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Castonguay Chosen Director of New School of Communication & Media Arts

Widely published scholar brings multi-faceted expertise to the post

Professor James Castonguay

Professor James Castonguay, chair of the Department of Communication and Media Studies, has been named director of the University’s new School of Communication and Media Arts.

The School will be housed in the College of Arts and Sciences and located in the Frank and Marisa Martire Business & Communications Center.

Castonguay has served as director of SHU’s graduate programs in communication and was the founding chair of the Department of Media Studies and Digital Culture in 2003. He is a widely published scholar and highly respected faculty member within the Sacred Heart community, where he is a recipient of SHU’s “Final Four” Teaching Award and the College Faculty Award.

Prior to his arrival at SHU in 1999, Castonguay was a professor at the University of Michigan in the Communication, Film and Video Studies program. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, where he earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in modern studies, media studies and English. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology and screen studies at Clark University.

Many major media outlets have recognized Castonguay’s expertise, requesting interviews, citing his research and quoting from his work. These publications include The New Yorker, Business Week, Broadcasting & Cable, the Wall Street Journal, the St. Petersburg Times, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, the Boston Herald, Connecticut Post, Editor & Publisher, Reuters and Xinhau news services, CNN, Fox News and the BBC.

Castonguay serves on the Board of Directors of the Cooperative Educational Services Foundation and was elected treasurer of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies (SCMS), the leading international academic organization devoted to the study of film and media. He also was an administrative officer to the American Council of Learned Societies, and in 2009 was the recipient of the SCMS Service Award.

“It is an honor to be named the founding director of Sacred Heart University’s School of Communication and Media Arts,” Castonguay said upon the announcement. “I am grateful to President Petillo, Provost Niesen de Abruna and Dean Robin Cautin for their leadership and continued support, and to my colleagues in communication and media studies for their commitment to educating responsible and ethical media scholars, consumers and communication professionals.”

Robin Cautin, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, said, “I am confident that under Dr. Castonguay’s leadership the new SCMA will thrive.”

The rapidly growing SCMA program combines the social and cultural analysis of media and communication technologies with media production. “Our curriculum is interdisciplinary by nature and international in scope, blending theory and practice, the historical and the contemporary, and the mainstream with the alternative,” said Castonguay. “Grounded firmly within the liberal arts and Catholic intellectual traditions, our degree programs strive to create lifelong learners, critical thinkers and responsible citizens who also have the production skills necessary to compete for the best jobs after graduation.”

Undergraduate programs in SCMA include communication studies, digital communications, media arts and theater arts. Graduate programs include film and television production; corporate communication and public relations; media literacy and digital communication; and sports media and athletic communications. It also offers an accelerated bachelor’s to master’s program in all these areas.

For additional information on any of the programs listed, call 203-371-7755 or email