Skip to main content

The Reed College of Media and College of Creative Arts will merge to form the new WVU College of Creative Arts and Media as of July 1, 2024. Get details.

Fraustino and Cole receive College of Media faculty awards

Each year, the WVU Reed College of Media recognizes faculty members for their innovative research and exceptional teaching. The 2022-23 awards were presented to Julia Fraustino and Heather Cole.

Julia Daisy Fraustino

Fraustino, an assistant professor in Advertising and Public Relations, was the recipient of the Faculty Research Award, which recognizes outstanding scholarly work or creative activity. She is the founder of the College’s Public Interest Communications Research Lab, where she leads several state- and federally-funded public health projects that use data-driven communications to enhance positive behavioral change. Her work has been recognized nationally and internationally, including by the U.S. Army, which honored her with the Civilian Commendation Medal in 2021 for her exceptional service to the state and nation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Since joining the College in 2015, Fraustino has authored more than 75 journal articles, book chapters, peer-reviewed conference presentations and government reports – many of which have received national-level awards. Her work focuses on risk, emergency, crisis and disaster communications, with an emphasis on community resilience and ethics. She often uses a service-learning approach in both her research projects and the classroom, so that students’ work benefits Appalachian communities, causes and nonprofit organizations.

Fraustino also won this award in 2017.

Heather Cole

Cole, a teaching assistant professor in the Game Design and Interactive Media program, received the College’s Outstanding Teaching Award, which recognizes innovative and excellent classroom instruction. She teaches courses in game design, coding for media and digital narrative. Each semester, she leads students in developing games that use creativity and entertainment to simplify complex societal issues, help develop empathy, and improve our communities.

Since she joined the College of Media in 2019, Cole has grown and adapted the Game Design and Interactive Media major. She also launched MonRiverGames, a nonprofit game development and design studio that provides professional experiences for both students and community members. For the last two years, she has also organized student travel to the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, and, as part of the College’s Augmented and Virtual Reality course, she co-led a study abroad trip to Spain last summer through a partnership with the University of Seville.

“We’re fortunate to have a robust faculty with a great range of expertise who care deeply about our students’ learning, well-being and educational experiences,” said Diana Martinelli, dean of the Reed College of Media. “Fraustino and Cole exemplify this culture, and they haveing a commitment to improving the lives of people in West Virginia and beyond. I’m incredibly proud of their work.”

The College’s faculty awards are based on annual performance and decided jointly by a committee of faculty peers and the dean.