Faculty and Staff

Nick Hirshon

Professor • Department of Communication

A former New York City journalist, Nicholas Hirshon is an assistant professor of communication at William Paterson University. He holds a Bachelor’s in journalism from St. John’s University (2006), a Master’s in journalism from Columbia University (2008), and a Ph.D. in mass communication from Ohio University (2016).

Hirshon is the author of We Want Fish Sticks: The Bizarre and Infamous Rebranding of the New York Islanders, released in 2018 via the University of Nebraska Press. He previously wrote two other books, Images of America: Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum (2010), on the Long Island arena known for hosting the Islanders, and Images of America: Forest Hills (2013), about the New York City neighborhood that hosted the U.S. Open tennis tournament for six decades. He has been interviewed about his books by news outlets such as the CBS television affiliate in New York City, News 12 Long Island, the New York Post, Newsday, and the radio station that airs Islanders games.

Hirshon has published in peer-reviewed journals such as American Journalism, Case Studies in Sport Management, International Journal of Sport Communication, and Journalism History. His research has also been recognized with awards and honors at several academic conferences. In 2015, his paper on the groundbreaking association between New York City Mayor John Lindsay and the 1969 New York Mets received the Outstanding Student Paper Award from the American Journalism Historians Association.

In September 2021, Hirshon became the first two-time winner in the 43-year history of the Society of Professional Journalists' David Eshelman Outstanding Campus Adviser Award. The award has historically been granted to advisers at universities at least double William Paterson's, working at well-funded and prestigious journalism programs such as Columbia University, the University of Missouri, Ohio University, the University of Maryland, the University of Central Florida, and the University of Iowa. He has also served as the vice president for SPJ’s New Jersey chapter.

Before joining the faculty at William Paterson, Hirshon taught journalism at Ohio University (2013-2016), St. John’s University (2010-2013), and LaGuardia Community College in the City University of New York (2009-2013). Hirshon has received several major awards for his teaching, including an AEJMC Promising Professors Award in 2014 and the Society of Professional Journalists’ New Jersey Journalism Educator of the Year Award in 2019. In 2015, his Ohio University students nominated him for a Graduate Associate Outstanding Teaching Award, and he became the first journalism instructor to win the award in eight years.

Hirshon was previously a reporter from 2005 to 2011 at the New York Daily News, where he amassed more than 1,000 bylines covering a mixture of breaking and community news. He also wrote three series that sparked efforts to save historic sites such as the former home of baseball player Jackie Robinson and the longest continuously operated movie theater in the United States. In 2010, Hirshon received an award from a prominent historic preservation group, the Historic Districts Council, for his coverage of forgotten sites in the borough of Queens. He has also freelanced for the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Hockey News.


PhD Mass Communication, Ohio University Athens, OH

MS Journalism, Columbia University New York, NY

BS Journalism, St. John's University Jamaica, NY


Sports Media, Mass Communication History

Representative Publications

Chapter 10: Social Identity Theory in Sports Fandom Research; Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Media Fandom; IGI Global; 2020

The Mock Trial of Matthew Lyon: Teaching Media Law by Roleplaying its Past; American Journalism; Volume 37, 2020

A Forgotten Pioneer in Sports Television: Phillies Jackpot Bowling (1959-1960); American Journalism; Volume 36, 2019

We Want Fish Sticks: The Bizarre and Infamous Rebranding of the New York Islanders; Lincoln, Nebraska; University of Nebraska Press; 2018

Images of America: Forest Hills; Charleston, South Carolina; Arcadia Publishing; 2013

Awards and Honors

David Eshelman Outstanding Campus Adviser Award
Society of Professional Journalists

New Jersey Journalism Educator of the Year
Society of Professional Journalists

Transformative Teaching of Media and Journalism History Award
History Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication

111 Hamilton Hall

By appointment