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by: Divya Darsi
You never know where an opportunity may lead you. For Chuck Kaufman, one opportunity, eight years ago, led him to become a well-loved senior lecturer at Texas State’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
Kaufman was operating a corporate communications firm in Austin when he was offered an opportunity to teach a course at Texas State. Kaufman came to teach one evening course, an editing 3383 class.
“I kept getting new teaching opportunities and the more I did it, the more I enjoyed it,” said Kaufman. In 2011, he was awarded the Foundations in Excellence Award. He still does some consulting these days through Kaufman Communications, but devotes the vast majority of his time at school.
Today, Kaufman teaches Public Relations Campaigns, Public Relations Writing, and Writing for Mass Media and Society. Next fall he will teach Introduction to Public Relations.
Kaufman said he finds teaching most rewarding, particularly when the students graduate and become successful. “It’s great to share skills and knowledge based on my experiences over the past 30 years,” he said. Before operating Kaufman Communications, he worked primarily for the Arkansas Gazette and the Austin American-Statesman, where he was the newspaper’s Business Editor. Kaufman worked in Washington, D.C., for the Medill News Service as part of the master’s program at Northwestern University. He received his bachelor’s degree at The University of Texas at Austin.
In addition to his teaching load, Kaufman is the SJMC internship, scholarship and career development coordinator. Kaufman shared some useful advice about taking advantage of the opportunities in college.
He uses what he calls the “toothpaste metaphor.” “Some of us squeeze every ounce of toothpaste out of that tube,” he said. “Others just squeeze the tube in the middle without getting everything out of it. In much the same way, students should look at this time for getting everything out of these four years.” He encouraged students to get involved in student media and professional organizations.
Kaufman insists that students should learn everything possible about their chosen field while in college and work very hard to acquire the skills necessary to become successful. He also suggests that students take part in other aspects of university life, building a resume that will lead them to internships and, ultimately, to full-time employment.
Kaufman encouraged students to build their resume by bulking up their skills. “Students must work hard on their writing for clear communication and learn to think both critically and strategically,” he said.
Though many students have taken his classes or worked with him in Bobcat Promotions, they may not be aware of his interests or hobbies. Kaufman has a history in sports but also has a passion for the visual arts.
Kaufman describes himself as a “collector of things.” Kaufman enjoys collecting sports memorabilia, especially baseball memorabilia. A self-proclaimed “baseball guy,” Kaufman even played baseball when he attended the University of Texas at Austin.
He publishes what he describes as the world’s best publication devoted exclusively to vintage and autographed sports memorabilia. “I publish a newsletter and an accompanying website called Sweet Spot. I’ve published that for 20 years and combines my interests in business and sports.,” he said.
Kaufman’s business focused on writing and producing target-market publications. Following the advice of a friend, Kaufman looked into vintage and autographed sports memorabilia because it was a very popular industry fraught with fraud. “As a journalist, I was interested in those news-making types of issues,” said Kaufman. He realized that there were no sports memorabilia publications that specifically tackled this aspect of the industry in a journalistic way, leading him to create Sweet Spot. To visit the website, go to sweetspotnews.com.
Kaufman is also an avid collector of art. “I like art that is whimsical and amazes me for its technical virtuosity.” He has a particular affinity for artwork by printmaker Evan Lindquist, painter Donald Roller Wilson, among others.
Kaufman is available to speak to students about career, internship and scholarship opportunities. “I want to help students match their skills with their interests,” he said. His office is located in Old Main, Room 202-B.