100 percent a great teacher, two years strong
It's no wonder why Vivian Rosenberg, a bright and dedicated teacher, has been nominated for the "Who's Who Among American Teachers" Award - twice. With nearly 20 years as a communications and cinema professor here at Santa Monica College, her career also includes three decades of news reporting and writing for ABC, NBC and CBS.
Teachers and professors from all over the country can be nominated by students who have received honors from their affiliate organizations including "The Dean's List" and the "Who's Who Among American High School Students."
"I was honored when I found out that my students found my class valuable enough to give me this gift of acknowledgment," Rosenberg said.
Even though this may not seem like such a big deal, only five percent of America's teachers are included in each edition.
Of those five percent, only two percent are included more than once. The edition containing all of the nominees is published annually.
Rosenberg, a native New Yorker, has lived in Santa Monica for 22 years. She has been teaching at SMC for nearly 19 years.
With a Bachelor of Arts degree from Cornell University and a Master of Arts degree from Harvard, she started her career as a broadcast journalist.
As a TV reporter in the late '70s, she has worked in Chicago, Buffalo and L.A. doing on-air work, as well as producing and writing news.
She has done stories on the Tylenol poisoning scare of the 1980s and the 1979 Chicago Blizzard.
Rosenberg has produced a TV talk show featuring a then up-and-coming Barbara Walters in late 1970s, New York.
But after it fell through she decided to relocate to Chicago.
She won the UPI award for news coverage, covering the John Wayne Gacy trial and then won the 1979 Emmy for news coverage, covering the 1979 American Airlines flight 191 crash in Chicago.
During the 1980s, Rosenberg was also a freelancer.
Shortly after moving to L.A., she applied to SMC and was "fortunate enough to get the job."
When she first started teaching, she was a professor of broadcast journalism and speech. But today she teaches communications and cinema.
"I love teaching. It's a terrific feeling. I love to turn young people on to the powers of their minds," she said.
Her passion for the influence and implications of mass media is the force that drives her to be such an outstanding communications teacher.
She focuses on the differences between reading news and watching news on TV, as well as how current events are covered.
"My students don't allow media to take advantage of their ignorance, because they are not ignorant," she said.
Rosenberg's class depends on interaction between students and participation, which includes paying attention to current events, analyzing advertisements and reading newspapers.
"I'm not big on lazy," she said. "You can't be a couch potato if you read newspapers and books."
However, it must be pointed out that although heated discussions arise over issues involving politics and media coverage, Rosenberg stresses that she never tells her students what to think. "My class is based on discussion," she said.
"She teaches life skills at a very basic level," said communications student Simona Raetz. "It goes beyond the lecture and I've learned to watch the media more consciously."
Rosenberg also teaches cinema. She is very passionate about classic movies, and her favorites include "Casablanca," "High Noon" and "Trouble in Paradise," saying, "I just love flicks."
Her class is based on analytical discussions before and after watching movies. Rosenberg says that she loves student feedback, and hopes to "open a new world" for her students.
She was nominated the first time for the "Whose Who in American Teachers" publication in 2004.
"When I found out about it, I was just as excited as when I got my Emmy," Rosenberg said.
Now, the second time around, she admits that she was flabbergasted to be nominated.
The first nomination came from a former student, Lisa Heckman, who now works for Fox.
She doesn't know who the student was who nominated her this time around because of anonymity.
"I want to help turnout intelligent thoughtful adults," said Rosenberg. "I want students to strive to be the best they can be and see what it feels like to accomplish something. They give it their all and I give it my all."
The teachers name, basic information and school will be included in "Who's Who Among American Teachers," a book that is available at most metropolitan libraries.