As a graduate student in advertising, Professor Margaret Haefner’s interests expanded to the media’s effects on children. Professor Haefner decided to teach the subject instead of working in advertising, and went on to pursue a doctorate in communication. She brings her studies of different types of media effects, media ethics, and popular culture to her classrooms at North Park. Professor Haefner also developed the University’s women’s and gender studies minor.
“North Park has allowed me to explore both disciplines,” says Professor Haefner, “and to find the ways in which they overlap. I think students in both programs are enriched by the cross-discipline focus of the courses.” Her research also blends the two disciplines with a focus on gender and race in romance novels.
Discussions in Professor Haefner’s media studies classes range from topics of faith to the implications of social media and its impact on personal relationships to multicultural issues, including the prevalence of race and gender bias in the media. “By the time my students leave,” says Professor Haefner, “they understand why the media is biased, why that’s a problem, and what they need to do to change that.”
Margaret Haefner. “Challenging the –isms: Gender and Race in Brockmann’s Troubleshooters, Inc. Romance Novels.” Journal of Media Sociology, Vol 2 #3/4 (2009): 182-202.