Dr. Robert McKenzie Cuts No Corners, Publishes New Book

Dr. Robert McKenzie signing copies of his book. Photo Credit / Eric Kump
Dr. Robert McKenzie signing copies of his book. Photo Credit / Eric Kump
Dr. Robert McKenzie signing copies of his book.
Photo Credit / Eric Kump

By Lian Mlodzienski
News Editor

On October 28, Dr. Robert McKenzie, chair of the communication studies department at ESU, held a book signing at the University Bookstore for his new book, “Rounding Some Corners.”

“Rounding Some Corners” started as a series of columns for a local newspaper, the “Pocono Record.” The 147 columns, which he wrote over a three-year period, acted as outlets for his ideas on a variety of topics.

They are satirical and focus on audience involvement.

“The columns are about how silly human beings can be,” said McKenzie in a recent press release. “They present unique and funny observations of life’s oddball ironies and are designed to give you a laugh.”

McKenzie began composing “Rounding Some Corners” in August of last year, and it debuted on October 17 of this

He made some changes between the columns published in the “Pocono Record” and the columns published in his book. Some of McKenzie’s diction was changed for publication in the “Pocono Record,” but “Rounding Some Corners” contains all of his original work.

Two of the columns, “Dual Meanings in Sexual Innuendos — A Nice Pair” and “No Easy Way to Talk About Abortion,” were never published in the “Pocono Record.” The editor did not want anyone “choking on his cornflakes” in the morning while reading the newspaper.

One of McKenzie’s aspirations for his book is to “use it to do some good.” In order to do this, he has founded the ESU Broadcasting Scholarship, which is partially funded through his own donations and through book revenue.

This scholarship, which will be awarded starting in the fall of 2015, will be given to a student who transfers from a community college and majors in communication studies with a broadcasting concentration.

Any applicant must have a 2.5 GPA. Preference will be given to any firstgeneration college student with demonstrated financial need.

McKenzie is doing this to help students in need and to honor his wife, Kelly McKenzie. She is an instructor of Academic Enrichment and Learning and the advisor to undeclared majors at ESU.

Kelly McKenzie was a firstgeneration college student who transferred to California State, San Bernardino to major in communication studies with a concentration in broadcasting.

The minimum amount awarded for this scholarship will be $500. The amount will rise to $1,000 if book sales support the increase.

In 2012, McKenzie received ESU’s “Distinguished Professor Award,” which is the highest honor bestowed on a professor by the university.

Some of his research includes international media, obscenity laws, journalism, and college radio. McKenzie has taught courses in England, China, Mexico, St. Croix, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico.

He has also written “Comparing Media Around the World.” In this book, Dr. McKenzie focuses on the media systems of eight countries.

McKenzie advises ESU’s radio station, WESS Radio (90.3 FM). He has been the advisor since 1992. Last year, WESS won the mtvU Woodie Award for Best College Radio Station.

Dr. McKenzie has three shows on the station every Tuesday.

From 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM, tune in to “Rhythm Rock,” a show filled with heavy bass lines and guitar parts that allow listeners to feel the rhythms in their chests.

From 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM, McKenzie hosts “The Talk Show.” The guest speaker Tuesday was Maureen Madden, who is running for state representative of district 115 under the Democratic ticket.

After “The Talk Show,” from 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM, McKenzie hosts “The Stones Hour.” This is an hour of music by the Rolling Stones.

Copies of McKenzie’s book “Rounding Some Corners” can be found on Amazon.com.

For more information on the book, the ESU Broadcasting Scholarship, or WESS, contact Dr. McKenzie at 570-422-3812 or mckenzie@esu.edu.

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