I think I stumbled on a career in media. When I was in the Army I ended up working in public affairs because I had a camera, and I started writing and shooting photos for the post newspaper at Fort Knox. The first time I saw my name on a photo I shot and a story I wrote, I was hooked. Then, a couple of years later, I was working on my MA and teaching a news writing course when I saw one of my students graduate. That was even more powerful. Something about the combination of the two experiences pointed me towards pursuing a Ph.D. and eventually teaching.
Connecting Non-Profits to the Classroom
When I volunteered to work for several animal rescue and shelter organizations, I became interested in non-profits, their political actions, and how they compete with each other for resources. I try to bring my experience with non-profits into my classroom and use that research as an example of how organizations use social media to communicate with stakeholders. I also teach research methodology, so I'm able to bring my experience with qualitative and quantitative research into the classroom that way too.
When I see students make a connection with the concepts we've been studying, and then watching them apply that knowledge in other courses is the favorite part of my job. I also love the fact that I'm a life-long learner and being a professor allows me to explore new ideas. The media field is constantly changing--especially social media--and keeping up with it is a challenge.
Learning Outside the Classroom
Mount Union offers students a wide variety of educational choices. From the classroom to practicums, internships, student groups, and study abroad, an education from Mount Union isn't just in the classroom anymore.
Teaching at Mount Union
I love the small class size and the way faculty get to know their students. At The Ohio State University, with its focus on research, students and teaching felt secondary. At Mount Union, the emphasis for faculty is on teaching.
Integrated Media combines courses in media studies and production. Students think about the way media affect our lives as well as creating content that can include anything ranging from a YouTube channel to small branded shorts, short creative films, and documentaries. Our student work has won several national awards, and our student films are shown at local and national film festivals. Our graduates find work with production companies, in social media, local agencies, and one of our alums is even a field producer for The John Oliver Show.