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Communication Research Institute

Welcome to the CRI

The Communication Research Institute (CRI) of William Penn University is a semi-independent center for student-driven entrepreneurial study of issues in modern communication that cross boundaries of art, technology, and storytelling. Operated by the division of Digital Communication, it is first and foremost a place for active, practical learning and problem solving.

Our Mission

The mission of the CRI and the Division of Digital Communication is to prepare students for a broad spectrum of career opportunities available in today’s digitally oriented world. Graduates of the Digital Communication program are well-equipped for careers in a vast amount of media and art related fields including Television Production, Audio and Editing, News and Film Producer, Public Relations, Media Relations, Social Media Management, Corporate Communications, and many more. Students at the CRI are actively engaging in research studies built upon four pillars for academic advancement in media education: foundation, practicum, exploration and exposure. 

The Media Lab

Ever want to work with laser cutters, 3D printers, and the latest design software? The media lab is an artist’s dream where students can explore the farthest dimensions visual communications with tools that are always changing in their complexity. Our media lab is a crucible of creativity in the physical arts, and shares many resources with the division of applied technology.

The Atrium

The Atrium is our large, central meeting area at the entrance to the Musco Technology Center. This is not just an impressive portico, but an active community commons hosting many events for our students and the community at large. The atrium is dominated by an original painting by Michael Brangoccio dedicated to language and communication.


Sound Stage and Control Room Two

This large studio space with an unobstructed ceiling for advanced film and television work is married with an innovative, 4K “small iron” research control room. Equipped with jibs, cranes, sliders, robotic cameras, LED lighting, and advanced audio equipment, nearly any student project can be achieved.

Chamber of Secrets and the Edit Caves

Many students ask us, “How close will we be working with professionals from the film and television industry?” To find out merely visit the strange world of the CRI Chamber of Secrets and the associated Edit Caves. The Edit Caves are two-person edit rooms right around the corner from our producer’s office and the offices reserved for Fellows and even the Director of CRI. In the middle of this space is the student creative collaboration room. Called the chamber of secrets the room is lined with windows that overlook the studio floors and uniquely, is not wired for Internet or electricity. Instead it is a place where students can communicate with each other planning creative adventures.

Central Offices

Computers are central to our work, and each students shares a permanent work station with three other students, currently all located in “Central,” or the Central offices of the Communication Research Institute. These offices include the equipment cages, Central Conference (our main conference space), our reception space, and the facility manager’s office.

Meet the CRI Team

An agile, technologically savvy team of artists who are training the next generation of professional storytellers.

Assistant Professor of New Media & Communication | New Media Division Chair – Markus Haala
Film Artist-In-Residence – Max Leonida
Adjunct Instructor of Communication – Douglas Hoskins, BA
Adjunct Instructor – Kaitlin Parker, BA
Producer / Video + Photography – Jeff Caplan
Assistant Producer / Sound – Randy McDonald Jr.
CRI Operations Manager – Amanda Devore