Thor Wasbotten is a professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
Previously, he served as director of JMC from 2012 - 2017. Prior to arriving at Kent State, Wasbotten served as the assistant dean for student media and online operations at The Pennsylvania State University, where he also was a senior lecturer of journalism. Wasbotten's former academic appointments include time as a visiting professor at the Shanghai International Studies University; participation in the Broadcasters-in-Residence Program at the University of Oklahoma; teaching as an instructor at Pacific University; and, as a graduate fellow at the University of Oregon in Eugene, Ore.
His extensive professional experience includes: partner and managing director of compliance for Blue Heron Research Partners, LLC, in New York City (January 2006 - July 2012); president of Real Media Strategies, LLC, in State College, Pa., (March 2007 - July 2012); news director of KGUN 9-TV, ABC affiliate, Tucson, Ariz., (July 2001 - July 2004); station manager of KTRV-TV, Fox affiliate, Boise, Idaho, (October 2000 - July 2001); news director of KTRV-TV, Fox affiliate, Boise, Idaho, (December 1998 - October 2000); managing editor of KTVB-TV, NBC affiliate, Boise, Idaho, (July 1996 - December 1998); and weekend assignments editor of KOIN-TV, CBS affiliate, Portland, Ore., (February 1994 - July 1996).
Wasbotten holds a Master of Science degree in journalism and communication with a secondary focus in counseling from the University of Oregon; a certificate from the Teaching Fellows Workshop at Indiana University; a micro-MBA certificate from the Center for Management Development at Boise State University; and a Bachelor of Arts degree in broadcast journalism with a secondary focus in counseling from the University of Southern California.
A notable leader in electronic news, Wasbotten is a member of the Radio Television Digital News Association, the Association for Education in Journalism and Communication and the Broadcast Education Association. He has served as a site visit team member for the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication since 2001, as an editorial board member for Electronic News: A Journal of Applied Research and Ideas and as an advisory board member for PSNtv at Penn State from 2004-2012. He was the director for The Pennsylvania State University Institute for High School Broadcast Journalists (2006-2008); a host for the Hearst Visitor Program at Penn State (2008); and a moderator or panelist at numerous professional and academic conferences and workshops (2004-present). He was the chairperson of the Fox News Advisory Committee (1999-2000) and the Northwest/Mountain Region representative (1999-2001).
University of Oregon, University of Southern California
Radio Television Digital News Association, Association for Education in Journalism and Communication, Broadcast Education Association