Adjunct professors bring enthusiasm and experience to the classroom

This semester, more than 60 professionals from all areas of communications are sharing their knowledge, experience and expertise with students across all Newhouse School programs, including the Syracuse University Los Angeles Semester (SULA) and Newhouse NYC programs. These adjunct instructors connect students to the industries they’re studying, providing insights into what is happening in those corners of communications right now.

Connecting on campus

The Newhouse 2 Waverly patio in winter.
The beauty of winter on the Newhouse 2 Waverly Street patio.

Erin Reimel ’16, who is the beauty editor for Girls’ Life Magazine, taught MND 500 Multimedia Beauty Editorial last fall. The course focuses on different types of content creation through the lens of beauty.

“I really enjoy acting as a resource for my students,” Reimel says. “When I was a senior at Syracuse, I had an adjunct professor who was a beauty editor in New York City and she saw my potential and took me under her wing. I have her encouragement and connections to thank for multiple jobs I’ve had in the industry. And I hope to be able to help my students in the same way. I love hearing from my students after the semester is over and helping them to network and get their foot in the door.”

Brent Axe, a sports commentator at and a talk show host for ESPN Syracuse, teaches BDJ 351/651 Sports Interviewing, which focuses on teaching students how to ask the right questions of the people they cover so they can get the best answers for their audience.

“Sports is the sandbox of life so we’re having fun most of the time,” Axe says. “Teaching a new generation the ins and outs of interviewing and sports media is exciting.”

Bringing communications industry experience into satellite classes

Students in a group picture at Bryant Park
Newhouse NYC students enjoying Bryant Park in the fall. Photo by Sarah Lee.

One of the benefits of satellite programs like the Syracuse University Los Angeles Semester and Newhouse NYC is that communications industry professionals who are actively working these larger cities can bring their current professional experience and connections into the classroom. They also help coordinate trips for students to places like Warner Bros. Studios in Los Angeles or Twitter headquarters in New York.

Simone Oliver, global editor-in-chief at Refinery29, teaches COM 425 Social Platforms, Processes and Perspectives for the Newhouse NYC program. Oliver says she sees herself as a master collaborator who loves to brainstorm, and her passion for teaching fuels her work with students. When asked what inspires her in the young professionals she teaches, Oliver has a ready answer.

“Their bluntness, curiosity and the fresh lens through which they see the world,” she says. “Young professionals bring that new-gen perspective into their attitudes, their working style, the questions they ask, their projects, their ideas. It’s powerful and it gets me so excited. “

Newhouse NYC director Cheryl Brody Franklin appreciates Oliver’s enthusiasm for teaching. “When I first met Simone, I knew she had to be part of the Newhouse NYC team,” Franklin says. “She’s a brilliant writer and editor, a compassionate leader and, more than anything else, she cares about her students.”

In Los Angeles, entertainment attorney Eric German ’92 teaches communications law for television, radio and film. German is a partner at Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp, a practice that focuses on the music and entertainment industries. He represents dozes of performing artists, songwriters, record labels, music publishers and other industry creatives.

“[Eric’s] knowledge of the law is unsurpassed, but it’s his devotion to providing his students with the best environment for engaged learning that makes him a star in our program,” says SULA director Robin Howard.

“I love working closely with creative types to help them develop the broadest possible platform for their art and to maximize the business opportunity for everyone involved,” German says. He feels inspired by his students when they show a passion for the subject matter, and is happy to maintain his connection with the Newhouse School. “I am honored to give back to my alma matter and to connect with the next generation of industry professionals,” he says.

Learn more about the Newhouse School’s impressive group of adjunct instructors>>