“I always knew I’d study journalism. I worked on all types of publications throughout my childhood,” said Sandra Mardenfeld, Head of the Journalism Department. She continued with her passion for writing earning a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism at Buffalo State College and eventually her Master’s in Magazine Journalism from New York University.
Mardenfeld first started her journalistic career at CMP Publications, which mainly produces computer magazines. “I worked on Network Computing and Windows…I learned the importance of networking there,”
Of the dozens of publications she has worked for Mardenfeld said she learned the most writing an article about Halloween Do-It-Yourself Magic for Time Out magazine, an international publication focusing on easy do-it-yourself projects, and fun things to do in cities around the world. “The publication had a particular tone I found difficult to produce…the editor worked with me to master the voice and she provided excellent instruction on writing and the importance of listening to your reader. She showed me the importance of word choice.”
When asked whose journalistic work she admired, Mardenfeld said there were many. “I think Talking Points Memo and ProPublica do excellent investigative journalism.” “The New York Times and the Washington Post still produce important articles…I enjoy the Daily Show for its original takes on media-watching.”
Mardenfeld, who was previously an adjunct professor at Post, decided to be here full-time as soon as there was a job opening. “I worked at a small college for eight years,” said Mardenfeld, “Post offered me many opportunities that weren’t possible at that institution.”
“I hope to train fine journalists who find jobs,” said Mardenfeld, and “to do that, the department needs to stay current with an industry that changes dramatically on a regular basis.” Additionally Mardenfeld hopes to expand the opportunity students have to network with current industry professionals. As part of that, “We have a mobile journalist from Newsday coming to speak during the common hour on November 18th…the first in a new speakers series the Media Arts Department is starting.”
One bit of advice Mardenfeld would like to give everyone is, “Journalism grads need to realize they must do it all to succeed in the field… research and interview their story, shoot and edit video, write the piece, and blog or tweet about it.” Sandra Mardenfeld is currently working on her PhD, by finishing her dissertation, at Rutger’s University.