Most people refrain from laughing and smiling at 9:15 in the morning, but this is not the case with Dr. Jason Edwards and his Thursday morning foundations of communication class.
Edwards, an Associate Professor in Communication Studies, is known to use humor and pop culture references to evoke class participation and maintain his students’ interest.
“I try to create a sense of humor in class, I make jokes, especially about myself,” Edwards said. “I try to relate topics to things that are in pop culture and political lexicon that are more related to young people today.”
Many students are drawn to his high energy and engaging teaching style, while others enjoy his passion for argumentation or politics.
“He’s brilliant and is very engaging,” said Bridgewater State senior Danielle Murray, who is a former student of Edwards. “He’s very personable and his classes are really cool. You take out so much more than you would think from the class. Not only do you take away things academically, but you can gain life advice as well.”
Edwards is from Redwing, Minnesota, a small town on the Mississippi River. He attended Concordia College, located in northwestern Minnesota, and got Master Degrees in Political Science and Speech Communication.
Edwards, who also has a Ph.D from Georgia State University, has published two books, in addition to his 40 articles and book chapters.
The two books Edwards has written, Navigating the Post-Cold War World: President Clinton’s Foreign Policy Rhetoric and The Rhetoric of American Exceptionalism: Champions and Challengers, revolve around his favorite topics, rhetoric and politics.
“I tend to do my research on political communication, primarily focusing on the American presidency, and also international politics,” said Edwards. “I’m interested in those kinds of debates about why the United States should go to war, what our economic policy should be, and the different kind of persuasive messages that are put forth by politicians.”
Edwards began teaching at Bridgewater State in 2006, and since then, he has built up a reputation of being a knowledgeable professor with the desire to challenge his students by argumentation and pushing them to be a part of class discussions.
He teaches a variety of classes in the communication studies major, ranging from political discourse to research methods.
“I really enjoy teaching classes like argumentation, political communication, rhetoric of American foreign policy, and crisis communication,” said Edwards. “I tend to find that those are the classes that I gravitate to, because they are part of my research, but also, I think a lot of students enjoy them, especially argumentation and political communication.”
It might be Edwards’ persona that sets him apart from the others in the communication department, and it is probably what makes him a desired professor for so many students.
“I think people like my personality,” said Edwards. “I think I am able to relate to students in an effective way, and they enjoy taking my classes.”
Matt Melia is a Comment staff writer. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.