Academics

Tony Van Witsen

Tony Van Witsen brings years of experience to his work with Alma students. He worked behind the scenes in local and network TV, including the PBS NewsHour where he created longform video reports on cutting edge science and scientific controversies. His more memorable moments include the time he was thrown out of the old Soviet Union for undercover reporting on secret scientific experiments with telepathy, the time he followed scientists into the Hawaiian rain forest to see how changing temperatures affected the local bird population, and witnessing peoples’ struggles to rebuild New Orleans after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. (Don’t let these highlights fool you. The vast majority of his time was taken up with much humbler tasks) He recently finished his degree at Michigan State, where he studied the relationship between mass media and science, especially controversial environmental science like climate change.

Title

Instructor in the Department of Communication and New Media Studies

Discipline

2020

Educational Background

PhD Information and Media, Michigan State University 2020

MS Life Sciences Communication, University of Wisconsin Madison 2012

MFA Writing, Vermont College, 2004 

I am...

A communications professional

A scholar of how communication works

A teacher

A writer

My career at Alma began in

2020

I'm an expert in

Journalism, writing, social science

Signature course(s):

COM280 Science Communication; COM353 Risk and Crisis Communication

Recent publications:

FICTION:

“Rainie’s Dream” Sortes Spring 2020

https://sortes.carrd.co/#vanwitsen

“Take One” Fiction Week Literary Review Fall 2018

http://www.fictionweek.com/fwliteraryreview/takeone.html

PEER REVIEWED:

2021 (Forthcoming) How Conservation Organizations Visually Communicate about Wildlife Crime: A Content Analysis of Advertisement Images. Environmental Communication.

2019 Van Witsen, A. (2019) How Daily Journalists Use Numbers and Statistics: The Case of Global Average Temperature, Journalism Practice, DOI: 10.1080/17512786.2019.1682944

Recent presentations:

How daily journalists verify numbers and statistics in news stories: An empirical study Oral presentation, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) virtual conference, August 2020.

How Conservation Organizations Visually Communicate about Wildlife Crime: A Content Analysis of Advertisement Images. 70th Annual International Communication Association (ICA) virtual conference, May 2020.

Connect with me:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/tony-van-witsen-35367639/