Two industry professionals have joined the Newhouse School as adjunct instructors for the Newhouse NYC program.
Alumnus Kevin Belbey ’13, G’16, L’16, a sports media agent at Creative Artists Agency, is teaching Communications Law. Danielle Noriega, a strategic partner manager at Meta, is teaching the Social Platforms and Processes course.
“Kevin and Danielle have both been huge supporters of Newhouse NYC as guest lecturers and mentors,” says program director Cheryl Brody Franklin. “They both bring so much experience to the classroom, and I know the students will love hearing about what they are working on.”
Belbey’s Syracuse University journey began in eighth grade. The New Jersey native attended a sports broadcasting camp with alumnus Ian Eagle ’90 and was immediately hooked.
“He exposed me to Syracuse, to Newhouse, how great of a program it was,” Belbey says. “Throughout high school, it was my dream to go to Syracuse.”
Belbey eventually earned a bachelor’s degree in broadcast and digital journalism, a master’s degree in new media management at the Newhouse School and a law degree at the Syracuse University College of Law.
Belbey says his goal is to modernize the class as much as possible through guest speakers, real-world examples and presentations. At work, he often encounters the legal issues that are covered in class, such as navigating social media sponsorships or working with Federal Trade Commission guidelines. He’ll also cover more recent cases, such as Taylor Swift’s album rights battle.
“It’s a very unique class where it’s a legal class, it’s a law class, but it’s for students who aren’t pursuing a career in law,” Belbey says. “Our goal is to build that baseline foundation and acknowledge that’s necessary to enter the professional communications field, but try to make it as interactive as possible, as timely as possible.”
Belbey says students who are entering the industry must understand legal issues like journalists’ rights or how free speech applies to social media. He says he feels the course is more relevant now than ever before.
Belbey is most excited to build connections with students.
“I think it’s a beautiful thing to have students from the different majors in comm law together to be able to bring different perspectives,” he says.
Noriega didn’t realize the power of audience engagement and social media until she was able to reach people in Venezuela from her dorm room in New Jersey when she was a student at Rutgers University.
In college, Noriega launched a show that focused on Latinx issues in both the United States and Latin America. After an internship working with emerging social media platforms, she quickly realized the global influence she could have.
“I never thought that people would say, ‘Thank you for bringing light to these issues,’” she says. “I was like, ‘Maybe this is something I want to work into.’”
Noriega went on to land a job at Facebook, now Meta, and has since traveled to newsrooms around the world, including in Latin America, the Middle East and North America, talking to journalists about how they can grow their audiences.
Noriega launched Facebook for Student Journalists, which took her to different college campuses where she would teach students how to build a social media presence.
“What stands out most to me is [Noriega’s] desire to look back and share what she knows with young people, particularly those most overlooked,” says Simone Oliver, former global editor-in-chief of Refinery29, who previously taught the course and is a mentor to Noriega. “The way students respond to her is remarkable and exciting, and her background in crafting curriculum for social-first journalists around the world is going to translate really well.”
Noriega says she’s consistently impressed with young people in the industry who ask important questions and want to be as informed as possible. Students today are extremely open-minded and vocal, and know what they want to get out of the industry, she says.
“[Students] are the trendsetters,” Noriega says. “Even though I’m the professor, I’m the one who’s learning.”
Noriega says she’s excited to dive into topics like building personal brands, social media strategies, audience engagement and students’ social reach. She’s also looking forward to incorporating her own personal stories into class, and sharing her experiences with students.
But above all, Noriega says she wants to be a resource for students as they enter the industry. As a first-generation Latina college graduate, she’s looking forward to providing students with some of the support that she didn’t necessarily get in school, even if that’s just learning how to fill out a financial aid form or combatting “imposter syndrome” in their first job.
“I’m really excited to share whatever wisdom I have along the way,” she says.
Maggie Hicks is a senior in the magazine, news and digital journalism program at the Newhouse School.