Kim Pearson


March 12, 2013 5:26 PM

Spring, 2013 classes

JPW 371/IMM 370 Blogging and Social Media

JPW/AAS 321 Race, Gender and the News


Associate Professor, Journalism and Professional Writing,

English Department

Chair, Department of African American Studies, (2011-14)

336 Social Science Building


My teaching autobiography

i am a constructivist pedagogue whose current work is focused on developing effective models for bringing computational thinking into journalism and professional writing classes. To that end, I engage in the scholarship of teaching, often in collaboration with colleagues in related fields

I came to academia in 1990 with a background in magazine writing and corporate public relations. My goal at that time was two-fold: to create learning environments that gave undergraduate students realistic experiences of how writing is used in newsroom and professional settings to solve real-world problems and to help budding media professionals become reflective, ethical practitioners capable of adapting as the industry evolved. Consequently, from 1990-1996, my professional writing classes operated as a communications consulting firm providing creative and project management services to real clients. My magazine writing students not only wrote and pitched freelance articles, they worked on the business plan and sample issues for a magazine start-up, College Money, which we created with the help of alumni and my art department colleague, Elizabeth Mackie. Prof. Mackie and I also worked closely with Terry Byrne in the communications studies department to have students work in cross-disciplinary teams to create multimedia advertising campaigns.

In 1996, students in my magazine writing class and Prof. Mackie’s graphic design class created Unbound, and online news magazine. Unbound ran as a lab publication in my magazine writing class for a number of years, giving journalism students practical experience running an online news operation, including working in html, flash and javascript. Students also developed a site manual and code of ethics. In 2001-2, we experimented with extending the unbound platform to the pre-college level by creating an online magazine activity as an enhancement to TCNJ’s Collegebound program.

By 2003, our curriculum evolved to reflect the changing needs and practices of the communications industries. I co-founded TCNJ’s Interactive Multimedia major with Phil Sanders and Ursula Wolz. We also revamped the journalism/professional writing curriculum to include a required course in computer-assisted reporting.

Since 2003, I’ve been teaching classes related to online journalism and new media and exploring the growing impact of social media, gaming and computer science on journalism and related communications fields. This work is described in more detail on the research pages.