Welcoming New MFJS Faculty, Fall 2022
In the fall of 2022 MFJS welcomed an impressive cohort of six new permanent, adjunct and visiting faculty members to its ranks. We are so excited to work with them more over the coming year and are looking forward to learning from their expertise.
Jeni Anderson (M.A. in Public Communications, American University) is an instructor, course developer, writer, and communications professional. She specializes in building brands and creating targeted communications strategies for startups, technology companies, and consumer audiences. A seasoned professional with experience in almost every facet of marketing and communications, Jeni is passionate about teaching her students the power of storytelling through the written word. When she's not teaching, Jeni writes humor, fiction, and essay on media, culture, and life as a working mother.
This year, Jeni is teaching MFJS 2400, Strategic Communications Planning, and COMM 4145, Public Relations Writing and Content Creation at University College. She loves getting to know students and helping them grow in their writing lives. She is also a self-proclaimed book nerd, reads 70-80 books a year, and is always willing to talk about her latest reads.
D. Ashley Campbell, PhD, is a qualitative, narrative-oriented researcher and educator with journalistic training. Her research focuses on questions of religion, media, and national imaginaries and has been published in the Routledge Handbook on Journalism and Media. She completed her PhD in Media Research and Practice at the University of Colorado-Boulder in 2021, where her dissertation examined questions of religion, national identity, and mediated meaning-making. The aim of her research is to illuminate the narratives that reinforce power structures and systemic inequality.
Ashley has also worked in non-profit public relations and as a freelance reporter. Her reporting has appeared in The Washington Post, Religion Dispatches, and Interfaith Voices, an independent public radio show. She also hosts and produces the podcast Religionish. This fall quarter Ashley is teaching Innovations in Media and Introduction to Media and Culture. She is hoping to get approval for an ASEM on Media & Religion. Ashley is excited to be teaching at DU and is looking forward to continuing to learn from her students about Tik Tok, online gaming, and reality TV. Maybe she'll get to finally attend a Pioneer hockey game!
Rachael Johnson is a former journalist who has had a varied background in media, law and communications. As a journalist, Rachael aspired to tell stories about underrepresented groups and explore untold truths in history.
Rachael began her media career in Denver, Colorado after graduating from Hampton University with a degree in mass media arts. She was a writer/producer for the Starz network. At Starz, she wrote and produced one of the first original programs for Starz called Looking for Stars, produced short-form segments for Starz and Starz inBlack, and covered film junkets, on camera, for Starz inBlack.
After Starz, Rachael continued her journalism career by covering city council meetings in Los Angeles, but her interest in exploring creative writing began after working as an assistant for a motion picture literary agent at an agency in Los Angeles.
As a journalist, Rachael has covered Capitol Hill for Roll Call, general assignments in New York City for NY1, and was a reporter/editor for the online publication Indian Country Today (i.e. Oneida Nation and NFL discuss name change debate, Texas’s Underground, Speakeasy Land of Gambling). She has also worked as a theater critic for the Washington City Paper (i.e. Straight White Men, American Daughter, for colored girls who considered suicide, and others) in Washington, D.C., and written for NBC, and Quartz.
Rachael’s experiences as a writer extend to the communications and public relations field. She was a speechwriter and communications advisor in the Obama Administration to the former U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell. And a writer at the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Rachael has also presented short plays of her work at theaters in Washington, D.C., including the FRESHH Inc Theater Company (now defunct), Theater Alliance’s Hot House and the Page-to-Stage Festival at the Kennedy Center. Her TV writing has earned her a Second Round placement (top 20 percent out of more than 14, 000 applicants) at the 2021 Austin Film Festival, recognition from Roadmap Writers through its BIPOC Initiative, as well as placing second in the Independent Filmmaker Pitchfest.
Rachael is a graduate of Hampton University, the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Currently, she works at the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and litigates for the First Amendment rights of journalists.
This quarter Rachael is teaching Media Law at MFJS. She is looking forward to ski season...and is still *hopeful* that the Broncos will have a good season!
I am thrilled that I have joined MFJS as an Assistant Professor in Media, Race, Equity and Justice! My research focuses on the cultural politics of popular music, sound, and listening for the ways they intersect with social justice, identity, and creative activism. My current book project examines how a group of Asian American women rock and punk musicians debunk the cultural myth of Asian American apoliticism through transforming musical orientalism into a political form of art. For this academic year, I am teaching Hip-Hop as Medicine, Audio Documentaries, and Intercultural Communication. I look forward to combining my research and community engagement interests with my teaching as well as learning from an exceptional group of supportive, experienced, and like-minded teacher/activist/scholars that MFJS and DU offer!
I’m the senior staff writer at 5280 magazine. I’ve been at 5280 for 15 years. Previously, I was a staff writer for The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Denver Post, the Rocky Mountain News and The Associated Press. I have a bachelor’s degree in journalism (with an emphasis on news and editorial) from the University of Missouri School of Journalism. I’m a two-time City and Regional Magazine Association writer of the year and a seven-time finalist for that award. I’ve been nominated for a National Magazine Award, for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists, and my work has been reprinted in five writing anthologies. In addition to my work at 5280, I’m a contributor to Sports Illustrated and to ESPN, and my work has appeared in Esquire and in Men’s Health magazines.
This quarter I’m teaching Storytelling and Reporting. I love working with young journalists, and I’m excited to see my students develop during this quarter.
I’m married to my high school girlfriend. My wife and I have a daughter who is a freshman on the swim team at Georgetown University, and our son is a high school sophomore. The biggest baby at home is our golden retriever, Macy.
Roma Sur is a screenwriter and a documentary filmmaker, based in Denver, Colorado. After having lost her father at the age of four, she and her sister were raised by their mother in one of the most unsafe cities of India. Not surprisingly, her characters are usually fierce, independent women, or young adults, who know how to give adversity a tight backhand. She writes young adult and female driven dramas with levity that are a cross-pollination of her immigrant experience of living in the US for twenty years, and her childhood in India. Her recent feature screenplay, 'The Rock Within', has got acknowledged by the Sundance Asian American lab, Stowe Story Labs, India’s leading pitch market, Film Bazaar, and Screencraft’s Funding contest. Her recent documentary, MAA screened at the 42nd Breckenridge festival. She co-directed and co-produced Three Worlds One Stage, a documentary, which is available on Amazon and iTunes. Select works can be seen at www.surcreations.com
Roma has taught fiction and non-fiction writing at the University of Colorado since 2009. She received the 2020 President’s Diversity award at CU Denver, where she was faculty in the Film and Television program. Sur designed and led ‘Bollywood Connections’, a study abroad program to Mumbai. She hopes to do the same at DU as an inter-term in 2023. This quarter, Roma is teaching Producing Video for Social Media and Scriptwriting.
Roma is an MFJS alum who earned her MA in Film and Video from the department in 2003 and received the annual Mendelsohn Graduate Student award.
This fall, Roma is looking forward to attending the three-day Imaginator Academy Summit as a collaborator on the writer’s retreat segment. She is also looking forward to co-curating the Colorado Dragon Boat Film Festival (Colorado’s only Asian film festival) line up for 2023. During her free time, she likes to cook international cuisine, bike and hike with her family