Alumni

Remembering Annenberg alumnus George Custen (1950-2003)

The Annenberg community mourns the passing of George Custen (Ph.D. 1980) who died suddenly of a massive brain aneurism, May 9, in Los Angeles. He was 53. Professor Custen was treasured by colleagues and students as a warm, witty, and engaging friend, and will be remembered as a valued member of the extended Annenberg School family.

As a student at the Annenberg School, Dr. Custen worked first with Sol Worth in visual communications and film. After Sol Worth’s death, he continued his work with Larry Gross, completing his Ph.D.--a study of how viewers discuss film.

Brian Southwell receives top dissertation award!

Brian Southwell's (Ph.D. 2002) dissertation, "Mass media and memory traces: Multilevel explanation of encoded exposure to television content," is the 2003 recipient of the NCA/ICA Health Communication Dissertation Award.

Rachel Gans and Brett Mueller present at the Broadcast Education Association

Rachel Gans (Ph.D. candidate) and Brett Mueller (M.A. 2002) presented their research at the Broadcast Education Association in Las Vegas, NV, April, 2003. Their paper was titled Covering Politics On-Air and Online, also known as the E4 Project (Engaging the Electronic Electorate Effectively).

Television News and the Cultivation of Fear of Crime

Why has the public persisted in believing that violent crime is a widespread national problem in the U.S. despite declining trends in crime and the fact that crime is concentrated in urban locations? So ask authors Daniel Romer, director of the Institute for Adolescent Risk Communication, Annenberg Public Policy Center, Kathleen Hall Jamieson, Professor and Dean, and Sean Aday (PhD, 1999) in the current issue of Journal of Communication (March, 2003, Volume 35, Number 1).

Portrayals of Violence and Group Difference in Newspaper Photographs

Jessica Fishman (Ph.D. 2001) and Professor Carolyn Marvin are co-authors of "Portrayals of Violence and Group Difference in Newspaper Photographs: Nationalism and Media" in the current issue of Journal of Communication (March 2003, Volume 53, Number 1). The authors analyze group membership of violent agents and types of violence in front-page photographs from 21 years of The New York Times. Using a trimodal definition of media violence, they confirm the hypothesis that non-U.S. agents are represented as more explicitly violent than U.S.

Alumnus Ed Keller (M.A. 1979) and The Influentials

Ed Keller, M.A. 1979, is the co-author of the The Influentials (The Free Press, 2003), recently reviewed in The New York Times (January 31, 2003, Books of the Times). Keller, vice-president of Roper-ASW, and co-author Jon Berry profile the 10 percent of the population Elmo Roper originally defined as society's trendsetters in public opinion and consumer behavior.

Lalit Vachani appearance

Lalit Vachani, 1989 alumnus of the Annenberg School, spoke Monday, October 21 at the School about his movie, The Men in the Tree. Vachani directed the movie, which is about the RSS, a right-wing Hindu fundamentalist organization.

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