Communication professor selected for prestigious TV academy fellowship

contact: Jeanne Baron
| WMU News
Dr. Jennifer Machiorlatti.


KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Dr. Jennifer Machiorlatti, Western Michigan University professor of communication, has been selected to participate as a fellow in the Television Academy Foundation's 2017 Faculty Seminar Program.

Members of the Television Academy selected just 25 professors from colleges and universities nationwide for the prestigious annual program, which this year takes place Monday through Friday, Nov. 6-10, in Southern California.

First launched in 1987, the weeklong seminar offers faculty a comprehensive program designed to enhance knowledge and, in turn, enrich learning environments. Those selected as a Faculty Seminar Fellow gain the latest information on the television and content development industries from top entertainment professionals.

This year's program will include panel discussions featuring programming and scheduling executives, legal experts and cutting-edge content creators from broadcast and cable networks. In addition, participating fellows will attend private studio tours at leading Hollywood production facilities to meet with producers, observe production and get firsthand updates on the latest in television and related technologies.

The 2017 fellows represent institutions such as Amherst College, Boston University, La Guardia Community College, Loyola University-Chicago, San Diego City College, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and the University of Akron.

Enhancing student learning

Dr. Jennifer Machiorlatti on location in an aging brick building and giving directions to two students during a video session.

Machiorlatti goes on location for "Afrikan Dance in the Diaspora," a documentary web series she's co-producing with WMU graduate Katrina Ezeiyi.

Machiorlatti says being selected for the Television Academy's Faculty Seminar Program is a once-in-a-career opportunity.

"I've applied seven times for this fellowship, previous to being selected this year," she explains. "What motivated me to keep applying is the opportunity it provides to immerse myself in learning about innovations in TV/On Demand development, production and exhibition, so that I can continue to offer leading-edge content in communication courses."

Machiorlatti says that spirit of going the extra mile to enhance personal and student learning is found throughout her academic department.

"WMU's School of Communication faculty are demonstrating exceptional teaching and mentoring," she says, adding that she encourages students to diligently pursue awards and grant applications to support their work, and have this work screened publically. "We also have a vibrant internship program, and our alumni are securing postgraduation employment, which is one of our primary goals for WMU students."


A WMU faculty member since 2004, Machiorlatti serves as director of undergraduate programs for the School of Communication. She is an award-winning documentary filmmaker who teaches in the areas of media and cultural studies, video and media production, media writing, film studies, communication and social justice, and intercultural communication.

Her research and media art and production interests include documentary, aboriginal/First Nation and Native American media, environment and communication, and gender- and feminist-influenced media.

The work Machiorlatti produces is regularly screened at conferences and film festivals. It encompasses both films and web-based documentary series, and highlights such varied topics as artists and copyright law, former gang members working for social change, and Native North American media storytellers.

She earned a bachelor's degree in telecommunications and a master's degree in American studies from Michigan State University, and a doctoral degree in communication from Wayne State University.

About the foundation

Established in 1959 as the charitable arm of the Television Academy, the Television Academy Foundation is dedicated to preserving the legacy of television while educating and inspiring those who will shape its future.

Through its renowned educational and outreach programs, the foundation seeks to widen the circle of voices that the industry represents and to create more opportunity for television to reflect all of society.

For more information, visit

For more WMU news, arts and events, visit