Department of Communications, Journalism and Performing Arts

Communications and Media Arts – Associate in Arts Degree

Through entertainment and dissemination of information, the media reaches into our lives – both shaping and responding to American society – as no other profession does. Because of this power, a career in communications media offers immense challenges, responsibility, and excitement. Click for A.A. Degree Requirements.

Westchester Community College’s Communications and Media Arts curriculum prepares studentseither to transfer into a baccalaureate program or to seek positions in broadcasting, journalism, public relations, and related fields. A large percentage of communications/media arts graduates have transferred to four-year colleges and universities within the SUNY system or to private colleges and universities such as Iona, St. John’s, Hofstra, Emerson and Syracuse. Graduates also have obtained specific entry-level positions as film editor, script editor, announcer, cameraman, producer, news reporter, technical assistant, tape operator, editorial assistant, copy reader, layout technician or public relations generalist.

Special facilities available for communications/media arts majors include: a newly renovated television studio, fully-licensed, college-owned radio station (WARY-FM); award-winning desktop-published student newspaper, The Viking News; plus a student-produced, regularly televised program, “Westchester Community College, News in Review.” An independent study program gives students additional learning opportunities. An internship program is available to selected students. Communications and Media internships can be taken for 1-9 credits; however, only three credits can be used toward the major. The curriculum also gives students the skills needed for effective oral expression, enabling them to communicate with greater clarity, conciseness and self-awareness

Recommended Activities
It is suggested that students become involved in the student newspaper, The Viking News; the college FM radio station, WARY-FM; or the Video Club. Activities in the performing and visual arts are also useful including involvement with local cable TV companies.

Curriculum Counselors
Students should see any of the following counselors. It is advisable to see the same counselor once a semester, particularly before pre-registration. Communications courses tend to close early. We suggest you register the previous semester to reserve a seat.

Clicking on any of the names below will link you to biographical and professional information about the selected professor, including representative syllabi.

Carol Smith Passariello
Professor – Journalism/Media
Office: AAB 214
Tel: 914-606-6119
Sample Syllabi:


Carol Smtih Passariello is an Assistant Professor of Journalism, Curriculum Chair of Journalism, Department Chair of Communications, Journalism and Performing Arts and the Frederick Sessions Beebe Chair for Journalism at SUNY Westchester Community College. Upon joining the department in 2004 she began teaching courses in journalism, broadcast journalism and newspaper production. In 2010 She further developed the curriculum adding multimedia journalism, journalism and democracy, and news reporting and writing leading to the Journalism A.S. degree. While developing the degree program, Professor Passariello also designed and coordinated the cross-platform, multimedia Communications and Journalism Innovation Lab and was instrumental in establishing WCC as the first community college in the nation to partner with the Pulitzer Center Campus Consoritum. She also established the Student Media Association in 2008 serving as faculty advisor until 2012.

After graduating with a M.A. in journalism from the Ohio State University’s distinguished Graduate School of Journalism, she taught journalism and English courses while holding the position of Coordinator of Public Relations for Academic Affairs at her alma mater, LeMoyne-Owen College in Memphis, Tennessee where she also served as adviser to the student newspaper, the Magician. She has also taught courses as an adjunct professor of English at Marymount College, and SUNY Old Westbury. Her work has appeared in print and film including Role Call: A Generational Anthology of Social and Political Black Literature and Art, The Best Man (1999), Black Issues Book Review, The Tri-State Defender, The Commercial Appeal, and she edited and produced Sisterfriend Soul Journeys.

Linda Kalfayan
Professor – Speech
Office: Science 334
Tel: 914-606-7873

Linda Kalfayan is an Assistant Professor within the Communication Arts Department. Based on the Valhalla campus, Linda serves as part of the Speech Communication team teaching course in Speech Communication and Voice and Diction for both the native and the non-native students.

Prior to joining Westchester Community College, Linda worked for the Private Client division of a broad spectrum of international services firms.

During the past two decades, Linda has taught at Montclair State University, Bergen Community College, and New York University. At various institutions, courses taught include communication for professionals, organizational communication, gender communication, interpersonal communication, public speaking, voice and diction, voice for the performer, and theater history. Additionally, Linda has written and delivered papers at national conventions, and has written a book on Basic Speech Communication.

Born in America, Linda has traveled extensively abroad, studying in Armenia and in the United States. She received her Associate of Arts degree in Humanities, Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech Communication and The Fine and Performing Arts, and her Master of Arts degree in Speech Communication from Montclair State University.

Linda’s professional affiliations include The International Listening Association.

Linda works closely as a volunteer for the Armenian General Benevolent Union and is involved with the dance performance ensemble that tours here in the states as well a abroad. Linda gives much of her time and dedication to her students and her courses and is currently working on a Voice and Diction text for this setting.


Gabrielle Miller
Curriculum Chair
Professor – Speech
Office: Academic Arts 518
Tel: 914-606-6161
Sample Syllabus:

Gabrielle Miller, Curriculum Chair of the Department, began her association with Westchester Community College as a student in 1977. She had her first communications experiences as Editor-in-Chief of The Viking (now renamed The Viking News) and as valedictorian of the graduating class of 1979. She completed her undergraduate studies at The College of New Rochelle and received a Master of Arts degree in Speech Communication from NYU in 1984. After teaching for a number of years as an adjunct professor at various area colleges, she returned to Westchester Community College in 1992 as a full-time member of the Communications and Media Arts Department faculty.

Gabrielle Miller is the holder of the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence.



Bill Winters
Prof. – Radio & TV/Media
Office: Academic Arts 222
Tel: 914-606-6449

Professor Bill Winters has been at Westchester Community College since 1974. He started as the head of the Video Services Department and later took over the Media Services Department as well. He has been teaching full time in the Communications Department since 1992. Bill graduated from Westchester Community College and NYU and spent a decade working with the WMCA Good Guys, a top radio station in New York in the 1960’s and 70’s.

Professor Winters is an avid record collector. His present collection numbers about 15,000. He also enjoys trains (both the real ones and model railroading). One of his favorite leisure activities is going to the movies. His son Billy is a budding cinematographer (who also graduated from Westchester Community College and NYU). Professor Winters and his wife Dolly have been living in Valhalla for 31 years.

Rosemarie Serrano
Assistant Department Chair and Professor – Performing Arts
Eric Luther
Professor – Communication and Media Arts