Roy H. Park School of Communications

Coordinates: 42°25′27″N 76°29′43″W / 42.42412°N 76.49518°W / 42.42412; -76.49518
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Roy H. Park School of Communications
Established1973 (school founded)
Parent institution
Ithaca College
DeanJack Powers (interim dean)
Academic staff
53 (FT)
Location, ,
United States
CampusSmall city

The Roy H. Park School of Communications is one of five schools at Ithaca College, in Ithaca, New York, United States. The school is named after media executive Roy H. Park, who lived in Ithaca and who served on the board of trustees at Ithaca College for many years.

As one of the first schools of communications in the U.S., it runs the first and longest-running student-operated television cable channel (ICTV) and offers students access to studios and more than three million dollars of portable and lab equipment. It has been named a top school for film, journalism, media, and entertainment by Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, The Princeton Review and more.[1][2][3]

In addition to its campus facilities in Ithaca, it runs the Pendleton Center in Los Angeles where students can study and engage in internships for a semester. Students also may study away at the college's center in London and through a newly established New York City program.

Diane Gayeski, an alumna of the school and a faculty member since 1979, served as its dean for more than a decade before retiring in 2020.[4][5]


Ithaca College first began offering courses in radio in the 1930s and a degree program in 1947. With the advent of mass media, the focus began shifting to television and film. The Bachelor of Science in Cinema Studies and Photography was established in the late 1960s. In 1969, the communications programs were formally organized into a division within the college before becoming the present-day School of Communications in the 1973–74 academic year. From 1968 - 1989, the Communications School shared space in Dillingham Center with the Theatre Arts programs and Theatre. It was renamed after Roy H. Park in 1989.[6]


The Roy H. Park School offers the following academic programs:


  • Cinema and Photography (B.S.), with concentrations in Cinema Production, Still Photography, and Screenwriting
  • Communication Management and Design (B.S.), with concentrations in Corporate Communication and Communication Design
  • Documentary Studies and Production (B.A.)
  • Film, Photography, and Visual Arts (B.F.A.)
  • Emerging Media (B.S.)
  • Integrated Marketing Communications (B.S.)
  • Journalism (B.A.)
  • Television and Digital Media (Formerly Television-Radio) (B.S.), with concentrations in Media Production, Audio Production, International Communications, and Scriptwriting
  • Sports Media (B.S.)
  • Writing for Film, Television and Emerging Media (B.F.A)


  • Animation
  • Audio Production
  • Communication Management and Design
  • Integrated Marketing Communications
  • International Communications
  • Journalism
  • Live Event Design and Management
  • Writing for Film, Television, and Emerging Media
  • Still Photography


  • Communications Innovation (M.S.)
  • Image Text (M.F.A.)

Park Center for Independent Media[edit]

In 2008, the Park School launched the Park Center for Independent Media, directed by Jeff Cohen, founder of Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting. It has been designated as a national center for the study of media outlets that create and distribute content outside traditional corporate systems and news organizations.

Rory Kennedy, documentary filmmaker, was the center's inaugural speaker in January 2008. Kennedy is the co-founder and president of Moxie Firecracker Films, Inc.

The Park Center for Independent Media offers the Independent Media Internship Awards, which provides a $2,500 grant to each chosen student who works as a summer intern at specific independent media outlets.

Annual Izzy Award[edit]

The school's first annual "Izzy Award" for "special achievement in independent media" was presented on March 31, 2009, to blogger Glenn Greenwald and Democracy Now! host and executive producer Amy Goodman. Roughly 800 people attended the award ceremony at Ithaca’s State Theatre – including I.F. "Izzy" Stone's son Jeremy Stone.

Subsequent winners of the award have included Jeremy Scahill, Naomi Klein, Mother Jones, and the Center for Media and Democracy.[7]

In 2018, the award was shared by Lee Fang, Sharon Lerner, Dahr Jamail, and Todd Miller.[8]

In 2019, the award was shared by Laura Flanders, the Earth Island Journal, Aaron Maté, and Dave Lindorff.[9]

In 2020, the award was shared by Matt Taibbi for Hate Inc, the Puerto Rican organization Centro de Periodismo Investigativo (CPI, the Center for Investigative Journalism) and News Inside.[10]

In 2021, the award was shared by Liliana Segura and Tim Schwab along with the publication Truthout during the 13th annual Izzy Award ceremony.[10]

In 2022, the award was shared by Block Club Chicago, Better Government Association, The City, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, and indigenous journalist Jenni Monet.[10]

In 2023, the award was shared by the news outlets The Lever and Mississippi Free Press, and journalists Carlos Ballesteros and Liza Gross.[10]

Programs and events[edit]

The Park School offers a range of programs and events each year, including:

  • Jessica Savitch Award for Distinguished Achievement in Journalism, which in 2015 honors David Muir '95 and Diane Sawyer. Previously the funds used for this award brought prominent broadcast journalists to campus for a major public address.[citation needed]
  • Park Distinguished Visitor Series: Each year Ithaca College hosts an individual representing one or more of the significant professions associated with the communications industry who gives a public presentation. Leading figures in print and broadcast journalism are the primary focus. Past visitors have included Chad Hurley, Randi Zuckerberg, Bill Moyers, Ken Burns, Robert Fisk, author Tom Wolfe ('08), and Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington (November 2009).[11][12]
  • Skip Landen Professional in Residence Program, which focuses on bringing successful alumni of the communications program to campus[citation needed]
  • Media for Social Responsibility: A one credit mini-course open to all students at the college, this class focuses on ways that media can better address a particular contemporary issue of significance to society. Recent topics and speakers have included Seth Meyers (political satire), Sam Champion (global climate change), and Carl Quintinilla the social media revolution in news.[citation needed]
  • Rod Serling Award: This award is presented annually.[citation needed]
  • Rod Serling Conference, a biennial event.[citation needed]

Park Scholar Award[edit]

The Park Scholar Award is a four-year, full scholarship to Ithaca College given each year to a small number of students in the Roy H. Park School of Communications. The award, provided by the Park Foundation, recognizes communications students who excel in academics, leadership, and community service, and intend to use their careers in communications for social good.

Student media[edit]

The Ithacan[edit]

The Ithacan is Ithaca College's official newspaper. The paper is written, edited and published by students. The Ithacan is available in print every Thursday morning and online.[13] The Ithacan and its staff have won many major collegiate journalism awards, most notably, the Associated Collegiate Press' National Pacemaker Awards (widely considered the Pulitzer Prize of collegiate journalism) and many New York State Press Association awards.[citation needed]

Ithaca College Radio[edit]

Ithaca College is home to two student-operated radio stations.

92 WICB[edit]

92 WICB is an FCC-licensed station that operates at 4100 Watts at 91.7 FM. Programming is also streamed live on its website, through the iHeartRadio app, and WICB's iOS app. The majority of its programming falls under the modern rock category, with a variety of specialty programming also available. While broadcasting modern rock, the station is run similarly to a commercial modern rock station, with the inclusion of playlists planned by the programming and music departments that include leeway for listener requests and DJ choices. The station was honored with the MTVU Woodie Award for Best College Radio Station. They were also named the Top Collegiate Radio Station by The Princeton Review.[14]

Notable Park School alumni[edit]

Robert Allen Iger '73, chairman and chief executive officer of The Walt Disney Company

In 2014, for the 40th anniversary, the Park School created a list of 40 Alumni Who Shape the Communications Industry.[17]

Notable Park School former and current faculty[edit]

  • Jeff Cohen, founder of Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting
  • Cathy Lee Crane, the recipient of the 2013 Guggenheim Fellowship in Film-Video. She had previously received a 2009 New York Foundation for the Arts Artist Fellowship for Film and a grant from the New York State Council on the Arts. Her work has been invited to screen at the National Gallery of Art in 2015 as part of their new series American Originals Now.
  • Nicholas Muellner, a photo-based artist, writer, and curator. He teaches photography and critical studies.
  • Rod Serling, taught at Ithaca College Communications School 1967–1975; Emmy Award-winning screenwriter; creator and host of The Twilight Zone


  1. ^ "THR Ranks the Top 25 American Film Schools". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2017-03-03.
  2. ^ Variety Staff (2015-04-28). "Education Impact: 40 Showbiz Programs Prep Future Pros". Variety. Retrieved 2017-03-03.
  3. ^ "Ithaca College - Admissions, Rankings, Financial Aid". The Princeton Review. Retrieved 2017-03-03.
  4. ^ Diane Gayeski Named Dean of Communications School at Ithaca College - News Release - Ithaca College Office of Media Relations
  5. ^ "Diane Gayeski to Retire as Park School Dean". Ithaca College. Retrieved 2020-10-26.
  6. ^ Timeline
  7. ^ "The Izzy Award - Park Center for Independent Media - Ithaca College". Retrieved 2017-03-03.
  8. ^ Izzy Award to be Shared by Investigative Journalists Lee Fang, Sharon Lerner, Dahr Jamail and Todd Miller, Ithaca College, David Maley, March 13, 2018. Retrieved May 1, 2019.
  9. ^ 2019 Izzy Awards Honor Earth Island Journal, Laura Flanders, Aaron Maté & Dave Lindorff, Democracy Now, April 3, 2019. Retrieved January 8, 2020.
  10. ^ a b c d The Annual Izzy Award. Park Center for Independent Media. Ithaca College.
  11. ^ Past speakers' listing. School Web site. Retrieved 2010-01-02.
  12. ^ Featured speaker's listing. School Web site. Still listing '09 speaker when retrieved 2010-01-02.
  13. ^ The Ithacan Online
  14. ^ "Extracurriculars: Best College Radio Station". The Best 371 Colleges. The Princeton Review. Retrieved July 28, 2009.
  15. ^ The Pulitzer Prizes - The 2009 Pulitzer Prize Winners
  16. ^ Ithaca College Grad Wins Pulitzer - News Release - Ithaca College Office of Media Relations
  17. ^ 40 Alumni Who Shape the Communications Industry

42°25′27″N 76°29′43″W / 42.42412°N 76.49518°W / 42.42412; -76.49518