Q: What is your current position?
A: Associate Professor at the University of South Carolina’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication and Chair of the Visual Communications Sequence. I have been at UofSC since 2012. An average workday involves teaching courses in visual communications, research, and mentoring students. I have taught a number of classes, including Principles of Visual Communication, Graphics for Visual Communications, Informational Graphics, Design of Online Content, and the Portfolio Design Capstone course.
Q: What is the year of your graduation and area of graduate study? (e.g. advertising, creative media production, journalism, public relations)
A: I graduated in 2013 with a PhD in Journalism.
Q: How did the Gaylord graduate program prepare you for your current position?
A: The Gaylord graduate program prepared well for my current position by encouraging my research and professional interests in visual communications and mentoring me in these areas. The graduate faculty worked with me closely to develop my research focus, and my dissertation provided me with a springboard for quickly launching my program of research.
Q: What professional/research projects are you involved in?
A: I’m always working on several research projects at a time, but right now I’m working to learn biometrics measures for visual communications research (including things like heartrate, brain wave activity, and eyetracking). I’m also currently the vice-head of the visual communications division of AEJMC, and that is keeping me busy.
Q: What professional achievements would you like to share?
A: I was very happy to have been given the Excellence in Visual Communications Education award from AEJMC this year.
Q: How do you spend your free time?
A: Entertaining a very busy 5-year old! I also spend time with gardening, interior design, and tending to my backyard koi pond.
Q: What advice would you give graduate students that can help them in school and their careers?
A: A few things that helped me: 1) Study hard, but not at the expense of your physical and mental health; take one full day per week off to give your mind a rest and you will be more able to concentrate the remainder of the week. 2) Structure your time into large unstructured blocks so that you never have to question whether you’re doing what is most important. 3) Work at coffee shops or restaurants. Being in the presence of others makes the research journey seem less lonely, and the coffee helps, too. 4) Work closely with your professors and mentors and ask questions. 5) Make friends with your fellow classmates. They will be lifelong friends.