Faculty and Staff

One of the program’s main distinguishing characteristics and a source of pride is the personal attention faculty members pay their students. Faculty members, all of whom have considerable professional experience, get to know their students on an individual basis as they advise them from their entry to university life to their final placement in the job market. Full-time faculty members include:

TIM EDWARDS Professor, Interim Director. B.A., Mass Communications with a journalism and public relations emphasis, Southern Arkansas University; M.S.M.C., Mass Communication with a radio and television emphasis, Arkansas State University; Ph.D., Communication, University of Kentucky.
Professional experience: A year and a half newspaper reporting experience, three years radio public affairs production.
Teaching experience: UALR since 1992. Specialty areas: Newswriting, reporting, audio/video production, pop culture.
Email: txedwards@ualr.edu

OLAF HOERSCHELMANNOLAF HOERSCHELMANN Professor, Interim Associate Dean. Dr. Hoerschelmann received his doctoral degree in mass communication from Indiana University, his M.A. in communication from the University of Missouri-Columbia, and his B.A. in American Studies from the University of Tubingen, Germany. He was the graduate program coordinator at EIU. He is particularly interested in cultural history of the media, among other research areas.
Email: oxhoerschelm@ualr.edu

JAMIE M. BYRNE-McCOLLUMJAMIE M. BYRNE-McCOLLUM APR, Professor. B.S., English and Journalism, Murray State University; M.S., Communication, Murray State University; Ph.D., Communication, Pennsylvania State University
Teaching experience: UALR since 2002, 18 years at other colleges and universities
Professional experience: newspaper columnist, educational public relations, municipal public relations, volunteer public relations and training experience at local, state, national and international levels for American Cancer Society
Specialty areas: public relations cases, public relations writing, public relations campaigns, media law, mass media writing, special event planning, public relations and marketing for non-profits.
Email: jmbyrne@ualr.edu

SONNY RHODESSONNY RHODES Associate Professor. B.S.E. with a journalism emphasis, University of Central Arkansas; M.A., Journalism, University of Mississippi. Professional experience: 25 years as daily newspaper reporter and editor.
Teaching experience: UALR since 2001; served as adjunct faculty at UALR several times since 1990.
Specialty areas: Reporting, design, editing, mass media and society.
Email: cmrhodes@ualr.edu

DAVID WEEKLEYDAVID WEEKLEY Senior Instructor. B.A., University of Houston; M.Ed., University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
Professional experience: Over 25 years experience in almost every phase of video production; eight years in Australia producing corporate videos for Kodak, Builders Bargain Centre, Reliv Australia, and Sigma Data; in the U.S. he has worked for FOX News, ESPN, Court TV, and Thomas Films, as well as Ron Sherman Teleproductions in Little Rock. Teaching experience: KvB College in Sydney, Australia, UALR since 1998.
Specialty areas: Writing, shooting, editing and directing.
Email: dcweekley@ualr.edu

KWASI BOATENGKWASI BOATENG Associate Professor. B.A. Hons. Dip Ed., University of Cape-Coast; MA. International Affairs; MA. Media Management; Ph.D. Mass Communication, Ohio University.
Professional experience: Years of experience in radio, Internet/Web Design and Content Management.
Teaching Experience: UALR since 2006; 2 years at another university.
Specialty areas: New Media, New technologies, Media, culture, and society and policy and regulation.
Email: kxboateng@ualr.edu

AMY BARNES Associate Professor. MA. APR. Amy Barnes has more than 20 years as a broadcast journalist – as a producer, reporter, anchor and assistant news director at KATV and KARK in Little Rock – and more than 15 years in the public relations profession first as Public Relations Director at Arkansas Children’s Hospital, then as Director of Communications at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She received her master’s in journalism from UALR in 1998. She is the recipient of several journalism, broadcast and public relations awards, Barnes became an accredited public relations professional in 1998 and has served on the executive board of the Arkansas Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America for more than seven years, including as its president in 2003. She is currently the chair for the Southwest District of PRSA representing more than 2000 members in six states.
Email: aobarnes@ualr.edu

CHRISTOPHER ROBINSONCHRIS ROBINSON Assistant Professor. A.B., Dartmouth College; M.F.A. in Film, Columbia University; Ph.D in Film and Media Studies, University of Kansas. Chris Robinson is a film historian and a curator for the Telluride Film Festival. His research interests include global cinema, the history of art-house films and distribution and exhibition, and changing film technologies and perception of the moving image. He has taught at Emerson College and Columbia University. He has worked in production, distribution, and exhibition, and also has served as post-production editor on numerous documentaries for HBO, ESPN and PBS, including films that screened at the Sundance Film Festival. His own work has screened at Telluride, the Seattle Film Festival and the Lisbon and Estoril Film Festival. He also works for Turner Classic Movies.
Email: cxrobinson3@ualr.edu

JOSEPH “BRANDON” COLVIN Assistant Professor. Ph.D in Film, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Colvin’s research is driven by inquiries into film style, film history, and cinematic modes of production — particularly in regard to American independent cinema. Brandon also is an independent filmmaker, having written, directed, and produced three feature films: Frames (2012), Sabbatical (2014), and A Dim Valley (2019). His teaching experience includes a range of media production courses and film studies classes.
Email: jbcolvin@ualr.edu

CHRIS ETHERIDGE Assistant Professor. B.A., Knox College. M.S., Northwestern University. Chris is a former journalist with additional experience in strategic communication and marketing. His research is driven by questions about media representations of crime and public safety. Additionally, his scholarship explores the changing relationships between audiences and community media, driven primarily by emerging technologies. Speciality areas include multimedia storytelling, emerging digital media, media ethics, community journalism, reporting and writing.
Email: ceetheridge@ualr.edu

ADJUNCT FACULTY

FRANK FELLONE has been an adjunct since the 1980s and has taught a variety of journalism courses at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He started his newspaper career in 1974 and still writes a column for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. He has worked as a reporter, photographer and editor for three Arkansas newspapers.
Email: fjfellone@gmail.com

BRADLEY PIERCE has been teaching film for UA Little Rock for 10 years. He graduated with his masters in Professional and Technical Writing from the school in 2009, and now he is finishing up his doctorate in Adult and Lifelong Learning. Bradley’s favorite genre is horror movies; his favorite scary movie is “Nightmare on Elm Street.” He was in a band called Knox Hamilton, for which he still writes music. Bradley and his wife Jennifer live in Benton, and his full-time job is teaching film and English Composition at UA-Pulaski Tech.
Email: bspierce@ualr.edu

ALANNA HAMILL NEWTON began her career after graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Detroit/Marygrove. She moved to New York City where she acted in television and independent films, while appearing in numerous Off-Broadway plays. After moving to Los Angeles she began writing with fellow actor Robert Pucci, with whom she sold 14 feature screenplays and created a CBS television pilot for Diane Keaton and Brad Grey Television. She has written for multiple major Hollywood studios and has worked with many top actors, directors and producers. In 2005, Alanna relocated to Little Rock, where she has acted in several plays at the Arkansas Repertory Theatre and has written and directed training films for the Rose Law Firm and Healthcare.gov.
Email: amnewton@ualr.edu

BYRON TATE received his bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and his master’s in journalism from UA Little Rock. Tate has worked in newspapers for more than 30 years. He started as a reporter, moved up the editorial ranks to editor and then served several years as both editor and publisher. He has worked at the Pine Bluff Commercial, the Southwest Times Record in Fort Smith and spent four years at the Vallejo Times Herald in Vallejo, Calif. He and the newspapers he has written for, edited or run have won numerous awards from the Associated Press Managing Editors association, and the Arkansas Press Association, among others. He now owns a weekly newspaper, The Sheridan Headlight, where he continues to write and edit.
Email: bltate@ualr.edu

NORA STONE has a Master of Arts in Film from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a bachelor’s degree in English and Art History from the University of Virginia. Nora’s dissertation is an institutional history of documentary film in the United States. She has taught film studies and digital media production at the college level since 2011. She is also an active filmmaker, having directed short films and produced a feature. Before graduate school, she worked at the Public Broadcasting Service for three years. Her specialty areas are film production, film history, documentary film, women and film, and media industry studies.
Email: nstone@ualr.edu

STAFF

STEVE WILLHITE Studio engineer and technology manager.
Email: gswillhite@ualr.edu

KARIN LEGARD JONES Administrative assistant.
Email: kljones3@ualr.edu

GRADUATE ASSISTANTS

ORTAM ROLLE Web and social media content creator for the College of Social Sciences and Communication.
Email: ojrolle@ualr.edu

AMANDA ROBERTS Web and social media content creator for the School of Mass Communication.
Email: amwells@ualr.edu

MUIZE LEMBOYE Research assistant/equipment manager.
Email: molemboye@ualr.edu

EMERITUS FACULTY

MARY JEAN THOMAS, B.S., M.S., Ph.D., (1977-1992)
Professor of Radio, Television, and Film.

EDWARD JAY FRIEDLANDER, B.S., M.A., Ed.D.(1975-1996)
Professor of Journalism.

LUTHER SANDERS, B.S., M.A., Ed.D., (1974-2000)
Professor of Journalism.

LYNDA E. WILSON, B.A., M.A., Ph.D., (1980-2000)
Professor of Radio, Television, and Film.

DAVID M. GUERRA, B.A, M.S, Ph.D., (1976-2005)
Professor of Radio, Television, and Film.

BRUCE L. PLOPPER, B.S., M.A., Ph.D., (1990-2012)
Professor of Journalism.

JEANNE NORTON ROLLBERG, B.A., M.A., (1983-2016)
Associate Professor of Journalism.

JON MARK GIESE, B.A., M.A., Ph.D. (2003-2017)
Associate Professor Radio, Television, and Film.