Cazenovia Cazenovia College recently announced the hiring of two new faculty members. Dr. Heather M. Ferrara, a new assistant professor in the communication studies program, and Dr. Clairissa D. Breen, an assistant professor in the department of criminal Justice and homeland security, were welcomed to the historic campus in the village of Cazenovia. The women, who both come from the Rochester area, have already started their careers with Cazenovia College.
Ferrara earned her Bachelor of Arts degree at Ohio Northern University, a Master of Science degree at Ithaca College and her Master of Arts and Ph.D degrees from Ohio University before becoming an adjunct instructor for Cazenovia College during the 2010 fall semester.
“When I first began teaching at Cazenovia I was thoroughly impressed with the emphasis on the dual task of teaching application and theory,” Ferrara said. “Many other institutions focus mainly on one or the other, but Caz really encourages both.”
She said her primary interests are in social structure, popular and public culture and human interaction, which fall under the umbrella of communication studies.
“Most everything that sparks my interest and encourages me to ask questions has a place in the field of communication,” Ferrara said. “I love to teach theory, in part, because students find the information so incredibly interesting — we know that people communicate in certain ways, but theory helps us to understand why people interact as they do and gives us a vocabulary for explaining the phenomena, including the messages on vanity license plates.”
Of the college itself, Ferrara said she is happy to have a place on the faculty. “I really enjoy getting to know students; the small classes and close-knit campus allows for students and faculty to know each other.”
A graduate of The Harley School in Rochester, Breen earned her doctoral degree in criminal justice from Temple University, and is a certified anti-terrorism specialist. She earned Master of Science degrees in public relations management and in criminal justice from Buffalo State College, and a Bachelor of Science degree in political science from St. John Fisher College.