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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

Communication Professor and Department Chair Marco Calavita

COURTESY// Marco Calavita

Marco Calavita is a communication professor and currently the department chair in the Communication and Media Studies Department at Sonoma State University. 

Calavita has accomplished a lot before becoming a professor at Sonoma State. Eighteen years ago, he wrote “Apprehending Politics”, a book about how people come to have the political beliefs and behaviors they have over time. He conducted hours of interviews about people’s lives, politics, and how their media engagement fit into it. 

Additionally, Calavita has written, “lots of journal articles about media and politics and about film especially.” He has contributed to many different magazines and written screenplays for different types of movies. 

One project that Marco Calavita is particularly excited about is a YouTube channel called “Best Movies Ever” that he is starting. His channel will provide  informative content about movies, particularly “encouraging people to know more about movies beyond the kinds of movies that pop up as recommendations…the channel is going to be my suggestions for what the best movies of all time are in various categories.” His goal for this channel is for it to be fun, entertaining, and educational about older, classic, and possibly less mainstream movies. 


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

“At that point in time, I had just gotten married to my wife. I was working on my PhD remotely in San Francisco and had already done two years of teaching while a grad student at NYU. I wanted to keep teaching and Sonoma State had a class (COMS 301) they needed taught that semester. After sending in my materials, I got hired. After a couple years of teaching one or two classes a semester, they had a full-time position open for a tenure track professor in the Communication department. Since I was enjoying my time there, I decided to go for the full-time position.” 


Q: What were the changes in responsibility from being a professor to being the department chair and how has it affected your time?

“It isn’t radically different, rather than teaching three courses a semester, I teach two. I attend more meetings and it’s more social like interacting with staff and faculty on campus and having more decisions to make. I have more of an administrative and to some degree leadership role. I am much more involved in broader things that are going on on campus whereas I might have a bit of tunnel vision when just teaching.”


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

“I would need to know something about them before wanting to sound like I know what’s best for them. For example, if you are someone working thirty hours a week, driving home every weekend to help your family, and school might not come the easiest for you; my advice for that student would be to be kind to yourself, be proud of what it is that you are doing and what you’re accomplishing, and do the best that you can. If you are a student who isn’t working a significant amount outside of schoolwork, I would recommend not focusing too much on just achieving in your classes. It’s a really good idea to take advantage of opportunities outside the classroom and explore things that you’re curious about or interested in.”

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About the Contributor
Jenna D'Angelo
Jenna D'Angelo, Staff Writer
Jenna D'Angelo is a third year communication studies major at Sonoma State.
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