Father Michael Russo

Michael A. Russo is a professor of Communication Studies at Saint Mary's College of California, Moraga, nearby San Francisco in the East Bay. He teaches courses in the history of the media, journalism, and political communication.

Father Michael RussoHe was Chair of the Communication Department from 1984 to 1996. He is presently raising funds to support the department and college needs for a new communication/ digital media learning center on the Saint Mary’s campus.

Since his college days at Seton Hall University in New Jersey, he has maintained a long-standing association as a producer/consultant to CBS News. In the late 60's, he was a desk-assistant to Walter Cronkite during special events broadcasts of the space program; in April of 2005 he traveled to Rome to report on the death and funeral of Pope John Paul II, and the election of Pope Benedict XVI. Over the years, he has covered national political conventions, presidential elections, and the funerals and the elections of popes. His special expertise is the news of religion.  

His doctoral degree from New York University is in American social and political history. His dissertation on the history of CBS News and its political and special events coverage won the 1983 NYU Bayrd Still Prize in Historical Writing. In 1990 he was awarded a Shorenstein fellowship at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, where he published a monograph entitled "The Church, the Press and Abortion--Catholic Leadership and Public Communication." 

In July/August of 2011 and 2012, he was a visiting professor at John Cabot University in Rome where he taught courses entitled “Religion, Media & Culture,” and “Political Communication.” He was invited to speak on “The Great Book Tradition in Undergraduate Education,” at the annual Carmel Authors & Ideas Conference, September 23-25, 2011. He was an invited participant to the 25th Anniversary of the Shorenstein Center at Harvard University, and its conference “Exploring: The Media & Politics Frontier,” October 14-15, 2011. For the past ten years, he has been invited to participate in the “Leadership Seminar” for California student leaders sponsored by the Panetta Institute for Public Policy, CSU Monterey Bay. 

Michael A. Russo is a Roman Catholic priest of the Archdiocese of Newark (New Jersey), and was awarded a Masters of Divinity from the Immaculate Conception Seminary, Seton Hall University.

For ten years, he was a member of the Seton Hall Priest Community where he had various teaching and administrative assignments.  At Seton Hall Prep., he was Chair of the Religious Studies Department. He served as a parish priest at Saint Aedan’s (Jersey City, N.J.) and a weekend assistant at Saint Cassian’s (Montclair, N.J.).

In the 1970’s, Father Mike was the Director of Communications of the Archdiocese of Newark. He was appointed to the New Jersey Public Television Commission, and moderated a weekly cable television program, “New Jersey Catholic.” Upon moving to Saint Mary’s College in California, he resided at Saint Monica’s (Moraga, CA) where he took an active ministerial role; and presently preaches and presides at Sunday Mass at San Carlos Cathedral (Monterey, CA).

He is an avid swimmer, likes to read historical biographies, has a reputation as a great pasta chef, and, as yet, he has not taken up the frustrating game of golf. Mike Russo lives in Moraga, and in Monterey, California.