Sara-Ellen Amster, Ph.D.

Director of MA program in digital journalism at National U.

Sara-Ellen Amster directs the M.A. degree program in digital journalism at National University's Costa Mesa campus. She has worked as a daily newspaper reporter in New York, Florida, Delaware, and Hawaii, having trained at dailies in some of these and two additional states. She earned her Ph.D. in communication from UC San Diego and holds a master’s degree from Harvard Graduate School of Education. Her undergraduate degree is in English and Creative Writing from Cornell University, where she ran the college daily newspaper, The Cornell Daily Sun. In 1992, while working as a social services reporter at The News Journal in Delaware, she was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. The nomination came for an unusual, four-part series called “Inside Delaware State Hospital,” For the series, she gained unprecedented access to the wards for a week and chronicled the lives of the mentally ill. She is author of the 2006 book: Seeds of Cynicism: The Undermining of Journalistic Education from University Press of America. In 2015, she co-auhored a journal article about the success of Apple's video platform on the mini i-Pad and iPhone, She is currently working on several documentary projects, including the story of Bess Myerson, the first Jewish Miss America.