Marion Callahan Samkavitz
January 22, 2023
Delaware Valley University: Assistant Professor of Media and Communication
COURSES TAUGHT: News Reporting and Writing, Introduction to Mass Communication, Digital Media & Web Production, Introduction to Blogging, Writing for Public Relations, Social Media Content, Introduction to Podcasting & Digital Media and Senior Seminar.
- Introduced hands-on reporting, editing and production in blogging class, guiding students as they learned to respond to breaking news that included crime coverage and election coverage on deadline. Students learned to report, write and publish a story within a two-hour time span, creating written, visual and video content. Students then learned to create social media posts to attract audiences to their coverage, applying techniques to make their posts accessible through captions and timely through quick turn-around time.
- Created a course social media account, Storytellers4good, to unite the class around creating, managing and sharing social media posts for the greater good. In Social Media content, students learned to create informational posts, sourced vetted experts or materials. They learned engagement, ethics in the social media landscape and how to create and manage a social media campaign, with brand, message, platform, value and outcome in mind.
- Connected with corporate and nonprofit media specialists to expose students to the expectations, skills and demand of Public Relations specialists today. Through both theoretical learning and application and inviting professionals in the field into class, students learned and practiced the role of a Public Relations specialist. In working with the nonprofit, The Bucks County Opportunity Council, students learned to create press releases, posts and engaging social media content to bring attention to their partnership with Delaware Valley University to tackle hunger. The organization shared its branding guidelines and content, entrusting students to create and package its message during Hunger Awareness Month. Students in the class also hosted a podcast and Q & A with Philadelphia 76ers Communication Director Rob King, who shed light on the roles, responsibilities and challenges of shaping the Sixers’ brand and message. Students then created their own Press Kits, converging all skills learned for their multimedia product.
- Taught both theoretical and practical skills in Introduction to Mass Communication, demonstrating how the convergence of media has changed how we live, socialize, communicate and learn. Students practiced writing, interviewing and creating a digital media product, as they learned to become both a critical consumer of media and a responsible producer. Philadelphia Inquirer Sports Columnist and Author Mike Seilski, HBO & TV actor Adam Radcliffe and Urban Outfitters communication specialists reinforced lessons, highlighting the demands and expectations for modern communicators in the work world.
- Guided students as they introduced breaking-news features and student spotlights to Delaware Valley University’s Student media, The Full360. Expanding the scope of the multimedia student media product, students innovated the site, offering alternative story forms, social media embeds and creative storytelling to reflect their writing style and the views of students on campus. Through audience-driven stories, students learned to manage content, connect with fellow students through social media and respond effectively to the analytics of their viewership. With skills learned, students became empowered to write, edit, manage and circulate content.
- Delaware Valley University’s student media, The Full360, became credentialed to enter the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association prestigious Keystone Awards for student media. A membership with press pass benefits is in process.
Advising and Mentoring:
- Helped to oversee and unite students participants of Delaware Valley University’s Media Club. In its first major campus event, I helped organize, oversee and capture the club’s “Travel Around the Globe” green screen event. From a green screen production we set up in the dining hall, students took photos of nearly 100 participants, transporting them – through visuals – to unique destinations around the globe and in space. While students made up the bulk of the participants, the event was embraced, enjoyed and supported by employees, faculty and a visit by President of Delaware Valley University, Dr. Benjamin Rusiloski.
- Helped a student get access to Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro’s campaign press pool on Election Day 2022. As a practicing photographer, reporter and social media content creator, I reached out to USA Today to request media credentials for my student at Delaware Valley University. She was able to experience first-hand how election night coverage comes together under tight deadlines. The student was exposed to the practice of collecting and creating content and introduced to national reporters from some of the top news outlets across the country.
Professor of Practice/ Cabrini University: Communication Department, Radnor, PA. July 2021- July 2022:
Teaching Journalism, Reporting, Editing and Web Production, Basic Photography, WordPress design /content management for campus media and student portfolios, Introduction to Mass Communications & Professional Development.
- Instructed beginning and advanced journalism and editing classes, while managing and advising Cabrini’s student media, The Loquitur. During my tenure, students earned 10 top state awards in Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association’s Journalism Keystone competition. Students learned to vet and verify information through reliable sources and public records, applying the Freedom of Information Act and Pa. State Right to Know Act to access reliable information. Students learned to interview professional experts in various fields and write news and audience-driven stories.
- Launched interactive Multimedia community-based reporting opportunities, including a Human Trafficking Panel, which yielded a special print section and web package from the educational leadership panel, which was attended by Human Trafficking experts and media leaders from Bucks and Montgomery counties.
- Guided students’ award-winning Social Justice coverage (both writing and photography) of the year anniversary of the death of Walter Wallace, Jr., a young black man suffering a mental health crisis who was shot by Philadelphia police in front of his family after they called 911 for help.
- Updated journalism courses to respond to digital and audience-engagement trends in the media industry, helping to launch a new campus media website, introducing podcast productions to campus media, hosting industry leader visits and introducing Google analytics tracking to gauge the effectiveness of targeted social media outreach and analyze audience behavior.
- Created hands-on curriculum and instruction for basic photography, incorporating lessons in manual-camera operations, preparation and professionalism during off-campus photo shoots, editing software and topics including 360 photography, food photography, portrait photography and portfolio website creation.
- Incorporated international journalism lessons, demonstrating and practicing ways to cover the war in Ukraine from Cabrini. Students hosted a podcast with a Ukrainian woman who shared her journey of having to flee her home following the Russian invasion. Students, via Zoom, hosted three podcasts and wrote stories from the interviews with the woman, as she described her harrowing journey from home to bomb shelters to other locations in the first few weeks of the war.
TEMPLE UNIVERSITY: Master of Liberal Arts, Fall 2006: Journalism/ Media Technology: Klein College of Media and Communications, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA: Bachelor of Science in Journalism, Fall 1992. College of Journalism and Communications, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
DELAWARE VALLEY UNIVERSITY: Teacher Intern Certification Program, Spring 2010. Secondary Education Certificate, English, Delaware Valley University, Doylestown, PA
JOURNALISM & MEDIA EXPERIENCE:
Bucks County Courier Times, USA Today Network, The Intelligencer: 2013-Present (now, freelance only)
Multimedia Enterprise/ Investigative Reporter & Photographer
- Worked on the enterprise/ investigations team, leading front-page projects and taking the lead on multimedia coverage of the 2020 presidential visits in Bucks County.
- Produced first-place video/audio/written storytelling packages on topics that include recovery from addiction, the rise in violent crime linked to methamphetamine, cyber security risks across the region and the trial coverage of a man convicted of multiple Bucks County murders. Also covered stories on inequalities in education and stories shedding light on homelessness and mental health care access challenges in the suburbs.
- Senior content creator of solutions-based reporting and research on the region’s opioid epidemic.
- Produced and hosted podcasts for Suburban Philadelphia news channel, a Gannett audio product.
- TikTok: Produced short videos after training with USA Today’s Humankind TikTok team, aimed at creating and spreading content that makes people happy.
- Managed a team of reporters in reader-engagement and social media strategies. Boost readership, page views and media engagement through social media outreach, video promotions, and targeted community outreach.
- Coached interns/ new employees in video, podcast and advanced writing with an emphasis on telling inspiring stories that reflect underserved populations.
- Shot and produced video, learning on-camera stand-up skills and Final Cut Pro to craft pieces independently. Promoted our organization’s talent on social media and at community forums.
- Created a weekly column, Burb’s Eye View, delving into the emotional and social complexities of suburban life and family.
- Created a money-saving column and video feature called “Saving Bucks.”
The Morning Call, Tribune, Co. Allentown, Pa. 2007-2013 (took a two-year hiatus to teach high school American & world literature)
Reporter/ Hyper-local web manager/ content creator
- Managed and wrote stories for a hyper-local website, covered state education issues and developed and wrote Sunday front-page enterprise stories.
- Shot, edited and produced videos, including the news organization’s first video column, “Marion’s Open Mic,” to spotlight diversity in voices and issues.
European Stars & Stripes, Bureau Chief, Heidelberg, Germany: 1998-2000
- Covered war/conflict from Kosovo, Bosnia and Albania, along with other military trends. Filed stories and photos from hostile zones, while telling stories and sharing the voices of U.S. service members, international troops and refugees impacted by war.
- Wrote about post-war reprisals on Serbs. Covered military/U.N. briefings. Traveled to Israel with U.S. troops during air raids in Iraq in 1999 and wrote about the U.S. air defense programs in the region.
- Trained with soldiers to get certified in landmine training, basic survival skills and military Public Relations communication. Worked with communication and military experts on the ground in several different countries.
- Covered United Nations International Police missions in Kosovo and Bosnia.
The Charlotte Observer, Charlotte, N.C. 2000-2001: Covered education and crime trends.
The Miami Herald: 1993-1997: Covered local government, crime and community features.
NONPROFIT / COMMERCIAL FREELANCE WORK:
Bucks County Housing Group: Media research and consulting on a county-wide initiative to bring attention to the economic ripple effects of the housing shortage in Bucks County. Tasks include scheduling and conducting video interviews with top county leaders, editing and producing the videos and compiling research to unveil how all residents and businesses have a stake in the county’s dire housing situation.
Avenues Recovery: Produced, shot and edited a four-minute promotional video for multiple platforms, including Youtube, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok. Managed development and execution of the project, which included hiring a drone photographer and additional camera shooters to complete the production on a three-week deadline.
COMMUNITY/ INDUSTRY PARTNERSHIPS
- Collaborated and formed new partnerships with area industry media professionals to build connections between Cabrini University and surrounding communities. Organized classroom visits by media industry leaders who shared their expertise and storytelling strategies with students. Leaders included 6ABC multimedia reporter Trish Hartman, USA Today data reporter Chris Ullery, and Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Elizabeth Wellington. Students learned about new media reporting expectations, investigative reporting techniques, and centering diverse voices in their stories. Philadelphia Inquirer Sports Columnist/ Author Mike Sielski and 6ABC reporter and photographer Trish Hartman plan to continue class visits.
- Built bridges for student internships: Created a bridge between students and editors at Bucks County Courier Times / USA Today Network, Pa., sparking internship interviews and hiring for 2022 Summer positions. Began outreach to other publications and media groups.
- “How the healing power of nature inspires resolve in recovery.” Published in the Bucks County Courier Times, USA Today, The Intelligencer, Associated Press (2021)
- U.S. News & World Report “Best of States” coverage: Once lost to addiction, She returns with message and hope Bucks County Courier Times, Associated Press, and dozens of other papers across the country. (2020)
- BOOK: Photography of 2020 presidential visits published in “Notes on Bucks County,” a book by Andy Warren and Hal Marcovitz, which provides an analysis of the political evolution of Bucks County over the past 75 years.
- “Through Their Eyes,” and “A Love Story: Alzheimer’s erodes woman’s memories but not her love for her husband.” The Morning Call, 2007-2009.
Published in hundreds of magazines, books and newspapers across the globe. Work has been published in: USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Yahoo, Christian Science Monitor, Seattle Times, Miami Herald, Washington Times, Kansas City Star, The Charlotte Observer, Lexington Herald-Leader, The Sacramento Bee, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Times Union (Albany), WCAU-TV (Philadelphia, PA), WRAL-TV (Raleigh, NC), Des Moines Register, Government Technology, News & Observer, The Journal News, The Morning Call, Wichita Eagle, Asbury Park Press, CKWX-AM (Vancouver, BC), The State, WICU-TV (Erie, PA), Democrat and Chronicle, Fresno Bee, NorthJersey.com, CIWW-AM, Erie Times-News, Roanoke Times, Tacoma News Tribune, The News Journal, Bradenton Herald, Idaho Statesman, Richmond Times-Dispatch, San Luis Obispo Tribune, The Island Packet, Belleville News-Democrat, Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, The Herald-Sun (Durham, NC), The Modesto Bee, York Daily Record, Sun Herald, The Times Herald-Record, WTAE-TV (Pittsburgh, PA), American Military News, Centre Daily Times, WHYY-TV (Philadelphia, PA), MyCentralJersey.com, Rock Hill Herald, The Sun News, Courier-Post, New Jersey Herald, The Olympian, Times Leader (Wilkes-Barre, PA), Bryan-College Station Eagle, Bucks County Courier Times, Delaware Coast Press, Hagerstown Herald-Mail, Philadelphia Tribune, Poughkeepsie Journal, The Bellingham Herald, The Standard-Times, The Telegraph (Macon), Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin, Burlington County Times, Lebanon Daily News, LNP, The Sentinel, Pocono Record, Tri-City Herald, Bristol Herald Courier, Dothan Eagle, Merced Sun-Star, Daily Item, Observer-Reporter, Beaver County Times, The Taunton Daily Gazette, The Trentonian, CKGL, Ithaca journal, Telegraph Herald (Dubuque, Iowa), The Intelligencer (Doylestown, PA), The Observer-Dispatch, CFFR-AM (Calgary, AB), Daily Messenger, Herald Standard, Star Gazette, Public Opinion Online, The Evening Sun (Hanover, PA), New Castle News, The Bradford Era, Corning Leader, Daily American, The Hornell Evening Tribune, Ellwood City Ledger, The Wellsville Daily Reporter, Waynesboro Record Herald, Courier Express
PUBLIC SPEAKING / GUEST SPEAKER / PANELS
- Interviewed and spotlighted on “OnRecord PR,” a podcast produced by Philadelphia region public relations firm, Furia Rubel. https://www.furiarubel.com/podcasts/reporting-the-news-as-a-multimedia-journalist-with-marion-callahan/
- Invited as a panelist to the Cabrini Day presentation in November 2021 titled “Healing Modalities in All Professions.” Discussed the importance of being human and aware of the fragility of the people we interview as journalists when covering crime, war, abuse and other topics that can trigger traumatic responses. Also touched on the enduring effects of telling these stories and the traumatic imprint it often leaves on journalists.
- In October 2021, hosted the “Journalism & Truth” at Delaware Valley University. The discussion focused on the challenges of misinformation in the digital age and sparked conversation about the vital role journalists play in vetting facts and guarding truth. https://express.adobe.com/page/m3A6xF29B8FQx/
- Interviewed and spotlighted on Solful Connections, a Philadelphia-area podcast on professionals who work to create meaningful experiences for others. Listen here: https://www.listennotes.com/podcasts/solful-connections/marion-and-her-take-on-eucvHd8UNWn/
- Organized and hosted a Human Trafficking Panel, which yielded a special print section and student-driven web package from the educational leadership panel, which was attended by Human Trafficking Experts and media leaders from Bucks and Montgomery counties. The well-attended event shed light on how prevalent the crisis is in the King of Prussia area. They did a podcast and a special edition to bring awareness to the problem. About 10 stories were produced for the project. Here is one of them: https://www.theloquitur.com/what-can-we-do-signs-to-look-for-human-tracking/
- 2013: Hosted a Bucks County community panel, “Heroin: It’s Time for the Talk,” uniting a standing-room only crowd of community members at Central Bucks East High School to hear a panel of stakeholders discuss community solutions, featuring Bucks County’s district attorney, local educators, former drug users and representatives from the DEA.
- Bucks County Community Community College guest speaker: Served as a panelist on several occasions, speaking to Tony Rogers’ journalism and feature writing classes on topics related to news and feature writing and how the industry continues to evolve and change.
- First-place Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association award in 2022 for feature video of Sync Recovery, a nonprofit that uses the outdoors to support recovery from substance abuse.
- First-place, personality profile, Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association, for the written story of Bucks County philanthropist Gene Epstein.
- Three first-Place, 2021 Keystone NewsMedia Awards: Podcasting, Video, & consumer news.
- First place in Podcasting. “Lessons of an Uber Driver.” 2020: Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association Keystone Awards.
- Second Place in Photography: “Homeless in the Suburbs.” 2020: Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association Keystone Awards.
- Honorable mention for Ongoing News Coverage: Sean Kratz murder trial. 2020: Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association Keystone Awards.
- 2004-2018: Received dozens of awards through other professional organizations, including some from The Pennsylvania Society of Professional Journalists, for column writing, investigative reporting and feature writing. Honored in 2018-19 with highest achievement from New Jersey Press Association for team coverage of opioid epidemic for the Burlington County Times. 2018-19.
Investigative Reporters & Editors
College Media Association
Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association
- INVESTIGATIVE REPORTERS & EDITORS 2022: Attended a four-day conference that offered training from country’s top journalists and experts in vetted multimedia storytelling. Senior reporters and editors from The New York Times, Politico, The Washington Post, USA Today, The Associated Press and several broadcast leaders across the country provided resources and instruction for multiple-platform reporting, research, podcasting, video coverage and tools for investigating in more than a dozen topic areas.
- Connected and formed bridges with journalism professors from Boston University, Princeton, NYU and other educators across the country. Together, from the conference, professors created a spreadsheet of common resources to share.
- B&H OPTIC: 2022: Attended training sessions on sports, portrait, nature and still photography, connecting with photographers with The New York Times, Sony, Nikon and National Geographic.
- Honored with a public service award from Bucks County Alcohol and Drug Commission for solutions-oriented coverage of the county’s drug epidemic.
- Joined Bucks County Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick on a walking tour of the streets of Kensington, the ground-zero of the opioid epidemic in the Northeast.
- Provided photos of community cultural events to area nonprofits and smaller publications, including The Bucks County Herald.
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