Associate Professor, School of Communication
My area of expertise is journalism and media studies, including politics and media, young people and politics, and popular culture.
The key to mentoring students is to get to know their strengths and interests through their work in class and by listening to them one on one. I ask students what they'd ideally like to do with their lives—a big question, but one they have to let themselves answer aloud so they can figure out what steps they might take to pursue their dreams. I also share ideas to help them think broadly and strategically about how to pursue opportunities.
You have to be realistic, of course—you have to do well in your classes so your professors know you and your work and then you have to get a job, internship, or fellowship or be admitted to graduate school in a competitive marketplace. But we have great resources and programs, including the Dean's Internship program and other opportunities within the School of Communication and the AU Career Center. We also have a great track record with employers, and it is a pleasure for faculty to “match-make” a great student with a great opportunity.
I think all of us professors love having a former student come by and tell us that the thing students complained about most—in my case, covering a Congressional hearing and in-depth reporting—was the very thing they were asked to do in their first job and what they've most put to use in their career.
One aspect of AU that I value most is…
…supporting students here and beyond AU is deeply embedded in our culture. Faculty and staff are devoted to students, and that connection is important.