Ms. Letitia West
Professor of English
o: Canisius Hall Rm 102
Dr. James Simon, an award-winning journalism professor and researcher, has had a life-long interest in studying journalism and the impact of the news media on government, politics and elections.
Dr. Simon received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1974 from Rutgers University after completing majors in political science, journalism and urban teacher education. He was co-founder of the weekly newspaper on the Rutgers/Livingston campus and served as its managing editor. After graduation, he received a fellowship at the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers, where he focused on the impact of the news media on the American political system.
Dr. Simon first joined The Associated Press, the world's largest news organization, as a reporter in 1974. He later covered Statehouse politics in Trenton, New Jersey, and served as New Jersey State News Editor. While working as a reporter, he started teaching journalism at Rutgers University on a part-time basis. In 1978 he left reporting and taught journalism full time as an adjunct professor at Rutgers. He returned to the AP in 1979, covering Statehouse politics in Providence, Rhode Island. He also covered Statehouse politics in Boston from 1981 to 1987, the last four years of which he served as Massachusetts AP Statehouse bureau chief.
Interested in learning more about government, Simon received an appointment as Assistant Secretary of the Environment for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 1987. During the 1988 presidential campaign, he served on the environmental issues committee for Democratic candidate Michael Dukakis. After leaving state government in 1989, he observed the relationship between media and government from a different perspective by working as Director of Public Relations for the Massachusetts Hospital Association.
Dr. Simon resumed his education in 1990 and completed a Master of Mass Communication degree at the Cronkite School of Journalism and Telecommunication at Arizona State University. He was awarded a Ph.D. degree from ASU's public administration program in 1993; his dissertation focused on the relationship between voters' use of the news media and whether they cast a ballot on Election Day. For four years, he also served as co-founder and associate director of The Cactus State Poll, the best known and most respected public opinion survey in the state.
Dr. Simon taught from 1994 to 1997 at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California, as an Assistant Professor of Communication. He directed the print journalism program at the school and served as adviser to the school newspaper. In Fall 1997, he began work as an assistant professor of English at Fairfield University in Fairfield, Connecticut, where he coordinates the print journalism courses and has served as director of the overall writing program. He became a tenured associate professor in 2001 and was promoted to full professor in Spring 2006. He was elected to a three-year term as Chair of the English Department in 2007 and re-elected to a second three-year term in 2010. He was appointed Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, effective July 1, 2012