I am a professor, author and filmmaker. I have taught at the college and university level for more than 35 years. I write articles, books, plays, screenplays, fiction and nonfiction. I make documentary films.
I taught at St. John Fisher College (SJFC), Rochester, NY, for more than two decades, beginning in 1973. I moved to North Carolina and the job at UNC Wilmington (UNCW) in 1994. I wanted to live in a different region of the country and to be tested at a larger university. I was also working in film and Wilmington is a great film community.
I taught in the political science and communication/journalism departments at SJFC. Now, at UNC Wilmington, I have taught in the communication, creative writing, and film studies departments as well as the Graduate Liberal Studies program. I have been twice-elected chair of Film Studies and helped it to national prominence. In 2011 I stepped down as chair and have returned to teaching. All told I have developed and/or taught more than 52 courses across four disciplines.
I began as a fine arts major at Colgate University, Hamilton, NY, but the Civil Rights struggle and the escalating war in Vietnam made me change to political science. After getting my B.A., I went on to finish an M.A. in Government and Public Affairs, University of Miami, FL. After that, I completed a PhD from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University. In midst of part-time teaching and graduate studies at Syracuse, I finished a two-year M.A. in Religious Studies at Colgate Rochester Divinity School.
Thus far, I have written three books (history, biography and fiction) and have been involved in more than two-dozen documentary projects, from researcher to executive producer. I have written successful grants averaging $150,00 from the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. I have worked as a newspaper columnist, where I received a New York Press Association award, and have written nearly 60 academic articles, human interest pieces and feature stories. I received 18 teaching and academic scholarship awards, 23 academic grants, and delivered more than 30 university and public presentations.
Over the years, I have done more than 70 newspaper, radio and television interviews. My printed work has been reprinted in newspapers, magazines and books, including a college writing text that also contained the work of James Baldwin, Annie Dillard and Alice Walker. My political writing has appeared in the “best of the alternative press” annual volumes. I have earned dozens of documentary, writing, play and screenwriting awards and have been nominated for a National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Emmy. A Special Manuscript & Film Collection of my work is housed at William M. Randall Library, the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, NC.
Teaching honors from St. John Fisher College include: the Trustees Award for Distinguished Scholarship, the Teaching Excellence Award, and the Rev. Joseph B. Dorsey Award for Outstanding Faculty Service (twice). At UNC Wilmington, I have been the recipient of the Award for Faculty Scholarship, J. Marshall Crews Distinguished Faculty Award; Distinguished Teaching Professorship Award, Chancellor’s Teaching Excellence Award, and the University of North Carolina Board of Governors Award for Teaching Excellence.