Nice Faculty

Michael Dorsher
Michael Dorsher, Nice Program Director

Michael Dorsher Ph.D. (Reporting – ieiMedia Senior Fellow and Admissions Director) is a professor of journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and director of the Fulbright Association-Minnesota Chapter. He was a Fulbright Scholar at McGill University in Montréal in 2008-09. Conversant in French and Spanish, he has taught journalism in France, Quebec, Peru and England. Before earning a doctorate from the University of Maryland in 1999 and joining the UW-Eau Claire faculty in 2000, he was an award-winning journalist for 20 years, capped by four years as a founding editor of He is the co-author of “Controversies in Media Ethics” (2011, Routledge), its website, “The Encyclopedia of Journalism” (2009, Sage) and dozens of websites with his students. Michael directed the program in Nice, France from 2014 through 2016.

Sharon Kessler
Sharon Kessler

Sharon Kessler MPA (Reporting – ieiMedia Fellow) is the lead interactive media strategist for Minnesota Philanthropy Partners, a charitable organization with more than $1 billion in assets. She was a slot editor at the Minneapolis Star Tribune from 2000 to 2010, which followed five years as a copy editor on the Metro and National desks at The Washington Post, two years as the proof desk deputy chief at U.S. News & World Report and two years as a copy editor at the Wisconsin State Journal. Before that, she was a television and radio reporter for a dozen years. She has won SPJ and AP awards for headline writing, projects editing, investigative reporting and radio documentary. In her spare time, she uses social media, blogging and multimedia to publicize and direct a nonprofit project preserving a 19th century stone building on the Main Street of her hometown, Bottineau, N.D. She was a visiting journalist in Nice, France, in 2014 and 2015.

Jan Larson
Jan Larson

Jan Larson (Multimedia Faculty) is a full professor of journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, where she teaches introductory and advanced multimedia journalism courses.  She has taught abroad in Scotland and traveled extensively throughout Europe and Asia. A graduate of Stanford University and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, Professor Larson has worked at newspapers from Alaska, where she moderated a U.S. Senate debate for public television, to New York, where she worked as an assistant city editor and business editor for Gannett.  An award-winning reporter and editor, Larson was a contributing writer to American Demographics magazine for nearly a decade. On multiple occasions, she has led students on reporting and research trips to Moldova and on social justice reporting adventures along the civil rights trail in the U.S. South. 

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Urbino seems to have not aged a single day throughout the centuries and I can’t believe something as majestic as it still exists. You step inside the walls and you immediately wish you could stay there forever. The people, too, are welcoming and exciting; never once did I feel like an outsider. This was the perfect town to expose us to Italian culture and to bond with each other throughout our experiences. This town and these people will always be a part of who I am.
by Connor Drew, James Madison University, Urbino Project 2013