B.A. Interdisciplinary Mass Communication, 2006 – 2010, La Mirada, CA. Torrey Honors Institute, Deans List
University of Oxford
S.S.O. , Politics & Aesthetics, 2008 – 2008, Oxford, England.
- Report from Oxford is attached at the bottom of this page.
Sudanese Colloquial and Modern Standard Arabic , 2004 – 2005 , Khartoum, Sudan.
Gulf Arabic Program
Gulf Colloquial and Modern Standard Arabic , 2001 – 2002 , Al Ain, U.A.E.
Josh Penman studied the philosophy of Western Civilization through the Torrey Honors Insititute at Biola, a great books program patterned after the Oxford tutorial system. The main features of the program are small class sizes, in-depth discussion of primary texts, and high academic standards. Grading was somewhat different between Oxford and the Torrey program (1), but an 'A' in Torrey would generally be equivalent to an 'A-' at Oxford (2).
Josh has been interested in Psychometric profiling since he was in high-school, and discovered the Myers Briggs Type Indicator while he was in Sudan. During his undergraduate degree he used psychometric tools in the organizations he led and consulted for, and his final class at Biola, Industrial/Organizational Psychology futhered his expectation that I/O Psych has big role to play in making international organizations more effective.
Because Josh produced Sudan's first national HIV/AIDS prevention media campaign before attending university, the natural major to enroll in was Biola's Film/Television/Radio program ('FTR', later changed to "Cinema & Media Arts").
Torrey and FTR required separate applications and were more selective than Biola University as a whole. Literature at the time of application hinted that acceptance rates were at or near 10% for each program, though Josh's later subjective experience would estimate acceptance rates for the programs at 40-50%, and he may have confused Biola's policy that no more than 10% of the student body could be in the honors program with a 10% acceptance rate.
When ability and preference tests at Biola's career counseling center indicated that Josh would make a good management consultant, he decided to change his major from Film Production to something that would be applicable in a wide range of contexts. In the end, he designed his own interdisciplinary major in the CMA program, called 'Media Management for Non-Profits.' Through this major he was able to take the capstone courses for both Cinema & Media Arts and Biola's Communications department, and study abroad at the University of Oxford, while still completing his B.A. in 3 1/2 years.
Josh Penman designed this interdisciplinary major in order to study abroad at Oxford, and to study all of the most interesting courses that Biola had to offer, regardless of which department they exist in. What follows is the logic he used when proposing this interdisciplinary major to the Cinema & Media Arts department.
Josh Penman designed this interdisciplinary major under the Mass Comm. department to develop skills that are needed for Media Management for Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in the Middle East and North Africa.
The mix of courses is chosen based on his experience working with with NGOs, CBOs
(Community-Based Organizations), United Nations departments, and governmental organizations
such as the Sudan National AIDS Program (SNAP) and the Khartoum State
Ministry of Health as producer of Sudan's first HIV/AIDS prevention media campaign in 2005-2006.
As a producer, Josh found himself lacking in three areas:
The Media Management for NGO's major addresses these weaknesses and offers a balanced focus between foundational theory and practical skills.
Theoretical Media Production
For theoretical knowledge, the initial classes in the Film Production major at Biola University fit perfectly: The Art of Storytelling, Visual Aesthetics, and History of Cinema introduce the theoretical side of media production, while Philosophy of Aesthetics at Oxford and Rhetoric of Media Studies (Biola's Comm. department capstone course) allow deeper study of media theory and philosophical bases.
Practical Media Production
Experience in script creation, pre-production, camera work, sound, and logistics/production management is solidified with Intro to TV & Film Production, Editing for Film & Television, The Entertainment Business, Mass Media Law & Ethics, and the Senior Media Project (Biola's Cinema & Media Arts department capstone course).
Information Gathering & Investigation
Much of Josh's work in Sudan involved collecting information in a hostile political environments, so Information Gathering and Database Analysis for Investigative Reporting in the Journalism department improves investigative and internet research abilities and Methods of Communications Research, in the CNMA department familiarizes him with research tools and builds academic research skills.
Organizational Communication & Efficiency
From Josh's experience organizational efficiency depends on people and their communication with each other, so Biola's Communications and Psychology departments were the natural place to look for improvement: Industrial Organizational Psychology from Rosemead and Organizational Communication from the COMM department provide the tools and frameworks to improve communication and embed efficiency into an organization's structure.
Education Organized by Time
(1) The Torrey Graders cared more about grammar, spelling, and punctuation than did the tutors at Oxford's analytical philosophy department
(2) Likewise, the effort required to get an A- in Torrey would generally yield a B+ from Oxford's analytical philosophy tutors. This equivalency is Josh's subjective self-estimate of the amount of effort required for the grade. Oxford allows students to dig much deeper into a single subject, with visiting SCIO students studying 2-3 subjects for the semester vs 5-6 subjects in an average semester at Biola.
M.A., Positive Organizational Psychology & Evaluation, Claremont Graduate University, 2013-2014, Claremont, CA.
About Josh >