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New faculty members join the College of Media, current faculty promoted

Two new faculty members have joined the College of Media this fall semester. Heather Cole is a teaching assistant professor for the Interactive Design for Media program, and Jim Iovino has joined the College of Media as the Odgen Newspapers Visiting Assistant Professor of Media Innovation. 

Cole came to WVU from Penn State Behrend in Erie, Pennsylvania, where she was an assistant teaching professor of digital arts and program chair of the Game Minor. She earned her MFA in interdisciplinary arts from Goddard College in Plainsfield, Vermont. 

Iovino was the deputy managing editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, which was awarded the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in Breaking News Reporting for its Tree of Life massacre coverage. Iovino managed all digital editorial initiatives at the Post-Gazette, including driving audience-first and digital subscription efforts. Previously, Iovino was a senior news editor of operations and managing editor for NBC Universal in Philadelphia, New York and Washington, D.C. Iovino has an extensive journalism background that includes newspaper and television leadership experience.   

In addition to hiring new faculty members, four current College of Media faculty have been promoted: Joel Beeson was promoted to professor; Gina Dahlia has been promoted to teaching professor; Geah Pressgrove was promoted to associate professor with tenure and was named chair of the advertising and public relations program; and Lois Raimondo has been promoted to associate professor with tenure.

Beeson is currently leading a collaborative initiative with Morgan State University’s School of Global Communication and Journalism, a historically black urban institution, to develop a Social Justice Media Project. He is also an invited beta partner, storyteller and producer with the Google Cultural Institute and the College’s Media Innovation Center. His virtual exhibit, “Soldiers of the Coalfields: The Hidden stories of Black Appalachians in WWI,” was one of 100 stories highlighted by the Google Cultural Institute. He also produced a virtual reality project for Google Expeditions, “WWI Through the Eyes of the Chicago Defender,” which takes viewers on a tour of WWI-era United States as seen through the eyes of the nation’s most influential black weekly newspaper at that time. 

Dahlia serves as chair of the Journalism program, managing director of the Media Innovation Center and the general manager of “100 Days in Appalachia.” She is the executive producer of the award-winning “WVU News” program, a student-produced newscast that airs statewide on PBS and cable. The show has garnered more than 75 regional, national and international awards in the last several years. Dahlia also established a relationship with ESPNU for a program called “Campus Connection,” which allows young journalists to work with sports broadcast news professionals and showcase their work on various platforms associated with ESPNU. Prior to joining the College faculty, Dahlia had a career in television news as an anchor, reporter and producer at WDTV News Channel Five in Bridgeport, West Virginia.

Pressgrove has been the faculty advisor for the award-winning PRSSA chapter for the past five years and founded CreateAthon@WVU, a 24-hour creative blitz where teams of students work with professional mentors to produce marketing and communications deliverables for nonprofit organizations. With Pressgrove’s guidance, WVU became a national CreateAthon partner in 2016. She is also the faculty lead in a partnership with the University of Oklahoma’s Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication where students and faculty are working together on a reporting and advocacy project around the issue of women’s incarceration in West Virginia and Oklahoma. Prior to coming to WVU, Pressgrove worked in an agency and did freelance work for diverse clients including nonprofits, foundations, corporations, entertainment properties, municipal governments, political campaigns, and healthcare organizations.

Raimondo is the Shott Chair of Journalism and an international award-winning journalist. Prior to joining the faculty, she worked as a staff photographer at The Washington Post and a freelance photographer and writer. She spent four years as the chief photographer for The Associated Press bureau in Hanoi, Vietnam. Raimondo’s work has appeared in publications including National Geographic, The New York Times, Smithsonian Magazine, Newsweek and Time. She has received national and international recognition for both her photo and written journalism. In 2005, Raimondo was awarded the Alicia Patterson Journalism Fellowship to report on the rise of Islamic Fundamentalism in Pakistan. In 2002, she was awarded the Edward Weintal Prize for Diplomatic Reporting for her front-line reporting from the war in Afghanistan.