Jun 22, 2024  
2024-2025 Undergraduate Catalog 
2024-2025 Undergraduate Catalog

School of Media Arts and Design

Joe Hinshaw, Interim Director
Phone: (540) 568-7007
Email: smad@jmu.edu
Location: Harrison Hall, Room 0283
Website: http://www.jmu.edu/smad

D. Flamiano, J. Hinshaw, D. Maune, G. Mellinger, K. Reynolds, R. Soenksen, S. Wright, A. Vilela

Associate Professors
N. Dinc, C. Guo, S. Hokanson, A. Hooker, T. Mitchell, I. O’Reilly, D. Wang, N. Zheng

Assistant Professors
R. Alessi, M. Herman, E. Hernandez, E. Kvernen, R. Parkhurst, M. Smalls

D. Dillman, M. Leech, J. Loyacano

Visiting Instructors
O. Booker

Mission Statement

The School of Media Arts and Design prepares students to serve as creative, reflective and highly skilled media producers and storytellers, sensitive to the personal and social impact of the messages they create and to the important role media can play in advancing the public interest.


To be a national leader in media education, providing innovative programs that embrace and integrate traditional media concepts, values and skills with new and evolving technologies.

We value:

  • Inquiry-based learning, both independent and collaborative, that emphasizes the creative process and is distinctly innovative, challenging, cooperative and collegial.
  • Historical, legal and ethical literacy and critical thinking skills that enable students to reach thoughtful and principled decisions throughout their careers.
  • Diverse communities and global perspectives acquired through study and experience.
  • Strong co-curricular, extracurricular and internship activities that enrich education and enhance an understanding of the role of media in society.


Graduating SMAD students will:

  • communicate a message via a well-researched, targeted story appropriate for the audience and medium.
  • analyze different media messages and apply information literacy skills to assess their accuracy, relevance and context.
  • compose written products characteristic of entry-level media arts and design professionals.
  • apply ethical decision-making to the media production process.
  • integrate prior learning in order to analyze, plan, create, evaluate and revise a capstone-level creative product, while exhibiting professional collaboration skills.
  • produce and disseminate media while exercising current legal rights and responsibilities.

Diversity Statement

As faculty and staff in James Madison University’s School of Media Arts and Design, we acknowledge the impact we and our students have on representation and narrative, as well as the role media can play in advancing public interest. The power of media and our responsibility as producers and storytellers are at the forefront of our experiential learning and critical analysis. We are dedicated to diversity and inclusivity, and we encourage activities that enrich our shared experience. We are here to uplift underrepresented communities in our academic pursuits, and we strive to build a community free of prejudice, intimidation and discrimination through our learning and teaching, scholarship and service.

Career Opportunities

The school integrates the fields and study of mass communication with an emphasis on effective visual storytelling across four areas of concentration: creative advertising, digital video and cinema, interactive design, and journalism. It offers a program of study that prepares students for careers that incorporate mass media related areas of expertise and for graduate study in mass communication and related areas. 

Co-curricular Activities

Majors and interested non-majors are encouraged to participate in co-curricular activities and organizations associated with the school. Co-curricular activities entail practical media arts and design experiences for which credit is available through practica or other applied courses; however, students may participate in most co-curricular opportunities without receiving course credit.

  • The Breeze is the student newspaper.
  • BreezeTV is the student broadcasting activity.
  • Curio is one of several student-produced magazines in SMAD.
  • WMRA-FM is the campus public radio station.
  • WXJM-FM is the student radio station.

Special Admission and Retention Requirements, Minimum Grades, and Concentration Changes

Information on admission to the School of Media Arts and Design, retention and minimum grade requirements, and concentration changes may be found on the individual program pages listed below.