Jack Powers

Jack Powers

Associate Professor and Chair, Media Arts, Sciences and Studies
Faculty, Television-Radio

Specialty:Television/Entertainment Industry, Humor and Scripted Programming, Children and Media, Social Effects of Mass Media
Phone:(607) 274-1862
E-mail:jpowers@ithaca.edu
Office:353 Roy H Park Hall
Ithaca, NY 14850

Greetings,

My name is Jack Powers and I'm a faculty member in the Television-Radio program of the Roy H. Park School of Communications at Ithaca College.

I mostly teach about the business of entertainment television, and my primary area of research deals with the social effects of entertainment media on children (especially TV).

In terms of creative work,  I write television scripts (mostly made-for-TV movies) and have been fortunate enough to have pitched multiple ideas to some of the top talent agencies, producers, and production companies in the biz.     

I've been extremely lucky in my TV life as I've been able to keep a foot in Hollywood while I teach here at IC. Over the past decade, for example, I've regularly read sitcom pilot scripts and provided notes for programs under consideration for CBS, ABC, FOX, and Netflix. In addition, I travel to Los Angeles regularly to be on set for the shooting of pilots, and-- in the cases where the shows have been picked up-- episodes. I've even been cast as a background character in episodes of 'Modern Family,' 'The Odd Couple,' and 'The History of Us' (unaired pilot). 

This access to hit TV shows has allowed me to share invaluable information with our students about the best way to gain entry to the highly competitive field of television writing/production (including meeting face-to-face with some of those exec producers while in Los Angeles).   

In terms of my teaching philosophy, I believe in the blending of theory and practice ('learning is doing.)'

Consequently, in all of my classes students leave the course with some kind of tangible product to show in future interviews for jobs/internships. For example, students enrolled in Intro to Media Industries are required to develop and release a smartphone App (dealing with entertainment media) for the Google Play market, and students enrolled in research methods work together in groups to produce an original mass media research project.

In the uber-competitive field of television, I inform prospective students that if they intend to enroll in the TV-R program, they should expect to

1) spend a semester abroad in London or elsewhere interning;

2) spend a semester in Los Angeles as part of of LA Program and obtain 1-2 high-profile internships;

3) work each semester on one or more of our 20+ television shows produced for ICTV;

4) engage in other media activities including working on-air or behind the scenes at one of our 2 radio stations, newspaper, alternative magazine, professional communications production company, etc. 

 

Our television program is arguably one of the best in the United States.

Some highlights include (all of these represent grads who have entered the business in the 13 years I've been at IC, so it's only a small fraction of our grads):

  • Dozens and dozens of grads employed at ESPN
  • Dozens of grads employed at MLB Network

Recent grads are working at the following TV shows/Networks/Companies:

  • 'Ray Donovan'
  • 'Ellen'
  • 'Trial & Error' 
  • 'Little Fires Everywhere'
  • 'Dr. Oz,'
  • 'The Doctors'
  • 'The Voice'
  • 'Top Gear'
  • 'American Idol'
  • 'Dancing with the Stars'
  • 'Top Chef'
  • Nick, Jr.
  • Nickelodeon
  • MTV
  • CBS Productions
  • 'Family Guy' 
  • 'CONAN'
  • 'Casual'
  • 'Entertainment Tonight' 
  • 'The Daily Show'
  • 'Good Morning America'
  • 'NBC Dateline'
  • KickTV
  • Yahoo Video
  • Renaissance Literary & Talent
  • 'The Bachelor'
  • 'The Bachelorette'
  • TeenNick
  • Showtime Networks
  • HRTV
  • U.S. Senate (video production)
  • United Nations (video production)
  • Mattel (video production)
  • The Golf Channel
  • Madison Square Garden
  • New York Mets
  • New York Yankees
  • HBO
  • FOX Television
  • The Walt Disney Company
  • NPR
  • Turner Broadcasting
  • Isotope Films
  • TV Land
  • truTV
  • Ant Farm Productions
  • Media Arts Lab
  • Jane Street Entertainment
  • Warner Bros. Television
  • Paramount Pictures
  • Freeform
  • AMC Networks
  • The Wall Street Journal (multimedia video producer)
  • College Humor
  • Funny Or Die 
  • The New York Times (multimedia video producer)
  • Fanology Social Media
  • Deutsch Media
  • Comedy Central
  • United Talent Agency
  • SNY Sports
  • 'Naked & Afraid'
  • 'Cupcake Wars'
  • Netflix
  • 'Guy's Grocery Games'
  • 'Modern Family' 
  • Bleacher Report  

On-air and behind-the-scene news talent can be found on radio/TV stations in

  • Elmira, NY
  • New York, NY
  • Syracuse, NY
  • Sarasota, FL
  • Ithaca, NY
  • Denver, CO
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Urbana-Champaign, IL
  • Pittsburgh, PA
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Fort Myers, FL
  • Johnstown, PA
  • ESPN's Sportscenter
  • ABC World News
  • CBS News
  • 48 Hours
  • ClearChannel Radio
  • Boston, MA
  • New York, NY
  • Sirius XM Radio
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Cleveland, OH 

Some of our more 'famous' alumni include:

  • Bob Iger, Chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company 
  • Daniel J. Heffner, Producer of the SAW film franchise
  • David Muir, Anchor for ABC World News, Primetime Live, and Good Morning America
  • Karl Ravech, Host of ESPN's Baseball Tonight 
  • Kevin Connors, SportsCenter Anchor, ESPN 
  • Lauryn Kahn, Screenwriter of upcoming comedy feature film titled He's F**king Perfect, starring Amanda Seyfried
  • Liz Tigelaar, writer/producer of such shows as Revenge, American Dreams, Life Unexpected (creator), Brothers & Sisters, Melrose Place, Once Upon a Time
  • Bill D'Elia, executive producer/director of Chicago Hope, Boston Legal, Ally McBeal, Harry's Law, Judging Amy (co-creator), The Crazy Ones 
  • Chris Regan, 5-time Emmy winner as comedy writer for The Daily Show with Jon Stewartco-author of America (The Book), writer for Family Guy
  • Barbara Gaines, executive producer of The Late Show with David Letterman
  • David Boreanaz, actor-- most known for his roles on Bones, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Angel 
  • Rod Serling, creator/writer of The Twilight Zone (while not a graduate of the program, he was a lecturer for many years; all of his Emmy awards are housed at Ithaca College, as is his script library) 

Personal 

On the personal side, I'm a big, big baseball fan (as I'm sure my wife and two kids would attest) and I'm a major media junkie: television (favorite shows include 'Game of Thrones,' 'The Sopranos,' 'Better Call Saul,' 'Modern Family,' 'The Simpsons,' 'Homeland,' 'Breaking Bad,' 'South Park,' 'The Daily Show,' '60 Minutes,' 'Family Guy,' and 'Charlie Rose);' news (NYT, Hollywood Reporter, Variety, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal); and movies (favorite directors include Tarantino, Scorsese, Spielberg, and Apatow-- among others).   

Feel free to follow me on Twitter (@TVRjack) or send me an email (jpowers@ithaca.edu) if you ever want to contact me.   

EDUCATION

  • PhD (mass communications, media & behavior concentration), Syracuse University-- Advisor: George Comstock, PhD
  • MA (journalism/mass communication), The Ohio State University-- Advisor: Lee Becker, PhD  
  • BA (communications and French), University of Mount Union

 

TEACHING EXPERIENCE

2017 -- present Associate Professor and Chair, Media Arts, Sciences & Studies, Roy H. Park School of Communications, Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY 

2013 -- 2017 Associate Professor, Television-Radio Program, Roy H. Park School of Communications, Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY 

2006 -- 2012: Assistant Professor, Roy H. Park School of Communications, Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY

Courses:

  • Introduction to Media Industries
  • Entertainment Media Writing
  • Mass Media Research Methods
  • Media and Behavior 

2004 – 2006, Adjunct Instructor, Newhouse School of Public Communications, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY

 Courses:

  • Social Effects of Television
  • Television and Children
  • Media Effects Seminar 

OTHER ACADEMIC EXPERIENCE

Research Assistant to Professor George Comstock, S.I. Newhouse Endowed Chair, Newhouse School, Syracuse University, (2003 – 2006). 

Digital Convergence Center, School of Information Studies, Syracuse University.

 

SCHOLARSHIP 

Recent (* indicates paper; ** indicates presentation; *** academic journal publication):

*Powers, J., Peruta A. (2019). Teens, sexting, and cyberbullying. Paper competition. Accepted. To be presented, Broadcast Education Association (BEA), Las Vegas, NV, April.

**Powers, J. (2019). Teaching the Writers’ Room. Accepted. Broadcast Education Association (BEA), Presenter, Las Vegas, NV, April.

***Loop, M., Powers, J. (2018). Readability of award-winning fantasy sports journalism. The International Journal of Sport and Society, 9(3), 21-33.

**Charsky, D., Powers, J. (2018). Using ‘storyline’ to create a self-paced course to support ePortfolio completion. E-Learn 2018 Conference, Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Las Vegas, NV, October.

**Powers, J. (2018). Teaching tolerance and diversity in media education. Broadcast Education Association (BEA), Presenter, Las Vegas, NV, April.

**Powers, J. (2017). How to get your first job in Hollywood: Steps for breaking in and, more importantly, finding success once you do. Broadcast Education Association (BEA), Presenter, Las Vegas, NV, April. 

***Powers, J., Peruta, A. (2017). Look who’s talking to our kids: Representations of race and gender in TV commercials on Nickelodeon. International Journal of Communication (USC Annenberg).