Communication Faculty & Staff

Dr. Bruce Finklea

Dr. Bruce W. Finklea
Professor & Coordinator of Mass Communication
Strong Hall 131
(205) 665-6629

Dr. Bruce Finklea is a UM alumnus who now teaches broadcast journalism courses in the Mass Communication program. As a student at UM, Finklea realized producing local TV news was (and continues to be) his passion. After two internships with the NBC affiliate in Birmingham, Alabama, he was offered a job as a news producer.

After a few years in the newsroom, he realized that he really wanted to get back into the classroom—but this time as a teacher. While completing his doctoral courses at the University of Alabama’s College of Communication and Information Sciences, he began researching gender portrayals in children’s media. His dissertation examined themes and narratives about masculinity in Pixar films.

Dr. Finklea presenting in BEA

Dr. Finklea presents at BEA in Las Vegas

Since returning to UM, Dr. Finklea has taught a variety of Mass Comm courses, including newscast production, broadcast writing, TV/online reporting, and the multimedia journalism capstone. Dr. Finklea has been recognized by UM for his work with information literacy to better integrate social media and other technology into courses across the Mass Communication program’s curriculum. He was also the 2021 recipient of the University of Montevallo National Alumni Association Outstanding Commitment to Teaching Award. He was also the recipient of the 2022-2023 College of Fine Arts Distinguished Teacher Award.

Dr. Finklea is a member of the Broadcast Education Association. His research and creative works have received multiple national awards from BEA and the National Broadcasting Society. His work has also been presented at a national conference of the Association for Education and Journalism and Mass Communication.

Dr. Finklea and Dr. Hardig

Dr. Finklea & Dr. Hardig celebrating their co-authored book chapter on Muted Group Theory in Pixar films

In addition to conference presentations, Dr. Finklea’s research has been featured in two new books: Communication Theory and Millennial Popular Culture: Essays and Applications and Race and Gender in Electronic Media: Content, Context, Culture. He has also contributed to the International Encyclopedia of Media Effects. Dr. Finklea teamed up with Drs. Jennings Bryant and Susan Thompson to co-author the second edition of Fundamentals of Media Effects textbook, which was adopted by dozens of universities around the world. The current third edition of Fundamentals of Media Effects was published in 2023 and is available from Waveland Press.

Dr. Finklea studying Star Trek fan films

Dr. Finklea on the bridge of the Enterprise as he studied Star Trek fan films in Georgia

Dr. Finklea lives in Columbiana with his wife and daughter. He enjoys reading and watching television shows and movies. He’s a huge sci-fi fan, especially of Doctor Who and Star Trek. So don’t be surprised when he makes a Trekkie or Whovian reference in class!

Dr. Bruce Finklea wins UMNAA Teaching Award

Dr. Bruce Finklea: 2021 recipient of the University of Montevallo National Alumni Association Outstanding Commitment to Teaching Award