As a professor, I focus on bringing technology into the classroom through student assignments and projects to help students gain the communication and technology skills expected in today’s job market. Beyond technical skills, I engage students in thoughtful discussions of the larger social implications of media usage and consumption, and I emphasize to students the public service mission of journalism and the ethical duties of the profession.
My research overlaps with my teaching focus in two primary ways: I examine how technology affects journalists’ jobs, and I explore how audiences use technology to interact with the news. These research areas have fueled my academic life and provide a sense of purpose in helping to contribute to other academics’ and media managers’ understanding of how journalists and audiences connect with the news and news organizations, which can lead to increased exchanges of information and the introduction of new ideas and discussion into the public sphere. I have presented research at conferences across the U.S., written articles for several academic journals including Journalism and Journalism Studies, and recently published a co-edited book on the future of news.
I am fortunate to be able to incorporate a great deal of my research into the classroom, such as discussing with students the ways in which various technologies affect how journalists and other media professionals do their jobs and how the audience uses technology to consume news. By bringing my research into the classroom, I can illustrate to students the importance and relevance of being lifelong learners who pose rigorous questions with the intent of bettering their profession and society at large.
I also am an officer in the Media Management & Economics Division of the Association for Education in Journalism & Mass Communication, and a board member for the Young Friends of St. Louis Public Radio.
Previously, I worked as a crime reporter and city editor for community sections of the Los Angeles Times that covered the cities of Glendale and Burbank. I earned my Ph.D. in the School of Journalism at the University of Texas, and master’s degree from the School of Journalism & Mass Communications at Kansas State University. My bachelor’s degree is from Truman State University.