By Grace Apostol
Elm Staff Writer
Visiting Assistant Professor of Communications and Media Studies Dr. Stephanie Brown was welcomed to Washington College on Jan. 24.
Growing up all over — including California, Japan, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and Alabama — Dr. Brown attended college at Indiana University in Bloomington, where she majored in English with telecommunications and business minors and played in the marching band for four years.
She went on to earn her Ph.D. at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. From there she worked as a visiting assistant professor of communication and media at both Saint Louis University, Mo. and West Chester University in Chester County, Pa. before coming to WC.
“I was looking for a position at a school that would allow me to teach within my area of expertise and would give me more opportunity to be involved in my program and on campus” Dr. Brown said. “I haven’t gotten the chance to advise students or help with student theses at past institutions, so I can’t wait to get to help students develop their academic interests, passions, and career goals.”
Senior Erin Jesionowski met Dr. Brown during her freshman year.
“She discussed comedy and how it was often biased toward females who are often thought of as ‘not funny,’ but Dr. Brown showed me that girls are funny and have good stand up material,” she said.
Jesionowski is currently working on her SCE that discusses mockumentary television shows and said that Dr. Brown “gave [her] time and ears to listen and offer advice.”
During her first semester on campus, Dr. Brown will teach CMS 201: contemporary film and television, CMS 250: intermediate communication and media theory, and CMS 294: stand-up comedy and popular media.
“I’m also looking forward to helping with advising students on coursework, Senior Capstone Experiences, and student organizations, and with helping [Assistant Professor and Program Director of Communication and Media Studies Dr. Meghan Grosse] to build the program, attract new majors, and add more class offerings,” Dr. Brown said.
Dr. Grosse works closely with Dr. Brown. Both professors hope to expand the CMS department and offer more courses across the board.
Dr. Grosse said that Dr. Brown brings experience and a great set of skills to the department.
“She brings a breadth of teaching experience. Not only can she teach the theoretical and historical materials in our field, but also has experience with teaching production skills. It’s pretty rare to find someone with that combination of expertise,” Dr. Grosse said.
Bringing a unique approach, Dr. Brown has several ideas to implement into new classes and conversations across the WC community, including developing a production class that focuses on audio such as radio and podcasts, as well as sound design for cinema.
“Beyond all that Dr. Brown brings to our curriculum, what really strikes me about her is the passion she has for working with students,” Dr. Grosse said.
Dr. Brown is already becoming well-acquainted with the community surrounding WC and enjoying College’s environment.
“It’s only my second week, but I already feel like I’ve gotten to know many of my students fairly well. I really like the community atmosphere that comes from being at a small college and having smaller class sizes,” Dr. Brown said.
Photo Courtesy of Dr. Stephanie Brown
Featured Photo Caption: Visiting Assistant Professor Dr. Stephanie Brown joins the Washington College Communication and Media Studies department with experiences ranging in studying film, radio, and television.