School of Communication Studies Alumnus Earns Distinguished Teaching Award

Baker University awarded School of Communication Studies alumnus Joe Watson, Ph.D., one of its prestigious teaching awards for his extraordinary dedication to broadening the horizons of students and exhibiting superior moral judgment and character in the classroom.

Watson, associate professor of mass media at Baker, was honored with the Jennie Howell Kopke and Verda R. Kopke Award for Distinguished Teaching during the university's May 2014 commencement ceremony at in Baldwin City, Kansas. "It is an incredible honor at my institution to receive this award," Watson said. "I think what makes it all the more meaningful for me is that we truly have exceptional faculty at Baker."

Watson earned his Ph.D. in Mass Media and Organizational Communication from Kent State University's School of Communication Studies in 2005. He views his time at Kent State as invaluable to his growth as both an academic and a professional. "I knew they had great faculty in the School of Communication Studies," Watson said. "I knew if I went there, I would come out with a great experience and a valuable degree. I never felt like I was just a number because the faculty were always interested in what I was doing."

Watson, a 15-year television news veteran, two-time Emmy Award recipient and former public information manager for Cleveland Metroparks, has worked for several networks around the country, including Cleveland's WUAB-TV and WKYC-TV. He worked as a reporter, producer, executive producer and managing editor before relocating to Kansas to teach broadcasting, media law and public relations at Baker.

Reflecting on his time in academia as both a student and a professor, Watson said, "I have found that when students recognize there's more to college than just getting to the finish line, they really enjoy and value the process. Embrace it, and try to get the most of it."

POSTED: Friday, September 12, 2014 04:32 PM
UPDATED: Thursday, December 08, 2022 12:44 PM
Dylan Bolino

Communication is everywhere, and on Nov. 30, the School of Communication Studies showed off the many ways communication intersects with society in the annual student showcase, Communication in Action. The event took place in the Taylor Hall Gallery on Nov. 30, 2023. Student work will remain on display until Dec. 13, and the gallery is open to visitors during regular business hours.

After decades as a pastor, David Zachrich had a sudden and dramatic reevaluation of his life. A life-threatening heart attack 15 years ago forced him to step back and reconsider his path. Zachrich’s cardiologist challenged him to find something to do that he enjoyed. Zachrich immediately thought of teaching, something he very much wanted to do as a second career, and now he's won an award for it.

Through actively pursuing opportunities to make connections and market herself, Kent State alumna Grace Petitijean, ’21, has found a fulfilling communication-based career she is passionate about. As a Copywriter for FCB Health New York, part of the IPG Health Network, Grace takes high-science medical content and crafts messages that tailor the information to be understood by the general public, ensuring everyone has equal access to health information.