Achieving tenure is a large milestone for many professors in academia. Tenure-track professors commit to years of teaching, research and service to the university in hopes of one day being promoted from assistant professor to associate professor.
On July 1, 2023, four Klein College of Media and Communication faculty members became the most recent professors to celebrate this achievement. Congratulations to
Jennifer Ball, associate professor in the department of advertising and public relations;
Jessica Castonguay, associate professor in the department of advertising and public relations;
Lauren Kogen, associate professor in the department of media studies and production;
and Andrea Wenzel, associate professor in the department of journalism.
Ball, Castonguay, Kogen and Wenzel are thrilled to return to teach at Klein College in the fall and are excited to see what they can do with their research. Discover more about each professor below.
Jennifer Ball, advertising and public relations
After finishing her Ph.D. in communication at the University of Texas in 2011, Ball took her first teaching job at the University of Minnesota. Though it was a great place to start, Ball became interested in working specifically in a department of advertising, rather than journalism and communications.
While looking for jobs, the rising reputation of Temple University and Klein College caught Ball’s eye. She started as an assistant professor at Klein College in 2016 and was drawn to Temple's commitment to giving a leg up to those who would not usually have the opportunity.
Ball has taught classes at both the undergraduate and graduate level and often teaches strategy and research courses. Much of her research focuses on the policies and effects of direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical advertising, and she brings her expertise to persuasive writing and advertising and society classes, as well.
After a few years of doing marketing research professionally, Ball made the decision to pursue her Ph.D. to learn more about the phenomenon she identified in advertising.
“I just started to feel that I had bigger questions that I wanted to answer about advertising effectiveness and how consumers process messages,” Ball said.
Specifically, Ball has researched what factors shape trust with brands, the role of narratives in prescription drug advertising and the presentation of risk information for prescription drugs.
Ball is excited to continue her research and is proud that her work has been deemed worthy of tenure.
Jessica Castonguay, advertising and public relations
“I felt like if I went back to school and was a professor, I would have the ability to teach other people who were going into the field and have the impact that I wanted to have,” Castonguay said.
Castonguay spent a brief time reviewing research for a health product company but decided she needed to go back to school to make a bigger difference in health marketing.
After finishing her Ph.D. at the University of Arizona, Castonguay pursued a post-doctoral program at the University of Pennsylvania. While in Philadelphia, Castonguay served as an adjunct professor at Temple and became interested in the idea of staying in the city instead of moving with her young son again.
When a non-tenure track position at Klein College opened in 2016, Castonguay applied and taught for a year before officially getting a tenure-track job in 2017.
Castonguay teaches at the undergraduate and doctoral levels, and her courses often focus on morality and laws in advertising or health communication. She is also excited to be teaching a new course in children’s media and advertising in the fall as a part of the new children’s media certificate.
As the daughter of a nutritionist and a preschool teacher, Castonguay has always been interested in the intersection of health and kids’ media. Her research has primarily focused on kids’ food advertising. In the age of social media advertisements, Castonguay has examined how children learn to interpret what they see online.
Now that she is tenured, Castonguay is excited for more flexibility in her research and has multiple projects already in the works.
Lauren Kogen, media studies and production
Kogen’s work experience before pursuing her Ph.D. in communication at the University of Pennsylvania was mostly in television and film production.
As a Fulbright scholar in Spain, Kogen researched digital film and the ways in which it has made the film industry more accessible for people outside of Hollywood. In fact, all of Kogen’s research prior to arriving at Temple in 2014 was internationally based.
Now, Kogen has focused her attention on Philadelphia and the ways in which communication can be used for social change in underserved communities.
A large part of what drew Kogen to Klein College is the communication for development and social change (CDSC) master’s program.
“It worked out and I felt so lucky,” Kogen said. CDSC courses are the ones that are most strongly aligned with her research, she said, and she loves teaching in the program.
During the pandemic, Kogen wanted to use her skills to help. She connected with Senior Associate Dean Deb Cai and the Lewis Katz School of Medicine to work on campaigns for vaccine push-out and now has an ongoing relationship with the medical school.
“Now that I have tenure, I’m really hoping to continue those collaborations,” Kogen said.
Currently, Kogen is applying for grants for some upcoming projects, and she is looking forward to being able to collaborate with even more colleagues.
Andrea Wenzel, journalism
Wenzel came to Temple in 2017 all the way from California where she obtained her PhD from the University of Southern California. At the time, Klein College was specifically looking for someone interested in solutions journalism and Wenzel had years of experience to share.
After working in public radio and traveling to Ghana, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Iraq and India doing international media work, Wenzel became frustrated with the lack of inclusivity in journalism. Many journalists reported on underserved communities either at home or abroad but did so for an elite audience and not the communities themselves.
Journalists should have good relationships with the communities they cover instead of just dropping in whenever something newsworthy happens, Wenzel thought.
Through her work at Temple, Wenzel has taught solutions journalism courses at all academic levels. Some of these courses, and her research, involve collaboration with community members from the surrounding Philadelphia neighborhoods.
One such class included both Temple students and community members to begin to conceptualize what community-centered journalism may look like.
“It gives both the students and the community members an opportunity to share perspectives,” Wenzel said. The course will run again in the fall.
In addition to her teaching and research, Wenzel has collaborated with Philadelphia news outlets on projects focused on diversity, equity and inclusion practices and products.
Congratulations to the newest Klein College associate professors!