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Watson joins communications faculty

Tuesday, January 29, 2008  
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By Jana Miller, Student Writer for the Talon

Josh Watson may not have a directory picture on myOC or a permanent place to live, but he is already immersed in a full schedule of instructing communications courses at Oklahoma Christian University.

Watson is filling the role of public relations professor and also teaches a variety of other communications courses.

Oklahoma Christian was left with an opening in the communications department when Jeanetta Sims took a job at the University of Central Oklahoma at the end of the 2007 spring semester.

“One reason I got a masters degree is because I wanted to eventually go into teaching and to one day end up at Oklahoma Christian,” Watson said. “It came open earlier than I expected, so I applied and was chosen and it worked out.”

Before coming to Oklahoma Christian, Watson held a job with the award-winning, full-service public relations firm, McNeely, Pigott, and Fox Publications in Nashville, Tenn.

Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences David Lowry found Watson well-qualified and liked his experience.

“He’s kind of a young guy who already has quite a bit of experience, so we were very impressed by Josh and what he’d been able to accomplish,” Lowry said. “Josh was also interested in getting a doctorate in the field of communication, and that’s a high priority because we like our professors to either have a doctorate or be working on one.”

Watson received an undergraduate degree in marketing from Freed Hardman University in Henderson, Tenn., and then he earned a master’s degree in Communications from Eastern Tennessee State University.

“I first got into marketing, and I didn’t quite realize that marketing was what I was interested in. I’m a news junkie, but I didn’t necessarily want to go into journalism because it can be longer hours and not as good for having a family life,” Watson said. “I went into public relations, which works directly with media and reporters and the news, and the challenge of getting a story out there for a client or for a group is very interesting.”

Watson hopes to use his recent experience in the public relations field to help media students that are upon graduation.

“I’m looking forward to teaching some of the media related classes, especially to students who are about to go out there and graduate,” Watson said. “It could be helpful to them to have a recent perspective from the professional world.

Preparing for classes is one of the biggest challenges Watson has faced so far.

“[There are] definitely a lot of challenges in preparing class materials, mostly because I haven’t done it before,” Watson said. “In my other job I didn’t have to speak for 50 to 70 minutes, so that will be challenging, and I don’t want it to be just me talking all of the time. I had boring teachers, and I don’t want to become one of those.”

Developing courses is one of many obstacles Watson faces stepping into his teaching position.

Watson, his wife, Chara, and their baby, Jonah, are living with a relative while they wait for their house in Nashville to be sold.

“We’re staying with my wife’s uncle in Deer Creek,” Watson said. “Our house is still for sale, so we didn’t do a lot of packing.”

Despite no prior teaching experience, Lowry is confident Watson can be successful and considers him “a rare find.”

“The more you get to know Josh, he is a fun guy, a friendly guy and smart,” Lowry said. “I think he’s going to be a terrific professor. We’re delighted that he’s here.”

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