Whether it’s sharing the success stories of communication majors, enlightening a classroom with a lively conversation on comic books, or demystifying the messages of media industries, Associate Professor of Communication Matthew J. Smith daily reflects the university’s motto, “Having Light We Pass It On To Others.”
Since joining the faculty at Wittenberg in 2001, Smith, who teaches courses on media literacy, television criticism, media law and comic books as culture, has made it his mission to ensure that students leave the communication department confident and prepared to address and solve complex issues involving the media.
“Because media interfaces are so commonplace, many assume that they are as natural as the air we breathe rather than the products of human activity subject for review,” Smith explains.
To make that realization come alive for his classes, Smith works to develop a point of common ground, delving into popular culture as a unifying source around which he students can relate.
“From there I can guide students into deeper, less familiar concepts – ones that change how they think about media content and the function media industries serve in their lives,” said Smith, who regularly engages with students and alumni.
“At some point, you'll all grow tired of me proclaiming the accomplishments of our majors and alums,” he recently told members of the campus community, “but I'll never get tired of sharing their good news with you.”
An expert in reality television programming, Smith has been quoted in national publications and is a frequent presenter at various conferences. Widely published, Smith holds a B.A. degree from West Liberty State College, and he earned his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Ohio University.