Two alumni among the new full-time faculty members hired this year
Jean Brechman ’05 and Matthew Hall ’00, MEd ’02 were among the new full-time faculty members hired this academic year.
Jean Brechman graduated from TCNJ in 2005 with majors in management and communication studies and went on to receive her PhD in communications from the University of Pennsylvania in 2010. This fall, she returned to campus as an assistant professor in the School of Business.
Brechman’s research focuses on narrative communications and how this relates to information processing, knowledge acquisition, and persuasion. “As a fan of entertainment media myself, I’ve always been fascinated by story lines, embedded within a TV show for example, that include pro-social or public health messages,” Brechman says. “Marketers have picked up on the fact that people are more receptive, and in fact responsive, to messaging that incorporates branding efforts with entertainment/storytelling.”
Together with Chelsea Tompkins ’13, Brechman is working on a research project related to marketing communications. “We’ll be considering the parallels between one of the traditional ways marketers collect consumer feedback (i.e., online surveys) and a newer channel of consumer feedback, namely YouTube,” Brechman says. “We’re using ad campaigns from the past five Super Bowls to compare whether viewer attitudes, intentions, sentiment, etc. are similar between survey data and online YouTube conversations.”
Prior to joining the School of Business as a full-time faculty member, Brechman taught as an adjunct at the College and was a research director at Gallup & Robinson, an affiliate of the Gallup Organization specializing in advertising research. “As much of a learning experience as [being at Gallup & Robinson] was, I missed the teaching and mentoring aspect of the classroom,” Brechman says.
Brechman has enjoyed her time back at the College. “I love being back on campus. I’ve been given an opportunity to give back to the community that, ultimately, gave me a career I adore.”
Matthew Hall graduated from the College in 2000 with a bachelor’s in education of the deaf and hard of hearing and, in 2002, with a master’s in special education. He returned to campus this fall as an assistant professor in the Department of Special Education, Language, and Literacy.
Prior to returning to the College, Hall had worked as an elementary school teacher, a reading and literacy coach, and a staff developer in education. He is currently a doctoral candidate in teaching and learning at New York University. For his dissertation, Hall is studying how digital composition, namely images and video, factor into literacy.
“Teaching literacy in the 21st century is knowing that there are more tools for literacy than just paper and pencil,” Hall says.
“There are lots of different ways we can communicate.” Hall says that teaching literacy in the modern age is “not fully understood yet,” but adds that communication today “has to be really participatory.” He emphasized the importance of interactivity in communication.
For Hall, returning to the College was a natural decision. “I loved being at TCNJ—loved it,” he says of his days as a student.
“[Coming back] actually really felt like coming home.” This semester he is teaching Literacy Strategies, Assessment, and Instruction—Special Education, an undergraduate course in the teaching of reading for education majors, and Language and Teaching Reading, a graduate course in the study in language and how that affects the teaching of reading. He also supervises a student teacher.
Posted on November 26, 2012