Office: Grauel Building room 016A
I want to help my students learn the content of my courses, but more than that, I want to equip them to think critically and to be able to succeed in the 21st Mass Media world.
What area do you teach?
Media History and Communication Law
Ph.D. in Mass Communication from University of Southern Mississippi, 2013
Master's of Arts in Communication from The American University, 1997
Master's of Religious Education from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1988
Bachelor's of Journalism for University of Missouri-Columbia, 1985
Your philosophy of teaching:
My teaching metaphor is that of Coach -- I try to equip my students to excel and succeed at the game of life. Yes, that's corny. But that's me. I want to help my students learn the content of my courses, but more than that, I want to equip them to think critically and to be able to succeed in the 21st Mass Media world. One of my greatest thrills is when students graduate and succeed in life and their careers.
Why did you decide to teach?
I was a working journalist and decided that I might want to teach journalism because several members of my family were teachers. I think teaching is in my DNA. Plus, I loved to learn, and so I thought teaching would be a great path toward life-long learning. I thought I could make a difference and pay it forward, if you will, in teaching the next generation of reporters.
After college, I became a news writer for a religious, weekly, statewide newspaper in Missouri. In this job, I wrote stories, took photos, developed my own photographs [back in the day when you had to develop film], learned to edit wire copy, and did layout and design as well as proofreading. This job was a tremendous learning experience for me, because I had to learn every aspect of producing a newspaper. I was so fascinated with religious news that I earned a master's degree in religious education and then became a associate editor of a religious weekly newspaper in Maryland/Delaware. After three years in this job, where I traveled to Rwanda to cover stories, I became congressional correspondent for Baptist News Stories. I covered Congress, the Supreme Court, and the White House for news about religion. For instance, I covered the Clarence Thomas - Anita Hill hearings, because many issues related to religion come before the U.S. Supreme Court. I also covered State of the Union addresses, bill signings, and committee hearings. After this job, I tried my hand at public relations and decided to earn another master's degree so I could teach. I ran my own business for three years and then began teaching in 1997. I've been teaching ever since. My reporting career took me to many fascinating places -- Japan, South Africa, Buenos Aires, and Rwanda.
Participated in a roundtable interview with President Clinton -- twice
Covered Thurgood Marshall's retirement from the U.S. Supreme Court
Authored a book titled Eisenhower: The Public Relations President, 2014
Accredited in Public Relations [APR], 2006
Teacher of the Year  from the Small Programs Interest Group within the Association
for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications
Applegate Award for Excellence in Research, Kentucky Communication Association, 2016
Presidential Faculty Achievement Award, Belmont University, 2017-2008
Organization with which you are involved
American Journalism Historians Association Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication Public Relations Society of America
Most Recent/Notable Published Work
Thompson, S. and P. Parry, Editors. Coping with Gender Inequities: Critical Conversations of Women Faculty, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., Lanham, Maryland, June 2017.
Thompson, S. and P. Parry, Editors. Exploring Campus Diversity: Case Studies and Exercises, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., Lanham, Maryland, November 2018.
Best advice for students
Be honest. Take responsibility. Do your best. Exude kindness and generosity. Repeat all of those things all day every day.