Faculty Profile

Peg Achterman Portrait

Peg Achterman

Associate Professor of Communication

Email: achterman@spu.edu
Phone: 206-281-2685
Office: Marston 209

Education: BA, University of Washington, 1982; MS, Newhouse School - Syracuse University, 1983; PhD, University of Washington, 2012. At SPU since 2014.

Peg Achterman comes to Seattle Pacific University after serving for five years on the faculty of Northwest University in Kirkland. There she taught courses on mass communication, digital media, and multimedia. Following a 20+ year career in broadcasting, she returned to the University of Washington for her PhD.

Dr. Achterman’s research examines changes within print and broadcast newsrooms as they incorporate web and multimedia into daily news work.

During summer breaks she is a software instructor and developer, traveling the Americas, Europe, and the Middle East teaching newsroom employees the joys of nonlinear editing and digital workflow. Prior to this she spent 17 years in the local television news business — with much of her career spent at KING Television in Seattle, where she was a TV news photographer. The highlights of this shooting career included regional National Press Photographer Association awards and service as a national judge for the NPPA Photographer of the Year and Station of the Year competitions.

Following her first job as a full-time photographer in Anchorage, Alaska (KTUU), Dr. Achterman accepted a teaching position in the Peoples’ Republic of China. There she witnessed the student strikes and protests of Tiananmen Square in 1989.

Selected Publications

  • Starbird, Kate, Jim Maddock, Mania Orand, Peg Achterman, and Robert M. Mason: “Rumors, False Flags, and Digital Vigilantes: Misinformation on Twitter after the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing,” Best Note Award, 2014 iConference (Berlin).
  • Achterman, M.E., “Multimedia in the Mainstream,” Convergence and Society, Reno, NV (2009).
  • Achterman, M.E., “Recorders & Cameras & Phones, Oh My: Using ubiquitous technology to teach great interviewing skills,” Convergence and Society: The Participatory Web, Columbia, SC (2008).
  • Achterman, M.E., “Improving Interviewing Skills With New Technologies,” Symposium of Teaching & Learning, Seattle, WA (2008).
  • Achterman, M.E., “The Good Life,” News Photographer 62(9) (2007), 49‑50.

For additional publications, please see Dr. Achterman’s CV (PDF).

Why I Teach at SPU

Peg Achterman, Associate Professor of Communication

“I teach at SPU because it is a place that welcomes curiosity and the ability to ask great questions. Communication permeates our daily lives, and in today’s ultra-mediated world the study of communication is both wondrous and challenging. With the advent of the web, what was once considered ‘mass media’ has become personal and what once was personal could be reaching many.

“As Christians we are called to be curious, hear peoples’ stories, and simply wonder why. Whether I have students on the journalism track or brand-new freshmen, I want them to have hearts of compassion, whether they are conducting formal interviews or listening to roommates. It is pure joy to help students uncover and discover their passions and gifts.”