Bold New Step: Veteran TV Journalist Joins University of New Haven

July 28, 2017

Emmy Award-Winning Journalist Joins Faculty

The University of New Haven announced that well-known television anchor Diane Smith, a New York Times bestselling author, Emmy-award winning journalist, and documentary producer, has been named a distinguished lecturer in the Communication, Film and Media Studies D​e​p​a​r​t​m​e​n​t​.

Diane Smith headshot

S​m​i​t​h​ will be designing and teaching a program for the growing communication department which is quickly gaining in both momentum and recognition within the industry.

The mandatory course, required of all first year students, will take a different approach from those of the past. This curriculum will emphasize the oral and written skills needed in the workplace and rely only on experienced communication professionals - with real world experience --- to coach students on the communication skills employers are demanding from college graduates.

"The course will not cover communication theory and abstract concepts," Lourdes Alvarez, dean of the University's College of Arts and Sciences, said. "This is communication 2.0 - real communication for the real world taught by real communicators. The skills students will learn will focus on presentations, reports on their own work and interactive learning."

WTNH - Diane Talks About Her New Role


Employers have long complained that even the best new recruits are reluctant to write a report or make a presentation, both Alvarez and Smith said. Smith noted she has met with the deans of the University of New Haven colleges - business, engineering, criminal justice and forensic sciences, and arts and sciences - and all are agreed that communication savvy is critical to prepare graduates for the working world.

"The ability to communicate is the most fundamental skill needed to survive and thrive in our society," Smith said. "It is essential to expressing joy and sorrow, to voicing thoughts and ideas, imparting knowledge, advocating, persuading, participating in our democracy and connecting with the larger community around us."

Communicating strategically and effectively is the foundation of success in life, business, the arts, politics, civil discourse and personal relationships.

– Diane Smith, Distinguished Lecturer

Smith has been on the air in Connecticut for more than 25 years at WTNH-TV8, CPTV, and WTIC-Newstalk 1080 and is an anchor and senior producer for program development at CTN, the Connecticut version of C-SPAN. She also hosts town hall meetings on topics such as Connecticut's heroin epidemic and paid family l​e​a​v​e​ on CPTV. Smith is the co-author, with MSNBC Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski, of "Obsessed: America's Food Addiction and My Own," which became a national bestseller. The book was the subject of Smith's 2015 TedX talk.

The Globe Pequot Press has published six books based on Smith's "Positively C​o​n​n​e​c​t​i​c​u​t​" series on WTNH and CPTV, the longest running local TV series in state history.

Smith has been honored by The Connecticut Women's Hall of Fame, and inducted into the Connecticut Journalism Hall of Fame and the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Silver Circle for 25 years of distinguished service to broadcasting and the community.


Karen Grava, Director of Media Relaions