Meet the Faculty: Stuart Poyntz

Meet the Faculty: Stuart Poyntz

By: Heather Gerrits
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Thinking back to my last year of high school, I can remember looking at all the different programs that SFU has to offer and trying to decide what courses I should take, what university path I should follow. Departments like Mathematics, Chemistry and English were very straightforward - you knew what you would be signing up for. Communication, on the other hand, was a program that I had never really heard about and it wasn’t something I had been exposed to in high school. For these reasons, I regrettably did not pursue any courses in Communication and am only finding out now, in my final semesters of my undergraduate, what I have been missing! Thankfully, Communication’s newest faculty member, Dr. Stuart Poyntz, is doing something to make sure this doesn’t happen to the next generation of students making their way to SFU.

After graduating from Queens University with a B.A. in Political and Social Theory, Dr. Poyntz completed a Master’s degree in Communication at SFU and a PhD at UBC. It was during these studies that he first began to think about the importance of media education and how “film might have the ability to do more than just entertain us and be a space of pleasure.” Before coming to SFU, Dr. Poyntz worked as the Director of Education Programs at the Pacific Cinémathèque, developing and implementing a number of different media education programs throughout the public school system.

Within the last year and a half at SFU, Dr. Poyntz has been able to build upon his intiatives from the Pacific Cinémathèque with Communication co-op student Adam Brayford. Under Stuart’s guidance, they have worked together to develop a series of workshops that introduce SFU’s School of Communication to high school students throughout the Lower Mainland in a meaningful way. Each workshop is 80 minutes long, and throughout the Spring 2009 semester approximately 45-50 workshops were delivered to over 900 high school students. These workshops are not only filling a gap in the school system, but they are providing the opportunity for SFU to get some real face time with students and show them what the study of Communication is all about.

When asked what his long term goals for this project were, Dr. Poyntz replied that “the ideal scenario is that those workshops become a long term piece of the School of Communication’s interaction with the schooling system more broadly. It’s a role that we’re well positioned to play and one that’s really necessary.” For the sake of future students who are like me, I hope they do continue so that others don’t miss out on all that a degree in Communication has to offer. If you are looking for an opportunity to learn from this exemplary prof, Dr. Poyntz will be teaching CMNS 221 and 387 in the spring.

Posted on March 12, 2012