The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

Faculty Spotlight: Communication Professor Gina Baleria

Gina Baleria
Gina Baleria has a range of journalism experience.

Sonoma State University is a campus full of enthusiastic students as well as experienced faculty. The way a professor engages in the classroom can have a direct impact on what the students get out of the course. Gina Baleria is an associate professor in the Communication and Media Studies Department at Sonoma State University. She has been able to create a system within her classrooms that not only brings a sense of connectedness among students but also provides a place for students to learn together. Baleria is a veteran in the industry, stating, “I’ve worked in journalism and digital communication for 30 years.”

When a professor is able to bring in real life experiences to the classroom it provides students with a more accurate representation of what it will be like in the working world. On top of teaching at Sonoma State, Baleria has also written a book and runs a podcast, providing her students with hands-on examples of working in the communications and journalism industries.

The name of Baleria’s book is “The Journalism Behind Journalism,” which can be purchased on Amazon as well as other sites. A portion of the description of the book states that, “This book provides a practical, how-to approach for developing, honing, and practicing the intangible skills critical to strong journalism.”

Baleria also has a podcast called, “News in Context” where she discusses “the issues that impact how information is delivered, how we consume it, and how that affects our interactions with each other,” as stated in the about section on Apple podcasts. The fact that Baleria actively works within the industry outside of the classroom allows students to learn from a professor that is actively producing content themselves. Baleria was able to answer questions for the Sonoma State Star.

Q: What influenced your decision to become a professor at Sonoma State?

A: It started with falling in love with teaching. I was working quite happily in journalism and communications and I got an opportunity to teach a beginning radio class in San Francisco. That’s when I fell in love. Over the course of a few years, I took on more classes and eventually decided to get my doctorate to teach full time. Once I finished grad school, a position came up at Sonoma State. I applied and was lucky enough to get it. Its location and proximity to my family made the position appealing, but the amazing environment and awesome students have made the job special.

Q: What is your favorite platform or way to consume journalism, whether that be podcasts, print, online, radio, etc.?

A: I like it all. I love short videos, podcasts, well-written explainer articles that I can read online. I also love daily news radio, NPR and KQED… if the story is done well, then I’m interested.

Q: What advice would you give to a new student at Sonoma State?

A: I’d say to take every opportunity you can to explore, try new things, network, say yes to social events, and check out your surroundings. Also travel, consider studying abroad, and do more than one internship. You never know where that opportunity will be or how things will come back around down the line.

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About the Contributor
Daniel Murphy
Daniel Murphy, Staff Writer
Danny Murphy is a fourth year communication major at Sonoma State.
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