Fielding Graduate University News

Fielding Graduate University Ranks in Top 20 Best Buy for Online Masters in Media Psychology

Posted by Hilary Edwards on Wed, May 01, 2013
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Fielding Graduate University recently earned a top 20 ranking for the Master of Arts in Media Psychology., America’s consumer oriented online college guide, published its 2013 online university rankings of the best affordable online master’s programs for psychology, counseling and human services professionals which included the Fielding in the top 20 ranking.

The online university rankings are based on an a comprehensive national review of 43 regionally accredited graduate schools that offer 71 online master’s in psychology and allied human services careers.

Fielding’s School of Psychology acting dean, Kristine Jacquin, PhD, commented "I'm pleased that our media psychology master's program has been recognized as a good value. Others are learning what we already know -- that we have a great program. The faculty brings great experience, knowledge, and energy to the program. Faculty members are highly involved, making the online learning experience richer and more rewarding for students."

Fielding Graduate University Best Buy Ranking

Fielding Graduate University, a private non-profit university headquartered in Santa Barbara, CA, is a regionally accredited graduate and post-graduate institute. The university has been a leader in distance education since its’ founding as a distributed learning institute for adult scholar-practitioners in 1974.

“Given its unique pioneering role in developing distributed learning networks tailored to the needs of adult students, Fielding is a true educational-innovator among online grad schools,” says Get Educated founder, Vicky Phillips.

“The scholar-practitioner model developed by Fielding through the use of nationally distributed learning networks and study clusters has, in the last decade, become the venerated standard copied by newer online graduate schools nationwide” says Phillips, who has been researching online learning for more than two decades.

“Fielding’s top 20 ranking on the Get Educated national online master’s degree affordability survey reveals the school is committed to making higher education financially accessible to psychology professionals across the United States at a time when the debate over higher education cost and value has reached critical pitch.”

“Dedicated to bringing higher education to adult scholars in the communities where they live and work Fielding’s online Master’s in Media Psychology is a unique academic gem. Fielding blends affordability and quality by offering a low-cost, high social impact online learning program that is rooted in critical liberal arts traditional while simultaneously supporting practical new research on the transformative role of social, mobile and immersive media on personal and cultural identity.”

“Fielding’s master’s in media psychology, available 100% online, represents one of the most innovative online degree curricula Get Educated editors have reviewed in the last decade,” says Phillips. “Nothing has altered social and cultural identity more than digital media. Fielding’s online master’s allows researchers and practitioners to study how new media is being harnessed for social advocacy and political disruption as well as for commercial persuasion. The online media courses allow marketing professionals to study emerging trends, such as branding and trans-media storytelling, as they unfold in real time, online and across media channels. Break-through courses like the Psychology of Neuromarketing represent some of the first university sponsored efforts to explore the power, promise and perils of new media,” says Phillips “This program is a great online learning value in terms of its contribution to new media research and it extremely reasonable cost structure when compared to it national peers.”

Online Master’s Costs Rising

According to the national online learning survey the average cost, tuition and online education fees included, for a professional master’s in human services (regionally accredited) is $27,416.  Fielding’s online Master’s in Media Psychology ranks #19 and is significantly lower.

Fielding’s media psychology program director, Garry Hare, PhD, stated, “Graduate education is only a best buy if the program is a truly valuable educational experience.  Our media psychology faculty has designed an innovative, contemporary and very participatory curriculum.  The result prepares our graduates for rewarding careers centered on the social impact of digital media and mobile communications.”

Tags: Media psychology, fielding graduate university, graduate education

Dr. Bernard Luskin: Join the Society for Media Psychology & Technology

Posted by Hilary Edwards on Thu, Nov 15, 2012

Dr. Luskin has an exceptional history as an administrator, educator and leader in media psychology. Bernie Luskin has made many contributions and pioneered new programs," said Dr. Judith Kuipers, President Emeritus of Fielding Graduate University. "While at Fielding, Bernie developed and launched the first MA Ph.D. program in Media Psychology and EdD program in Media Studies in any university. Partnering with UCLA Extension, he launched a successful master's degree program in Media Psychology and Social Change, and at Touro University Worldwide he launched an MA degree program in Media and Communications Psychology," said Kuipers. From PR Newswire 

Join The Society for Media Psychology & Technology

Published on Psychology Today (

This article explains the APA Society for Media Psychology and Technology and gives you an overview of media psychology refined from many years in this field.


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Creative media applications in learning are rapidly expanding. Focus on MOOCS, online and blended learning, augmented reality, artificial intelligence; robotics in commerce, education, public policy, telehealth, and military applications from inner to outer space are increasing. Twenty-first century educational institutions need more sophisticated faculty and staff who understand higher concepts in media arts and sciences. Individuals must now grasp the implications of media to perform competitively in the majority of new and emerging occupational specialties.

Theories in psychology are fundamental.

Media psychology includes the understanding of the physical and emotional aspects of the brain. Range of emotion, expression, persuasion, sexuality and gender are among the areas of continuing study within media psychology. Also included are theories of attention, persuasion, emotional control, believability, situational cognition, assessment, learning, mind mapping, persistence, reinforcement, mastery, success and failure. “Pscybermedia,” is a neologism combining psychology (human behavior), artificial intelligence (cybernetics) and media (pictures, graphics and sound).

Applying the art and science of media psychology has become essential to effective teaching. Media psychologists study and report the effects of research on sensory and cognitive processes that impact cultural attitudes and values.

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Effects studies show the way.

Effects research examines how the various news and entertainment media affect, and are affected by, audiences, their demographics and numbers. Examples of media influences include the formation, maintenance and/or change of individual and group stereotypes. On-camera and off-camera diversity representation, the framing of media stories and news, advertising, public service messages, political messages and more, directly influence overt and nuanced human behavior.

Understanding applied media psychology is important for those who work with and within the public and private sectors. Specifically included are government, military, public and private health services and all areas of telecommunications, teletherapy and commerce. The pursuit of commercial opportunities and innovations in the delivery of online learning for traditional education institutions and corporate university populations are equally important areas.  Media psychologists are among the professionals who consult with producers of printed and electronic books, films, those who appear as guests or hosts on radio or television, and all who offer on-line services involving advice, counseling information, expert testimony in litigation and dispute resolution.


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scholar/practitioner approach is increasingly important for many career professionals. The scientist-clinical and applied practitioner is a natural disciple of the media psychology specialty.  Thucydides, author of The History of the Peloponnesian War written in 431 B.C.E., is reputed to have said it best:

“A nation that draws too broad a difference between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking being done by cowards, and its fighting done by fools.”

Combining research, theory and practice maximizes new opportunities in health services, public service and public policy, publishing, education, entertainment and commerce for those with a solid foundational understanding of theories in psychology and their connection to human behavior.

The APA Society for Media Psychology and Technology will heighten awareness, open new career options and serve as a catalyst in providing a forum so that working together we can achieve a better world.

Society Website:


Luskin, Bernard Jay, (1970) An Identification and Examination of Obstacles to the Development of Computer Assisted Instruction, University Microfilm ID: 7199656, 288 pages

Luskin, B. J., & Friedland, L. (1998). Task force report: Media psychology and new technologies. Washington, DC: Division of Media Psychology, Division 46 of the American Psychological Association. Link:

Luskin, B.J. (2003, May/June) Media psychology: A field that’s time is here, The California PsychologistMay/June, 2003, reprinted, National Psychologist


Dr. Bernard Luskin is President-elect (2014), of the Society for Media Psychology and Technology, the Media Psychology Division 46 of the American Psychological Association. In 2011, the Society recognized Bernie Luskin with its award for Distinguished Lifetime Achievement in Media Psychology. He can be reached at:



Tags: Media psychology, psychology, sociology, social media, leadership, higher education, learning, research

Fielding alumna Melle Starsen presents in the US and the UK with research of stereotypes in media

Posted by Hilary Edwards on Fri, Oct 26, 2012

Fielding Graduate University alumna (ELC '11) Melle Starsen, EdD, presents her doctoral research across the United States and United Kingdom.

Starsen started off 2012 by traveling to the University of Oregon in Portland, OR, Loughborough University in Loughborough, UK, and John Moores University in Liverpool, UK presenting her research titled: "Cool to be cruel: Mean-spiritedness in 21st century children's TV sitcoms"  Starsen cites, "Much has been written about the proven negative effects viewing television violence has on children and yet there is another kind of violent role-modeling embedded in an unlikely place: children’s television sitcoms. This content analysis investigated live-action children’s half-hour sitcoms and discovered the presence of relational aggression and superiority humor, both of which rely on brutally treating other humans as inferior. The television characters seek revenge on each other, intentionally make others look bad or stupid, humiliate peers and parents, and are rarely punished for their mean-spiritedness and cruelty. The children’s sitcoms are behavioral blueprints of lies and deceit, as the characters unashamedly cheat others, defraud parents and other adults, and attempt to make peers and teachers look stupid and in the vernacular of the culture, “clueless.” Further, stereotypes are not only presented as acceptable, but are reinforced by frequent inclusion into the action. This study discovered myriad examples of mean-spiritedness and cruelty on the part of characters in the programs, ranging in frequency from 7 to 31.25 per half-hour episode, averaging 33.75 per hour for programs viewed. The study includes recommendations for parents and educators to help offset the possible negative effects of these programs."

For the next part of the year, Starsen began presenting her next topic: "Hidden messages: Archetypes in Blaxploitation Films" at the 2012 Film and History Conference-Film and Myth in Milwaukee, WI in September. Starsen states: "Many movie critics and researchers have rebuked Blaxploitation films (1970-1975) as sexist, racist, and, most of all, degrading to black audiences and the black community.  However, this empirical study of blaxploitation films has determined that far from presenting a negative image of the black community, many of the entries in this genre do in fact provide embedded archetypes that present consistent messages for black audiences about the need to eschew exploitation of their own people and communities and instead, support education, crime-reduction programs, and community outreach to improve the communities. The films, though accused of being violent and brutal, actually present messages about the need for black communities to stand together and right the wrongs of the past by supporting an almost sovereign nation-within-a-nation."

Starsen presented this research at the Midwest Popular Culture Association in Columbus, OH in October along with a second presentation titled "The metamorphosis of modern television news into 'entertainment propaganda" which she is scheduled to present at the upcoming Media and Politics Conference at the University on Bedfordshire, Luton, UK on Nov. 1-2, 2012.  

Starsen currently serves as assistant professor of communication at Upper Iowa University  which has an international and online presence; teaching television history, editing, writing for media, television production, media law and ethics, journalistic and online writing, and public speaking. Previously an instructor in communication for 10 years teaching screenwriting and speech. Published author with two novels, short stories in academic journals, and articles in national publications and journals. TV producer-director-writer at university PBS affiliate for nine years, producing documentary programs and PSAs. Researched, wrote and acted as location unit manager for American documentary on Dr Who. Journalist and freelance writer for 20 years, with articles in publications such as The New York Times. Wrote screenplay that is currently in pre-production. Appeared as extra in two films. Ten years’ experience acting and doing technical work in theatre. Ongoing research interests include: 1) using media such as film in successful college teaching; 2) importing real-life experience into university teaching pedagogy; and 3) researching and studying the millennial generation, so-called “echo boomers,” and their visually-oriented learning styles and short attention spans. Hobbies include photography, fossil hunting and collecting sea pottery shards from the UK.

Tags: Media psychology, conference, social media, international, human development, learning, research

Fielding faculty Dr. Karen Dill keeping busy in media psychology news

Posted by Hilary Edwards on Fri, Sep 14, 2012

describe the imageFielding Graduate University media psychology faculty member Karen Dill, PhD, is making the news.

Karen recently completed an interview with Time magazine covering her research on race in video games. The article reviews the research for the game Assassin’s Creed III based on the concept for a half-Mohawk, half-British assassin.

Read the Time article here: 

Regarding the her research and analysis of the Mohawk culture, Karen writes about what the game developers did right:

“This game might teach some realistic aspects of Mohawk culture, and the game developersMohawk iron worker strove to be realistic and accurate about Mohawk culture. What would be positive is if the game caused players to learn more about the Mohawk culture, specifically aspects that do not involve aggression. For example, game players might find out that Mohawks were key ironworkers that helped build the city of New York.

What makes a character a stereotype or not, for me, depends on several things, all of which have to do with good narrative and character development in general. Of course, game developers should stay away from stereotypes, negative or positive. Characters should be complicated and nuanced. The fact of their race should inform who they are and yet they should still be allowed to be a unique individual."

Along with this article, Karen also recently published an article in Sage titled: Simulation & Gaming: An International Journal  demonstrating how minorities are presented in the media makes a difference in how others feel about and react to other members of that minority.  For more than four decades, Simulation & Gaming: An International Journal of Theory, Practice and Research has served as a leading international forum for the exploration and development of simulation/gaming methodologies used in education, training, consultation, and research. It appraises academic and applied issues in the expanding fields of simulation, computer- and internet-mediated simulation, virtual reality, educational games, video games, industrial simulators, active and experiential learning, case studies, and related methodologies.

Not slowing down, Karen recently worked with the International Society for Research on Aggression to complete a statement regarding media violence intended for general audiences to summarize what experts believe about media violence effects. The International Society for Research on Aggression (ISRA) is a society of scholars and scientists interested in the scientific study of aggression and violence. The Society is both international and interdisciplinary and meets every other year on alternating continents. There are over 250 members from several dozen countries with specialties in psychology, psychiatry, physiology, sociology, anthropology, animal behavior, criminology, political science, pharmacology, and education. For more information on the ISRA media violence statement, click here:

Based on her expertise, Karen was also recently invited by the chair of the division on information systems of the ICA (International Communication Association), to be part of a panel promoting promote the upcoming Oxford Handbook of Media Psychology, of which she is the editor, next summer at their London conference.

Last but not least, Fielding Graduate University is pleased to announce the Media & Social Psychology course that Karen teaches draws praise in this article posted recently for being on the forefront of thought in its field, and is among other courses offered by top Universities including Harvard.

Click here for the article 10 College Courses That Didn’t Exist 20 Years  Ago:

To keep up with Karen and her work:

Psychology Today Blog:

Tags: Media psychology, diversity, research

Media psychology student new CTO at Aegis

Posted by Sylvia Williams on Wed, May 16, 2012

Mike Neal, a doctoral student in Fielding Graduate University's media psychology program, has been hired by Aegis Analytical Corp. as its Chief Technology Officer. The company's announcement can be read at

Tags: Media psychology, technology, graduate education

Media psychology faculty member to publish sequel to acclaimed "The Biblical World"

Posted by Sylvia Williams on Tue, Apr 24, 2012
Jesus Footsteps Cover

Jean-Pierre Isbouts, D.Litt, a faculty member in Fielding Graduate University’s doctoral media psychology program, has completed the manuscript for the upcoming National Geographic publication In the Footsteps of Jesus. This 368-page hardcover book is richly illustrated with location photography, archaeological objects, art, and maps. In it Dr. Isbouts reconstructs the historical, social, and cultural environment in which the life of Jesus and the rise of early Christianity took place. The book is divided into three main segments:

 • Part 1 offers an overview of the Roman Empire before the birth of Jesus and the socio-economic changes wrought by Herod the Great in Palestine, followed by an intimate recreation of everyday life in a small Galilean village such as Nazareth.

• Part 2 follows closely in Jesus’ footsteps by recreating the journeys of his ministry, beginning within the immediate vicinity of Capernaum, followed by travels throughout Galilee, and culminating in the journeys to Tyre, Sidon and the Decapolis before the fateful journey to Jerusalem. Here, the narrative offers a detailed, hour-by-hour reconstruction of the Passion events, based on the latest scholarly and archaeological findings.

• Part 3 traces the gradual emergence of Christian communities in the decades after the Easter events, not only among the core of Jewish Christians in Jerusalem and Judea, but also among Jewish and Gentile communities in Syria, Asia Minor and Greece, in addition to many other Christian communities seeded by the rapidly modernizing land and sea routes in the Early Roman Empire.jean pierre Isbouts 1

• Lastly, the book traces the growing popularity of pilgrimage routes to the Holy Land, which enabled thousands of pilgrims from the 4th century onwards to walk in the footsteps of Jesus. 

In the Footsteps of Jesus is deeply respectful of Christian traditions of all denominations, but does not hesitate to tackle some of the urgent questions raised by modern biblical scholarship and archaeological discovery. Among others, the book examines the insights offered by recent excavations at Sepphoris and Jerusalem, which shed new light on Jesus’ adolescence and the Passion. It also offers a fresh interpretation of Jesus’ Kingdom of God philosophy, while vividly illustrating the social and economic impact of Herod’s rapacious tax regimes as very few books have done before. Lastly, the book proposes a comprehensive chronological timeline of Jesus’ ministry in Galilee and beyond, based on the sometimes conflicting details reported in the Gospels.

The manuscript has been reviewed by a panel of distinguished scholars, including Craig Evans, Payzant Distinguished Professor of New Testament at Acadia University, in Wolfville, Nova Scotia; Donald Senior, C.P., a member of the Pontifical Biblical Commission and General Editor of The Catholic Study Bible; Shaye J. D. Cohen, Littauer Professor of Hebrew Literature and Philosophy at Harvard University; and Amy-Jill Levine, Professor of Jewish Studies at Vanderbilt University Divinity School.

The book will also include a number of photographs shot by Dr. Isbouts in Israel, Egypt, Jordan, and Turkey.

 In the Footsteps of Jesus is scheduled for release in November of 2012 as part of a nationwide promotional campaign. For more information, please contact Lisa Thomas at

Tags: globalization, Media psychology, social justice, educational leadership, diversity, religion, leadership, human rights, graduate education

Media Psychology Director Interviewed on "Trailblazers"

Posted by Sylvia Williams on Wed, Mar 07, 2012
karen dill

Karen Dill, PhD, was recently a guest on the Dr. Howard Gluss radio program “Trailblazers”. Dill is the director and a faculty member of Fielding’s Media Psychology Doctoral Program. The Gluss program airs on channel KFNX; his guests are renowned experts in a variety of fields with whom he “examines how our passions are discovered, embraced, and become a force to create cultural and social change.”

Dill was invited to talk about media violence, misogyny, and racism with Joseph Burgo, PhD, an expert in celebrity fantasy, narcissism, and reality. A description of the program and a link to the podcast can be found at


Tags: Media psychology, psychology, violence, social media

Fielding Alumni Among Winners of HASTAC MacArthur Stage One Competition

Posted by Sylvia Williams on Wed, Dec 14, 2011

Diana Graber and Cynthia Lieberman, 2010 graduates of Fielding Graduate University’s Media Psychology and Social Change master’s program, recently received the Stage One HASTAC/MacArthur Foundation grant for their proposal in the Badges of Lifelong Learning Competition.  Their proposal, “CyberWise - Digital Literacy for Grownups,” was one of the 60 winners posted at

Adapted from the Digital Media Learning Competition website:

The competition is held in collaboration with the Mozilla Foundation and is part of the 4th Digital Media and Learning Competition funded by the MacArthur Foundation and administered by HASTAC (the Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory). The Badges for Lifelong Learning Competition is designed to encourage the creation of digital badges and badge systems that support, identify, recognize, measure, and account for new skills, competencies, knowledge, and achievements for 21st century learners wherever and whenever learning takes place.

Stage One applicants were asked to submit ideas for compelling learning content, activities, or programs for which a badge or set of badges would be useful for recognizing learning that takes place in a particular area or topic. Winning applications represent a wide array of public and private institutions and organizations from around the world, including museums, nonprofits, after-school programs, research institutions, and for-profit companies.

Stage Two opens on December 12 and seeks badge system design and tech proposals that respond to Stage One winning content or content from one of the Competition’s official Collaborators—including the Department of Education, the Department of Veteran Affairs, Microsoft, Intel, NASA, the American Library Association and more. Full information can be found at

The entire Fielding community extends our congratulations and admiration for this significant accomplishment to our alumni colleagues Diana and Cynthia.


Tags: Media psychology, creativity, educational leadership, Transformational learning, MacArthur Foundation, Advising and Student Development, digital learning, adult learning

Fielding Launches Program in Digital Asset Management

Posted by Sylvia Williams on Tue, Nov 08, 2011

Fielding Graduate University is offering a new online graduate-level certificate in the emerging field of digital asset management. The program’s focus is on what media professionals in the digital asset field (e.g., those working in graphics services, web content, multimedia archives) need to know about managing digital data and the strategic use of those assets and reusable media components. Students will explore the challenges of and systems solutions to managing, rating, grouping, downloading, archiving, and exporting digital files containing massive amounts of data.

Required courses for the certificate are Fundamentals of Digital Asset Management and Best Practices of Metadata. Among the media psychology electives are the courses Global Media and Social Advocacy, Positive Psychology and Pro-Social Media, Media and Political Psychology, and Identity in the Virtual Age.

The curriculum will be completed entirely online over a span of three academic terms and require approximately 10 weekly study hours. Students may apply for admission to the master’s program in media psychology and if accepted their certificate units will be credited toward the degree requirements. Learn more at

Tags: Media psychology, creativity, adult learning, Distributed education

Media Psychology Founder Honored by APA

Posted by Sylvia Williams on Mon, Aug 29, 2011

Dr. Bernard Luskin, the founder of Fielding’s doctoral media psychology program, has been honored by the American Psychological Association with a lifetime achievement award from its Media Psychology Division. Luskin was recognized for his pioneering work that largely defined the field of media psychology. His distinguished career includes posts in higher education, media, business, and psychology.

 When in 2003 he created Fielding’s doctoral media psychology program, the first of its kind, he said “The study of media effects and understanding the psychology of media are fundamental to emerging social, commercial, and educational trends.” Luskin is now chief executive officer and senior provost of Touro University Worldwide. He is pictured with former students who have gone on to leadership roles in journalism, entertainment, publishing, telecommunications, government, public policy, and other fields related to media and psychology.

Tags: Media psychology, APA, educational leadership, leadership