Get to know Mercer University‘s faculty members a little better through our “Faculty Flashback” series. Some of our professors will be sharing personal and professional details of their lives in a Q&A as well as then-and-now photos from today and their college days.
Dr. James (Jay) Black, Schumann Endowed Professor and Chair of the Department of Journalism and Media Studies, has worked at Mercer for 16 years. He holds a bachelor’s degree in broadcast communications from Mercer, a master’s degree in journalism management from the University of Kansas, and a Ph.D. in public communication from Georgia State University.
1. What advice, related to life or college, would you offer students at Mercer now?
Study hard, don’t cheat, take breaks and don’t forget to call your mom.
2. What is something you wish you knew in college that you know now?
Everything will be OK.
3. What made you want to join the team at Mercer?
I had something in common with every person who interviewed me.
4. What do you love most about your work?
It pays me. I’m really fond of that. I also enjoy the freedom of thought that surrounds me.
5. What are some of the projects/accomplishments you’ve been most proud of in your career so far?
I didn’t have a Ph.D. when I first started Mercer. I’ve written four books and published many other academic articles and book chapters. I’m the chair of my department, and I have convinced my students to bring me pie … often.
6. What is your favorite spot on Mercer’s campus?
My happy place is my office. I have some of the coolest conversations with students there.
7. What are some of your hobbies and interests outside of work?
I’ve been to a couple dozen countries and 49 out of the 50 states. I am a generalist when it comes to my industry, having worked in print and broadcast journalism. I have about 20 fruit trees, 63 varieties of camellias, blueberries and six types of grapes growing in my yard.
The Den invites all faculty to participate in this feature. If you’re interested, please fill out this form, and we’ll be in touch.