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You may know Dr. Betlemidze as the Faculty Advisor to the campus newspaper, the Coyote Chronicle, but she is also a talented researcher, a former journalist, with experience of working in a conflict zone, and a member of the Faculty Senate who sets policy across our university. “Dr. B,” as she is called by many of her students, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Studies, in the Media Studies concentration, and also partners regularly with the Public Relations concentration, giving students opportunities through her leadership in Journalism, Multimedia Storytelling and Public Relations.
Recently awarded early tenure, Dr. B. regularly publishes on topics of new media, political agency of human and nonhuman actors, online controversy, and cultural studies. At the newspaper, she generously lends her time, talent and expertise to continually building a strong team and an even stronger student news presence on our campus. As faculty advisor to the Chronicle, Dr. B has sourced thousands of dollars in grants to improve technology and access, independent media coverage, invited all members of the campus community into the news-making process, and also created dozens of paid student jobs and internships on campus spanning from communication to graphic design to business and geography. She spearheaded the new community journalism efforts following the donation to the Chronicle by the LA Times, in the wake of their Pulitzer Prize win covering the Inland Regional Center tragedy of 2015. Through her collaboration with LA Times, Dr. B established and developed on-the-ground reporting and the new “Community” section in the Chronicle and created mentoring opportunities for students with LA Times journalists and graphic designers.
Classes she is teaching in the 2020/2021 include Communication Theory 6001, for the Communication Studies Master of Arts program, focusing on poststructural media theories and cultural affirmative philosophy, and Newswriting and Reporting 2301, a Media Studies and Public Relations prerequisite, in which students will have an opportunity to write for and get published in the Coyote Chronicle.