Communication Arts: Research / Projects

Communication Arts

Research / Projects

A commitment to research in the department is reflected by that of our faculty, current students and graduates who have gone on for further study.

Faculty Research:

Professor Wolff studies the intersection of religion and media, and has published many articles on the subject, as well as a book titled The Church on TV:  Portrayals of Priests, Pastors and Nuns on American Television Series.  His current research examines the historic role of boxing and mixed martial arts in the American church.

Professor Poppiti studies hippodrama and related equine performance, as well as educational theatre.  Her recent article about “War Horse” received the national Greggs Award from the USITT.  She enjoys practical theatre and works regularly as a director and designer.  

Student Research and Projects:

Students conduct research in their major classes, which prepares them as scholars, employees and potentially graduate students.  Following are some of the topics on which students have written:

Giovanni Diaz – “What a Scanner Sees” – MED1039 “Introduction to Film”:
“This study examines director Richard Linklater’s use of digitally rotoscoped “live animation” – an unconventional technique – to help capture the abstract psycho-philosophical tone in his film A Scanner Darkly – an adaptation of a novel by Philip K. Dick of the same name.”

Danielle Kroener – “Talking about ‘Talking While Female’” – SPH 4170, “Seminar in Critical Issues in Communication:” This study of a well-known video short (about “talking while female”) identifies, defines, and examines the top complaints women are likely to receive about their voices and considers how and why society views these vocal traits negatively.

Student video projects:  links forthcoming

Graduates’ Research:

Some of our students have gone on to pursue graduate work at top colleges and universities.  Among their scholarly pursuits are the following:


Meghan Anne Riley (2007 – BA in Communication Arts, Drama)
MFA, Acting – New York Film Academy, Thesis Title:
German Autumn (Short Film)
MA, Educational Theatre – New York University
SAG-AFTRA – Meghan has worked in Film, Theatre and New Media in NYC and LA as an actor, producer, and educator from ages pre-k through college.

Currently, Meghan is using her degree in Communications from Dowling to act as a Media and Digital Communications consultant for small businesses. As an avid learner and supporter of education, she has most recently decided to strengthen her personal development even more and is receiving a certification in life and leadership coaching from iPEC. She has already started working with clients in which she helps women age 25-35 who feel pressured to “have it all in order by a certain age” find their purpose and transition into that vision with confidence, joy, and strength. She plans to return to working professionally in acting and in the arts in the future.



Jackie Mitchell  (2007- BA in Communication Arts, Drama)
2014, MA, Theatre Arts – Stony Brook University
Jackie’s  graduate work focused on dramaturgy, voice and cognitive performance theory.

Currently, Jackie is using her experience at Dowling to work professionally in Management.  Her other professional experiences include teaching Theatre Arts at the college level, working as a productions and promotions assistant in radio, and working in educational theatre and opera as an actor, assistant director and stage manager.