We are Pleased to Welcome Four New Full-Time Faculty to the Park School This Year

Allison Frisch, Assistant Professor, Journalism

Allison Frisch

Allison Frisch specializes in teaching and researching journalism innovation and researching the impact of cinematic video journalism on the foundational principles of journalism and news making. An award-winning communications professional, Frisch worked for 15 years in the journalism, digital innovation, and business fields.

Frisch spent 15 years working at newspapers in the Finger Lakes region of New York and in York, Pennsylvania, as a reporter, photojournalist, managing editor, regional editor, and executive editor. She has won numerous Associated Press Awards for feature writing, investigative reporting, and digital innovation in storytelling. Her staff won AP Newspaper of the Year for several consecutive years from 2008 to 2014. She was recruited to run a newspaper in York, Pennsylvania, in 2014, where she transitioned a small but journalistically mighty newspaper into a digital powerhouse in a joint operating agreement with Gannett, Co. The transition required simultaneous collaboration and competition with Gannett to ensure a healthy business model for the smaller paper in the partnership. Under her leadership, the York newspaper won Pennsylvania News Media awards for diversity and video excellence in 2016 and 2017.

Frisch received her Master’s in Business Administration (M.B.A.) from Rochester Institute of Technology in 2015 before transitioning to higher education as an adjunct professor, while still running the newspaper in York, Pennsylvania. In 2018, she moved to higher education full time, and her research interests include innovative funding models to support journalism, specifically the way higher education in communications can form partnerships with local and regional media to challenge the threat to democracy caused by a lack of local media coverage, also known as news deserts.

Idrissou Mora-Kpai, Assistant Professor, Cinema

Idrissou Mora-Kpai

Idrissou Mora-Kpai is an award winning filmmaker whose films have been screened worldwide at numerous prestigious festivals, such as Berlin, Rotterdam, Vienna, Milano, Busan, and Sheffield, garnering many international accolades. Born in Benin, West Africa, Mora-Kpai has made a name for himself with his social documentaries tackling post-colonial African societies and African migrations and diasporas.

He is a recipient of the prestigious Dutch Prince Claus Award for his artistic achievements dedicated to promote social change in the Global South.

Mora-Kpai's most recent film, America Street, explores the daily struggles of an African-American community in a quickly gentrifying historical black neighborhood in downtown Charleston, South Carolina, just after the 2015 Walter Scott killing.

A graduate of the Konrad Wolf Film University of Babelsberg (Germany), Mora-Kpai has been a guest artist and visiting faculty member at Cornell University, Duke University, and the University of Pittsburgh.

Mitch McCabe, Assistant Professor, Video/Film

Mitch McCabe

Mitch McCabe is an educator and filmmaker whose film work spans narrative and nonfiction film, and the many areas in between. Her short films Playing the Part, September 5:10 pm, Highway 403, Mile 39, and To Whom It May Concern have screened at Sundance, New Directors/New Films, the New York Film Festival, the Ann Arbor Film Festival, Clermont-Ferrand, and Visions du Réel, among others. Her experimental narrative feature This Corrosion premiered at the Norwegian Film Festival and Anthology Film Archive. Her feature HBO documentary Youth Knows No Pain was screened at IDFA, the Lincoln Center, and AFI Silverdocs. A fellow of the MacDowell Colony and Flaherty Seminar, McCabe’s work has been supported by Yaddo, MASS MoCA, the LEF Foundation, the Princess Grace Foundation, the Djerassi Foundation, VCCA, the Jerome Foundation, SPACE Gallery, the iPark Foundation, and NYSCA. She has worked extensively as a cameraperson and producer for series on A&E, TNT, OWN, Discovery, Spike, and ABC. In the past, she was a visiting professor at Trinity College and an assistant professor at SUNY-Purchase College. She received her B.A. in Visual and Environmental Studies from Harvard College and her M.F.A. from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.

Michael Lewis, Assistant Professor, Photography

Michael Lewis, Assistant Professor, Photography

Michael Lewis has spent the last several years working mainly in the world of editorial portraiture. He began taking pictures while going to Temple University (and then the Tyler School of Art) in Philadelphia and later received an M.F.A. from the San Francisco Art Institute. Lewis then moved to Los Angeles, where he began to establish himself as an environmental portrait photographer. Along with commissioned photography, he has been working on a body of self-portraits taken during the years he lived in Los Angeles through the present. Of this work he writes, "Self-portraiture allows me to experience empathy for the people I photograph. I feel an obligation to my subjects to remain in touch with how it feels to be in front of the camera. My personal work has always informed my commercial endeavors. The lines between commercial and art have always been blurred to me. Each feeds off the other."