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Full-Time Faculty

Media Arts Faculty at Los Angeles Valley College have wide professional experience ranging from feature film production, television production (both local and network, movie-of-the week), radio production (on-air, programming, management, sales and marketing) documentary film & video, and multimedia. There are at present 6 full time faculty and 12 part-time adjunct professors.  Each instructor is very well qualified in his/her field and contributes significantly to the success of the Media Arts Department which includes Broadcasting, Cinema, and Media Arts studies.

Eric Swelstad

Eric Swelstad, Professor and Department Chair of Media Arts,  joined the Media Arts Department in 2001.  Eric has a BA and Master’s Degree from The Ohio State University, and has also guest-lectured in the Cinema/Screenwriting Departments at UCLA, California State University, Northridge, and Emerson College.

A screenwriter and director, Eric has worked for such companies as HBO, Paramount Pictures, and Big Picture Entertainment.  A movie-of-the-week he directed was nominated for an Emmy, and he has won two Telly Awards for his work in television.  His teen-comedy feature “Scooter Kidz,” and the supernatural film “Heartland of Darkness” have aired on cable, and most recently he directed the high-definition feature, “Frankenstein Rising.” A member of the Writer’s Guild of America, West, Eric co-wrote the MGM feature “Lucky 13,” and the upcoming thriller “Four Horsemen.”

Arantxa Rodriguez Gail Nastasia, Professor of Media Arts and Broadcasting, joined the LAVC faculty in 1996.  She has an A.A. degree from LAVC, and a B.A. from California State University, Los Angeles. Ms. Nastasia has worked in the entertainment industry since 1979. While at KTLA Gail received a Los Angeles Area Emmy Award for sound on an information special. She worked in the news departments and on such programs as KABC’s “Eye on LA” and “Hollywood Close-up”and several other “magazine” TV shows. Gail is in charge of the new television studio at Los Angeles Valley College. www.lavc.edu/kvcmtv
Arantxa Rodriguez Arantxa Rodriguez, Professor of Cinema/Media Arts, joined the LAVC faculty in 1997. She has an M.F.A. in Film production from UCLA, and a B.A. in Cinema, Television and Audiovisual Media from Universidad Complutense of Madrid, Spain. She has guest-lectured at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television.

A writer, producer, director, cinematographer, editor and graphic artist, Arantxa has worked on films, television shows, and interactive media for national and international companies including Disney, Philips Interactive Media and Radio Television Espanola. Her award-winning projects have screened in international festivals including Berlin, Cannes, Bilbao and San Sebastian. As a journalist she has published numerous articles and photographs in newspapers and magazines. Arantxa is the proud recipient of the “Women in Education” award and has been a Project MATCH mentor since 1997. 

Jason Beaton

Jason Beaton (Mr. B.), Professor of Media Arts and Broadcasting has been teaching since 1998 and has been working in the Los Angeles radio industry for over twenty years. He has held several positions in Broadcasting including Station Manager, Program Director, On-Air Announcer/Disc Jockey, Sales Consultant and Engineer and Producer to the stars in Hollywood throughout his career at Los Angeles radio stations such as KRLA, KLSX, KKLA, KLTX, KZLA, KLAC, KWIZ and more. He has received recognition in the industry for increasing the ratings while on air and programming as well as numerous awards for breaking all records in broadcast sales. Jason has worked with Radio and Television Broadcasting legends Gary Owens, Jonathan Winters, Peter Marshall, George Putnam, Ray Briem, Stephanie Edwards, Huggy Boy and Art Laboe just to name a few. During the last decade he was one of the first morning DJ’s on a popular worldwide Internet radio station incorporating new media into radio broadcasting and then went on to be the founder and creator of his own Internet radio station. He has interviewed countless musicians of the rock era. He is back on the radio again with a nationally syndicated "Country Rock" show.

Jason Beaton is an Alumni of Los Angeles Valley College and holds a degree in Broadcasting and Communications, a certificate in Music for Recording Technician as well as the prestigious nationally recognized (CRMC) Certified Radio Marketing Consultant and (CDMC) Certified Digital Marketing Consultant from the Radio Advertising Bureau. Over the years, Jason has revamped the LAVC Broadcasting Program and brought it up to current industry standards by adding several new classes that are relevant and developing on line courses, certificates, and degrees in Broadcasting for Distance Education, an area he strongly supports. He is the first Professor at LAVC to have lectured and taught Sales and Marketing for Radio & Television, Digital Audio Editing, and News, Sports, and Live Remote Broadcasting. Jason has won numerous outstanding advisers awards plus the 2010 and 2013 Apple award from the LAVC Student body. He is currently writing a book for college professors to use in their classes incorporating “New Media” for the Broadcasting and Communication disciplines.

In addition, Jason Beaton serves on four LAVC Committees: CDEC (On-Line Teaching), Technical, Graduation, and the Curriculum Committee, is the adviser to the Broadcasting and Vinyl Clubs, and has added responsibilities as the campus radio station director. www.lavc.edu/kvcm He has recently created a series of articulation agreements with Van Nuys, Sun Valley, John Burroughs, and Burbank high schools. He is passionate about teaching and loves to be able to give back to his students what he has learned over the course of his professional career. Jason is an avid music collector with an extensive record, CD and MP3 collection. In his spare time, he enjoys listening to the radio, attending music concerts, traveling, and volunteers as an Instructor of Broadcasting/Consultant to high school students who are incarcerated.

 Dan Watanabe

William Dauber, is currently serving as a Professor of Journalism in the Media Arts Department.


Rod Lyons Rod Lyons, Los Angeles native began his photography career more than 40 years ago as a photographer in the United States Air Force.

Since that time, he has done everything from portraiture to photojournalism to fine art. In 1978, Lyons graduated from California State University, Long Beach with a degree in journalism with an emphasis in photojournalism. Twenty years later he returned to the university to pursue a MFA with an emphasis in fine art photography.

After working several years as a freelance photojournalist and serving a brief stint as a newspaper managing editor, Lyons was determined to find a way to earn a living while following his passion of fine art photography. In 1993 he discovered a second calling—teaching photography! “Teaching has been a godsend for me, it put me in a position where I am expected to produce work, and yet I am able to help young people start their photographic journey—the best of two worlds,” exclaimed Lyons. In June 2013 Lyons stepped down after 12 years as Journalism Department chair to devote more of his time to mentoring students and pursuing his personal work.

While he has produced a significant body of work over the years, Lyons feels that his fine art career is just beginning, “I have spent a long time just making photographs because that is where I found the most joy. Now, I believe that the work is not complete until I can share it with others.” Lyons is currently serving as a Professor of Photography in the Media Arts Department.









Los Angeles Valley College

Media Arts Department
Los Angeles Valley College
5800 Fulton Avenue
Valley Glen, CA 91401
[818] 947-2600 x5503

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Last Updated: 3/9/15