Frances Forde Plude

Research Professor
Notre Dame College
P.O. Box 201925
Cleveland Ohio 44120

Invited to be a member of the International Study Commission on Media, Religion, and Culture -- a small group of scholars and practitioners who meet throughout the world to consider the shape and direction of both productive and reflective work in these three intersecting fields.

Previous Appointments

Visiting Professor of Communication, John Carroll University, Cleveland

Associate Professor and Coordinator of Telecommunication Management Program, S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, Syracuse University [2000 Communication majors; Master's and Doctoral Programs] Faculty, Syracuse University International Centre, London, 1991

Associate Professor and Chairman of the Mass Communication Department, Emerson College, Boston [1100 majors -- TV, Radio, Film, Broadcast and Print Journalism -- with faculty/staff of 70, 2 TV studios, 2 radio stations: 65% of total college enrollment]

Before beginning doctoral studies at Harvard/MIT...
produced TV programs, hosted a weekly TV program, headed a network of wireless cable stations, and authored studies on American private schools and the role of technology in instruction


Harvard University -- Doctorate awarded, 1981

In Harvard's "Special Program" interdivisional doctoral program, matriculated through the School of Education. Designed a telecommunications/public policy course of study, including: broadcasting law at Harvard Law School; management of high-technology firms at the Harvard Business School; satellite courses with Ithiel de Sola Pool at MIT; international telecommunications at the Kennedy School of Government, etc.

Harvard dissertation entitled Direct Broadcast Satellites in America: Defining Public Policy Through Cooperative Interaction. This research analyzed the statistics of a Delphi study I organized to interact with approximately 80 national communication and public policy experts. My study proposed a theoretical model for telecommunication productivity which emphasizes collaboration as a strategic planning tool.

[Dissertation advisors included: Russell G. Davis, international development advisor; Gerald Lesser, who helped conceptualize Sesame Street and worked with international educators to adapt it to various cultures; and Ithiel de Sola Pool, political scientist and satellite expert at MIT.]

Emmanuel College, M.A.
Boston College, M.Ed.
Boston College, B.S.

Published books...
Co-editor, Communication, Culture and Religion books series of Sheed
and Ward, an imprint of Rowman and Littlefield
Communication Ethics and Global Change: National and International Perspectives, New York and London: Longman, 1989
Exploring Careers in Communications and Telecommunications, New York: Rosen, 1985
The Flickering Light: What's Happening to Catholic Schools, New York: William H. Sadlier, Inc., 1974

Book Chapters…
“Communication Interactivity: A Sign of the Times,” in Médias et Fai
ChrétienneDeux Universe à Concilier (Media and Christian Faith:
Two Realms to Reconcile)
, Fides, 2002.
“Communication Theology: An Annotated Bibliography,” in Sophia
Marriage and Jolyon Mitchell (eds.) Conversations in media, religion
and culture
. Edinburgh: T&T Clark and Continuum, 2003.

Voices of Courage (A collection of International stories of women in
communication around the world), Brussels: UNDA, 2001 (Co

“Telecommunication Networks: Impacts on Communication Flows and
Organizational Structures (Including Religious Institutions), in
Cultura y Medios de Communicación, University of Salamanca,
Spain, 2001.

“Communication Theology,” Special issue of Catholic International
, Vol. 12, No. 4, November, 2000 (Issue editor/author)

“Looking beyond technology to see the hand of God,” National Catholic
, December 8, 2000.

“The Catholic Church and the Internet,” National Issues Forum,
Washington DC, United States.Conference of Bishops, 1999.

Book manuscript under development…
Communication Dialogue in a Talk-Back World: Reflections and Case

Courses taught at college/university level...

Research Methods; Mass Communications; Newswriting; Public Relations; Media Ethics; Writing For Non-Print Media; Cable TV and New Technologies; Advanced Seminar in Telecommunications; Writing for Publication; Senior Seminar; Film Studies; Communication Theology; Speech; Nonfiction Broadcast Writing; TV/Radio/Film Criticism; Telecommunications Management; Broadcasting and the Public Interest
..Summer Visiting Professor: University of Dayton, 1995-97

Directed Master's Theses and Doctoral Dissertations on the topics of:

The Design of Technological "Smart Systems" in Building Architecture;
The Effects of Computer Technology on the Stock Market; Direct Broadcast Satellite Developments; The Cable Communications Policy Act of 1984 - A Guide for Municipal Cable Administrators; The Use of Commercial Television Programming for Transmission of Pro-social Messages - The Mexico Television Experience; An Analysis of Children's Programming in Greece; The Impact of A T & T Divestiture on the Telecommunications Industry in America; and High Definition Television.

[Currently serving as dissertation advisor to a number of doctoral students around the world who are integrating communication studies and theology.

Development of a new field of studies...

Leader in the conceptualization of Communication Theology, the integration of Communication Studies into Theology. Coordinator of nine annual Seminars in Communication Theology held at the convention of the Catholic Theological Society of America (CTSA); author of many papers in this field.

Publications, Papers Presented, Research Projects

Author of a monthly column on Communication Theology in ParishWorks, a newsletter distributed to 900 U.S. parishes by Paulist Press

Feminism and the Cultural Change Process: A Communication Theology Perspective, paper delivered at the Catholic Theological Society of America, San Jose, California, June, 2000

Communication Flows Within Religious Congregations of Women, Research Project undertaken among Dominican Sisters

Communication Theology: Report on a Construction Project, paper delivered at the Conference on Media, Religion and Culture, University of Edinburgh, [Scotland] July 21, 1999

Communication Interactivity: A Sign of the Times, paper delivered at St. Paul University, Ottawa, Canada, May, 1999

Telecommunication Networks: Their Impact on Communication Flows and Organizational Structures (Including Religious Institutions), paper delivered at the University of Salamanca, Spain, February, 1999

"The Catholic Church and the Internet," essay published by National Issues Forum, 1999

Delivered Heck Lectures, a series of three lectures on the subject of Communication Theology, United Theological [Methodist] Seminary, Dayton, Ohio, Spring, 1997

"Forums for Dialogue: Teleconferencing and the American Catholic Church," in Media, Culture and Catholicism, Paul A. Soukup, ed., Sheed and Ward, 1996 [Communication, Culture and Theology series]

"Intranets support an interactive church," UNDA-USA Newsletter, June, 1996

Paper presented at Breadth of Life meeting, Willoughby Hills, Ohio, April 10, 1996

Keynote address, John Carroll University, Conference on Educational Technology, July 29, 1996

Addressed New England Directors of Religious Education, Saco, Maine, June 3, 1996

"A Dialogue on Communication and Theology," New Theology Review, November, 1995

"Communication Theology: Bridges Linking Communication Studies and Theology," 1995 Catherine of Siena Lecture, Notre Dame College

"Is Our Education Only as Good as the Computers We Use?" Academic Convocation Address, September, 1995, Notre Dame College

"Technology Alters Our Educational Landscape," Action Newsletter, Office of Catholic Education, Diocese of Cleveland

"Interactive Communications in the Church," in The Church and Communication, Patrick Granfield, Ed., Sheed & Ward, 1994 [Communication, Culture & Theology series]

"Communications Technologies and the Ethics of Access: Establishing the Global Link," Insights on Global Ethics, May, 1993, Institute for Global Ethics, Rushworth Kidder, Ed. [formerly Christian Science Monitor editor]

"Catholicism and Mass Media," HarperCollins Encyclopedia of Catholicism, edited at University of Notre Dame, 1993

Author of research study: Telecommunications and Higher Education in Missouri: Coordination, Policies and Planning

Keeping America Competitive Through Collaboration -- Research Project developed and funded on collaborative telecom structures of the European Union (EU) to aid U.S. firms and policymakers foster collaboration. 60 hours of interviews completed with Telecom Ministers and business leaders in all twelve founding EU nations, and in Prague. Additional Executive Seminar funding proposal created.

"Modern communications vs. centralized power," Perspectives Essay in The Syracuse Record, April 13, 1992

"Collaborating on Global Technical Standards: The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) Teaches Us Lessons About HDTV," Paper submitted to the International Communications Assocation, October, 1991

"The Role of Collaboration in the Marketplace of Ideas: Information Management Challenges in a Technological World," paper at Conversation With Scholars session (including Everett Rogers), Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, Minneapolis, August 10, 1990

"The Work of Robert Jay Lifton and Disaster News Coverage," paper presented at the American Psychological Association convention, Boston, August 13, 1990

"Technological Changes: A New Challenge for Universities, Students, and Communication Professionals," Syracuse Scholar, 1990

Invited to deliver "Pan Am Flight 103 Remembrance," Commencement Convocation, Newhouse School, Syracuse University, May 5, 1990

Featured speaker on a national satellite teleconference from Washington D.C., "Telecommunications Planning for Catholic Educators," January, 1990

Participated in conferences on meditation techniques, Summer, 1988-1990: Aspen, CO; Indianapolis; and Amarillo, TX. Coordinated national satellite teleconference on this topic for project on the role of silence in a media-overload world

"Interactive Technologies: The Potential for Solidarity in Local and Global Networks," chapter in Communication Ethics and Global Change, New York and London: Longman, 1989

Established a research project on "The Role of Disaster Media Coverage: Coverage of the Pan Am 103 Disaster," 1989 [Over 30 Syracuse University students died when the plane was blown up over Lockerbie, Scotland]

Addressed Cistercian Monks (Trappists), St. Joseph's Abbey, Spencer, MA, on new communication technologies, January, 1989

Addressed a Plenary Session, International Communication Association convention, Chicago, May 23, 1986. Other participants: George Gerbner; Brenda Dervin; Roger Fisher and Willliam Ury (Harvard Negotiation Project); Dr. Yuri Zamoshkin, of the Soviet Union's Institute for USA and Canadian Studies; Dean Zassen Zassoursky, Moscow State University; and Vladimir Pozner, noted Soviet journalist. The Soviet Union was linked by satellite.

Paper presented at the Harvard Law School Negotiation Project (with Fisher & Ury, authors of Getting to Yes, 1986

Author/Editor of three-volume planning document for a two million dollar construction project of TV and radio studios, Emerson College

Author (with John Zacharis and Andrew Rancer) of Exploring Careers in
Communications and Telecommunications
, New York: Rosen Publishing Group, Inc., 1985

Keynote speaker at Goshen College Conference on the use of satellites and other media by the Mennonite Church (Amish), 1984

Speaker, with Norman Lear, on Conference on Ethics and the Media, Boston, 1984

Addressed a conference of higher education representatives from around the world, Emmanuel College, 1984

Addressed AHP-HAFER (health professionals) national conference, Curry College, Milton, 1984

Addressed the Association of Catholic Broadcasters (UNDA) at their national convention, 1984

Delivered keynote address at Ithaca College School of Communications Seminar, June, 1983

Co-author, with James Hawker, The Media Mirror, a study guide on values and television, 1982

"International Cooperation as a Policy Goal in Direct Broadcast Satellites," paper delivered at the International Communication Association convention, Boston, May, 1982

Addressed representatives of the Council for Advancement & Support of Education (CASE), November, 1982

Addressed heads of American graduate departments, Providence, Rhode Island, October, 1982

Addressed college presidents, (Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities), Washington D.C., February, 1982

Addressed conference on "Telecommunications, Computers and the Local Church," for United Methodist communications specialists, Robert Morris College, Pittsburgh, May, 1982

Addressed communications staff, Seton Hall University, 1982

Panel moderator at Freedom of Information Act Symposium, Boston University [with experts John Wicklein and Ithiel de Sola Pool], 1982

"A DBS Delphi Study: What Do the Experts Predict?" Satellite Communications, April, 1981

"An Analysis of the MDS Market in America," Research document for the Federal Communications Commission, General Docket, 1981

Research/Data Analysis of ground links (cable, ITFS broadcast systems) for the satellite network of the U.S. Catholic Church, 1981

Addressed conference of American Women in Radio & TV, 1981

Addressed, Consultation on Christian Women in the Media, Southern Methodist University,
Dallas TX

Public Policy Activities

Member, International Study Commission on Media, Religion and Culture, a small group of scholars and practitioners who meet throughout the world to consider the shape and direction of productive, reflective, and public policy work in these three intersecting fields, 1997 to date

Grant evaluator (1995 to date) for U. S. Department of Commerce (National Telecommunications and Information Administration) -- special program that evaluates funding proposals designed to promote the development of advanced telecommunications and information technologies to serve the public interest [approximately $20 million awarded per year]

Seminars for individual bishops of the U.S. Catholic Church, 1995 to date

Member, Strategic Planning Committee "Panel of Experts," for the U.S. Catholic Conference [of bishops], 1996-7

Chair of Advisory Board, Centre for the Study of Communication and Culture (CSCC), St. Louis University, 1995 to date [International Jesuit research center, formerly located in London]

Chair of Advisory Board, WMIH radio station, Cleveland, 1995-98

Addressed First Friday Club of Cleveland, "Telecommunication Technologies & Corporations, Churches and Education" October 6, 1994

Member, Advisory Panel [providing editorial input and oversight] for U.S. Congress Published Research Studies: U.S. Banks and International Telecommunications, 1992, and U.S. Telecommunications Services in European Markets, 1993

Invited as one of nine individuals (by America magazine) to participate in John LaFarge Institute conference ["The Processes and Instruments of Social Communications and Their Role in Church and Society"] October 30, 1992

Invited as one of 33 individuals from U.S. and Europe to participate in The Aspen Institute conference, August 6-9, 1992. Topic: "The Information Evolution: How New Information Technologies Are Spurring Complex Patterns of Change." [Report published]

Invited to serve on Board of Directors, Catholic Telecommunication Network of America (CTNA), October, 1990

Interviewed Telecommunications Ministers from all founding European Union nations, along with staff at EU telecommunications sector (Brussels), and with former Communist telecommunications minister in Prague, 1991

Participant in small, invitation-only Seminar at the Gregorian University, Rome, on Communication and Ecclesiology, September, 1989

Served on a panel to conceptualize a proposal for a global satellite network for Jesuit institutions, Creighton University, Omaha, Spring, 1989

Participant, Seminar on Communications and New Technologies, Columbia University, October, 1989 [Sponsored by the Gannett Foundation]

Participant at invitation-only Seminar of Communication Scholars and Seminary Deans, Santa Clara (CA) University, August, 1987

Served as telecommunications research consultant to the Burlington (MA) Board of Selectmen in negotiating the first cable franchise renewal to obtain 5% of gross profits for community access activities, 1986

Participant, Symposium on Satellite Teleconferencing for Executives, Phillips Andover Academy, August, 1985

Delegate to invitation-only international satellite communications strategic planning conference -- to develop plans for joint American-Canadian communications projects, Montreal, November, 1985

Invited by Harvard University Negotiation Project to serve on their "Space Bridge" Board of Directors -- project designed to facilitate satellite conferences between the United States and the Soviet Union, 1985

Participant: Mayor's hearing, cable service in Boston, 1985

Participant in Training Program for Department Chairpersons, Emmanuel College, Boston, 1985 [Sponsor: American Council on Education]

Planning committee for "In the Sight of All" -- a planning document of the Administrative Board, United States Catholic Conference, 1985
Participant in invitation-only Research Conference on International
Appointed to the National Communications Committee, United States Catholic Conference (USCC), Washington D.C., 1984 [This committee supervised the allocation of millions of dollars of communication-project monies and guided the policies of the Church's national satellite network]

"Budgeting in Higher Education" conference, U. of Central Florida, 1984

Developed research methodology for study on the interaction between Instructional Television Fixed Service (ITFS) and Multipoint Microwave Distribution Service (MMDS) with Richard Averbush, Harvard University Kennedy School of Government, 1984

Participant in satellite conference on "The Campus of the Future," University of Pittsburgh, May 15, 1984

Participant in Fall River (MA) "Community Day" conference -- addressing media issues in the light of the New Bedford rape trial

Addressed National Catholic Educational Association national convention, Chicago, April, 1983

Addressed members of the 2 1/2-million-member VFW organization at their Los Angeles national convention, August, 1982

Appointed to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Advisory Committee on Broadcast Satellite Service Planning for the 1983 Regional Administrative Radio Conference (RARC) -- Subcommittee 1 - Service Requirements; Working Group E - Public Policy Aspects, 1981

Advised top leadership of B'NAI B'RITH International, Washington D.C., concerning applications of new technologies to their work

Visited six major Catholic Universities throughout the U.S. to speak with their top leadership about applying satellite technology to their programs [as special consultant for the U.S. bishops' satellite-network strategic planning]

Community Service
Member of Advisory Committee for accreditation, Magnificat High School and Beaumont High School (Ohio)
Member, Board of Directors, Children's Television International, Washington D.C. [Served as President of the Board]
Member, Board of Trustees, VFW National Home for Children, Eaton Rapids MI [Served as President of the Board]
Member, Boston Women's Symphony Board of Directors
Member, Harvard Club

Past/Present Memberships: Scholarly Societies, Professional Associations
American Academy of Religion (AAR)
American Association of University Professors (AAUP)
Association of Educators in Journalism & Mass Communication (AEJMC)
Catholic Theological Society of America (CTSA)
College Theology Society (CTS)
International Communication Association (ICA)
International Institute of Communication (IIC)
National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences
Phi Delta Kappa
Society for Philosophy and Technology
Society of Satellite Professionals
Society for the Scientific Study of Religion (SSSR)
UNDA - Association of Catholic Communicators
Women in Telecommunications