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Shawn McIntosh

Throughout the semester, we’re introducing our new additions to the Saint Rose faculty.

Dr. Shawn McIntosh, assistant professor of communications

Previous position: Assistant professor of digital journalism and communications, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, North Adams, Massachusetts

Education: Rutgers University, Ph.D.; School of Communication and Information (2022)

Teaching: Broadcast and Mobile Journalism, Journalism I, Newsroom, Digital Audio Production

Academic specialty: Collaborative journalism, digital media and journalism, journalism and democracy

Where are you from and how did you become interested in communications? I grew up in northern Idaho, near Coeur d’Alene, and had always been interested in writing, but for some reason never thought it would be a practical way to make a living—so much for my powers of prognostication.

Discuss your journey from microbiology to journalism: In my sophomore year, I joined the student newspaper as a reporter and loved it, staying with the paper until I graduated and holding various editorial positions. I realized it was much more fun writing about scientists and their research than having to slog through lab work. But I liked how science helped train my mind to think logically and critically, which it shares with journalism, so kept the major but added a journalism minor. I joke that except for home brewing, I don’t use my microbiology background at all, but the truth is it has been very useful to me throughout my journalism and academic careers.

Please tell us about your own academic scholarship and how you will use it to strengthen the college experience here at Saint Rose? I have been involved with digital media and the internet since the early 1990s, and have long been interested to explore how the revolutionary communication technology changes we are living through have drastically changed the news industry, for better and for worse.

I’ve been looking at new models for how journalism is practiced, and how these organizations may be able to survive as businesses. The new storytelling possibilities with digital media such as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are two examples of new frontiers for journalists and storytellers, and I enjoy exploring how they can be used to engage audiences.

Why is the communications field particularly important for students these days – whether or not they major in it? Good communication skills are the number one thing businesses ask of college graduates and underpin everything a college student does and will do. This includes not only solid writing, but also speaking and presenting skills, and being comfortable using different types of media. Learning good communication skills will benefit students in any field they are in and will come back to help them time and time again as they build their careers.

What drew you to Saint Rose? The forward-looking nature of the department and ways the major is positioned to best serve students to have rewarding careers in communications is what first drew me. But it is the people here that sealed the deal for me. Everyone has been so friendly and welcoming, and they are so clearly dedicated to making the College a great place to study and work in.

What’s one outside-the-classroom hobby or interest you would like to pursue here in upstate New York? I was in the Berkshires the past seven years and am still based there. I look forward to exploring what the Capital Region has to offer regarding various new technology opportunities, start-ups, and media outlets that are interested in exploring new ways of storytelling both nonfiction and fiction.