Faculty & Staff



Brian J. Bowe, 2015
Assistant Professor. B.A., Journalism and M.S., Communication, Grand Valley State University; Ph.D., Michigan State University. His research interests include media framing and representations of Muslims. Bowe is a veteran journalist, author, and educator whose work examines the interplay of journalism and culture in multiple settings. He has extensive background in music journalism, writing books, liner notes and serving as editor of the online resurrection of CREEM Magazine. He also worked as a newspaper journalist in Michigan and New Hampshire and spent a decade in public relations. He previously taught at Grand Valley State University, the Sorbonne University and Michigan State University.

Email: Brian.Bowe@wwu.edu



  Joan M. Connell, 2011

Instructor. BA English Literature, University of Buffalo; Certificate in Asian Studies, University of Hawaii at Manoa. Joan is an award-winning journalist with a longstanding interest in media ethics and moral issues. A pioneer in digital media, she served as executive producer at MSNBC.com from 1996 to 2004; and was editor of the online editon of The Nation magazine in New York City. She served as editor of the D.C.-based Religion News Service, a global news syndicate specializing in religion and ethics. Prior to coming to Western, Joan was Associate Director of the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma at Columbia University Journalism School, working with journalists and news organizations worldwide to raise the ethical standard for crisis reporting with an emphasis on the needs and dignity of victims.

  Email: Joan.Connell@wwu.edu



Joe Gosen, 2014

Assistant Professor. B.A., Photojournalism, San Jose State University; M.A., Journalism, University of Nevada, Reno. Photojournalist. Over a span of 12 years he worked as a photojournalist for newspapers and wire services in California, Florida and Nevada, including two years as a graphic artist for the Reno Gazette-Journal. He co-founded SportsShooter.Com 2002, an online resource for sports photographers and photojournalists. Prior to Western he taught visual journalism for 12 years at Brooks Institute in Ventura, California.

Email: Joseph.Gosen@wwu.edu




 John M. Harris, 2000

Associate Professor. B.A., American Studies, Wittenberg (Ohio) University; M.A., University of Oregon; Ph.D., University of Washington. Worked for more than 20 years as a reporter, editor and photographer for The Bellingham Herald, Skagit Valley Herald, Seattle Post-Intelligencer and The Spokesman Review inSpokane. Also researched three books with the late Jack Olsen, "Son: A Psychopath and his Victims," "Give a Boy a Gun" and "Cold Kill."

 Email: John.Harris@wwu.edu




Stephen S. Howie, 2005

Senior Instructor. B.S., Beloit ( Wisc.) College; M.F.A., Creative Nonfiction writing, University of Pittsburgh. He worked 15 years as a professional journalist and teacher. He worked for the Boston Globe, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Preservation magazine. His first book was, "The Bluffton Charge: One Preacher's Struggle for Civil Rights." Before coming to Western, Steve worked for three years as an education reporter, assistant city editor and features editor at the Skagit Valley Herald.

Email: Stephen.Howie@wwu.edu




Jack Keith, 2006

Senior Instructor. B.A. (double major in economics and journalism), Ohio Wesleyan University. He worked more than 30 years as a daily newspaper editor, including serving as managing editor of The Bellingham Herald from 1980-1996, where he wrote a weekly column. He was elected to the national Associated Press Managing Editors board of directors during that period. More recently, Keith held a variety of editing roles for The News Tribune in Tacoma for 10 years, including serving as the business editor from 2002-2006.

Email: Jack.Keith@wwu.edu




Jennifer Keller, 2007

Chair & Associate Professor. B.A., Kenyon College; M.A., Syracuse University; M.A., Salisbury University. She worked for more than 15 years in public relations for a variety of nonprofits, corporations and PR firms in Washington, D.C., Chicago and Seattle. She also worked as a media buyer for the 1992 Clinton campaign. Before moving to the Pacific Northwest, she taught public relations at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, N.Y.

Email: Jennifer.Keller@wwu.edu




Maria McLeod, 2012

Associate Professor. B.S., Eastern Michigan University; MFA, University of Pittsburgh. She has worked as a PR consultant, writer, and media specialist for more than 25 years, focusing on governmental institutions, nonprofits, and the private sector. She is author of "Washington State Department of Ecology, Historically Speaking 1970-2005," a collection of in-depth interviews. Prior to moving to the Pacific Northwest, McLeod directed the July Program at Bennington College, taught writing at Southern Illinois University, and served as an academic advisor for the University of Pittsburgh.

Email: Maria.McLeod@wwu.edu




Derek Moscato, 2016.
Assistant Professor. B.A., History, University of Western Ontario; M.Sc., Journalism, University of Kansas; Ph.D., Media Studies, University of Oregon. Derek served in public relations leadership roles at Simon Fraser University, the BC Lung Association, and the University of British Columbia—including UBC’s 2010 Winter Olympics Communication Committee. He was also an op-ed columnist for Vancouver Metro and The Province. Previous to this, he worked as a business journalist/editor, focused on urban economics, natural resources, and capital markets. A 2016 Page Center for Integrity in Public Communication scholar, his research examines strategic communication, global environmental media, and public diplomacy.

Email: Derek.Moscato@wwu.edu




Carolyn Nielsen, 2005

Associate Professor. B.S., Journalism, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo; M.S., Journalism, Northwestern University;  PhD, Communication, University of Washington. Carolyn worked in print journalism for a decade. She was a newspaper reporter and editorial page editor for The Bellingham Herald and a reporter for The (Riverside) Press-Enterprise, The San Francisco Examiner (correspondent) and other daily newspapers. Her work has received Society of Professional Journalists awards for criminal justice reporting, investigative reporting and health/environment reporting. She has been named, with colleague Sheila Webb, as an Arthur W. Page Center for Integrity in Public Communication Legacy Scholar for their work in teaching media ethics. Her research focuses on newsroom sociology and on news media coverage of racial issues and representations of immigration in an emerging digital news environment. Email: Carolyn.Nielsen@wwu.edu




Betsy O'Donovan, 2018

Assistant Professor. B.A., English, Wake Forest University and M.Phil., Writing, Trinity College Dublin. O'Donovan has been a journalist since 1998, and has been a reporter, editor, producer and strategist in print, digital, public radio and television newsrooms. She has been a fellow at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard since 2012 and is the co-founder of the media consultancy Hedgehog+Fox, where she develops newsletter, podcast and social strategy for organizations including StoryCorps, Kaiser Health News, the Ashoka Foundation, the Association of Independents in Radio and others. O'Donovan writes and has written for the American Press Institute, the Knight Foundation, the Boston Globe, Poynter, Nieman Reports and Nieman Lab, and Publishers Weekly, as well as community, regional and national newsrooms. She previously taught at Harvard and Northeastern Universities, and was the executive director of The Daily Tar Heel, the independent, nonprofit student newsroom at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Email: Betsy.O'Donovan@wwu.edu





Peggy Watt, 2004

Associate Professor. B.A., Journalism and Political Science, Western Washington University; M.L.A., Stanford University, with research in online journalism. Newspaper reporter in Washington and California, and covered the high-tech industry for 20 years while based in Silicon Valley, most recently for PCWorld. Recipient of a national Sigma Delta Chi Award for investigative reporting from the Society of Professional Journalists.

Email: Peggy.Watt@wwu.edu





Sheila Webb, 2008

Professor. B.A., English, University of Michigan; M.F.A., University of Wisconsin; Ph.D., University of Wisconsin. Her research area is the cultural role of the media, particularly the role and rhetoric of news narratives in magazines. She served as Project Manager of ONline@UW, and has worked in museums as an educator, curator, and public information coordinator. She previously taught at the University of South Dakota, the University of Wisconsin, and Marquette University.

Email: Sheila.Webb@wwu.edu















Karen Smith, 2013. Journalism Department Manager.

Email: Karen.Smith@wwu.edu










Lydia Love, 2014. Journalism Program Coordinator.

Email: Lydia.Love@wwu.edu




George Erb

Email: George.Erb@wwu.edu


Brad Howard

Email: Bradley.Howard@wwu.edu


Lane Morgan

Email: Lane.Morgan@wwu.ed


Rachel Sarkar

Email: Rachel.Sarkar@wwu.edu


Scott Terrell

Email: Scott.Terrel@wwu.edu


Judi Wise

Email: Judi.Wise@wwu.edu


Dean Wright

Email: Dean.Wright@wwu.edu



Emeritus Faculty/In Memoriam


These are faculty who founded our department and shaped it into what it is today. We would like to honor their legacy here.