Valencia Faculty

Amara Aguilar
Amara Aguilar

Amara Aguilar is an associate professor of professional practice in digital journalism at USC Annenberg. She previously was the journalism department chair and an assistant professor of journalism at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, Calif., where she advised student news publications and led the journalism program’s mobile and tablet initiatives. She was honored by the California Journalism Education Coalition as “Journalism Educator of the Year” in the two-year college division in 2014. Previously Amara taught multimedia as an assistant professor at Pierce College in Los Angeles, where she taught multimedia storytelling, podcasting, online journalism, media design and development. There she launched a student-run internet radio station,, and developed curriculum for a new mobile application design program. Before teaching at Pierce, she taught photojournalism, online journalism and design classes at Cal State Long Beach. In addition, she continues to freelance as a writer, designer and visual journalist (for print and web) and is currently working on independent consulting projects. She has written for the Los Angeles Times and was previously a designer and sports reporter for the Daily Pilot in Costa Mesa. Amara has her master’s degree in communications from Cal State Fullerton. Her research in graduate school focused on blogging in journalism. She is also an Apple Certified Trainer for Final Cut Pro and loves all things tech. Amara is a member of the Society of Newspaper Design, Online News Association, National Association of Hispanic Journalists, and Society of Professional Journalists. She has done media consulting and training for various professional media organizations, universities, colleges and high schools.

Jeffrey Brody
Jeffrey Brody, Valencia Program Director

Jeffrey Brody (ieiMedia Fellow) is a professor of Communications and member of the Asian-American Studies Program Council at California State University, Fullerton. He teaches advanced writing classes, courses on mass communication and society, and media and diversity. He has a distinguished record advising student publications. His international reporting class has taken journalism students on medical missions to Cambodia and Vietnam the past four years. His research interests include the Internet, ethnic press, newspaper industry and the Vietnamese American experience. He is co-author of “The Newspaper Publishing Industry,” and an oral history of Yen Do, the founder of the Nguoi Viet Daily News, the largest Vietnamese-language newspaper in the United States. Brody also has been associate producer of “Saigon USA,” a documentary film, and selections from his documentary photography exhibit, “The Vietnamese: Self Portrait of a People,” were included for an exhibit at the Smithsonian National Museum in Washington, D.C. and for a touring Smithsonian exhibit in cities across the United States. Brody has a master’s degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and received doctoral equivalency from California State University, Fullerton. He is an award-winning reporter with more than a dozen years experience the newspaper industry and has written freelance articles for newspapers and magazines. Brody has appeared on an ABC “Nightline” segment and been interviewed by “The New York Times,” “The British Guardian,”National Public Radio, “The Los Angeles Times,” and other major publications. He has received grants from the McCormick Foundation, Ford Foundation and been a Jefferson Fellow at the East-West Center in Hawaii. Professor Brody directed the program in Valencia, Spain in 2014, 2015, and 2016.

John Shrader
John Shrader

John Shrader is assistant professor of Journalism at California State University, Long Beach. He teaches courses in broadcast journalism, including news and sports journalism for both radio and television, and visual storytelling for all media. John spent 30 years as a broadcaster in San Francisco, for which he won an Emmy Award as an on-air host in 2009. He has equal experience in television and radio, on-air talent work and production. He brings all this professional knowledge to the classroom. John’s award-winning 2009 documentary film “Conflicted: The Barry Bonds Home Run Chase” explored media coverage of the complicated and controversial baseball star in his quest to set the all-time home run record. In 2013, his documentary film “Baseball’s Social Gathering” looked at how the process of gathering and delivering sports journalism has been dramatically altered by the new tools of social media and digital media. His most recent projects include a film documentary on the Long Beach Pow Wow, to be released in 2016; a one-hour radio documentary on LA sports radio which airs in Spring 2016; and chapters in two book projects, “Everything I Know about Relationships I Learned from Television,” and “Red, White, Blue and Green: Perspectives on the U.S.-Mexico Soccer Rivalry.”

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Students Say...

I really don’t know how to convey what an incredible opportunity it is. I guess the coolest part for me was getting to investigate an issue, work with a local fixer, interview locals, talk with experts and officials, and be mentored by journalists who are actively working in the field. If you want to be a journalist, this is your chance. This program is seriously the real deal.
by Patrick Torphy, Emerson College, Jerusalem Project 2014