Brian Schriner | CARTA Dean
Brian Schriner has over 25 years of higher education teaching and administrative experience. In 2011 he was appointed Dean of the College of Architecture + The Arts (CARTA) at Florida International University (FIU) in Miami, Florida.
Brian’s strategic vision, outlined in CARTA 2020, affirms his belief that the challenges we face in the 21st century (educational, economic, political, social, health, and environmental) require innovative, trans-disciplinary solutions and can best be addressed by removing artificial barriers separating academic disciplines. Given FIU’s majority-minority student population and Miami’s growing “creative class,” Brian believes FIU and the College of Architecture + The Arts are uniquely situated to lead the national conversation in higher education, especially in the successful integration of arts and design education into science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education.
In 4 years, Brian has strategically grown CARTA from 1,200 students to more than 2,700 students and from 70 full-time faculty members to over 100 full-time faculty members. He has also raised over $10M in philanthropy and auxiliary revenues to support the College’s mission and he has more than doubled the College’s annual revenues. Under Brian’s leadership – along with the students’ entrepreneurial and innovative spirit and the faculty members’ enthusiasm and expertise – the College’s academic programs have ascended to national prominence behind a united mission to deploy the power of architecture + the arts to create, innovate, and inspire solutions to local challenges with national and global impacts.
In support of that engaged mission, Brian expanded the College to Miami Beach by launching CARTA | Miami Beach Urban Studios (MBUS) in the iconic 420 Building on Lincoln Road. MBUS is now home to CARTA’s Innovation Lab and to over 100 students in design, visual arts, and the performing arts. At MBUS the faculty and students work collaboratively with members of the community, using Miami Beach as their “living laboratory” to address real-world challenges, such as sea level rise and the successful entry into the knowledge-based creative economy.
This past year Brian signed an MOU with the Bauhaus-Dessau, establishing FIU as the Bauhaus’ first and exclusive academic partner in the United States. CARTA will soon open the FIU-Bauhaus Miami, a contemporary arts and design think-tank, that will transcend traditional disciplines and be an international leader in critical thinking in the contemporary discourse in art, design, and architecture. The agreement is a testimony to Brian’s trans-disciplinary educational philosophy and his commitment to establish CARTA as the nation’s preeminent College of Architecture + The Arts.
In addition to his work as Dean, Brian is an accomplished speaker and author, having published five books and numerous scholarly articles. He is also a past recipient of FIU’s prestigious Teaching Incentive Award, has been named Instructor of the Year, and has twice been named to FIU’s College of Business Administration’s Circle of Excellence For Teaching.
María Elena Villar | Chair & Associate Professor
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María Elena Villar is associate professor and chair of the Department of Communication at the School of Communication + Journalism at Florida International University and teaches courses in communication theory, research methods, multicultural communication, and advanced seminars in strategic communications. She holds a doctorate in communications and master’s in public health from the University of Miami, and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Columbia University. Her research focuses on culturally competent communication for social and behavioral change, and on strategic communication for diverse audiences. In her career as a researcher, Dr. Villar has focused on diverse topics that range from culture and communication, social determinants of disease and health, domestic and sexual violence prevention, stigma related to HIV, mental health and drug abuse, evaluation of program outcomes, and communication for social change. She helped found the student-run faculty supervised strategic communication agency, BOLD, and has taken groups of students on summer abroad programs to Berlin, Germany and Seville, Spain. She has been an invited lecturer for graduate programs at Universidad del Norte in Colombia and Universidad Americana in Nicaragua.
She has dozens of publications based on her research including peer-reviewed journal articles, conference proceedings, a book chapter and many conference presentations, and several technical reports. Her work has been published in Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, Sex Education, Health and Mass Communication, Howard Journal of Communication, Journal of Product and Brand Management, American Journal of Media Psychology, Pediatrics, and Journal of Pediatrics, as well as other scholarly journals. She has presented papers and lectures at national and international refereed conferences, including the National Communication Association, International Communication Association, Public Relations Society of America, Association for Educators in Mass Communication, Institute for Public Relations, World Congress on Communications for Development, Latin American Studies Association, Global Health and Innovation Summit at Yale University, and the CDC National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing and Media.
Prior to coming to FIU, she was adjunct professor of public health at Nova Northeastern University, and taught speech communication at Miami Dade College and communication at the University of Miami. She has been an invited lecturer for graduate programs at several universities in Latin America. Dr. Villar’s professional experience includes senior research roles at the University of Miami School of Medicine departments of epidemiology and pediatrics; and at the Nova Southeastern University’s Institute for Child Health Policy.
In addition to her responsibilities as researcher and educator, Dr. Villar is heavily involved in the community. She served as social marketing director to federally funded FACES (Families and Communities Empowered for Success), a community initiative to improve behavioral health services for youth and ensure that family voices are heard. In that role she oversaw all social marketing, branding, stigma reduction and internal communication activities. For her work, she received various ECCO (Excellence in Communication and Community Outreach) Award from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Based on this work, she was recognized by Florida International University as a 2012 Top Scholar for her scholarly contributions.
Dr. Villar’s current projects include research on the use of “fotonovelas” or graphic novels for discussion of stigmatized health issues among Haitian and Latino immigrants; culture, stigma and HIV-related behaviors; culturally appropriate approaches to improve clergy health; involvement of Latino fathers in their children’s health, and and measuring attitude change as a precursor to behavior change. She is currently collaborating on an interactive game intervention to increase awareness and promote prevention of commercial sexual exploitation of children and adolescents in Colombia.
Elif Ozkaya | Assistant Professor
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Dr. Ozkaya has a Ph.D. in Media and Information Studies from Michigan State University, with a concentration in mass communication and online environments. She has an MBA from Yeditepe University and a BA in Psychological Counseling from Bogazici University, in Istanbul, Turkey. She brings more than five years of professional experience in interactive marketing and sponsorship negotiations in the entertainment industry, as well as more than four years of experience in funded research projects on digital/interactive media.
Professor Ozkaya has taught courses in telecommunications, media research, advertising planning, marketing, advertising, and e-commerce since 2009, first at Michigan State, and then at California Polytechnic University – Pomona, where she has been an adjunct professor since 2013.
Her research agenda includes social networking and online communities, factors that impact entertainment media selection, and what makes videos go viral. She expands the range of our research agenda in the School of Communication and Journalism, and will contribute to our ongoing efforts to keep our curriculum up to date with the changing media landscape. Furthermore, her international professional experience builds our capacity to provide a global perspective in our courses and research.
David Park | Associate Professor
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Dr. David J. Park is an Associate Professor in the School of Communicaiton + Journalism. He received his Ph.D. in Mass Communication from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research interests include new media technologies, media production, policy and democracy, consumer behavior and international communication. His scholarship appears in the Journal of Communication Inquiry, American Journal of Media Psychology, American Behavioral Scientist, International Marketing Review, Labor Studies Journal, and in other academic journals and book chapters. His book “Conglomerate Rock: The Music Industry’s Quest to Divide Music and Conquer Wallets,” republished in paperback by Lexington Books, a division of Rowman and Littlefield publishers, has been hailed as “the book we have all been waiting for: a definitive treatment of how the music industry is adapting to the digital world.” In addition to presenting his publications at national and international conferences, Dr. Park has also been invited to speak on a wide range of communications topics from economic globalization and music technology to the politics behind Hurricane Katrina media coverage. He also serves on the editorial board for the Global Media Journal (US Edition) and the Public Relations Journal.
Dr. Park has also received several teaching and research awards during his career, among them include a Howard Hughes Research Sabbatical Scholarship, an Honorary Fellowship at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the School of Communication and Journalism, and a Fulbright-Hays Scholarship to the Caribbean. In addition, he was also a Rotary Exchange Scholar to Europe and received a Tinker-Nave grant to research media and human rights groups in Argentina.
Prior to joining FIU’s SCJ, Dr. Park taught in New Orleans where he and his students were instrumental in the recovery and rebuilding of the city following Hurricane Katrina. His service-learning outreach work brought in over 5,000 volunteers from around the world and contributed 1.7 million dollars in grants, pro-bono volunteer labor and supplies to under-served communities in need. He was honored for his community engagement and teaching in 2009 with the Outstanding Faculty Contributions to Service-Learning Instruction in Higher Education Award from the Executive Committee of the Gulf-South Summit for Service-Learning and Civic Engagement in Higher Education.
His professional experience stems from his employment with the Chancellor’s office at the University of Wisconsin-Extension as a Public Relations and Communications Administrative Assistant. He has also worked on various media projects with musical groups, neighborhood associations and other non-profit organizations. He is a former and current member of several professional associations including: International Communication Association (ICA), Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR), Union for Democratic Communication (UDC), Association for Consumer Research (ACR) and the European Association for Consumer Research (EACR). Proficient in French, Spanish and Wolof (Senegal), Dr. Park joined the School of Communication and Journalism in 2009 and teaches in the Graduate Program.
Grizelle De Los Reyes | Instructor and Graduate Director
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Grizelle De Los Reyes, (MA), is an instructor and graduate director of the Global Strategic Communications Creative Track, the joint program with the Miami Ad School. De Los Reyes is an advertising professional with more than 25 years of strategic marketing communications and research, having held management positions in media and advertising agencies including Univision, Starmedia, and J. Walter Thompson. She has assisted companies and media providers in successfully marketing their products and services throughout the U.S., the Caribbean and Latin America. The Speakers Series part of her Media Planning course is considered one of the most influential in tracking media trends and entrepreneurs on the horizon covering social media, technology, media convergence and integrated media management for the 21st century.
De Los Reyes received a Master of Arts in Journalism and Communications from the University of Florida and a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from University of Puerto Rico. Her areas of professional research and interest are in media, media technology in delivering mass messages, and segmentation and targeting of consumer audiences. Her personal areas of interest are in the empowerment of women, small businesses, youth and sports. She holds a black belt in judo and a few years back even trained and instructed the FIU Tamiami Park Judo team. She is also the proud mother of two sons.
Sigal Segev | Associate Professor
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Sigal Segev, Ph.D. is an assistant professor in the Department of Communication at Florida International University (FIU). She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Arabic Language from Tel- Aviv University, a Master’s degree in Advertising & Public Relations from Florida International University and a Ph.D. in Communications from the University of Leicester, UK. Dr. Segev’s research interests focus on green advertising, new media and multi-cultural communication, specifically the effect of acculturation and ethnic identity on audience responses and decision-making. She teaches classes in both graduate and undergraduate levels, including communication research methods, strategic communication in public diplomacy, global communication, a seminar in crisis management, and a new course in public opinion and new media as part of the SCJ’s recently launched major in Digital Media Studies. Prior to joining FIU, Dr. Segev held marketing communications and public relations positions at both private and government sectors.
Weirui Wang | Associate Profeessor
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Weirui (Vay-Ray) Wang, associate professor in the Department of Communication, earned a Ph.D. in Mass Communication from the Pennsylvania State University. She received a Master of Arts in Communication Studies from Virginia Tech University and Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Fudan University in Shanghai, China. Dr. Wang’s research focuses broadly on health communication and new media. In particular, she is interested in investigating the effects of new technology use in arenas of health information seeking, message processing and persuasion, and stigma communication. She has also conducted research on persuasive strategies in health related social marketing, and on the effects of cultural factors on health attitudes and behaviors. In 2012, Dr. Wang was a recipient of AEJMC emerging scholar award and named one of Florida International University’s Top Scholars. Her work has been accepted and published in Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, Health Communication, International Journal of Advertising, International Journal of Communication, and other peer-reviewed journals.