Professor — Mass Media
I am a native of Rolla, Missouri, and the fun aunt of 8 nieces and nephews. I love the Cardinals and Chiefs, and playing pickleball and golf. I am a movie buff who loves to read and travel.
I began teaching in 1997 after a decade-long career as a reporter. In the early 1990s, I covered the U.S. Congress, White House, and Supreme Court during the last years of George H.W. Bush's presidency and the early years of the Bill Clinton administration. I was a freelance contributor to The Baltimore Sun and "The McLaughlin Group" TV show. I loved D.C. and still miss it very much.
I am an author and media historian who writes about President Eisenhower and women in American Political History. I also am the Editor of Journalism History -- a national, peer-reviewed journal.
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
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.
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 an 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 a 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.
Be honest. Take responsibility. Do your best. Exude kindness and generosity. Repeat all of those things all day every day.