A major and minor are offered in Communication. 


Patterson TV studio in Fitzwater Center
The Patterson Television Studio gives students hands-on experience in newscasting,
directing and post production. Because class sizes are small, students have the
opportunity to work with the equipment and gain skills with the tools of the industry early
in their studies.

Communication is one of the fastest growing fields of inquiry to emerge in higher education. Our program of study places an equally high emphasis on academic accomplishment and practical professional expertise in the areas of journalism and media production. It also seeks to instill in students an understanding of the management and entrepreneurial skills that are required to succeed in an increasingly complex and fast-paced industry. 

In Communication (Mass Communication), students find a dynamic, competitive atmosphere, room for artistic expression, small class sizes, and close interaction with faculty.

Three areas of concentration afford students the opportunity to receive specialized training:

Classes in the Journalism & Digital Media use best professional practices to provide authentic learning experiences that prepare students for success in the working word.  Students are engaged in creative processes by developing on-line, broadcast, and print journalism publications.

Classes in the Media Production Concentration use hands-on training to prepare students for success in their chosen career.  From introductory through advanced courses students are building their talents by working cooperatively to create digital films, animations, and television productions.  

Courses leading to the Media Studies Concentration courses are designed to help students become more sensitive to the relationship between media and culture by placing media messages, genre conventions, media subtexts, and production elements in their respective social and cultural contexts.

Department News

masscomEight new students were inducted into the Lambda Pi Eta  Communication Honor Society.

ESPN Alums Visit CampusESPN Alums Visit Campus.     Rich Goode ‘96, Erik Barone ‘95, Jay McCormack ‘95, and Sean Gelinas ‘07 spoke on to students in the Patterson Television Studio. Their work at ESPN in Bristol, CT, ranges from Global Operations to Studio Production and Creative Services.

Hollywood comes to Pierce.
Matt Berman and John Perry, 1992 graduates of the Mass Communication program at Franklin Pierce University, have gone on to successful Hollywood careers in TV and film. In this video, they return to their alma mater to screen their newly released hit movie "The Wedding Pact" and to share their career advice and experiences with students.

Adam Saada, ’10, has won 2015 Best of Los Angeles Award  for his production company Adam Saada Media Production.   The award was for Best Event Videographer and Photographer.

Justin Martell, ’09, has published a book.   Eternal Troubador: The Improbable Life of Tiny Tim. 

Henry Simmons ‘92,  is a lead actor in Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., playing Agent Alphonso “Mack” MacKenzie.

Stacy Pietrafitta, ’02, joins him on the set as assistant editor for Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.   Previously she was an assistant editor on the TV show Reign. 

Trent Spiner, ’07, was honored by being listed by the New Hampshire Union Leader as a 2014 “40 Under Forty” outstanding professional for the Granite State.  Trent is assignment editor and web producer for WMUR in Manchester, NH. 

Ashley Saari, ’09, won  2013 New Hampshire Press Association honors.  A reporter for the Monadnock Ledger-Transcript, she won a first place award for Feature Story, second for Spot News Story and Picture Story, and third for General News Photo, Spot News Photo, and Social Issues Reporting.

Alyssa Dandrea, ’11, won 2013 New Hampshire Press Association honors.  A reporter for the Keene Sentinel, won first place for Education Story, second place for Investigative Reporting and Feature Story, and third place for Business/Economic Reporting while working for the Monadnock Ledger-Transcript.

Matt Berman, ’92, and John Perry, -92, have collaborated on a newly released romantic comedy, The Wedding Pact.  Matt wrote and directed the film and John served as the Executive Producer.  Matt and John were classmates at Pierce studying media production.

Eric BaronEric Barone, ’95, from Branford CT, has received his third Emmy  Award for his part as Steadicam Operator of  “2012 Best Technical Team Eric Baron Remote” for the Winter X Games.  Eric is Associate Operations Specialist at ESPN in Bristol, CT.



Brent Merrill, ’99, from Kennebunke Port, ME,  has won a Seacoast Regional Emmy Award for producing coverage of the Bosting Bombing Suspect Manhunt and was nominated for a second. Brent is a Senior Producer at  Bay News 9 in Saint Petersburg, FL.

John Perry photo of 2014 Fitwater Medallion for Leadership awardJohn Perry ('92), from Salem, MA, was honored with the 2014 Fitzwater Medallion for Leadership in Public Communication.  He is  a successful television director and a film producer in Los Angeles, CA.

Keene Sentinel: Two Former FPU Classmates return to Rindge to screen film


APatterson TV studio in Fitzwater Centerlyssa Dandrea ('11) of Brattleboro, VT, has earned the Rookie of the Year recognition from the NH Press Association in October '12. She has worked for the Monadnock Ledger-Transcript in Peterborough, NH since 2011. She shared 1st place honors for best Education Story/Series. While at Pierce, Alyssa studied both journalism and media studies and was editor of the Pierce Arrow. For her outstanding contributions, she was awarded the Fitzwater Medallion for Contributions to the Public Discourse in 2011.


IPatterson TV studio in Fitzwater Centern the fall of 2011, the Mass Communication Department served as host to Fulbright Scholar Sergei Venidziktov from Mogilev, Belarus. Prof. Venidziktov is an Associate Professor in the Department of Social and Humanitarian Science at Belarusian Home Office High College. His Fulbright project concerned the relationship between educational media and political influence.

Patterson TV studio in Fitzwater CenterThe Mass Communication Department has formed a new departmental co-curricular activity, the Alpa Beta Zeta chapter of Lambda Pi Eta, the National Communication Association’s official honor society.

The Doctors PSA Challenge:
Read about The Doctors PSA Challenge 

Watch our students being interviewed on the Emmy Award Winning TV show, The Doctors 

Watch the PSA Challenge student videos produced 

What students are saying:

The Mass Comm. department has great networking opportunities through professors like Joe Castiglione (Red Sox radio broadcaster), and through alumni like Jeffrey Salgo (Director/ Producer at CBS in NY City). In my junior year alone, I met and networked with two FPC Mass Comm. alums who work at ESPN (my dream employer) and got to tour the station in Bristol, CT.

- Joe Fagella ‘07

Joe Fagella

Want to know more?

Program Sheet ThumbnailDownload a Mass Communication program sheet to view on screen or print, or view the College at Rindge Academic Catalog for specific degree requirements and course information.


Franklin Pierce University
College at Rindge
(800) 437-0048



Phyllis Zrzavy
Professor of Mass Communication
B.S., B.Phil., M.Ed., Miami University
Ph.D., Bowling Green State University

Associate Professor

Paul Bush
Associate Professor of Mass Communication
B.A., Bucknell University
M.A., Vermont College of Norwich University
M.F.A., Goddard College

Heather Weibel Tullio
Associate Professor of Mass Communication
B.A., Wesleyan University
M.A., University of Iowa
M.F.A., University of Massachusetts at Amherst

Richard Roth
Associate Professor of Mass Communication
B.S., State University of New York, Brockport
M.A., University of Pittsburgh
M.S., Syracuse University
Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh

Assistant Professors

Andrea M. Bergstrom
Assistant Professor of Mass Communication
B.S., Franklin Pierce University
M.A., University of Massachusetts at Amherst
Ph.D., University of Massachusetts at Amherst


Joe Castiglione
Lecturer, Mass Communication
Distinguished Fellow, M.A., Syracuse University

Leslie Kozaczek
Lecturer, Individual and Community, Mass Communication
B.A., Franklin Pierce University
M.A., Dartmouth College

Kristen D. Nevious
B.S., Valparaiso University
M.S., Ph.D., Southern Illinois University at Carbondale

John Robinson
Lecturer, Mass Communication
B.A., Boston University
M.S., University of Maryland

Ukumbwa Sauti
Lecturer, Mass Communication
B.A., Rochester Institute of Technology
M.Ed., Cambridge College

Blake Wood
Lecturer of Mass Communication
Germaine School of Photography, Franklin Institute