BIOGRAPHY OF DONNA L. HALPER author, educator, media historian, radio consultant
Donna L. Halper, PhD is an associate professor of Communication and Media Studies at
Lesley University, Cambridge MA. She is the author of six books and many articles. Her
most recent book is a newly revised and expanded second edition of "Invisible Stars: A
Social History of Women in American Broadcasting," published in March 2014. She is
also the author of a well-received local history, "Boston Radio 1920-2010," which tells the
story of Boston radio in words and pictures; it was published in 2011. In addition, she
has written about baseball history, providing chapters for a number of books published
by the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR), including "Opening Fenway Park
in Style: The 1912 World Champion Red Sox," and "The Miracle Braves of 1914." Dr.
Halper has written book reviews for academic journals, and she also writes free-lance
articles for magazines and newspapers. She blogs at http://dlhalperblog.blogspot.com/
One of her published essays, about the importance of fact-checking, was the #5
most-shared article of 2013 on the Skeptic Magazine website.
Dr. Halper is a respected and experienced media historian, whose research has resulted
in appearances on both radio and TV. These include Chronicle (WCVB-TV Boston), Voice
of America, PBS/NewsHour, CTV News (Toronto), National Public Radio/Weekend
America, New England Cable News, History Channel, ABC Nightline, WBZ Radio and
WBZ-TV (Boston), WGBH-FM and WGBH-TV (Boston), WBUR-FM (Boston), and a
number of podcasts. She has also been quoted in newspapers, magazines, journals, and
college text-books. She often writes about media history for encyclopedias-for example,
she has six essays in the Biographical Encyclopedia of American Radio, about
pioneering women and minorities in early broadcasting.
Donna Halper attended Northeastern University in Boston, where she was the first
woman announcer in the school's history, broadcasting a nightly show on the campus
radio station beginning in October 1968. She completed a BA (English), M.Ed
(Counseling), and MA (English) at Northeastern; she received her doctorate in
Communication from the University of Massachusetts/Amherst in May 2011, writing her
dissertation on how early radio changed American society. She was twice nominated for
a Distinguished Teaching Award while an adjunct instructor there.
Dr. Halper has had a successful career in broadcasting, including more than 29 years as
a radio programming and management consultant in markets of all sizes, both college
and commercial stations, all over North America. She has hired and trained staffs,
worked with and developed talent, helped to choose or improve formats, conducted
music and market research, and helped her client stations to get better ratings. Prior to
becoming a consultant, she spent thirteen years as an announcer, music director and
assistant program director in four major markets. In addition to her long career in both
radio and print, she is well-known for discovering the rock group Rush, who dedicated
their first two albums to her. She is seen four times in the 2010 documentary about the
band, "Beyond the Lighted Stage."
Donna Halper was hired by Lesley University in 2008. In addition to teaching courses in
media and communication-related subjects, she also advises the student newspaper, the
Lesley Public Post, which she helped to create. Prior to Lesley, she spent 18 years as an
instructor at Emerson College in Boston, where she taught in the Journalism Department
and in the Institute for Liberal Arts. Her expertise is in training future journalists and
broadcasters, as well as in teaching about ethics, media stereotypes, and social history.
In 1995, she was named Emerson's Instructor of the Year.
Dr. Halper is a frequent public speaker, giving presentations on such topics as the
history of broadcasting, ham radio history, women's history, baseball history, and
popular culture to interested groups at museums, schools, civic organizations, and
historical societies. Since 1984, she has been the advocate for an adult with autism, and
has also worked as a mentor, a tutor, and a Big Sister.
Contact information. phone: 617-786-0666; cell: 617-653-9321; fax: 617-786-1809; e-mail
DLH@donnahalper.com; Skype: Donna.Halper; website: www.donnahalper.com