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Featured Graduate Alumni

3/5/19

Chad Nye

Chad Nye

Q: What is your current position?

A: I am an associate professor of journalism and the department chair of the Journalism, Multimedia, Public Relations department at Keene State College in Keene, New Hampshire. My daily work includes teaching two courses and supervising KSC-TV News, our JMPR news broadcast program, and Inside Owl Athletics, a sports broadcast program produced by our athletics department in conjunction with JMPR.

Q: What is the year of your graduation and area of graduate study?

A: I graduated in 2011 with a Ph.D. in Mass Communication. I was a member of the first Gaylord Ph.D. program, and I was one of the first to graduate from the program.

Q: How did the Gaylord graduate program prepare you for your current position?

A: The reading, the research, the deeper understanding of how scholars approach issues of journalism and mass communication were the obvious academic benefits of being a Gaylord Ph.D. student. Beyond that, some of the best preparation I received was the mentorship of my professors. Learning from them how one navigates the multiple responsibilities of teaching, scholarship, service, and student media has proven to be one of the most valuable aspects of my Gaylord experience.

Q: What professional/research projects are you involved in?

A: My research is currently focused on faculty-led journalism projects that allow me to mentor student journalists while also providing community service and outreach for the college. The best example of this work is our sports program Inside Owl Athletics. My next project will focus on the 2020 New Hampshire primary. I am planning a civic journalism project that will cover the candidates and the issues of the campaign through the primary and the general election.

Q: What professional achievements would you like to share?

A: Just a year after graduating from the Gaylord College, I was asked by an academic publisher to write a book based on my dissertation research. The book, Journalism and Justice in the Oklahoma City Bombing Trials, explores the multiple fair trial/free press issues that were present in these truly unique cases.

Q: How do you spend your free time?

A: I am blessed to live in a place as beautiful and bountiful for outdoor activity as New Hampshire. Hiking here in the fall is amazing. Snowshoeing in the winter is exhilarating. Kayaking and fishing in the spring and summer is outstanding. I train year-round for sprint triathlons, but it is a pretty short season up here. Of course, I also watch Sooner football in the fall!

Q: What would you like to share about yourself with Gaylord faculty, alumni, and graduate students?

A: My years as a Gaylord Ph.D. student were some of the most formative of my life. I have never been pushed harder intellectually, and that’s the way it should be. What I truly appreciated was the faculty support. Our professors pushed us like tough coaches, but they were also our biggest fans. I will always be grateful for my dissertation adviser, Dr. Fred Beard, and all of my dissertation committee members.

Q: What advice would you give graduate students that can help them in school and their careers?

A: When a problem/issue/challenge arises, go to your faculty adviser. They are there to help you, and they will. Do not suffer in silence. When you don’t know what to write … write something! Editing a paper that went off in the wrong direction is much easier than writing from scratch on a tight deadline. You have about 10 minutes each day that you are not reading or writing something. Use that time to take care of yourself. Pray … read or watch something that makes you laugh … go for a walk … find something that gives your mind and body a break, and commit to give yourself that little luxury each day.

3/11/19

Christal Johnson

Christal Johnson

Q: What is your current position? 

A:  I am an assistant teaching professor (public relations department) in Newhouse School of Communications at Syracuse University. I’ve worked in this position for four years.  My responsibilities include teaching both undergraduate and graduate courses, advising students, and serving on various committees. Not sure if there’s an “average” day, but on any given day, I may be teaching classes, holding office hours, advising graduate students on their theses, meeting with my Newhouse advisees about course schedules, attending committee meetings, grading papers, and preparing lesson plans for the remaining week.

Q: What is the year of your graduation and area of graduate study? 

A: I graduated in 2013 with a Ph.D. in Mass Communication (public relations). My dissertation focused on cultural relevance and the meaning-making process of health messages for Black Women.

Q: How did the Gaylord graduate program prepare you for your current position?

A: It’s a challenge to give a succinct answer to this question, as Gaylord College prepared me in several ways, but I’ll try.

The depth and breadth of research and application of assignments that I completed in my classes prepared me tremendously for my profession. Additionally, the personal and professional advice and mentorship that my professors and dissertation committee members gave me has helped me succeed as a professor and a colleague.  I find myself implementing much of the knowledge that I learned in Gaylord in my own classes. For example, I tell my graduate students that the question determines the method (that’s a Gadeism); there’s a difference between a literature review and a review of literature (that’s a Beardism); and one should analyze the various layers of meaning in qualitative data to develop the best results (that’s a Carstarphenism), just to name a few! Every last one of my Gaylord professors contributed to my life in meaningful ways.

Q: What professional/research projects are you involved in?

A: I am developing curriculum and helping to shape the landscape of new course offerings in Newhouse School, such as Advanced Social Media Analytics, Thesis Seminar, and Hip-Hop and Media.

Although I’m in the PR Department, I am blessed to help develop and teach a wide spectrum of classes. I attribute my ability to teach an eclectic mix of courses to my training and tutelage from Gaylord College.

Q: What professional achievements would you like to share?

A: I’ve had the honor of teaching at two prestigious universities (Howard University and Syracuse University). As I mentioned earlier, I’m developing curriculum for new courses at Syracuse University.

In addition to working in academia, I am a licensed financial consultant where I get the opportunity to educate and empower others about financial literacy and help them develop a plan for financial freedom.

Q: How do you spend your free time?

A: What is free time (smile)? I learn that I have to make time for myself, and when I do, I like to travel, spend time with my family, and watch Judge Judy!

 Q: What would you like to share about yourself with Gaylord faculty, alumni, and graduate students?

A: Gaylord College has one of the top-notch communications programs and roster of faculty and staff, hands down. From the course offerings, to the research, knowledge & experience of faculty, to the supportive staff members, Gaylord College has an unparalleled program that will successfully prepare any student for both academia and the industry. I am truly blessed and honored to be a Gaylord alum.

Q: What advice would you give graduate students that can help them in school and their careers?

A: Giving up is not an option. Push a little more, pray a little more, write a little more, talk to your faculty advisors or supervisor a little more, do a little more until it’s done. Whatever “it” is, get it done, make it happen, and know that bigger, better and greater are waiting for you on the other side of your situation.