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Donna Halper

Associate Professor

faculty donna halper

Donna L. Halper is a former deejay, music director, and radio consultant, who spent more than three decades in broadcasting before reinventing herself as a professor. She came to Lesley in 2008 to develop and teach courses related to the study of communication and media, including Media Analysis, Introduction to Communication, Public Speaking, and Introduction to Journalism. In 2021, she was a winner of the Broussard Award from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication for her historical research on media representations of "the other." And in 2023, she was inducted into the Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame, and given the Pioneer Broadcaster Award.

A devotee of a school of thought called Media Ecology (which focuses on the media as environments), Donna’s teaching is informed by her knowledge of popular culture, media history, and media effects.  She is the author of six books and many articles, and she has been widely quoted by reporters seeking information about local and national media trends.  

Her research interests include the study of representations of women and minorities in media; early baseball history; and unsung heroes and heroines in the history of broadcasting.  Donna is often a guest on local radio talk shows, and she has also been heard on a number of podcasts: her 2017 appearance on the Sound Off podcast became that program’s most downloaded episode of the year.

In addition to teaching, Donna is the editor of the Lesley Public Post (Lesley’s student newspaper).  She is also a blogger, and a free-lance writer.  She has given many guest lectures at libraries, civic organizations, and other universities. And she is known for having discovered the classic rock band Rush, who dedicated two albums to her; she can be seen in the 2010 documentary “Beyond the Lighted Stage.”  Donna’s hobbies include reading, stamp collecting, and collecting rare memorabilia about media history.

Donna Halper holds a BA in English from Northeastern University, an M.Ed in Counseling and an MA in English from Northeastern University, and a PhD in Communication from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Recent Publications


Invisible Stars: A Social History of Women in American Broadcasting revised and expanded 2nd edition. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe (2014).  

Boston Radio 1920-2010.  Mt. Pleasant, SC: Arcadia Press (2011). 


"Murphy Before the Mets." The New York Mets in Popular Culture: Critical Essays, ed. David Krell. Jefferson, NC. McFarland & Co. (2020).

"On Women and Radio: Women in the Driver's Seat." Moving Sounds: A Cultural History of the Car Radio, ed. Phylis Johnson and Ian Punnett.  Pieterlen and Bern, CH. Peter Lang (2019). 

"Written Out of History: Women Baseball Writers, 1905–1945."   The Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball and American Culture, 2017–2018, ed. William Simons. Jefferson, NC. McFarland & Co. (2019).

“Women in the Gay and Lesbian Rights Movements.” Women and Leadership: History, Theory and Case Studies. Great Barrington MA: Berkshire Press (2017).

“The Evolution of Women Leaders in the Film Industry.”  Women and Leadership: History, Theory and Case Studies. Great Barrington MA: Berkshire Press (2017).

“Steve Lyons.”  The 1986 Boston Red Sox, Phoenix, AZ:  SABR Books (2016).

“Writing About Base Ball in the 1870s.” The Boston Red Stockings 1870-1875. Phoenix, AZ: SABR Books (2016).


"Jerry Springer may have perfected the art of chasing ratings, but his predecessors laid the groundwork." The Conversation, May 2023.

"Marvels or Menaces: How the Press Covered ‘The Lady Baseballists,’ 1865-1915." Society for American Baseball Research, Spring 2022.

"Can Radio Really Educate?" Daily JSTOR, September 2021.

"August 7, 1942: First Negro League baseball game is broadcast on radio." Society for American Baseball Research, 2021.

"‘Our Lady Reporter’: Introducing Some Women Baseball Writers, 1900–30." Baseball Research Journal, Vol. 48, #2, Fall 2019.

“Preserving the Story of Greater Boston’s Pioneering Broadcast Stations 1XE and WGI.” AWA Review, volume 31, 2018, pp. 29-61.

“Broadcasting Red Sox Baseball: How the Arrival of Radio Affected the Team and the Fans.” Baseball Research Journal, volume 46, issue 2, Fall 2017.

“Father Michael J. Ahern: Boston’s First Radio Priest.” (Boston) The Pilot, September 1, 2017.

“Remembering Nell Dodson Russell: Reporter, Columnist, Truth-Teller.” Minneapolis Spokesman-Review, August 15, 2017.

Recent Presentations

"The Women of Early Amateur Radio." AWA 2021 Conference Presentation, October 2021.

"Drive Time Radio." CBS Sunday Morning, May 17, 2019.

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