Emeriti and Retired Faculty
The MCJ Department has been extremely fortunate to have had so many distinguished and caring faculty members throughout its history.
In order to preserve this legacy, the following brief bios about these legends were written by the staff of the student-run PR firm TALK.
If you have additional information you want to add, or photos that we can add, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
* denotes deceased.
Dr. Paul Adams
Paul Adams, Ph.D., has been a teacher for over 20 years. Before coming to California State University, Fresno and becoming a professor, Adams received his master’s and doctorate from University of Texas in Austin. Adams then took a teaching position at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.
While teaching in Baton Rouge, Adams had a desire to come back to the west coast, so he applied to Fresno State. Prior to his arrival at Fresno State, Adams worked as a reporter and features editor at an Oregon newspaper. At Fresno State, Adams taught journalism and public relations courses.
He believes highly in education and reminded his students to take general education classes, because of they expose students to other fields making them well-rounded intellectually.
Since his retirement from Fresno State, Adams has traveled to Vietnam, Burma and Beijing teaching students particular research methods, American culture and English for wo years. Adams resides with his wife and son while teaching part-time at ITT Tech.
Dr. R.C. Adams *
Professor Emeritus R.C. Adams, of the Media, Communications and Journalism department, died March 22, 2010 in Clovis. He began his teaching career in the public schools of Idaho, Oregon and California and spent 37 years at California State University, Fresno. Adams earned two baccalaureate degrees from Idaho State College. He received his master's and doctorate in 1971 from the University of Oregon in broadcast communication and in communication theory and research.
He began teaching at Fresno State in 1965 and retired in 2002. Adams enjoyed teaching research and inquiry courses and conducting studies of media audiences. In the 1980’s, when the Department of Media, Communications and Journalism was newly founded, he became the chair of radio and television. In 1984, Adams coordinated the Radio-Television Program in the Fresno area.
He was also involved in consulting work in the Fresno market as well as other markets. Adams served on the executive committee of the Faculty/Staff Christian Fellowship and was a supporter of the Christian Children's Fund for nearly 35 years. Apart from his teaching career and involvement with the Christian Fellowship Fund, Adams was the grandfather of three children, had four children of his own and spent much of his time with his family.
Dr. Roberta Asahina
Prof. Jim Flanery
Professor Emeritus Jim Flanery, of the Media, Communications and Journalism department, taught at Fresno State from 1973 to 1977 and from 1997 to 2002.
He first came to Fresno State as a student, where he obtained his bachelor’s degree. He then received his master of science from the University of California, Los Angeles and his doctorate from Northwestern University.
Flanery was an editor and journalist for the Omaha World-Herald for more than 20 years. He served as the department’s first Roger Tatarian Endowed Chair of Professional Journalism.
In 2003, the Jim Flanery Print Journalism Scholarship was created in honor of his retirement.
Prof. George Flynn *
George A. Flynn, Ph.D., passed away Nov. 4, 2016 at age 79. He began his newspaper career as a copy boy at the Miami Herald in the 1950s and was filing stories and photographs for the Williamson County Sun in Texas more than a decade after his retirement.
Born Aug. 7, 1937 in Quantico, Va., Flynn earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Miami in 1961. He was commissioned as an ensign in the U.S. Navy where he served a reserve tour in the Mediterranean and Caribbean, and he participated in the Cuban Blockade aboard the USS Saratoga aircraft carrier. He returned to the Miami Herald after military service, spending the next 17 years as Key West bureau chief, general assignment reporter, Action Line editor, Fort Lauderdale bureau chief and county government reporter. He left the Herald in 1973 to earn a master’s degree in political science at Florida Atlantic University. He taught for two years at Texas A&M before completing his doctorate at North Texas State University. He then taught for five years at Arizona State University.
Flynn taught at Fresno State from 1985 until his retirement in 2000 as professor emeritus of journalism. He taught courses newswriting, reporting, copy editing and newspaper production. In Fresno, he and his wife, Carol — an accomplished special education teacher — hosted annual holiday dinners for international students and entertained journalism students at pizza, spaghetti and taco dinner nights. The Flynns turned their Volkswagen camper, which they used for their many travels across the United States and Canada, into a food truck to make hamburgers and hot dogs for the college newspaper staff. Flynn turned their home into mini museum of salvaged mechanical gizmos including old typewriters, telephones, clocks and fans.
Flynn retired to Georgetown, Texas where he taught classes and gave lectures on newspapers and mass media at Senior University Georgetown. His freelance work for the Sun, his hometown paper, enabled him to satisfy his insatiable curiosity by walking up to anyone at community events and asking them what was going on, as he produced photos and human interest stories. He continued being the enquiring reporter until his health no longer allowed.
Dr. Russ Hart
Prof. Phillip Lane
Professor Lane was born in Butte, Montana, in 1936, and raised in Portland, Oregon; there he attended elementary and high school, and The University of Portland, where he received his bachelor’s degree, with a major in speech and drama. Before entering the University, he spent three years with the U.S. Army Security Agency, primarily in Korea and Japan. After earning his BA degree, he headed to the University of Kansas for his MA in radio, television and film, and continued his studies at Northwestern University for the Ph.D. in media communication. As a graduate student, he taught introductory speech courses at Kansas, and introductory television production courses at Northwestern, where he received an award as best graduate instructor in the School of Speech. Along the way, he also taught at Northern Illinois University, DePaul University in Chicago, and the University of Illinois in Champaign. Professor Lane arrived at Fresno State College in 1969, for a one-year appointment, replacing Professor Lee Alden, who was on sabbatical; but he stayed on for 35 years, retiring in 2005. He taught courses in television and film production, and in media history, theory and criticism on both the undergraduate and graduate level. For about 20 years he was the coordinator of the Mass Communication Graduate Program. While chair of the Radio-Television and Film Department in the early 1980s, he was responsible for the establishment of KFSR-FM as an on-the-air radio station. In 1982, he was a participant in The Directors Guild of America/American Film Institute Workshop for college teachers, in Los Angeles; in 1984 he attended a National Endowment for the Humanities two month summer seminar entitled “Television: Form and Function,” at UCLA. He presented several research papers at academic conventions, and published articles and book reviews on radio and television in academic journals and encyclopedias. During his tenure at CSUF, he traveled to France several times, and to approximately 20 other countries and regions in Europe, Asia and North America. He also visited more than 30 states in the continental United States. Now in retirement, Professor Lane enjoys the company of his wife of 50 years, his three sons and five grandchildren. He likes to read books on various subjects, and is writing his memoirs specifically for his sons and grandchildren, as well as dabbling in poetry. In addition, he has produced and edited several DVDs of his travels around the world and, of course, of the lives of his grandchildren as well.
Prof. Greg Lewis
Prof. Dayle Molen *
Prof. Don Priest
Prof. Schyler Rehart *
Schyler Rehart was born in Pacific Grove, Calif. and moved to Fresno when he was young. He graduated from Fresno’s Roosevelt High School in 1953 and attended California State University, Fresno where he received numerous awards including the Outstanding Senior Award. He received his bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1957.
After graduation, he served as an information specialist in the Army from 1958 to 1960. He was awarded the prestigious Coro Foundation Internship in 1960 for which he served in a public service position for nine months.
After this, he worked as a reporter for several newspapers including the Fresno Bee, the Madera Daily Tribune and the Ventura Free Press. Deciding that was not the dream he was looking for, he returned to Fresno State to teach journalism classes and obtain his master’s degree in history. He began teaching full time at Fresno State in 1962. He taught various classes including: writing, reporting, photojournalism and photography.
Eventually, Rehart was elected Chairman of the Journalism Department where he oversaw the merger of the journalism and telecommunications department. He retired from Fresno State in 1989.
Rehart has written numerous articles on local and state history, politics and people. He has co-authored two books, “Fresno County in the Twentieth Century” in 1986 and “M. Theo Kearney, Prince of Fresno” in 1988.
Prof. Roger Tatarian *
Roger Tatarian graduated from California State University, Fresno in 1938 with a degree in political science. He began his career at United Press International, a worldwide news reporting service that supplies stories to thousands of newspapers, magazines and broadcasting outlets. He was a war correspondent during World War II and after the war he continued to work for UPI for the next 34 years.
Tatarian had a successful career, serving as the general news manager for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He was bureau chief in London and Rome and also served as news editor in Washington D.C. and eventually became editor-in-chief of UPI.
Tatarian served as a Pulitzer Prize nomination juror in 1960, 1961 and 1985. Other awards and honors include the Elijah Parrish Lovejoy Award, a special citation by Ohio University and an honorary doctorate in law from Colby College in Maine in 1980. He was also named a fellow of the Society of Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi in 1972 and was among the first group inducted into the New York Society’s Hall of Fame.
After his retirement from UPI, Tatarian returned to Fresno and joined the faculty at Fresno State. In addition, he served as a consultant to newspapers, including the Fresno Bee. He wrote a regular column for the paper and gave commentary on local public television. He also wrote “Day of Mourning, Day of Shame,” a collection of essays which was published by Word Dancer Press in 1996.
He was a member of the Fresno State journalism faculty for 15 years. The Roger Tatarian Journalism Grant was established in his honor. The university also established the Roger
Tatarian Endowed Chair in Journalism in his honor. Tatarian passed away in 1995 at the age of 78.
Prof. James Tucker
Professor Emeritus James “Jim” Tucker held varying positions from assistant professor to department chair while he was at California State University, Fresno.
Before coming to Fresno, Tucker spent six years as a full-time reporter. Tucker received both his bachelor’s and master’s degree from the University of Iowa but came to Fresno before completing his doctorate. After spending his entire life in Iowa, Tucker decided to pack up and move to California upon hearing of a teaching position available in Fresno.
Fresno was not the glamorized Californian land he imagined instead, “it was just like Iowa, [except] with different crops,” Tucker said.
While at Fresno State, Tucker taught reporting, editing and writing courses under the department of journalism until 1980 when he became the chair of the journalism department. He held this role for 10 years, and only had to reclaim it in 2000 when the
program underwent its transitional phase and became the mass communication and journalism department. In total, Tucker served as chair of the department for 12 years.
In his free time, Tucker enjoyed activities such as producing and moderating the show “Valley Press,” in which guests such as senators, mayors, soldiers and newsworthy community individuals were interviewed. Tucker also taught high school English and
journalism classes, and became an advisor for the school’s newspaper. During summers, he enjoys working as a writing consultant.
Tucker has a wife and two children. He is retired, but still enjoys coming back to the campus as a speaker.
The “Jim Tucker Award,” is presented in his honor every year at graduation to a professional person that's made a name for him or herself in the community. Tucker says it is an honor to have an award in his name.
Prof. James Wilson
The son of a newspaper editor/publisher, Professor Emeritus James “Jim” Wilson had a knack for news, but it wasn’t the newspaper that reeled him in into the news industry.
Wilson would work and teach for nearly 50 years in radio and TV broadcast, until his retirement from Fresno State in December of 2009.
A Turlock native, Wilson enrolled at the then-Fresno State College out of high school and received his B.A. in Radio and TV Broadcast with a minor in journalism in 1961. Wilson credits his first job in radio to fellow Professor Emeritus Bernard Shepard. Shepard helped Wilson receive his first job in radio as a news reporter for the radio station KYNO.
During Wilson’s senior year at Fresno State, he worked part time at KMJ radio as a student intern. Unfortunately KMJ was unable to hire Wilson for a full-time position at the time, so he enlisted in the Army and served for three years. By enlisting in the military, Wilson was able to select his own training, where as if he were drafted, he would have more than likely been an infantryman.
In the Army, Wilson attended the Defense Information School in Fort Slocum, N.Y. where he studied radio and TV broadcast. Wilson excelled in his studies so much that he was selected to stay at DINFOS as an instructor, where he taught military personnel in radio and TV broadcasting. After his service, Wilson returned back to California where he worked in the Bay Area for a year. During that year, he worked at three different radio stations in Napa, Petaluma and San Rafael before returning to Fresno.
In Fresno, Wilson reconnected with KMJ as a news reporter and after a year was named the station’s news director. Wilson remembers that as his most enjoyable position in broadcast. After serving four years as news director, Wilson was promoted to program director and held that post for 9 years. In 1979, Wilson was appointed vice president and general manager for KMJ radio until he left in 1983.
During his time as program director, Wilson came across an ad in the newspaper about receiving a Master’s degree at California State University, Fresno. Wilson began taking night classes while still working at KMJ and received his Master’s shortly after.
Wilson’s first teaching job was at Merced College where he taught radio broadcast one night a week. It was with that experience, that Wilson found his passion to teach. In 1975, Fresno State hired Wilson part time to look over the KFSR radio station and began teaching journalism and broadcast classes shortly there after. Wilson, who was frustrated with his position at KMJ at the time, left KMJ in 1983 to be hired on full time by Fresno State as a professor.
During his time at Fresno State, Wilson was one of four people who merged the Telecommunications Department with the Journalism Department into what is now known as the Department of Media, Communications and Journalism.
Among other accomplishments, Wilson earned the California Associated Press Radio Association’s, Best News Documentary award in 1973 for his documentary on the 10th anniversary of President Kennedy’s assassination. He also received Billboard Magazine’s Best Documentary award for his piece on Edward Murrow in 1976 along with numerous awards.
Wilson was given the Golden Grad Award from Fresno State as a part of their centennial celebration. The award honored him in for being a part of the 1961 graduating class from Fresno State, the university’s 50th graduating class in school history.
Wilson admits that his passion for teaching at Fresno State added 10 years to his life and now resides quietly in Clovis where he enjoys following the San Francisco 49ers and Giants.
* denotes deceased.
Prof. H. Lee Alden
Dr. Rita Atwood
Rita Atwood, Ph.D., was a full-time professor for the Department of Media, Communications and Journalism at California State University, Fresno for 20 years. She helped merge the radio and television department with the journalism department to create what is now known as the Department of Media, Communications and Journalism. Her contributions to Fresno State include the creation of mass communication and journalism courses that helped ensure the future of the department.
Atwood’s career at Fresno State began in the early 1970s, when she studied speech communications as an undergraduate student. In 1972, she earned her bachelor’s degree in speech communications and soon after, she joined the Peace Corps in Venezuela for two years.
In 1977, Atwood earned her master’s degree with distinction in mass communication and journalism from Fresno State. She earned her doctorate from the department of communication from the University of Washington in 1980. Her professional teaching career began at the University of Texas at Austin, where she taught until 1987.
That same year, Atwood returned to Fresno State as an associate professor of mass communication and journalism and in 1988, she was promoted to full-time professor. Atwood taught until her early retirement in 2007, when she was forced to retire due to health reasons, but not before she contributed her many talents to the Department of Media, Communications and Journalism.
As a full-time professor, Atwood mainly taught general education courses such as Mass Communication and Society; Multicultural Mass Communication and Media Stereotypes, and International Mass Communication (emphasis Latin America).
Atwood's fondest memories are being in the classroom with students and encouraging them to be enthusiastic about questioning their media environment. Her main goals were to help students become more critical consumers of media, encouraging them to question the truth and honesty portrayed by various forms of mass media.
Prof. Merlyn Burris *
Prof. John Duke *
Prof. Joel P. Fowler
Joel P. Fowler, Jr. was an associate professor at Fresno State from 1989 to 1995.
He was the head of broadcast production and taught TV production, TV news, corporate video, introduction to mass communication and several other courses.
Fowler received his bachelor of fine arts from the University of Texas in Austin and his master’s degree in Mass Communication at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. He has co-authored a book, “Camcorder in the Classroom: Using the Video Camera to Enliven Curriculum.”
He currently resides in his hometown of Fort Worth, Texas where he works part time at the Amon Carter Museum.
Prof. Arthur Margosian *
Professor Emeritus Arthur “Art” Margosian, Ph.D., was a teacher, administrator, family man and community leader who had a long history at California State University, Fresno.
Margosian was a student and served as co-editor of the yearbook before his graduation from Fresno State. In addition, he served as editor-in-chief for The Collegian. He was named “Outstanding Senior Male Student” and graduated from Fresno State in 1956 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and social science.
After graduation, Margosian earned a master’s degree in education and accepted a teaching position at Fresno City College where he became the founding president of the State Center Community College Foundation, a local fundraising organization. He was also on the state Board of Governors for California Community Colleges, where he served with distinction.
Margosian left FCC to serve at Fresno State as director of public relations and as an assistant professor in journalism. In 1966, he resigned his public relations role to teach full time. Soon after, he was promoted and named dean of the school of professional studies.
During this time, he was working toward a doctorate from the University of Southern California.
In 1970, Margosian resigned as dean in order to return to teaching journalism and counseling. From 1976 until 1979, he served as chairman of the rapidly expanding journalism department at Fresno State and was a member of the journalism department for approximately 20 years. He worked in the journalism and public relations department and became head of the department after Bernard Shepard, Ph.D., retired. Margosian continued to work at Fresno State until his retirement in 1986.
The year Margosian retired, he was named “Outstanding Journalism Teacher at a Four-year University” by the California Newspaper Publishers Association.
Margosian passed away of cancer on November 19, 1994 at the age of 64. A scholarship was established to provide funding for journalism students with an emphasis in public relations in his honor.
Prof. Tommy Miller *
Prof. William Monson *
Professor Emeritus William Monson, Ph.D., spent 32 years at California State University, Fresno as a professor of radio, television, journalism and film before retiring in 2000.
Monson was born in 1935 in Galesburg, Ill. He attended Knox College, working as a radio disc jockey to pay for school. He graduated in 1957 with a double major in speech drama and creative writing. After graduation, Monson enrolled in the University of Iowa’s
graduate program and then enlisted in the U.S. Navy Officer Candidate Program.
He spent five years working in Hollywood as a writer-producer-director for the Armed Forces Radio and Television Service. It was there that he began teaching in the Los Angeles public schools. He earned a master’s degree in speech-theatre at California State University, Northridge and a doctorate in speech (theatre) from the University of Oregon.
In 1968, he accepted a teaching position at California State University, Fresno.
Although he worked as a full time instructor, Monson was also a writer, director and performer. He published a novel and wrote several award-winning plays. He also wrote pieces for Fresno’s public radio and television stations, a weekly newspaper column and hosted a weekly telephone talk show for 14 years.
After his retirement in 1997, Monson moved with his wife to Pismo Beach where he spent the remainder of his days writing, performing and volunteering in the community.
Dr. Paul V. Sheehan *
The late Paul V. Sheehan, Ph.D., attended California State University, Fresno in the late 1930’s. He served as a member of the faculty at Fresno State for 39 years before retiring in 1969.
Sheehan was the founder of the Fresno State Department of Journalism, which later became the Department of Media, Communications and Journalism. Dr. Sheehan took a
small journalism department that offered only a few courses and helped establish it as a full department. He also established the Media, Communications and Journalism Graduate Program.
His published works include Reportorial Writing (1972), Better Business Letters (1939) and The United Nation’s Charter: The Supreme Law of the Land (1968).
Dr. Bernard Shepard *
Bernard “Bernie” Shepard, Ph.D., established and built the Public Relations program at California State University, Fresno. He was a member of the Fresno State Department of Journalism for almost 30 years, joining the staff in 1943. He brought vision and a wide-range of experience to the department.
Before joining Fresno State, he served his country as a captain in World War II and as a public relations officer at the Army Administration School. He worked as a freelance publicity manager, a news correspondent and as a contributing editor to China Monthly. In addition, he was a public relations director and a community relations representative for the New York State Citizens Council in Syracuse.
Shepard earned his master’s degree in journalism and his doctorate in philosophy at Syracuse University. He also obtained a bachelor of science in library service at Columbia University and a bachelor of arts at Union College in Schenectady, New York.
He was a man who embraced education and believed it was a lifelong process. He was a dedicated professor who was always available to guide and mentor his students. He was an outstanding educator and, in being so, was awarded the Distinguished Teaching Award in 1967 and was named California’s Top College and University Journalism Teacher in 1969 by the California Newspaper Publishers Association.
Shepard encouraged his students to give back to the community and led by example. He was active in public service and frequently volunteered his journalistic and public relations skills to help a variety of organizations.
A scholarship was established in his honor by a former student and is awarded to students from both the public relations and journalism fields of study.
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