This story was produced by a student in JAMS 192, a collaborative course between the Post and the UWM journalism department.
UW-Milwaukee Professor Elana Levine told first-year students in the first-year journalism “living learning community” course that their major allows them to study almost anything in the media field.
Levine is living proof: she has produced award-winning work on television studies, including writing the books “Wallowing in Sex: The New Sexual Culture of 1970s American Television” and “Fractured Fairy Tales and Fragmented Markets: Disney’s Weddings of a Lifetime and the Cultural Politics of Media Conglomeration.”
Levine earned her B.A. at the University of Indiana. Shortly after, Levine landed a job in corporate communications at a hospital where she created training videos and eventually did public relations work.
Levine said the corporate communications job was interesting but she soon realized she wanted to go to graduate school.” So Levine quit the job and earned her Master’s degree and Ph.D. in the Department of Communication Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
After receiving her Master’s and Ph.D. Levine became a professor at UWM and has taught here for 11 years. She serves as graduate director and associate professor, teaching introductory, advanced and graduate courses in media and cultural studies. She also writes and edits academic books and publications.
Levine advised the class to consider their futures as they craft their paths at UWM. She said pursuing education after earning a B.A. helps students become better critical thinkers of their and other’s work.
Student Alyssa Lile found this advice helpful.
“I have been considering staying at UWM after receiving my Bachelor’s degree to continue my studies,” Lile said. “Elana Levine made me excited about my future here at UWM and left me with some useful advice.”
In addition to highlighting the value of further education, Levine stressed not to accept the media at face value.
“You pick up on things in the media that you didn’t pick up before,” she said of the work she does on media.
Levine’s visit to the class is part of instructor Jessica McBride’s mission to excite the next generation of media professionals about the media world.
“It’s important that students also become critical thinkers about the media rather than simply skills practitioners,” McBride said. “Professor Levine is a leading thinker in media theory.”
The Journalism, Advertising and Media Studies living learning community is one of 27 LLC’s offered at UWM. These courses are composed of students with a common academic interest who live together in the dorms. The university touts them as a “community within a community” that helps freshmen students transition into the academic setting of college.