Jeff Fruit works with faculty colleagues to help students become agile, adaptable professional communicators with an entrepreneurial mindset.
His career includes in-depth experience both in the media marketplace and in journalism education.
He began at Kent State in 1998. He served as Director of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication from 2002-2012, including a term as Interim Dean of the College of Communication and Information in 2009. He also managed the Office of Student Media from 1998-2002.
Fruit worked for more than 15 years in daily, weekly and monthly publications, in positions ranging from reporter to publisher. His media career included startup and turnaround experience with American City Business Journals, where he served as editor of South Florida Business Journal and publisher of Dallas Business Journal, among other positions.
From 1979-1985, he was on the journalism faculty at Ohio Wesleyan University, where he taught a full range of journalism courses, freelanced for a variety of media, assisted with the track team and eventually advanced to tenure.
His degrees include a B.A. cum laude with a double major in journalism and history from Ohio Wesleyan University and a M.A. in journalism from Ohio State. He also passed general examinations for an interdisciplinary Ph.D. at Ohio State.
Fruit’s instructional interests include media management, media literacy, audience analysis, reporting and history of journalism. His classes range from the Kent Core Media Power & Culture course to JMC’s graduate student Capstone course.
His research interests focus on how technology has had impact both historically and today on journalism, journalists and the broader media marketplace. He is a co-author of The Training and Hiring of Journalists (Ablex, 1985) with Lee B. Becker and Susan L. Caudill.