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New faculty members join College of Communications

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Professor Tenzin Dorjee (Human Communications) joined the faculty in fall 2008 as a specialist in intercultural communication. Currently, he is completing his Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Barbara, with special emphasis on the Tibetan diaspora.

Dorjee’s doctoral dissertation focuses on social identity and application of the communication accommodation perspective in the Tibetan community in India. Dorjee already is an accomplished researcher and publisher, having had his work accepted by the Journal of Cross- Cultural Gerontology, the Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development and Communication Research Reports.

Also, he has co-authored a book chapter and presented papers at six conventions. In 2007, he completed research work at Tibetan colleges in Dharamsala, headquarters of the Tibetan diaspora. He hosted his own radio program, “Ask Tenzin,” for the “Tibet Connection,” the monthly Tibetan radio program broadcast in the West.

An interesting sidebar: Tenzin and Nawang Phuntsog (Elementary and Bilingual Education) are the only two Tibetan-American professors in American universities.


Professor Marcia Dawkins (Human Communications) taught part time during the fall 2008 semester and now joins the faculty full time. Her special areas of expertise are critical theory and communication issues relating to race relations.

She is already considered an expert in the area, having completed 11 articles and book chapters, most in applied journals, and presented 16 papers at national and international conventions.

Dawkins is completing her Ph.D. from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California. While earning her doctorate, she received an Irvine Foundation Fellowship and USC’s All- University Predoctoral Diversity Fellowship. She received her M.A. from New York University and her B. A. from Villanova University.

While at USC, Dawkins designed and taught a new course in African-American Rhetoric and Image, “which has become one of the most popular new classes at USC.” Department Chair John Reinard wrote, “Her development of new courses dealing with critical theory applications to racial communication is a testament to her pedagogical creativity.”


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Professor Assaf Avni [Advertising] joined the Department of Communications in fall 2008 after teaching and working on his Ph.D. at The University of Texas, Austin. He holds an M.A. in advertising from UT Austin and a B.A. in advertising from Michigan State University. In addition to his academic path, Avni worked as an art director and a Web designer for a number of years and is the founder of the Creative Intensive Network, a community dedicated to the promotion of creativity and innovation in research, education and business.

Avni is the Webmaster for the American Academy of Advertising and a volunteer judge for Destination Imagination, the world’s largest creativity and problem solving organization for kids and teenagers.

Avni’s research interests have been in management of creative teams, creative processes and organizational innovation.

“Teaching creativity is more than teaching photoshop techniques or design skills,” he said. “Students nowadays need to know how to break the rules in an elegant and remarkable way, how to take risks, and how to come up with smart ideas that are strategically solid.”


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Professor Adam Schwartz [Advertising]joined the faculty in Fall 2008. In addition to having previously taught part-time at CSUF, Schwartz has taught in numerous institutions around southern California including the University of California-Irvine, the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) and the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts). He earned a B.F.A. in Photography and Digital Imaging from New York University and an M.F.A. from the California Institute of the Arts with a concentration in Fine Art.

Schwartz has worked for a number of years as a graphic designer and web designer for a number of clients, primarily in New York City, including Manhattan Marketing Ensemble, USA Networks and Kerry Kennedy’s Speak Truth to Power project.

As well, he maintains an active art practice, and has built an extensive exhibition record, with solo and group shows both here and abroad. His work in advertising and with digital media influences a fine art practice that increasingly use digital processes to explore themes of representation and abstraction, a theme that also influences his research interests. Schwartz is delighted to take part in the education of the of creative digital media users, and looks forward to the opportunity to make a difference at CSUF.


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Professor Lynda Hamilton (Public Relations ’84) returned to her alma mater as an adjunct professor in 2001, teaching Principles of Public Relations, Public Relations Writing and the concentration capstone course, Public Relations Management. This year she joined the faculty as a fulltime temporary lecturer, teaching five classes this spring.

She brings into the classroom corporate communications and non-profit public relations experience with such organizations as Disneyland Hotel, National Education Corporation, Blue Cross of California, and the American Cancer Society. She has been a board member for the Healthcare Public Relations and Marketing Association and a member of Independent Writers of Southern California.

In the early 1990s, she opened Hamilton Hera Communications, a consulting firm specializing in healthcare public relations. This home-based freelance business allowed Hamilton a flexible schedule while raising her sons, Ryan and Dylan.

CSUF has many connections for Hamilton. She met her husband at the university (Richard Hamilton, Business/Computer Science ’86). Last spring she was named Adjunct Faculty Member of the Year for the College of Communications.

CSUF Department of Communications prepared Hamilton for a 25+-year career in her field, and she is thrilled to be able to teach the next generation of communicators.


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