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Faculty Spotlight: Paige Chapman

Dec 5, 2022

Assistant Professor of Communication, Paige Chapman, studied journalism at the University of Florida and fell in love with teaching when one of her professors asked her to adjunct a course after she finished her BS in journalism. She knew she had to do a lot more school to be able to make teaching at the college level her career. She studied news and technology during her master’s at UF and studied health communication and technology for her dissertation at the University of Iowa.

Faculty Spotlight Graphic for Paige Chapman

What is your favorite course to teach and why?

It is hard to pick a favorite. I love COM220- Newswriting, and COM253- Reporting, because I get to see students blossom into journalists. I love COM213- Media Literacy, COR134- Media Uses and Effects, and COM334- Gender/Race/Class in Media because I get to have discussions about the real ways that media impacts the students. It is fascinating to see them realize the way that media and theory and research is all present in their daily lives.

Or what is your area of expertise?

My interests are in teachnology and media use, with an emphasis on health communication.

What made you interested in that area/topic?

This is a personal story. My dad was diagnosed with a brain tumor when I was in grad school, and it was a terrifying time, but I realized that my family was in a privileged position – we had insurance, my parents were educated and felt empowered to ask the doctors questions, my parents had jobs that allowed them to make phone calls to doctors to find the very best people to treat my dad. The experience made me interested in the way that people communicate about health and how that experience can be totally different from person to person.

If someone was interested in learning more about the topic, what reading suggestions would you make?

This might be a suggestion for students in any of my courses – open your mind to experiences that are unlike yours. Think about how someone experiences the world differently depending on where they grow up, the color of their skin, the shape of their bodies, the opportunities they’ve had. Listen to stories that are unlike yours. Open your mind to those other voices, and you will learn a lot about representation and about health and about opportunity.

What book is on your nightstand right now? And why did you choose it?

My favorite book is “A Prayer for Owen Meany” by John Irving. I used to buy copies of it whenever I saw it at a used book store because I like to be able to give it away to others. I mentioned that recently, and it inspired me to pick it up and read it again. It has probably been a decade since I read it, and it is just as captivating and chilling and moving as I remembered.

What are five words you would use to describe your style in the classroom?

Conversational, connected, enthusiastic, supportive, funny

Why is it important for the College to have a major in your area?

Students can take a major in communication and literally use it in any industry in the entire world. There has never been a career when strong communication skills aren’t valuable.

What is one thing that no one would guess about you?

I had a reptile as a pet for more than 18 years.

How do you embody Flagler’s Core Values in your classroom and on campus?

One of my favorite things about teaching is watching the transformation in students. Sometimes it is obvious – you can see the lightbulb when a student gets excited about a new idea or you see their first story published in the news. Other times, it is quieter, and you see a student you knew from a class years ago, but they have blossomed into something else. College is such an incredible place to get to grow. It is exciting to watch, and it is fulfilling to think I got to be a part of it.

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