And welcome to the Department of Radio, Television, Film (RTVF), one of the largest departments on the Hofstra campus, housed in the School of Communication.
As Chairperson of the department, I have the pleasure of introducing you to our many academic programs, and hopefully interest you in considering Hofstra for your future studies, whether you’re a high school student beginning your search for a four-year program, a transfer student looking to shift your focus somewhat, or a college graduate of another institution with a strong desire to pursue a Master’s degree in documentary production.
Because it is my firm belief that it is the character, intelligence and creativity of the people in an institution that ultimately have the greatest impact on students during their college careers, in describing the many attributes of the RTVF Department, I always point first to my outstanding colleagues who teach our broad array of production and studies courses in all three academic programs.
The RTVF faculty includes two multi-Emmy Award winning television professionals – a director and a post-production editor - teaching in our video/television program; groundbreaking documentary and feature filmmakers, screen writers, and producers whose diverse body of work has been broadcast and screened nationally and internationally; the FM radio personality with the record for the most years broadcasting on the same station in New York City, the number one market in the country; two Fulbright Scholars (including yours truly) who combine their extensive media production work with grassroots community development projects, domestically and abroad; veteran broadcast journalists, seasoned film scholars, and several published authors. Their unique experiences, insights, and yes, professional contacts, are shared daily with students in small and mid-sized classes, allowing for a unique interaction that results in a mentoring process that is nourished throughout the four-year college experience. We are fully committed to preparing students for the revolutionary transformations occurring in mass communication in the 21st Century.
Incorporating the latest media production technology within a rigorous liberal arts framework designed to intellectually challenge students, our academic programs provide you with countless opportunities to express yourself creatively and responsibly through film, television, and radio, which today of course includes the tremendous distribution and exhibition possibilities of digital, online/mobile media. You may watch “TV” on your smart-phone, or download “films” onto your laptop, or listen to “radio” podcasts at will, but in the end, it is the originality and creativity of the content that will drive you there in the first place.
Undergraduate students can pursue a Bachelor of Arts degree (BA) in our three primary areas: Audio/Radio, Video/Television, or Film Studies and Production. We also offer a Bachelor of Science degree (BS) in Video/Television, Video/Television and Film, or Video/Television and Business.
At the graduate level, the RTVF Department offers a comprehensive, one-of-a-kind program in the greater New York metropolitan area: a Master of Fine Arts degree (MFA) in Documentary Studies and Production that includes radio, television and film in its curriculum. Combining theory and history with a wide selection of production courses that progressively lead towards the completion of a master’s thesis documentary film, the MFA program reflects the important balance between research and critical inquiry on the one hand, and the development of the necessary technical skills required to work in the industry on the other. The MFA program can be taken either full time or part time.
In all our academic programs, we give considerable attention to the art of storytelling and the development of powerful, relevant and original content, while at the same time, emphasizing the importance of understanding the long historical traditions of each medium, and the theoretical frames in which they function. Depending on your major area of study within the department, you will become immersed in a broad array of creative processes, including single and multi-camera productions, post-production using advanced digital media software, such as Avid, Final Cut Pro and Pro Tools, cinematography, the art of film editing, graphic design, sound design, and producing, directing, and writing for radio, television, film, and online media.
The comprehensive production and skills instruction found in our curriculum is faithfully grounded in a thorough emphasis on the aesthetics, history, and theory of the respective media, sustained by the faculty’s ongoing commitment to inculcating humane, civic values in the students that might lead to active participatory engagement, now and in the future.
All of this academic rigor is further complemented by a wide range of curricular and extra-curricular “real-world” production experiences, exemplified most prominently by our award-winning, student-run, 24-hour, community-licensed radio station WRHU Radio Hofstra University, which broadcasts to the Nassau-Suffolk-Queens listening area at 88.7 FM, (WRHU can be streamed worldwide online at www.wrhu.org).
Given our close proximity to the number one media market in the country - New York City is only a 45-minute train ride away – each semester we place dozens of students into some of the most important media outlets in the world as part of our extensive internship program. While the list of internship sites available is too large to present here, some examples include MTV, "Saturday Night Live" (NBC), "The Daily Show” (Comedy Central), "All My Children" (ABC), MSG, Fox News, Sony/BMG, Warner Bros., New Line Cinema, Panavision, Sesame Workshop, WNYC New York Public Radio, WCBS Newsradio 880, Pacifica Radio, NPR, Sirius/XM Satellite Radio, ABC Sports Radio, Atlantic Records, WPLJ 95.5, and ESPN.
There are countless successful Hofstra University alumni who, over the years, have benefited from our programs. They are currently working on many levels in the dynamic worlds of radio, television, film, journalism and online media industries, both in the commercial and not-for-profit sectors. These individuals are not only playing a direct role in the kinds of stories and ideas that are constantly defining our culture and our world at a crucial time in history, but they are also making a concrete difference in the complex processes of communication that ultimately shape our society and our democracy.
We enthusiastically welcome the responsibility, and the privilege, of working with you in this challenging endeavor in the very near future. Please feel free to contact me for more information via e-mail, or feel free to give me a call at (516) 463-6062.
With warm regards,
Mario A. Murillo, MA, BA, Associate Professor
Chairperson, Department of Radio, Television, Film (RTVF)
School of Communication, Hofstra University