Robert Jones

Robert Jones

December 31, 2019

Rob Jones (2019)

Rob Jones is a doctoral candidate in Strategic Communication at the University of Missouri School of Journalism. He researches multi-ethnic marketing communication. Generally, Rob focuses on understanding minorities’ psychological, social, and cultural needs and how these may be leveraged for more effective digital branding.

What year did you graduate and what was your concentration?

I graduated in 2013 with a concentration in Journalism.

What extra-/co-curricular activities did you do?

Rob (front) with a couple of ΑΦΑ brothers (2011).

I was a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., a reporter on on-air personality for News36 (now TMN-TV), and the campus chapter of Toastmasters.

What was your first job after graduation? Did you go to grad school? If so, where? Was it immediately after you left Truman or did you wait? Why?

I taught middle school English as a corps member for Teach For America, Las Vegas. While serving, I earned a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction (M.Ed.) from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV).

What work do you do/What are you doing now?

I’m currently a doctoral candidate in Strategic Communication at the University of Missouri School of Journalism. I’m finishing up my degree this year.  (Editor’s note:  Woot!  Woot!)

How has your Liberal Arts/COMM education helped you?

My liberal arts education has helped me tremendously in how I approach my research. I’m able to see the value of, and pull from, theories in multiple disciplines to inform my work. For example, my dissertation is informed by theories from mass communication, cross-cultural psychology, and marketing.

My COMM education has helped me as an instructor. As a multimedia instructor at Mizzou, I incorporated the principles I learned from News36 into my lessons. I also lean on my lessons from Truman as the instructor for Principles of American Journalism.

What was your greatest accomplishment at Truman?

One accomplishment I’m proud of is starting a sports show to serve as the sports segment of the News36 (rebranded as TMN-TV now) broadcast. Prior to that, the sports segment had more of a live “Top 10” format. We changed it to have a talk-show kind of feel. It was lively, fresh, and people liked it!

Rob and Jackie Yoo in the TMN-TV studio (2012).

Which class did you dislike at the time you took it, but now you’re grateful you took it?

Even though I liked the class while I was taking it, I want to shout out COMM 350: Media Criticism. I took it with Dr. Smith. It was an eye-opening experience that significantly changed how I interpret the aesthetic value of audio and visual media.

Why is Truman a good place for a student to study?

Based on my last answer, I don’t think I would have gotten the green light to change up the sports format had I been at another school. Truman is a place where professors encourage students to take risks, which allows students to really flourish.

What would you say a COMM student should absolutely do while at Truman?

Join student media and other orgs for sure. It allows you so much room to express your creativity.

What advice would you give someone who wants to go into the same line of work as you?

Be intentional about your learning experiences, because they can build on each other.

For example, I’m a strategic communication researcher, which incorporates communication and marketing. One looking to go into strategic communication should take classes in other disciplines that might inform her work. For example, she could consider taking a few marketing classes at the business school. Students going into journalism might consider taking sociology classes to inform their framing of stories.

The key is making sure you take knowledge from those classes that you can apply to your work.

What do you miss most about campus/Kirksville?

The supportive environment. Everyone had everyone else’s best interest at heart.

What tag line would you create for the COMM department at Truman?

“Make it happen.”

If you could come back to Truman and teach a class for a semester, what would be its title and what would it be about?

Media Consulting. It would be cross-sectioned with the business school. In consulting groups, students would create advertising/integrated marketing communication campaigns for their clients (Kirksville businesses). Groups would conduct internal audits to better understand the clients’ competencies and market research to better understand the target market. Their advertising/integrated marketing communication campaigns would be based on the synergy between both.

Rob (center) and his family playing the (Family) Feud (2018).

If you would like to learn more of Rob’s story, or if you want to learn more about the Department of Communication, contact us!