Tony Fellow

It's Off to Italy for Veteran Communications Professor

Tony Fellow to Teach and Conduct Research as a Fulbright Vercelli Chair

December 19, 2006

By Valerie Orleans

At the end of May, Tony Fellow, chair and professor of communications, will travel to Italy as he has done several times before. But this time, there’s a difference. He will be returning as a Fulbright Scholar.

Selected as a recipient of one of the most distinguished Fulbright lectureships, the Vercelli Chair, Fellow will teach and conduct research at the University of Piemonte in Milan, Italy.

“I am very excited about this Fulbright,” Fellow said. “I have been taking groups of students to study in Italy for several years, so receiving a Fulbright to teach and study there is very gratifying.”

Fellow, whose family immigrated to the United States from Caserta and Compobosso, Italy, has taught for 20 years at Cal State Fullerton and has authored three textbooks, American Media History, Copy Editors Handbook for Newspapers and News Writing in a Multimedia World.

While in Italy, he will conduct a graduate class on 20th-century mass communications history, as well as a course on the press and modern society. In addition, as a Fulbright scholar, he will provide public lectures at the University of Piemonte and other academic institutions in Italy.

He also will be conducting research in two areas: world media history and the conflict between Muslims and Catholics in Italy.

“I noticed problems last summer when I was in Italy … that there were major conflicts between the Catholics and Muslims. And then when the Pope made his Muslim statement, I thought there was more to it than meets the eye. I know many Italians are upset when they hear comments from Muslims claiming, ‘We’re going to take over.’ Naturally, this upset most folks in a country that is predominantly Catholic. I’m interested to see how each side gets their messages across … and what the consequences are.”

While in Italy, representatives from the Peace Corps have asked Fellow to travel to Macedonia to consult on developing a broadcast journalism program at East European University and to deliver public lectures in Croatia.

While in Italy this summer, Fellow also will oversee the College of Communications’ Second Annual International Media Workshop in Florence and teach a course in Italian Cinema.

Ultimately, Fellow would like to develop for the College of Communications a center for the study of media and politics in Florence. It would bring scholars and professionals together each summer to discuss world issues.

“The College of Communications has been developing international programs for several years,” he said. “We currently have programs in Hong Kong, and we’re looking to expand to Argentina, Viet Nam, Australia, Russia and France. When you receive a Fulbright, you’re part of the ‘Fulbright family’ and that can help in developing other international programs. Faculty members who have served abroad are not only able to explain American customs to foreign students but learn from students and faculty in their host countries as well.

“With the impact of globalization, having experience teaching in other countries helps professors when they are teaching American students here. You can provide a more global perspective. I am deeply committed to working with the Italian students and faculty to advance international communications research and community partnerships.

“Let’s face it, Americans have had a bad track record of not understanding other cultures, which has lead to some recent wars,” Fellow said.  “Our goal as professors should be to provide a global perspective in our teaching and scholarship that may lead to a lasting peace throughout the world.”

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