In a few months, I will be participating along with several other professionals and professors in PR in a panel at the upcoming AEJMC Conference on the topic of scholars as social connectors. This has been an interest of mine for the last couple of years, and we are approaching this from various angles from the professional world to academia, and also from a program director’s point of view and even a graduate student. As I have been preparing my part of the panel presentation, this got me thinking – who would be some of the top five professors that embody this characteristic?
There were five that came to mind, which will be the first my new blog category called “Fabulous Five.” So, here is the first Fabulous Five ranking I have for my blog for the top five professors who are social connectors and curators:
- Serena Carpenter (Arizona State University): Dr. Carpenter teaches a variety of classes at ASU, including social media and online journalism. Serena’s ideas and suggestions for assignments on her website are very creative and detailed – a great resource to have for professors who are interested in learning from the best in how to teach social media in their programs.
- Mark Schaefer (Rutgers University): Mark is one of the leading professionals in social media with his influential blog as well as his innovative commentary he shares not only with professionals, but with students as well. He is very active in the academic community with guest lectures (online and in person) as well as being a featured speaker at academic and program conferences. I recommend Mark’s blog as a must read for professors and students to have in social media classes.
- Corinne Weisgerber (St. Edwards University): Corinne is not only a great innovator of the latest technology in the classroom, but her graphic design skills are fabulous! If you have a chance to check out her presentations she has uploaded on to Slideshare, they are truly amazing. Great ideas for how to incorporate social media into the classroom as well as being willing to share her expertise in some of the growing trends occurring in the emerging technology field and the implications this has in the classroom. Here is her website for her social media class at St. Edwards University.
- Robert French (Auburn University): I first met Robert via his InfoOpinions blog back in 2006 when I first started my own blog after I finished my track and field eligibility at USC. Robert really established the online PR community where he has connected students with professors and professionals in a centralized location on PROpenMic. This is such a great resource for students to get hands on experience using social media technology as well as making new connections.
- Marcus Messner (Virginia Commonwealth University): Marcus is a professor at VCU who is very active in social media (he has created a group on Facebook titled Social Media Professor – definitely good to join!) Marcus is very active in sharing updates and information to others not only what he is doing with his class at VCU (he has been using iPads for his journalism classes, which is very cool!) He is very generous in sharing what he is doing in his classes and in research involving social media.
In summary, what you see with all of these professionals and professors is that they share some of the same characteristics. They are all very active online and know the latest trends and issues involving new emerging technologies and how they impact their respective fields (ex. journalism, PR, business and marketing, etc). Also, they are willing to share their knowledge with their communities to help others who want to teach social media in their programs as well as brining forth a platform for discussion on research. Lastly, they are forming their own communities and building networks with other professionals in the field. These five professors do embody the true form of a social connector in academia.
Hope you all are having a great day!