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In April, communication professor Clark Greer, Ph.D., presented the paper “Following Local Television News Personalities on Twitter: A Uses and Gratifications Approach to Social Networking” at the annual convention of the Broadcast Education Association in Las Vegas. The paper, co-authored with Douglas Ferguson, a professor at the College of Charleston, was awarded first place in the open category of the News Division. The paper reports the results of a study that surveyed people who follow the Twitter sites of local television news personalities in the U.S.

Communications & Theatre

Rip, Shred, Tear.  To some, these three words may sound like a papier-mâché project.  For one PLNU junior, though, these three words have evolved into a project that has received global recognition.  Madison Dyer, a film studies major, spent his summer working on a 30-minute surf documentary, Rip Shred Tear,  in conjunction with San Diego’s Captain Fin Surf Company and Hurley.

A standard surf movie takes about a year to film.  Dyer and his crew took a different approach by completing all filming in a two-month period.

“I started shooting in May and we had it all wrapped up by August,” said Dyer. “The whole point of it was to showcase surfing and the long board alternative community in that summer.”

Dyer was in charge of shooting and editing the film.  Although he had some creative input, the concept alone came from Mitch Abshere, Captain Fin Surf Company owner.  With over 20 hours of footage, a lot of behind the scenes work had to be done to complete a successful project.

“It was a really good learning experience—especially for the other side of shooting,” said Dyer.  “The scheduling and contacting people was the part I haven’t dealt with, so it was a really good experience.”

The film has had its premieres across the globe, most notably three in Japan with distribution by Hurley.  With a country geared towards surfing and ‘60s culture, most surfing companies have a Japan branch. 

Although Dyer spent his summer in the realm of surfing, he has turned his interests toward the more sophisticated side of film in marketing.  As a PLNU marketing intern, Dyer has been responsible for making mini documentaries and commercials that focus on alumni profiles, departmental profiles, professors, business events and even television commercials.

“Ideally, the stuff I am interested is mostly short stuff, commercials, music videos,” said Dyer.  “I’ve made a few connections with people in  the commercial world, and hope I can try to get away from surfing and get to a strictly professional marketing base.”

As for personal side projects, Dyer has a couple in the works.  After a successful completion of last year’s short film, Rungs, which won best film at PLNU’s film festival, Dyer is embarking on another short adventure.  The film is being produced in one of the film production courses, and focuses on a guy who secretly cheats on his girlfriend and accidentally sends a text that might get him in trouble.  In an attempt to save himself, he tries to erase the text message while a close friend documents the whole process.  In addition to this, he will also be working with Captain Fin Surf Company on another surf project that will be pitched to Fuel TV.

It is evident that Dyer possesses the drive and talent to be successful.  Although he has already gained some notoriety for his work, he says that his ethic has started with class projects.  They have inspired him to produce quality work and continue to drive him to expand his mind creatively.    

“Having professors and peers that have pushed you to do stuff out of your comfort zone--as repetitive as a lot of school projects can get--really pushes you to work under a deadline and learn the whole process,” said Dyer.  “Really, I have both of those to be thankful for.”

Written by Nicholle Jaramillo


Dr. Lynn Reaser speaks to Fox News about how the federal government keeps trying to kick the budget can down the road and if it is time for the U.S. to show the world it’s serious about fiscal responsibility and implement necessary spending cuts and reforms?

Fermanian Business & Economic Institute

Need a little inspiration, enlightenment, or encouragement? Check out a few recent stories featuring PLNU staff and faculty:

Patricia Leslie, director of PLNU's social work program and member of San Diego's Regional Task Force on the Homeless board of directors, gives insight into the epidemic of addiction. (San Diego City Beat)

Eric Readinger is a familiar face in the Caf. He is also a part of Partnerships with Industry. Read about his day-to-day. (San Diego Union Tribune)

Lynn Reaser, PLNU's chief economist, joins a conversation about the national debt's effect on you. Learn more. (U.S. News & World Report)


Corey McKenna, Ph.D., has been busy. The associate professor of education and director of PLNU’s MAT multiple subject program published “Learning by Doing: A Constructivist approach

to Assessment and Collaborative Action Research Through the Lens of Professional Learning Communities” in the National Social Science Association Journal (2011) and presented on the
same topic at the association’s annual conference in Las Vegas in April.

He also presented on “How assessment and action research were used in preparing MAT candidates in the School of Education” at the Western Assessment Conference on March 18 at CSU Fullerton. McKenna received a $2,000 faculty alumni grant for his next research project, which will focus on the effects of exercise and academic achievement in elementary, middle, and high school students.

On a personal note, he was named USA Triathlon National Athlete of the Month for December 2010. In February 2011, he was named a member of the Team CF (cystic fibrosis) cycling team, which has special significance to McKenna because his wife has CF.

Education, Kinesiology, Student Development