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Department ofCommunication

Michael Whalen

Michael Whalen

Knight-Ridder/San Jose Mercury News Professor

B.A. in Communication, Santa Clara University, 1989

M.F.A. in Film/Television Directing, UCLA, 1993

Directors Guild of America (DGA) member since 1996

Michael Whalen’s television experience includes writing, producing and directing for such hit series at Fox Television’s “COPS,” and A&E’s “BIOGRAPHY.” He has also produced documentaries for The Discovery Channel. NBC, MTV, and The Learning Channel (TLC). Whalen has also produced multiple award winning independent documentary films, including FRESH women (2007), A Christmas in Tent City (2008), A Question of Habit (PBS, 2011), and The Farmer & The Chef (2014). His documentary Gringos at the Gate (2012) explores US/Mexican relations and national identity through the intense rivalry of the two nations’ soccer teams and can be watched on the ESPN networks. His latest film, Can’t Thread a Moving Needle (2015), is a docu-drama about sexual assaults on college campuses. Currently, Whalen is in production directing a five-part documentary series on the history of the American Catholic Church.

Whalen also runs the SCU Entertainment Industry Group that coordinates internships, mentoring opportunities, networking events and job interviews for alumni working in the film, television and music industries and current students.


Introduction to Digital Filmmaking (Comm 30)
Global Screenwriting (Comm 130B)
Short Fiction Production (Comm 131B)
Short Documentary Production (Comm 132B)
Master Shot/Studio Production (Comm 134B)
American Film History (Comm 137A)
Television History (Comm 138A)
The Business of Hollywood (171A)