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.