Ruth D. Bridgeforth Professor of Telecommunications

Contact Info


Ph.D. University of Denver
M.A. University of Denver
B.A. St. Cloud State University

Phone: (540) 568-3032
Office Location: Harrison Hall 0252

Dr. Anderson is a full professor in the School of Media Arts & Design. He is interested in web development, multimedia storytelling, videography and study abroad, not necessarily in that order. His websites have won the top awards from both the Association for Education in Journalism & Mass Communication - AEJMC (Best of the Web Competition) and the Broadcast Education Association - BEA (Best of Festival).

Over the past several years, Dr. Anderson has developed applications utilizing web standards, CSS, video streaming and database-driven web sites using the PHP scripting language and MySQL relational database. He has developed sites from content management systems using WordPress, Drupal and Joomla! In SMAD, he has primarily taught the two advanced interactive classes, SMAD 404 (Advanced Interactive Media) and SMAD 408 (Converged Media Lab). Most recently, he has been making apps for the Apple App Store using the Adobe Digital Publishing Suite.

Dr. Anderson has also taught videography and video journalism classes, most recently in Italy as part of a study abroad program through ieiMedia in 2011, 2012 and 2013. During those trips, students produced multimedia stories on people and issues in the town of Urbino -- a Renaissance hill town and the capital of the Marche region of central Italy. He created the 2011 website (which won an Eppy Award as the Best College/University Journalistic or Documentary Report), 2012 website and the 2013 website for the presentation of student work. Anderson also serves as the Director of Video Programs for ieiMedia and will return to Urbino with students in the summer of 2014. In the fall of 2009, Anderson was the faculty member-in-residence for the JMU London Program.

Dr. Anderson is an author of a textbook entitled Exploring Electronic Media: Chronicles & Challenges from Blackwell Publishing in which he chronicles the historical development of electronic media technology and examines the current state of both traditional (radio, television, cable) and new media technologies & applications.

Professor Anderson admits to being mystified by the popularity of social networking, though he dabbles with Facebook and Twitter as an "academic" exercise. He thinks the greatest software invention of the 21st century is Google Earth and on occasion shares his Google Earth placemarks with others via the Google Earth Community. In the fall of 2010, students in his Converged Media Lab class built JMU campus buildings in 3D using Google Sketchup. Those buildings are now part of the 3D Buildings Layer in Google Earth, making JMU's campus the first in Virginia completely built out in 3D for Google Earth. Working wtih the JMU Office of Admissions, students in the class also created a website to showcase campus to prospective students. The project was featured in the fall 2011 issue of Madison Magazine.

Anderson was the 2004-2005 President of the Broadcast Education Association (BEA), the association for electronic media professors and industry professionals based in Washington, D.C. He served as the convention program chair for BEA2000, the international conference of the association held in Las Vegas in April of 2000. He has also chaired the Production Aesthetics & Criticism Division, co-chaired the BEA Creative Activities Task Force and served on the BEA Multimedia Task Force. The Creative Activities Task Force led to the development of the BEA Festival of Media Arts, an event which he produced for the first three years of its history.

Anderson has received numerous national awards for his multimedia and video work and has published across a broad range of journals, both academic and trade. Before coming to JMU, Dr. Anderson was on the faculty at the University of Oklahoma, where he served as the Sequence Coordinator for the Broadcasting & Electronic Media Sequence.

Prior to entering academe, Anderson was the environmental reporter and weekend weathercaster for KCNC television, a network O&O station in Denver, Colorado where he worked between 1982 and 1989. He also worked as a news photographer, weathercaster and news reporter at stations in Fresno, California and Fargo, North Dakota.

Dr. Anderson also served as the Director of the School of Media Arts & Design from 2007 - 2014.

Teaching Interests: Communication Technologies, Multimedia Storytelling, Broadcast Journalism, Study Abroad

Research/Creative Activities: Content Management Systems, Web Standards & CSS, Database-Driven Web Sites, Streaming Video Applications

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