When I was in college, the closest thing to social media was Hot or Not. And while times have changed and Hot or Not is…well…not hot, plenty of other social networks are looking pretty good.
Today, social media has not only changed the way I connect and learn, but it has been my occupation for the past three years.
Today, students need to understand the widespread opportunities of social media. So when I got the chance to teach a community management course at Quinnipiac University‘s Masters of Interactive Media program this summer, I jumped at it.
Many people have sparked my excitement for teaching. Here are five of those professors. They do more than teach. They inspire.
Jeffrey L. Cohen
Jeff is a professor teaching social media at Ball State University. He started SocialMediaB2B.com, wrote the Social Media B2B Book, and has years of experience in social media, marketing and advertising. I worked with him for the past few years and not only has he taught me everything I know about this space, but he has tons of great stories to tell (especially since he’s been to nearly every state in the U.S.). He applies his learnings (and Instagram photos) to every class and speaking opportunity. Follow Jeff at @jeffreylcohen.
Dan understands the need to educate and teach students about social media. He brings real-world examples to his students, as well as personal experiences and great thought starters for conversation. He’s a digital strategist and consultant with years of teaching under his belt. I’ve learned a lot from Dan after working with him for over five years. Follow Dan at @dweingrod.
My first social media job was working as a community manager at Radian6. My role was to not only engage with our audience, but to create helpful content to grow conversation. Through my work in the community, I met Dr. 4Ward. We connected instantly. He has a ton of social media knowledge and was willing and excited to share it. We collaborated on blog posts that still get shared three years later. Follow him at @Dr4Ward.
Jason knows that students need to experience social media first hand. In collaboration with Radian6, he build the Social Media Listening Center at Clemson University, where he directs the Social Analytics Institute. I learned about Jason while working at Radian6, and was excited to share his story. We collaborated on blog posts, case studies, ebooks and more. He also had his students write for the Radian6 blog. He gives his students real-world experience that I’m sure they’ll never forget. Follow him at @jasonbthatcher.
Lynne leads the School of Communication at the University of Hartford, my alma mater. I’ve learned a lot from Lynne both personally and professionally over the last 10 years, and we’ve used social media to keep in touch and continue to work together. Social media may not be her main focus, but she understands the importance of it and supports her social media-driven students. Lynne worked on the Communication Students Special Opportunities Fund, which provides financial support to students so they can participate in conferences, internships, competitions and more. This is a great example of Lynne’s inspirational ideas. Follow her at @ctlynne (and ask her how you can help the fund).
If you’re interested in my course or other courses in the Social Media track, check it out here. And I’d love to hear about who inspires you. Share their Twitter handles in the comments.