Faculty Spotlight: Bruce Smith

Bruce SmithMass Comm major Shawna Guilianelli sat down with SJMC professor Bruce Smith to hear his perspective on students, teaching and his traveling adventures. Take a look!

Hometown: Duluth, Minnesota
Current City: San Marcos, Texas

Q: What brought you to Texas State University?
A: They were advertising for a new chair of what was then the Department of Mass Communication and wanted someone who could lead the department to national professional accreditation. I had done that at the University of South Dakota and University of Alaska, so I had the experience of leading a university to that specific objective. I found it an interesting process and an interesting challenge. Also, I was in South Dakota, and I came to the conclusion that it might be fun to live in a place that didn’t snow all the time.

Q: How long have you been here?
A: This is my 14th year

Q: What courses do you teach?
A: Traditionally, I’ve taught the Intro to Advertising, Intro to Public Relations and the really large lecture sections in the teaching theaters. I also teach a couple of media management class at the graduate level.

smith_et_al_cvr.inddQ: Are you currently researching?
A: I finished one [research paper] last year, working with some professors in the McCoy College of Business — a marketing research project. I’m also working on a PR textbook. It has gone through its third edition, and we’re planning the fourth edition. It has been adopted now by a number of other schools. The book is in use in Florida and South Carolina and other places, so that’s where my emphasis has been lately.

Q: What are your hobbies?
A: I travel. A lot. In 2012, I spent a month in to Australia, and then I went to Egypt for the holidays. That was quite a lot of travel for one calendar year, but it’s a big hobby of mine. Other than that, I like to just exercise and stay busy.

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Q: What inspires you?
A: Staying challenged and learning new things. Part of being open to learning something new is just being almost stunned by some new realization or revelation.

Q: What is most fulfilling about working with college students?
A: I like the energy of students. A lot of people don’t like intro classes, but I enjoy introducing students to a topic, such as public relations, and giving them an overview of the profession. It’s fun for me to get other people excited about public relations because I’m excited about public relations. Whether a student is interested in sports, fashion, politics or special events, they can enjoy doing public relations for something they’re passionate about.

Q: What advice would you give students?
A: Think about why an employer would hire you. From an employer’s position, every new graduate applying to a job has probably taken the same courses and has a similar GPA. So, it’s going to come down to you being active in PRSSA, you being a volunteer, having a double major, speaking another language or traveling. Anything that’s a part of your story that makes you different from everybody else. Thinking about yourself as a brand and wanting to create a unique story that’s going to get people’s attention.

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