5 CCI Faculty and Staff Honored in FSU’s Author’s Day

On March 7, five College of Communication faculty and staff members were honored in FSU Author’s Day. FSU Author’s Day is an annual program that honors faculty and staff that have recently published a book. Read on to learn more about the recognized CCI faculty and staff.

Andrew Opel- The West Wind: A Winnipesaukee Sailing Adventure
Last summer, Dr. Andrew Opel, a School of Communication professor, published The West Wind: A Winnipesaukee Sailing Adventure. This book marks the 5th book in the Winnipesaukee Adventures series which follows the adventures of siblings Jack, Franny, and J.J. as they learn to sail on Lake Winnipesaukee. Dr. Opel spent his own childhood summers on the lake with his grandparents and later brought his children there to experience the beauty and lessons the lake has to offer. In the early 2000s, he noticed that although the lake was surrounded by myths and lore, there were no children’s books about it. This is when he began working with illustrator Karel Hayes to create the series. The Winnipesaukee Adventure series is produced as coffee-table quality books with full-color dust jackets and amazing watercolor artwork making them great for children or as coffee-table additions. Another unique aspect of the series is the accuracy of the imagery to the actual places referenced. Dr. Opel explained, “This allows readers to revisit the lake even when they are no longer at the lake. Also, every book highlights a local environmental organization on the dedication page, helping readers learn more about the lake and ways to protect this unique ecosystem.” On what’s next for the series, he shared that a chapter book featuring the characters getting into more complex adventures is in the works, and he hopes to release it in 2025.

Find The West Wind: A Winnipesaukee Sailing Adventure here

Marcia Mardis- Engage (Shared Foundations Series)
This year, School of Information professor and Associate Dean for Research co-authored Engage, the final volume in the Shared Foundations Series which supports the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) National Standards. These standards are based on six Shared Foundations– Inquire, Include, Collaborate, Curate, Explore, and Engage– which coincide with the books in the series. Engage works to support school librarians as they help learners navigate the complex future of information. On the book, Dr. Mardis shared, “Engage is a tough Shared Foundation because it is outward-looking and future-focused. We want school librarians to help their learners understand that engaging with the outside world begins with ethical information use, including citation and attribution. However, engaging doesn’t end with intellectual property issues; understanding your audience, choosing the right communication medium, being open to feedback, being empathetic—these are some of the dispositions we promote and support with the book.”

Find Engage here

Michael Walsh- Project Vortex: The Zoboros Series
This year, CCI’s Marketing & Communication Coordinator Michael Walsh published his second novel Project Vortex, the second book in the Zoboros Series. The series follows Kano and his companions on a journey through an adventure-filled galaxy after he finds himself at the center of an intense secret war. Walsh is a double FSU alumnus completing both his undergraduate studies and master’s here. During his time as an undergraduate student, Walsh completed the Digital Media Production program with aspirations to become a director. As the program exposed him to more aspects of filmmaking though, he discovered that writing books was an excellent medium for crafting stories exactly as he wanted to tell them.

On what inspired the Zoboros series, he shared, “Believe it or not, West Side Story. I loved the idea of putting two rival gangs in space where the characters could face even more dangers beyond just the rival gang. Though instead of choreographed dance sequences, I started giving some of the characters superpowers and then it all came together: an epic superhero sci-fi fantasy saga (in space!).” The series isn’t over yet! Walsh plans to release the third book in the series this summer.

Walsh also shared his advice for other aspiring authors, saying, “Anyone who wants to write a book (or anything for that matter) should start now! Don’t be discouraged if your work isn’t at a Shakespearean level (I doubt even Shakespeare liked his first drafts anyway). Allow yourself to write and revise until you have something you’re proud of. It will take time, but in the end, you’ll have the story that you want to read.”

Find Project Vortex: The Zoboros Series here

Arienne Ferchaud and Jennifer Proffitt- Television’s Streaming Wars
Last November, Television Streaming Wars, a book collection edited by School of Communication professor Dr. Jennifer Proffitt and assistant professor Dr. Arienne Ferchaud. The volume addresses contemporary debates and trends within the television streaming industry as well as its economics and structure. Dr. Ferchaud shared that Disney’s recent acquisition of 21st Century Fox sparked the idea, and shared her and Dr. Proffitt’s vision for the book saying, “We hope this book will make a major impact in the field of media studies; we want it to be THE BOOK people pick up when they go study the streaming industry.”

School of Communication doctoral candidate and graduate assistant Sunah Lee also contributed to the book. “I had never imagined participating in writing a book before Dr. Proffitt offered the opportunity, and having done it is such a proud achievement for me,” Lee told CCI. “I hope it inspires the audience to think about what they have never thought about before–that there is a lot more behind the production of streaming TV shows, which are not as glamorous as seen on the surface.”

Find Television’s Streaming Wars here


Congratulations to all of our honored faculty and staff!