headshot photo of Janell Shearer Bassett

Janell Shearer Bassett

Professor, Chair, Media Arts Division
Lawrence and Kristina Dodge College of Film and Media Arts
Expertise: Public Relations; Design Strategy; Feature Writing
Office Location: Marion Knott Studios 343
Phone: (714) 997-6647
Education:
University of the Pacific, Bachelor of Arts
University of California, Los Angeles, Master of Journalism

Biography

"I'm just naturally curious about people," says Janell Shearer, who found magazine writing an excellent fit for someone who wanted "to talk with people I'd never otherwise get to meet and ask them why they do what they do."

Shearer quickly moved up through a variety of editorial positions to managing and then executive editor.  It was here, working with writers, artists, designers and photographers, that she began to realize the joy of one of her other lifelong dreams—to be a teacher.  "Editing—helping a writer shape a story—is all about teaching."

As she began to write for public relations, Shearer also produced corporate and non-profit videos and a wide range of award-winning public relations pieces.  At Chapman, she also served a four-year stint as Director of Public Relations.

In the end, it all comes down to finding the words to produce the effect the writer intends.  "For me, it's all about strategy, about finding the right words to humanize the story.  Whatever I've done—from designing an entire campaign to writing a simple brochure—it's always about finding how the subject affects people.  If you ask enough questions, sooner or later you'll find out why people care."

Recent Creative, Scholarly Work and Publications

Research, interviews and reporting for articles written for In Production magazine: • Dean Bassett Conducts Master Seminar with Legendary Television Director • Senior Variety Critic Bring Cutting Edge Cinema to the Classroom • Finding Nemo Director Fills the Folino Theater • Industry Guests Offer Frontline Perspectives • Dodge College Continues Asian Outreach • Documentary Filmmakers Learn Lessons from the Frontlines • Dodge Student Launches TV Initiatives in Asia • Project W Highlights Women’s Stories • Chapman Filmed Entertainment Pulls the Trigger • Student Documentarians Explore What Defines Beauty in China • Industry Guests Share Insights • PR and Advertising Teams Compete • Women in Focus: Serious Advice from Funny Women • PR Students Connect Classroom and Community • Painting with Light • Students Learn the Lessons of Producing from A Hollywood Great • Digital Arts Students Get A Taste of Pi • The Joys and Challenges of Filmmaking in India