Welcome to COM 120!

Welcome to COM 120: New Communications Technologies at Genesee Community College. There are a few unfamiliar names on my roster, so allow me to introduce myself briefly. For everyone else who knows me, skip directly to the syllabus.

Val Townsend, WEDG-FM, 2005

Val Townsend, WEDG-FM, 2005

My name is Val Bello. I am the Assistant Professor of Communications and Media Arts at GCC, and also the faculty advisor for WGCC Radio (n.b. if you participate in any media club on campus, you can earn up to 10 points extra credit on your final grade!!). This is my fifth year teaching at GCC. In addition to this course, I also teach COM 101 Intro to Mass Media, COM 110 Intro to Broadcasting, COM 102 Radio Station and SPE 108 Public Speaking. Prior to teaching at GCC, I have taught animation, digital photography/imaging and radio production at the University at Buffalo, Medaille College and Villa Maria College (all in Buffalo, NY). I graduated with an M.A. in English and Media Study from UB in 2006 and earned a B.S. in Media/Communications from Medaille in 2001.

Most of my media-oriented experience lies in the broadcasting field. I have been an on-air personality since 1999, having worked at 103.3 The Edge WEDG-FM from ’99-’06, and then working at Classic Hits 104.1 WHTT-FM from ’06-’08, on a full time basis. Outside of those experiences, I have also worked in the journalism/graphic design-layout and public relations fields.

Me & Jared Leto, in-store appearance for 30 Seconds to Mars new album, 2006.

Me & Jared Leto, in-store appearance for 30 Seconds to Mars new album, 2006. One of the many perks of working in radio!

Currently, I work part time weekends at WHTT and am also a voiceover artist. In addition to that, I am the digital media marketing consultant, and social media manager/trainer for Body & Soul Fitness in East Aurora, NY, and a freelance corporate trainer in social media tactics and presentation skills.

My three kids.

My three kids.

Phew. If you aren’t impressed by now, I don’t know what else to say. There are only so many hours in the day and I’m also the mom to a crazy-cute 3 year old, and two golden retrievers.

OK, so this class is about communications technologies; and while the title of the course is vague — this is what we will be primarily studying — social media and its effects.

There is no book for this course, because even though books exist (and I always fancy writing one…) on the topics of social media and new media, for the most part, they are hopelessly out of date by the time they make it to print! I read one last semester that had just come out that was still referencing MySpace.

Really? Really.

Social media is here to stay

Social media is here to stay

So, consider this blog your textbook/home base. I am truly not sure how much we’ll utilize Blackboard for this class yet — since in the past I have basically used this blog as the course website. So, let’s stay flexible on how/when we’ll be using Blackboard. For now, I will include some basics like the syllabus, my contact info, etc., there. For any assignment related things, if you need to access Blackboard, I will tell you in advance.


Overwhelmed yet?

This class incorporates both traditional lecture/discussion based on readings (which will all be online and posted here, so plan accordingly), and hands-on lab work with various social media platforms throughout the semester. Since this class is all about technology, and technology is always changing; I am very comfortable with this course evolving as we go. If there is a project that is not listed that you would like to do, for example, just talk to me about it and we can work something out that fits your specific academic/professional goals.

How about now?

How about now?

Well, the main point of this class is to get you up to speed in current trends in communication technology. And where everyone is usually varies from not-super-techy to “I have a Facebook-Twitter-LinkedIn-Wordpress-Tumblr-Flickr-Picassa-already-spend-my-time-on-Reddit-and-4Chan” types of students. If you find the work we are doing in lab is too simple for you — please speak up and we’ll have you work on something else. Conversely, if I am EVER going too fast (WHICH HAS BEEN KNOWN TO HAPPEN!!), please speak up and slow me down. Unless you give me some direction, I won’t know if you are not getting something, or totally over it. So, feedback is welcome.

In a few minutes, I’ll be posting the syllabus. Stay tuned! Welcome to Spring 2013.


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