Temple Northup G’08

Temple Northup graduated from Newhouse in 2008 with a master’s in media studies. He currently works as the director of the School of Journalism & Media Studies at San Diego State University.

“From theory to research, the courses at Newhouse set me on the right path to become an effective researcher, which is what led me to getting tenure at my first university.”

Temple Northup, G’08

How did you obtain your current position?

I just started this position in July 2020 after being at the University of Houston the previous nine years. At the University of Houston, I was director of the Valenti School of Communication, a position I held for the last five years I was there. Before that, I was at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, which is where I got my Ph.D. after graduating from Syracuse with my M.A.

What’s an average day like for you on the job?

These days, average days are a bit different as I spend so much time on Zoom. But, ignoring that component of it, I would say it’s hard to describe an “average” day as they are almost never identical. As the administrative head of the school, my first and most important task is to make sure everything is running as planned—all our classes are happening, faculty are supported in their needs and our students are getting the help they need to graduate on time. Beyond those tasks, which take up a lot of time, I also work hard reaching out to alumni of the school in order to build stronger relationships with them, and to find new sources of revenue for our program. I also like to spend time thinking strategically about what we as a media school need to be doing to position ourselves as a leader in the field and what changes we need to make in order to keep our students prepared for the workforce.

How do you feel Newhouse prepared you for your current job?

Newhouse absolutely prepared me for my role—and frankly continues to help me in this position. It did this in a few ways.

First, being a graduate of the Newhouse M.A. in media studies, I got really well trained in some of the most important and core aspects of the communication discipline—from theory to research, the courses at Newhouse set me on the right path to become an effective researcher, which is what led me to getting tenure at my first university.

Second, getting to be a student at Newhouse meant I got to see some of the best faculty in action. As a future faculty member, and then administrator, I know what great teaching looks like, and I know what it looks like to be a great mentor to students. Those lessons I have carried with me in all aspects of my career.

Finally, being part of Newhouse meant I got to see some of the most innovative programs in the country—and that is something I continue to do. As the leader of a different school, I keep an eye on what Newhouse is doing because I know it will always be leading the field. I have such respect for all aspects of the Newhouse School, if I can lead our program to be anywhere near as strong, then I am doing great things!

Did Newhouse open your eyes to new professions or aspect of your field you may have not considered when applying?

When I applied to Newhouse, I honestly did not anticipate what it would truly be like or where my career would go. In that sense, it absolutely opened my eyes to becoming not just a teacher, which is what I had thought about doing after I graduated, but also an engaged researcher. The enthusiasm of the faculty and their research agendas was contagious, and although I entered the program thinking about teaching one day, I left wanting to do much more—I wanted to conduct research.

What unique features of your graduate program drew you to it in the first place?

The main thing that drew to Newhouse was its reputation. There are only a handful of programs in the US that everyone knows from its name, and Newhouse was one of those. That is unique—and the benefits pay off after you leave as I am constantly meeting people who went to Newhouse, and the network it provided me has been very beneficial during my career.

What moments in your career have been most exciting or defining thus far?

Some of my research has gotten a lot of attention within the media—with one of them getting so much coverage, I actually ended up flying to New York City to appear on Fox & Friends (a place, for many reasons, I never thought I would be). That was quite an experience and certainly one of the more exciting things that have happened! I’ve also gotten to interview many high-profile media personalities including Anderson Cooper, which was really fun.

Northup Temple with Anderson Cooper
Temple Northup with Anderson Cooper. Photo courtesy of Temple Northup.

What advice do you have for current or incoming students?

I think it’s super important to connect with faculty early and get to know them. They are your best resources whatever your career goals, and so the better they know you, the more they will help you after graduation.

Funding

As a Newhouse media studies student, you can rely on various options for funding your education.

You may work as an instructional associate, helping faculty in the classroom. We also hire students as research assistants, giving you the opportunity to aid faculty with their research and creative projects. These types of positions can help you gain and apply the skills you need in the classroom and in conducting your own research.

In addition, we help you find scholarships and fellowships.  Here is a list of funding opportunities:

Program funding

Travel funding

At Newhouse, we encourage our academic master’s students to present at national and international conferences. To that end, we offer you generous financial support to travel and present at conferences.

Thesis funding

As a media studies student, you’ll be eligible for funding as you research and write your thesis.

Faculty

Our professors have diverse professional experience and unique research interests.

Careers

Alumni of the Media Studies program often continue their academic careers by moving into Ph.D. programs at top universities throughout the country.

Many of our media studies graduates are teaching at colleges and universities around the world. Others have careers with non-governmental organizations or are doing corporate communications research.

Curriculum

Media Studies offers an academic research track and a professional research track.

The academic research track is designed for students wanting to continue on to pursue a Ph.D..

The professional research track is designed to better prepare students for research-oriented jobs.

Students do not have to declare their preferred track until after the first year, although their eventual selection will impact their choice of classes.

Media Studies Master’s Schedule – Academic Research Track

Theory Courses (6 credits)

COM 755Communications Theory
COM 788Theories of Media Content

Methods Courses (6 credits)

COM 605Quantitative Methods for Mass Communications Research
COM 606Qualitative Methods for Mass Communications Research

Media Law (Choose one, 3 credits)*

COM 697Advertising & Public Relations Law OR
COM 698Media Law OR
TRF 637Telecommunications Law & Policy

Diversity Course (3 credits)

COM 646Media and Diversity

Thesis (3 credits)
Requisite

Electives (Choose two, 6 credits)

Elective courses will be selected in consultation with the student’s adviser and be relevant to the student’s course of study. Courses may include those offered in Newhouse, or elsewhere in the University.

Newhouse Research/Perspective Courses (Choose two, 6 credits)

ADV 645International Advertising
COM 600Selected Topics
COM 688Origins of Contemporary Media Issues
COM 740Topics in Research Communications
ICC 617Issues in Media Management
TRF 592Film Business
TRF 594Television Business
TRF 595Programming and Audience Analysis
TRF 600 Selected Topics
TRF 636Critical and Historical Perspectives on Television, Radio and Film
TRF 683Communications Industry Frontiers

Required Non-Credit Experiences (0 credits)

COM 701Proseminar for Graduate Study

Optional Benchmark (0 credits)**

Research benchmark trip

Total credits for program: 36

* Note: If students took a comparable media law class as an undergraduate and passed it with at least a B, they could waive the law requirement and take an additional elective.

** Research Benchmark trip:  This would be optional for academic-track students, and it would occur during Spring semester in New York City (and utilize the Fisher Center). Like other Newhouse benchmark trips, the purpose is to connect our students to professionals in NYC to hear firsthand what those industries are looking for from graduates.

Media Studies Master’s Schedule – Professional Research Track

Theory Courses (6 credits)

COM 755Communications Theory
COM 788Theories of Media Content

Methods Courses (6 credits)

COM 605Quantitative Methods for Mass Communications Research
COM 606Qualitative Methods for Mass Communications Research

Media Law (Choose one, 3 credits)*

COM 697Advertising & Public Relations Law OR
COM 698Media Law OR
TRF 637Telecommunications Law & Policy

Diversity Course (3 credits)

COM 646Media and Diversity

Research Design Course (3 credits)

COM 601Research Project Design

Electives (Choose two, 6 credits)

Elective courses will be selected in consultation with the student’s adviser and be relevant to the student’s course of study. Courses may include those offered in Newhouse, or elsewhere in the University.

Newhouse Research/Perspective Courses (Choose two, 6 credits)

COM 628Social Media Strategy and Practice
COM 630Topics in Digital Media Content Strategies
COM 634Trendspotting in Digital Media
COM 647Applied Media Research
ICC 606Applied Research in Content Management
ICC 617Issues in Media Management
TRF 592Film Business
TRF 594Television Business
TRF 595Programming and Audience Analysis
TRF 696 Research for Entertainment Media
Statistics Course

Required Non-Credit Experiences (0 credits)

COM 701Proseminar for Graduate Study
Research Benchmark Trip

Total credits for program: 36

* Note: If students took a comparable media law class as an undergraduate and passed it with at least a B, they could waive the law requirement and take an additional elective.

** Research Benchmark trip:  This would be optional for academic-track students, and it would occur during Spring semester in New York City (and utilize the Fisher Center). Like other Newhouse benchmark trips, the purpose is to connect our students to professionals in NYC to hear firsthand what those industries are looking for from graduates.

Master’s

A research-oriented program designed to get you started on your academic career in communications.

If you have mass media experience and would like to further examine the mass communications process in depth through research, our academic master’s program is the right place for you. As a Newhouse media studies student you will, through investigation of contemporary media systems and processes, assess the media’s relationship with the world. Research opportunities abound in our program. Areas of inquiry include media and diversity, political communication, social effects and media psychology. Media studies is an excellent foundation for doctoral study or for research-oriented jobs in the private or public sector.

Media Studies

Media studies is an excellent foundation for doctoral study or for research-oriented jobs in the private or public sector. As a Newhouse media studies student you will, through investigation of contemporary media systems and processes, assess the media’s relationship with the world.

If you would like to further examine the mass communication process in depth, our research-oriented master’s program is the right place for you.  Whether you are interested in studying diversity in media, health communications, extended-reality storytelling and effects in VR or AR, journalism and democracy in the digital age or any other topic, we have engaged faculty who look forward to working with you.

Josephine Lukito G’15

In 2015, Josephine Lukito received her master’s in media studies, with the aspiration of later attaining her Ph.D. While at Newhouse, she was a member of the Syracuse University Circle K International Club. As a student, she took advantage of the Association in Education of Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) conference and the International Communication Association (ICA) conference. Currently, she is a Ph.D. candidate in Mass Communications at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with minors in English Linguistics and Political Science. Lukito has been accepted as an assistant professor at the University of Texas, Austin’s Journalism School where she will begin teaching in the fall, 2020.

“Newhouse’s Media Studies program prepared me for my current occupation as a Ph.D student, and contributed to my success in the academic job market.”

Josephine Lukito G’15

How did you obtain your current position?

I am finishing up my final (fifth) year in my Ph.D program, which is one of the most internationally recognized programs in the field in Mass Communication. I began my Ph.D immediately after earning my master’s. My research in my Ph.D program draws directly from my research at Newhouse, which focused on public diplomacy and international/foreign/global news reporting. As a teaching assistant, I taught or assisted courses in advertising and news writing.

How do you feel Newhouse prepared you for your current role?

Newhouse’s Media Studies program prepared me really well for my current occupation as a Ph.D. student, and contributed to my success in the academic job market. While at Newhouse, I took advantage of every opportunity I could. For all my semesters, I worked as both an instructional assistant and a research assistant. This was really important to developing my organizational skills, so I could balance research, teaching, and classes simultaneously.

As a researcher now, I use a lot of quantitative and computational methods to analyze language and text. I developed my quantitative foundation at Syracuse, taking classes both in Newhouse and in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. I then applied it in a range of projects, including those I did with Dr. Guy Golan, who I was a research assistant for. While working with Dr. Golan, I was able to do more research on public diplomacy, which continues to inform my own research on state-sponsored disinformation and computational propaganda.

As a future teacher, my pedagogy is greatly informed by the courses I IA’ed in Newhouse, working with both experienced and new professors. One particularly influential professor was Dr. Anne Osborne, the first professor I was a teaching assistant for at Newhouse. The way she engaged with her students and excited them about mass communication continues to inspire my pedagogy.

What unique features of your graduate program drew you to it in the first place?

The program provides good support for graduate students going to academic conferences, which is essential for any young scholar who wants to be involved with the wider academic community. Another thing that really appealed to me was the combination of theory and methods courses in the curriculum, which I feel provides master’s students with a well-rounded foundation in Communication or Media Studies research.

What are some obstacles or misconceptions about your field that students ought to be aware of?

People tend to think that teachers, professors, and graduate students “take a vacation” during the summer months. In reality, we are preparing courses for the fall, attending several academic conferences to learn about cutting-edge research, and conducting research; research being extremely important in our profession.

Another misconception is that academic graduate programs are similar to terminal professional ones. In reality, the two train students to do very different things. The program I attended, Media Studies, was extremely good at preparing me to do academic research and become a professor. This involves reading academic papers, conducting research, and writing up results in our own papers. I think this program is best suited for graduate students who want to become communication or journalism professors, or who want to do communication or media research.

What moments in your career have been most exciting or defining thus far?

In 2019, my research was referenced in the Mueller Report. In the study, my co-authors and I found that U.S. news media outlets had quoted several Russian trolls in news stories from 2015 to 2017. Several months later, I spoke with CNN about the research.

What advice do you have for current or incoming students? Any classes or professors that you recommend?

I encourage students to take courses outside of Newhouse, and to bring what you learn in those courses [into] research with [your] fellow Newhouse graduate students and professors.

Truly, all of the professors that I worked with—[Brad] Gorham[Carol] Liebler, Golan, [Makana] Chock, Osborne, [Charisse] L’Pree—were excellent and showed me different ways of succeeding as an academic.