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College of Communication - Radio, Television & Film

RTF Faculty & Staff

The Radio, Television and Film faculty and staff are dedicated to the academic and vocational success of their students. The faculty do what they teach. They are active media producers and scholars whose works have won BEA, Cine and Emmy Awards and have been screened at a wide range of media festivals. The faculty includes award-winning film and video makers, documentarians, media industry specialists, scriptwriters, published authors and internationally recognized scholars. Because they draw on many years of experience in their fields, they bring the real world into the classroom with them every day.

The faculty's professional connections open up outstanding opportunities for internships in radio and TV stations, media networks, production facilities, corporate media departments, and the local, regional and national film and video industry.


David Bianculli

David Bianculli is a guest host and TV critic on NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross. A contributor to the show since its inception, he has been a TV critic since 1975.

From 1993 to 2007, Bianculli was a TV critic for the New York Daily News.

Bianculli has written three books: Dangerously Funny: The Uncensored Story of 'The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour (Simon & Schuster/Touchstone, 2009), Teleliteracy: Taking Television Seriously (1992), and Dictionary of Teleliteracy (1996).

An associate professor of TV and film at Rowan University in New Jersey, Bianculli is also the founder and editor of the online magazine, TV Worth Watching.



Joseph Bierman
B.A. Rowan University
M.F.A. New York University
Ph.D. Regent University

Dr. Bierman teaches Film Production 1, 2 and Advanced Filmmaking, Screenwriting, and Contemporary International Cinema.

His research interests are in film production theory and international film production practices, particularly in the former Soviet Union and Ireland. Dr. Bierman’s films have appeared in more than 40 film festivals and he has won the CINE award for two of his films "Araby" and "The Telltale Heart". His most recent film “The Open Window” had its premiere at the 2008 New Jersey International Film Festival at Rutgers University.



Sheri Chinen Biesen
B.A. University of Southern California
M.A. University of Southern California
Ph.D. University of Texas at Austin

Professor Biesen is author of Blackout: World War II and the Origins of Film Noir (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005), described by American Historical Review as, "the most detailed and thoroughly researched interpretation of this era's American film noir." She has contributed to Film Noir Reader 4, Gangster Film Reader, Film and History, Quarterly Review of Film and Video, Literature/Film Quarterly, Popular Culture Review, The Historian, Television and Television History, and edited The Velvet Light Trap.

She teaches American Film Directors, Film History II, Film Noir, Film Genres, Gangsters/NeoNoir, Film History I, and RTF Research & Criticism.



Keith Brand, Department Chair
B.F.A.. West Virginia University
M.Ed.. Temple University

Keith Brand is an Associate Professor of Radio TV Film at Rowan University.  He teaches courses in Sound Communication and Radio Production. Mr. Brand has over 25 years of broadcast radio experience as host of Sleepy Hollow on WXPN FM in Philadelphia. 

He is also a freelance journalist, producing features for NPR's 'All Things Considered', 'Weekend Edition Saturday', and 'Justice Talking'.  Mr. Brand has also designed sound and music for Independence Seaport Museum exhibits and People's Light and Theater Company plays. In addition to his work as a creative artist, Mr. Brand is also a board member of the Association of Independents in Radio and PhillyCAM.



Tami Cortes, Department Secretary



Mike Donovan
B.A. New Jersey City University
M.A. New York University

Professor Donovan teaches courses in the history and business of television. In 2002 he was appointed to the endowed professorial chair created by a $1 million gift to the Radio/TV/Film Department from the Charles and Lucille King Family Foundation. In 2006 he received the Distinguished Education Service Award from the Broadcast Education Association (BEA). His research interests include TV history, regulation and programming and he is a regular contributor to the website TV Worth Watching and serves as educational consultant to the King Family Foundation.



Carl Frandino
Grahm Jr. College
State University of New York at New Paltz

Carl Frandino has been practicing audio & video production for over 33 years. Serving at Rowan University for the past 31 years, Carl provides Rowan's College of Communication with engineering management, equipment repair and electronic maintenance. Carl continues to assists in the day-to-day operation of the video production studios and audio/video editing suites. Carl’s past accomplishments include supervising the design and installation of new TV studio sets, ETC studio lighting system, and upgraded digital effect and graphic systems in the Bozorth Hall Studios.


Ken Kaleta
B.A. Villanova University
M.A. Villanova University
Ph.D. New York University

Dr. Kaleta teaches Film History and Appreciation I and Movie Industry. He has written several books: David Lynch; Hanif Kureishi: Postcolonial Storyteller; Conversations with Hal Hartley; and With The Rich and Mighty: Emlen Etting of Philadelphia. He co-produces with Professor Mike Donovan the "Talking Pictures" series which brings working industry professionals to the College to speak to our students.

In addition, Dr. Kaleta continues to research independent film and video projects and installations.



Jonathan Mason
B.A University of Miami
M.F.A Columbia University (NY)

Professor Mason teaches Film Production 1 and 2, as well as Screenwriting. He has produced several award-winning features and shorts, and has served as a creative executive, script consultant, and script translator/adaptor for companies such as Miramax/Dimension, Belladonna Productions, Pathé International, as well as cultural institutions such as the Film Society of Lincoln Center and MoMA. in 2009, Mason co-founded Bullet Pictures, a New York-based production company whose films most recently screened at the Venice, Tribeca, Berlin, Toronto and New York Film Festivals.



Diana Nicolae
B.A. University of Bucharest
M.F.A.. University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Diana Nicolae is an accomplished documentary filmmaker with a diverse professional background. She has worked as a TV news reporter, a writer for BBC Radio, a creative director and writer, and as an advertising copywriter for Ogilvy & Mather.  Her documentary films have been screened in festivals and museums around the world, and are focused on uncovering neglected stories. Professor Nicolae teaches TV Production I & II; Documentary Film Production.



Sean O’Leary
B.A. in Communications – Glassboro State College, 1992
M.A. in Writing – Rowan University, 2005

Sean O'Leary is an award-winning independent filmmaker and independent publisher. He occasionally provides character voices for the animated web series “The Adventures of Dr. Shroud” and “The Hyrde” produced by Earworm Media.


Jonathan Olshefski
B.A. Temple University
M.F.A. Temple University

Jonathan Olshefski is an artist, web/interactive designer, photographer and filmmaker whose work strives to give voice to issues and themes concerning marginalized urban communities. His work has screened internationally at various film festivals and has also been picked up for broadcast. He is currently working on a variety of linear and non-linear creative projects while researching the potential for interactive documentary practices and formats to empower subjects and engage audiences in unprecidented ways. Professor Olshefski teaches Introduction to New Media and New Media Production.



Keir Politz
B.A., English, College of the Holy Cross
M.F.A., Film, Columbia University

Keir Politz’s area of concentration is visual storytelling. Since completing his graduate studies, Keir has taught screenwriting, directing, and film theory. His thesis was one of six U.S. films selected for international competition at the 2008 Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival in France, and was featured in their 2014 American short films retrospective. His feature film debut, DETONATOR, screened at Cinequest, the Brooklyn Film Festival, the Philadelphia Film Festival, Indie Memphis, and the Cork Film Festival, among others; was distributed theatrically and digitally; was short-listed for an Independent Spirit Award; and was praised by Variety, the Village Voice, the Wall Street Journal, Film Threat, and Filmmaker Magazine. Keir is currently developing his second feature film.



Christopher J. Winkler
B.A. Temple University
M.A. Syracuse University

Mr. Winkler is the Television Production Coordinator for the College of Communication and oversees scheduling and production in two television studios, several audio and video editing suites, and manages the operation and flow of field production equipment in and out of the RTF Equipment Room. He supervises student lab assistants and provides technical training for equipment operation. He also serves as advisor to the student-run Rowan Television Network.  Mr. Winkler has worked in various technical roles for Philadelphia-area production companies, and continues to work professionally as a freelance camera operator, editor and associate director for productions by the Philadelphia Phillies and NFL Films.


Emeritus Faculty


Ned Eckhardt
B.A. Colgate University
M.A. Case Western Reserve University

Professor Eckhardt teaches Applied Media Aesthetics,  Techniques of Documentary Filmmaking, Television Documentary Production, Advanced Television Production, and Television Program Packaging. He is an award-winning documentary maker. His latest documentary, "Seabrook Farms Remembered," was funded by the New Jersey Historical Commission. His book Documentary Production Handbook is published by McFarland Press. He is a founding member of the Documentary Working Group of the UFVA Association and a board member of the Downbeach Film Festival.


RTF Adjunct Faculty

George Back

PhD. NYU 1980

George Back is teaching his tenth semester of Current Issues In Media at Rowan University.He received his Ph.D from NYU in Media Ecology in 1980. He worked in the television industry as a program syndicator for the following companies; ABC, Paramount TV, Westinghouse Broadcasting Company. He co-founded All American TV in 1979 where he worked until the company was sold in 1997. From 1980 to 1982 he was selected to become the first Executive Director of the National Association Of Television Program Executives, the industry's preeminent association of TV broadcasters and program suppliers. From 2000-2003 George accepted the position of Dean, School Of Communication, Hofstra University.



Tara DiLullo Bennett

Tara is the author of more than 16 books about television and film making including the Lost Encyclopedia, Fringe: September's Notebook and The Art of 300. A graduate of Rowan's RTF program, she was a producer in public affairs television for almost a decade and now writes full-time for publications such as Total Film, SFX Magazine, SCI FI Magazine, Fandango and many more. At Rowan, she teaches writing for television classes and Media Aesthetics.



Christopher Fernando

MFA Temple 2013

Christopher Fernando MFA has a background in media and education. He is completing his first feature film I Want it, Bad (2015) and teaches pre-through-post production.



Joseph Greenberg

Joe Greenberg is a Class of '99 Rowan RTF grad and earned a Masters in Creative Writing from Rowan in '08. He's been with NFL Films in Mt. Laurel working in post-production since 2000 as well as being active in independent film production in the Philadelphia and NYC areas for over fifteen years.



Leo Kirschner
B.A. Glassboro State College (Rowan University)

Leo has been an award-winning Broadcaster, Producer and Voiceover talent for 20 regional Radio and TV stations, having created over 1,000 commercials throughout his 20 plus year career. He has also worked with the news departments of NBC's affiliates in Atlantic City and Philadelphia as a News Producer and Assignment Editor. When he's not behind a studio console, Leo is behind a piano as composer for a number theatre, television and film projects. Currently, Leo is the Interim Assistant Station Manager of Rowan Radio 89.7 WGLS-FM and instructs courses in Sound Communication and Radio Journalism.



Michael O'Reilly

Michael O'Reilly is a writer, composer and filmmaker. He is the recipient of fellowships from the NEA, PCA and the Pew Fellowships in the Arts and graduated from Temple University in 2000 with an MFA in Film and Media Arts. He is a multiple Emmy-award winning TV producer for his work on WHYY-TV's FRIDAY ARTS.



Lisa Marie Patzer

MFA Temple 2014

Lisa Marie Patzer is a new media professional who has studied and produced web, video, and multimedia art and communications professionally since 2001. Lisa Marie earned her Master of Fine Arts degree in Film and Media Arts, with an emphasis on interactive and new media technologies, from Temple University. Through her artistic practice, she explores the influence that new media telecommunications, electronics, and sciences have had on the individual and the public sphere. With the use of interactive sensors and physical computing devices, Lisa Marie designs interactive video installations and online interactive net art projects. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally at venues including, but not limited to, ISEA 2015, Vancouver; Ice Box Project Space, Philadelphia; ICA, Philadelphia; Eyedrum, Atlanta; Victory Media Plaza, Dallas; The Lab, San Francisco; and the Bunt Port Theater, Denver. Lisa Marie is also the Director of Web Communications for the Penn Wharton Public Policy Initiative (PPI) at the University of Pennsylvania. As Director of Web Communications, she develops, manages, and executes web and social media content for Penn Wharton PPI. By fostering online access to economic research at the University, Penn Wharton PPI strives to strengthen the connections between faculty, students, alumni, journalists, and policymakers.



Erika Tsuchiya-Bergere

BA Social Anthropology, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, UK

MA Photography, Sir John Cass School of Design, London Metropolitan University, UK

Erika comes from a Fine Art and Anthropology background. She worked as video editor and content creator at Musion Systems, a holographic projection company, in London, UK, and is currently signed to Puzzlebox Records in Detroit as a vocalist and VJ. Her work is part of the Photographic Youth Music Cuture Archive [PYMCA], and she has exhibited and performed in venues and galleries in the UK and US.


Israel Vasquez

MFA Temple 2014

Israel Vasquez is a Philly-based filmmaker, writer, and educator. He is a Sundance Knight Fellow and participated in the Sundance Screenwriting Intensive in Philadelphia. He graduated from Temple University with an MFA in Film and Media Arts. He currently is in post-production on his thesis film, Sun Dog, and is developing a feature-length screenplay.