Five new faculty members join the Newhouse School

By Wendy S. Loughlin

August 21, 2019

The Newhouse School welcomes five new faculty members.

Photo of Kyla Garrett Wagner
Kyla Garrett Wagner

Kyla Garrett Wagner, Professor, Communications

Garrett Wagner is an interdisciplinary legal and communications scholar studying the relationship between public health and the First Amendment. She was a Roy H. Park Fellow at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from 2013 to 2019, during which time she earned a master’s and a doctoral degree in mass communication and was honored with the 2019 Rachel Davis Mersey Outstanding Ph.D. Student award from the School of Media and Journalism. At Chapel Hill, she taught Introduction to Media Law and Advertising and Public Relations Research Methods. She has authored or co-authored seven peer-reviewed publications and 14 conference papers.

Photo of J. Christopher Hamilton
J. Christopher Hamilton

J. Christopher Hamilton G’99, Assistant Professor, Television, Radio and Film (TRF)

Hamilton joins the Newhouse School with nearly 20 years of entertainment industry experience. He began his career as a development and production attorney for Viacom, and later served as director of business affairs for ABC Studios. Hamilton then transitioned to the creative ranks by delving into executive producing through his own management production company. His other corporate work includes working as an attorney for Turner (Cartoon Network and Adult Swim) and vice president of digital studios, over-the-top services and international co-productions at Lionsgate, where helped launch Kevin Hart's streaming service as a joint venture.

Most recently, he was president and chief operating officer of The Black Group, the parent company of a portfolio of digital media businesses that focuses on producing multicultural programming content for millennials. He holds a master’s degree in TRF and a J.D., both from Syracuse University.

Photo of Alex Richards
Alex Richards

Alex Richards, Assistant Professor, Magazine, News and Digital Journalism

Richards comes to Newhouse from NerdWallet, where he was assigning editor and, before that, deputy editor of the investigative reporting team. He was previously a data reporter for the Chicago Tribune, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the Las Vegas Sun. Richards, who will teach data journalism at Newhouse, has developed courses for working journalists and journalism students to help them use coding languages to aid in their storytelling. He was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2011, and his work has been honored with the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting, the Taylor Family Award for Fairness in Journalism and the Heywood Broun Award of Substantial Distinction, among others. He earned a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Photo of Michelle Santosuosso
Michelle Santosuosso

Michelle Santosuosso, Professor of Practice, Bandier Program in Recording and Entertainment Industries

Santosuosso joins the Newhouse School from HITS Magazine in Hollywood, where she has served as editor since 2014. Her 30-year career has spanned the music, broadcasting, digital and publishing industries, with work in broadcast programming, record company marketing and promotion, artist development and content creation. She has served as vice president of music programming at

Dash Radio and vice president of artist relations at Napster, and founded D.O.M.E. Entertainment, a marketing company working with music artists and corporate brands. She is the recipient of the Bobby Poe Music Director of the Year Award for her work in radio. Santosuosso will teach courses in music business fundamentals, including publishing, artist management and live touring entertainment.

Photo of Amy Toensing
Amy Toensing

Amy Toensing, Assistant Professor, Visual Communications

Toensing is a photojournalist and filmmaker who has been a regular contributor to National Geographic for two decades and has taught photography in underserved communities around the world. She began her professional career as a staff photographer at her hometown paper in Vermont, then went to work for the Washington bureau of The New York Times, covering the White House and Capitol Hill during the Clinton administration. She has co-directed and produced short documentary films about urban refugee children in Nairobi and the marginalization of widows in Uganda. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards and exhibited throughout the world. Toensing earned a master’s degree from the School of Visual Communication at Ohio University.