Faculty/Staff

Troy University's Hall School of Journalism and Communication faculty members are attuned to today's convergence of mass media, global communication and information environments. They understand how to adapt, drive transformation and reinvent the traditional ideas of the mass media that drove the industry in the past century.

The faculty members know that it takes more than knowledge, more than technology and more than innovation to stay ahead of the communication transformation taking place today. It takes a dedicated faculty, a commitment to our students and a carefully prepared roadmap of objectives and strategies. These fuel the learning environment at the Hall School.

The faculty at the School of Journalism and Communication are degreed professionals with real-world experience; many hold doctoral degrees in their fields of expertise. This is because we understand that you learn more when your classes are taught by the best professors and our students will quickly tell you that the Hall School has the best.

jeff spurlock

Dr. Jeff Spurlock

Director, Hall School of Journalism and Communication
Professor of Broadcast Journalism

Dr. Jeff Spurlock is the director of the Hall School of Journalism and Communication, as well as a professor. He received his B.A. from Western Kentucky University, his M.S. from Middle Tennessee State University and his Ph.D. from The University of Southern Mississippi. Dr. Spurlock has more than 15 years of professional broadcast journalism experience. He is a two-time past president of the Southeast Journalism Conference and was a Chancellor's Fellow in 2007. He received the 2008 Ingalls Award for Excellence in Classroom Teaching and was named Journalism Educator of the Year by the Southeast Journalism Conference in 2009. Dr. Spurlock's teaching interests are broadcast journalism, media law, strategic communication and media effects and is a member of Troy's graduate faculty. Email Dr. Spurlock at spurlock@troy.edu.

 

maryjo cochran

Dr. Maryjo Cochran

Professor of Broadcast Journalism

Dr. Maryjo Cochran is a professor of broadcast journalism and communication studies and served as dean of the College of Communication and Fine Arts prior to her decision to return to teaching in the Hall School. She earned her B.A. in Speech and Theatre Education from Southern Methodist University, her M.A. in Radio-Television-Film from The University of Michigan and her Ph.D. in Radio-Television-Film from The University of Michigan. Dr. Cochran's teaching interests are media performance and study abroad. Email Dr. Cochran at macochran@troy.edu.

 

bridget colaco

Dr. Bridgette Colaco

Assistant Professor of Multimedia Journalism and Advertising

Dr. Bridgett Colaco is an assistant professor of journalism and advertising and also serves as the Hall School's graduate studies coordinator. She brings an extensive level of professional and academic experience in journalism, international and cross-cultural communications to the Hall School. She received her B.A. from St. Xavier's College, her M.A. from The University of Calcutta and her Ph.D. in Mass Communication and Media Arts from The University of Southern Illinois. She also holds an International Diploma in Advanced Journalism from Cardiff University, United Kingdom and a diploma in French from the French Cultural Embassy in Calcutta, India. Dr. Colaco's teaching interests are advertising, public relations, strategic communication and global journalism. Email Dr. Colaco at bcolaco@troy.edu.

 

amanda diggs

Dr. Amanda Diggs

Associate Professor of Communication Studies

Dr. Amanda Diggs is an associate professor of communication in Troy University's Hall School of Journalism and Communication. She also serves as the Hall School's Coordinator of Assessment. She earned her B.S. in Broadcast Journalism and Social Science from Troy University, her M.A. in Communication from Auburn University and her Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences majoring in Pharmacy Care Systems with Communication and Socio-Behavioral emphases from Auburn University. Dr. Diggs' teaching interests are communication studies, health communication, strategic communication and cultural communication. Dr. Diggs is a member of Troy University's graduate faculty. Email Dr. Diggs at amdiggs@troy.edu.

 

morgan drinkard

Morgan Drinkard

Lecturer of Public Relations and Advertising

Morgan Hooper Drinkard is a lecturer of public relations and multimedia communication in the Hall School. She received her B.S. in Broadcast Journalism/Public Relations from Troy University and her M.A. in Public Relations from The University of Alabama. Before joining Troy's teaching staff full-time, Ms. Drinkard served as the executive director of the Johnson Center for the Arts. Email Ms. Drinkard at mdrinkard@troy.edu.

 

shari hoppin

Dr. Shari Hoppin

Associate Professor of Journalism and Communication Studies

Dr. Shari Hoppin is an associate professor in the school. She earned her B.A. in Communication from the University of Ottawa (Canada) and her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Southern California. She has worked as a newspaper reporter and editor in the Caribbean and in Canada. Dr. Hoppin taught at the University of Southern California and at Florida State University before joining the faculty at Troy University. Dr. Hoppin teaches courses in journalism, communication theory, persuasion, organizational communication, and leadership. Dr. Hoppin is a member of Troy University’s graduate faculty and teaches in the Hall School’s Master of Science in Strategic Communication degree program. Email Dr. Hoppin at shoppin@troy.edu.

 

doc kirby

David "Doc" Kirby

Lecturer of Multimedia Journalism and Communication Studies

David Kirby has been a full-time lecturer for the Hall School of Journalism and Communication since 2006. He received his B.M.E. from Troy University and his M.S.E from Troy University and also holds 21 semester hours of additional graduate work in communications. Kirby specializes in broadcast journalism and communication technology, bringing decades of real-world broadcast experience to the classroom. Mr. Kirby is well-known for his radio daily book review show, his monthly column in Dixie Living magazine and his weekly half-hour interview show on the radio. Kirby works with the Troy University Jazz program in the John M. Long School of Music at Troy University. He continues to serve as a minister for the United Methodist Church, and is the Operations/Program Manager for Troy Broadcasting Corporation. Email him at dkirby36321@troy.edu.

 

susan sarapin

Dr. Susan Sarapin

Assistant Professor of Multimedia Journalism and Communication

Dr. Susan Sarapin is an assistant professor in the Hall School of Journalism and Communication. Her primary teaching areas are multimedia journalism, communication law and advertising. Dr. Sarapin's undergraduate degree is from the University of Illinois. Her MS and PhD degrees are from Purdue University. Dr. Sarapin teaches on the Troy campus. Email her at ssarapin@troy.edu.

 

steve stewart

Steve Stewart

Assistant Professor of Multimedia Journalism

Prof. Steve Stewart is an assistant professor and also serves as advisor for Troy University's student newspaper, The Tropolitan. His primary teaching interests are print journalism and multimedia journalism. He received his B.A. from The University of Georgia and his M.A. from The University of Alabama. Professor Stewart has more than 30 years of professional journalism experience. He is best known for his work at The Monroe Journal, where he spent 23 years working from the ground up through that organization to be named the editor and publisher of that family-owned paper. He also worked for the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Prof. Stewart is a former president of the Alabama Press Association. Email him at sstewart71298@troy.edu.

 

ava tabb

Ava Tabb

Lecturer of Multimedia Journalism

Ava Tabb is a lecturer in the Hall School. She received her B.A. from The University of Alabama and her M.S. from Northwestern University. Her primary teaching interests are multimedia journalism, digital photography and advertising. Ms. Tabb's professional experience includes working as a general assignment at the Andalusia Star daily newspaper and as a writer for the Birmingham Business Journal. Prior to joining the Hall School's faculty, Ms. Tabb taught at Miles College. Email her at amtabb@troy.edu.

 

 

robbyn taylor

Robbyn Taylor

Lecturer of Journalism and Communication Studies

Robbyn Brooks Taylor is a lecturer in the Hall School of Journalism and Communication. She earned both her B.S. in Broadcast Journalism and M.S. in Strategic Communication from Troy University. Her primary teaching interests are multimedia journalism, strategic communication, and writing for both newspapers and public relations/advertising. Before joining the Hall School's teaching staff, Ms. Taylor worked as a photojournalist at WSFA in Montgomery, a reporter at WNCF in Montgomery, a reporter, mobile journalist, columnist and editor for Freedom Communications in Northwest Florida (The Destin Log, The Northwest Florida Daily News and The Crestview News Bulletin), an international spokesperson and media coordinator for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals in Washington, D.C. and as managing editor of The Messenger in Troy. Ms. Taylor has garnered awards for her writing both in Florida and Alabama. She continues to freelance for The Messenger and is a contributing writer at generationveggie.com. Email her at rbtaylor@troy.edu.

 

kate rowinsky

Kate Rowinsky

School Administrative Assistant

Ms. Kate Rowinsky is the departmental secretary for the Hall School of Journalism and Communications. She probably deals with more people everyday than anyone else in the Hall School of Journalism and Communication. On a typical day, she works with students, faculty, parents, university administrators and alumni. Add keeping track of student, faculty and departmental paperwork and you see why Ms. Rowinsky is a very busy person. While Ms. Rowinsky is busy, she always takes time to help students, faculty and alumni. This is one of the reasons why we all know that if you need something from the Hall School of Journalism, you need to talk to Ms. Kate. Email her at krowinsky@troy.edu.

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