2016 INSTRUCTORS

Amara Aguilar
Associate Professor of Professional Practice, Digital Journalism, USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism

Robert Banks
Former U.S. Public Diplomat in Residence 2009-2011, USC Center on Public Diplomacy and Professor, Master of Public Diplomacy Program, USC

Nicholas Cull
Professor and Director of the Master of Public Diplomacy program, USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism

Eytan Gilboa
Professor and Director, Center for International Communication, Bar-Ilan University

Vince Gonzales
Professor of Professional Practice, USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism

Robert Hernandez
Associate Professor of Professional Practice, USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism

Matthew Le Veque
Associate Professor of Professional Practice in Public Relations, USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism

Ronald C. McCurdy
Professor of Music, USC Thornton School of Music

Erik Nisbet
Associate Professor, School of Communication, The Ohio State University

Kjerstin Thorson
Assistant Professor, College of Communication Arts and Sciences, Michigan State University

Vivian Walker
Professor of Strategic and Security Studies, National Defense College 

Jay Wang
CPD Director; Associate Professor, USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism

Rebecca Weintraub
Clinical Professor; Director, Master of Communication Management program, USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism


FACULTY BIOGRAPHIES

Amara Aguilar
Associate Professor of Professional Practice, Digital Journalism, USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism

Amara Aguilar is an associate professor of professional practice in digital journalism at USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. At USC, she developed and teaches journalism for mobile and emerging platforms, and interactive media design for publishing, among other courses. In 2015, Amara was named an Apple Distinguished Educator for her academic leadership focusing on application design, multimedia journalism and innovation in education. She previously was the journalism department chair and an assistant professor of journalism at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, Calif. Amara was also an assistant professor at Pierce College and taught multimedia storytelling, video journalism, podcasting, online journalism, media design and development. Before teaching at Pierce, she taught online journalism and design classes at Cal State Long Beach. In addition to teaching, she continues to freelance as a writer and a designer (for print and web) and is currently working on independent multimedia and consulting projects. She has written for the Los Angeles Times and Daily Pilot . Amara has her master's degree in communications from Cal State Fullerton. Her research in graduate school focused on blogging in journalism. Amara is a member of the Society of Newspaper Design, Online News Association, National Association of Hispanic Journalists, and Society of Professional Journalists.


Robert Banks
Former U.S. Public Diplomat in Residence 2009-2011, USC Center on Public Diplomacy and
Associate Professor, Master of Public Diplomacy Program

Dr. Robert Banks joined the U.S. Foreign Service in 1983. During his 28-year career as a Public Diplomacy (PD) practitioner, he served as Assistant Executive Officer in Bonn, West Germany; Deputy Public Affairs Officer (PAO) in Nicosia, Cyprus; Assistant Press Attaché in Seoul, Korea; East Asia Policy Officer in the Worldnet Television and Film Service; Press Attaché in Managua, Nicaragua; Cultural Attaché in Seoul; Examiner for the Foreign Service oral entrance exam in the Bureau of Human Resources; Planning and Coordination Officer in the Office of Public Diplomacy in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs; PAO in Buenos Aires, Argentina; State Department Chair on the faculty of the Marine Corps War College in Quantico, VA., where he taught regional studies; and U.S. Public Diplomat in Residence at the University of Southern California’s (USC) Center on Public Diplomacy. Following his retirement from the Foreign Service, he taught PD as an Adjunct Professor in USC’s Master of Public Diplomacy Program. He is currently a Clinical Associate Professor of Public Diplomacy at the Annenberg School of Communications and Journalism at USC.


Nicholas Cull
Professor and Director of the Master of Public Diplomacy program, USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism

Nicholas J. Cull is Professor of Public Diplomacy and Director of the Master’s Program in Public Diplomacy at USC. His research and teaching interests are inter-disciplinary, and focus on the role of public engagement in foreign policy. He is the author of The Cold War and the United States Information Agency: American Propaganda and Public Diplomacy, 1945-1989 (Cambridge, 2008) and The Decline and Fall of the United States Information Agency: American Public Diplomacy, 1989-2001 (Palgrave, 2001). His first book was Selling War (Oxford, 1995), a study of British information work in the United States before Pearl Harbor. He has published numerous articles on the theme of public diplomacy and media history. Nick Cull has lectured widely around the world, frequently as a guest of diplomatic academies or foreign ministries/public diplomacy agencies including those of the UK, Canada, India, Korea, Mexico, South Africa and Switzerland. He is a regular guest speaker at the Foreign Service Institute of the United States and the Center for Executive Education at the US Naval Postgraduate School. He is an active film historian who has been part of the movement to include film and other media within the mainstream of historical sources. His film work includes (with James Chapman) Projecting Empire: Imperialism and Popular Cinema (I. B. Tauris, 2009) and Projecting Tomorrow: Science Fiction and Popular Cinema (I.B. Tauris, 2013). He took both his BA and PhD at the University of Leeds. While a graduate student he studied at Princeton in the U.S. as a Harkness Fellow of the Commonwealth Fund of New York. From 1997 to 2005 he was Professor of American Studies and Director of the Centre for American Studies in the Department of History at Leicester. He is President of the International Association for Media and History and a member of the Public Diplomacy Council.


Eytan Gilboa
Visiting Professor of Public Diplomacy

Professor and Director, Center for International Communication, Bar-Ilan University

Eytan Gilboa is Professor and Director of the Center for International Communication at Bar-Ilan University. He is also a senior research associate at the BESA Center for Strategic Studies and Chair of The Israel Communication Association. He has published several books and numerous articles on public diplomacy, international communication and US policy in the Middle East. He received his BA degree from the Hebrew University and MA and PhD degrees from Harvard University. Gilboa has been a visiting professor in several leading American and European universities and research centers. He was an adviser to various ministries and agencies in several countries. He frequently contributes op-ed articles to newspapers and news websites around the world, and serves as a popular commentator on local and foreign television and radio networks.


Vince Gonzales
Professor of Professional Practice
USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism

Vince Gonzales, Professor of Professional Practice, is the Coordinator of Annenberg's Journalism MS Program. He is also a freelance correspondent/producer for “SoCal Connected” on KCET here in Los Angeles. Prior to that he was a CNN freelance correspondent and, from 1998 to 2007, was a CBS News national correspondent (focusing on Investigative Stories) based in L.A. Gonzales has also worked as a TV news reporter in the Denver, Phoenix, and Dallas markets. He is a graduate of the State University of New York at Brockport (with bachelor’s degrees in political science and communications/journalism) and he received a master’s degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Gonzales also studied at the Graduate School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia. He has received three National News Emmys, two Local News Emmys, three Columbia University-Alfred I. duPont awards, four RTNDA Golden Mikes, the L.A. Press Club’s Best Investigative Reporting award, the L.A. Press Club’s Best Documentary (TV) award, and honors from Investigative Reporters and Editors, the Society for Professional Journalists, the Associated Press, and The National Headliner Awards. Named “2005 Broadcast Journalist of the Year” by the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.


Robert Hernandez
Associate Professor of Professional Practice
USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism

Robert Hernandez has made a name for himself as a journalist of the Web, not just on the Web. His primary focus is exploring and developing the intersection of technology and journalism – to empower people, inform reporting and storytelling, engage community, improve distribution and, whenever possible, enhance revenue. He is a national board member of the Online News Association. He’s also a co-organizer of the Los Angeles chapter of Hacks/Hackers, an international network of journalists and technologists that is rethinking the future of news and information. Many journalists know him as the co-founder of #wjchat, a weekly forum on Twitter that engages participants from around the world. Hernandez also is co-chair of programming for the UNITY conference (Las Vegas, August 2012) and is a lifetime member and former board member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. As director of development for The Seattle Times, where he worked from 2002 until 2009, he helped shape and execute the vision for the Web site and company. He also worked as a Web designer and consultant for El Salvador's largest daily newspaper site, La Prensa Gráfica, Web producer for The San Francisco Chronicle and online editor of The San Francisco Examiner. 


Matthew Le Veque
Associate Professor of Professional Practice in Public Relations, USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism

Matthew Le Veque is a public relations veteran with experience in integrated communication campaigns, public affairs, and community relations. He was senior vice president at Rogers/Ruder Finn, where he founded and directed the firm’s internal Digital Strategies Group and played a key communication role in California’s anti-tobacco education campaign. Le Veque has taught strategic public relations courses at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism as an adjunct instructor since 2003. The School of Journalism Graduate Student Association recognized him as the best PR professor in the 2007–08 and 2008–09 school years, and his professional work has earned more than 30 awards from professional organizations.


Ronald C. McCurdy
Professor of Music, USC Thorton School of Music

Dr. Ronald C. McCurdy is professor of music in the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California (USC). Prior to his appointment at USC he served as Director of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz at USC. He has served as Professor of Music and chair of the Afro-African American Studies Department and served as Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Minnesota. In 1997, Dr. McCurdy served as Visiting Professor at Maria-Sklodowska- Curie University in Lublin, Poland. In 2001 Dr. McCurdy received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Kansas. Dr. McCurdy served seven years as Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Kansas. 

Dr. McCurdy released his first CD in 2001 titled, Once Again for the First Time on the INNOVA label and is co-author of a vocal jazz improvisation series titled Approaching the Standards, published by Warner Bros. Dr. McCurdy’s other book is titled, Meet the Great Jazz Legends also published by Alfred Publishing Co. He contributed chapters to two recent publications: Teaching Music in Performance Through Jazz: Vol. I (Gia Publication) and African Americans and Popular Culture (Edited by Todd Boyd). He recently premiered the orchestral version of The Langston Hughes Project, Ask Your Mama: 12 Mood for Jazz with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra with rapper and television actor, Ice-T. 
 
Dr. McCurdy is a guest clinician, soloist, speaker, director of honor Jazz Ensembles and Choirs throughout the United States and Canada. He has directed All State Jazz Ensembles in New York, Texas, Arizona, Vermont, Nebraska, Ohio, Nevada, Illinois, Oklahoma, and Florida to name a few. Dr. McCurdy received his undergraduate degree from Florida A & M University and his Masters and Ph. D. degrees from the University of Kansas. 

Dr. McCurdy is a consultant to the Grammy Foundation educational programs including serving as director of the National Grammy Vocal Jazz Ensemble and Combo. He has served as a consultant for the Walt Disney All-American Summer College Jazz Ensemble since 1990. Dr. McCurdy has worked with many jazz artists including Joe Williams, Rosemary Clooney, Leslie Uggams, Dr. Billy Taylor, Wynton Marsalis, Terence Blanchard, Arturo Sandoval, Diane Schuur, Ramsey Lewis, Mercer Ellington, Dr. Billy Taylor, Maynard Ferguson, Lionel Hampton, and Dianne Reeves. Dr. McCurdy is a performing artist for the Yamaha International Corporation.


Erik Nisbet
Associate Professor, School of Communication, The Ohio State University

Erik Nisbet is an assistant professor in the School of Communication at The Ohio State University. Broadly, his research interests focus on three substantive areas: public diplomacy and foreign policy, mostly in terms of American-Islamic relations; comparative democratization, primarily in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia; science, health, and environmental communication, focusing on barriers to effective communication. His research agenda centers around three sets of theoretical questions exploring a) how contextual and individual factors interact to influence communication and processes of opinion formation and b) the relationship between social identity and/or value orientations, processes of communication, and consequences for public opinion c) framing effects and individual differences. He employs a range of quantitative methodologies, including survey research, experimental designs, content analysis, and secondary data analysis.


Kjerstin Thorson
Associate Professor, College of Communication Arts and Sciences, Michigan State University, 

Kjerstin Thorson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Advertising + Public Relations and the School of Journalism. Her research explores the role of digital and social media in promoting—or hindering—political engagement. This includes a focus on two interrelated areas of inquiry concerning (a) how digital and social media are changing existing practices of political participation—and how that participation is mobilized, particularly among youth; and (b) how, why and what kinds of political content spread through social media platforms, and the resulting effects of exposure. Recent research projects have investigated political uses of Facebook, the spread of climate change communication on social media, and the contributions of media use in shifting conceptions of politics among young adults.


Vivian Walker
Professor of Strategic and Security Studies, National Defense College and Foreign Service Officer, U.S. Department of State

Vivian Walker is currently Professor of National Security Strategy at the National War College in Washington, DC.  Previously she served as a professor of strategic and security studies at the National Defense College of the UAE and a visiting professor at the Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies at the National Defense University.  In her 26-year career with the State Department, she twice served as a Deputy Chief of Mission  (Croatia and Armenia), twice as an Office Director (Southeastern Europe and EUR’s Office of Press and Public Diplomacy), a Public Affairs Officer (Kazakhstan, with coverage of Tajikistan and Turkmenistan), a Cultural Affairs officer (Tunisia) and an Information Officer (Haiti).  Other assignments include a two-year professorship in strategic studies at the National War College, a yearlong stint as the regional border coordinator in Afghanistan, and a fellowship on the US Atlantic Council, where she led the first interagency discussion on public diplomacy post 9/11.  Ms. Walker graduated from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and earned her doctorate in English language and literature from the University of Chicago.  She speaks French, Russian and Croatian. 


Jay Wang
Director, USC Center on Public Diplomacy
Associate Professor, USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism

Jay Wang the director of the Center on Public Diplomacy and an associate professor of strategic communication and public diplomacy at University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. He was formerly with the international consulting firm McKinsey & Company, where he advised clients on matters of communication strategy and implementation across a variety of industries. He has published widely on the role of communication in the contemporary process of globalization, with an area focus on China, including Shaping China’s Global Imagination: Branding Nations at the World Expo; Soft Power in China: Public Diplomacy through Communication (editor), Foreign Advertising in China: Becoming Global, Becoming Local, and China’s Window on the World: TV News, Social Knowledge and International Spectacles (co-author). 


Rebecca Weintraub
Clinical Professor; Director, Master of Communication Management program, USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism

Rebecca Weintraub has spent more than twenty years in the field of communication, facilitation, change management, and organizational behavior. Dr. Weintraub is a clinical associate professor at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. She teaches strategic communication classes in the MA program and provides communication and facilitation consulting services to organizations in the public, private, and non-profit sectors.