“Give me five words to describe yourself. Go!”
“Sarcastic, hilarious, hardworking, smart and dog-lover.” This was the question I fired at Professor Jessica Graue and the answer she gave back.
Jessica Graue was one of the most refreshing, down to earth and honest professors I have encountered thus far at Sinclair.
A Dayton native and Sinclair graduate, Professor Graue is a woman of many hats. She has been teaching at Sinclair since 2012 but just became full-time in December of 2018. Here at Sinclair, she teaches English and journalism but her technical title is Clarion Advisor/Journalism Faculty.
As if that is not enough, she also has several degrees, one in English, another in Public Relations and a final one in Communication.
Professor Graue enjoys journalism and is not new to the field. She has actually been in journalism since 2004.
She said she “enjoys journalism because she is a social person. In the journalism field, you get to talk to people, learn new things and figure out why things are the way they are.”
Her favorite thing about journalism is getting to know people and their stories and then writing about it. Her most memorable moment while being a journalist was her interview with Joan Rivers.
Joan Rivers was an American comedian, actress, writer, producer and television host. She also gets to interview a lot of comedians and enjoys that as well.
Before Sinclair, Professor Graue was busy! She worked for Cox Media and was in charge of WHIO’s social media accounts, including Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
For them, she updated their online stories, created videos and was basically involved in all social media and digital business. Also, she helped build WHIO and Dayton Daily News’ websites.
She enjoyed what she did there but enjoys teaching at Sinclair a lot more. She is actually still employed part-time at Dayton Daily News where she can write a couple of pieces a month of the topic of her choice, so she gets the best of both lives.
While at Sinclair, Professor Graue has many plans. First and foremost, she wants to move The Clarion to a more digital realm. She has plans to start a podcast soon she just needs to secure funding to get it started up.
She is also overlooking the journalism curriculum to make sure the classes on there are absolutely necessary and will actually provide students what the skills they need.
Lastly, she wants to create a social media class that helps students post online, write for the web, learn how to thread posts and in addition embed and work with hyperlinks.
Professor Graue is unique in many ways. One thing that makes her unique is the fact that she is one of the younger people in her department.
“It doesn’t matter how old you are, it matters how open you are,” Graue responded when being asked about the importance of age in the journalism field.
With that in mind, Graue knows all things new about media and digital business and is always looking up new things and way to incorporate them into her classroom.
She actually got hired because she knew “new media.” She was alive when people read and received newspapers but was also in school when computers were becoming imperative in education. This makes her perfect for her position at Sinclair because she knows where journalism was and where it is headed.
Another thing that makes Professor Graue unique is the fact that she is outgoing and hilarious. These two characteristics really help in the classroom because it makes her more relatable to students.
Speaking of hilarious, Graue is also a comedian and has been practicing comedy since July 2013. Teaching journalism and her interviews with multiple comedians helped lead her down the comedic route. She started interviewing comedians when she was an entertainment editor.
In the classroom, students always commented on how hilarious she was so she figured there must be some truth to it. She started researching humor in the classroom which led her to teach humor in the classroom.
She enjoys performing as a comedian because she can use it as an outlet. If something is bothering her or upsets her throughout the day, she can simply write a joke about it and feel better.
Another reason she enjoys comedy is that she is a social person and loves to talk to people. She also enjoys the fact that she can make people laugh and make them happy.
While speaking about her comedic career she said: “If you are going to teach humor and comedy, you might as well do it and then once you do it, you can’t stop.” I think we can all use that quote and apply it to whatever our chosen career paths are.
Kenya Dawson Jackson