at the National World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City. The keynote is scheduled as part of a symposium, “Remembering Muted Voices: Conscience, Dissent, Resistance and Civil Liberties in World War I through Today,” on Oct. 19-22. Separately, he’ll speak about the Hutterites conscientious objectors at the Kauffman Museum in North Newton, Kansas, on Oct. 18, as part of a Kansas Humanities Council program.
- Launched Goshen Write on Sports camp in July 2013. The fifth annual camp will be held in July 2017. 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.
- Edited a book, The Goshen College Guide to Studying and Serving Abroad: Essays on Intercultural Learning, that draws on the experiences and expertise of faculty and students who have participated in Study-Service Term. The book was published by Pinchpenny Press in April 2017.
- Writing an introductory essay for a book that will commemorate the 50th anniversary of Camp Deerpark, situated in Westbrookville, about 75 miles north of New York City. The camp is owned by the Mennonite churches in the city.
Presentations on Standing in Chains at the Center for Mennonite Brethren Studies at Tabor College (May 2017), the Saskatchewan Hutterian Educators Association (October 2015), Wisconsin Workshop, international symposium sponsored by the Department of German and Max Kade Institute for German-American Studies, University of Wisconsin at Madison (October 2015), Elizabethtown College (February 2014), Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society (May 2014), Hutterite colonies in Manitoba (May 2014), and McNally Robinson Booksellers in Winnipeg (May 2014).
“I Conscientiously Object,” a segment featuring an account of the Hutterites who were imprisoned at Alcatraz during World War I, interview with Ed Ayers, BackStory with the American History Guys, December 2016.
“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.
Chapter in Bearing Witness: Stories of Martyrdom and Costly Discipleship (Plough Publishing, 2016). The chapter is based on an article published in Plough Quarterly, “The Martyrs of Alcatraz,” in Summer 2014.
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. The book was reviewed in Hutt-Write Voice (May 2014); The Mennonite (May 2014); Sojourners (May 2014); Mennonite World Review (March 17, 2014); Pennsylvania Mennonite Heritage (January 2014); Lancaster Newspapers (Dec. 15, 2013); and Englewood Review of Books (Oct. 25, 2013).
“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).
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)
- Peru (2007-2008)
- Peru (2014-2015)