Luke Reed, Correspondent
Jacksonville State University Communication professor Christopher McCollough was recently named associate editor of the Journal of Public Relations Education.
McCollough has been in the field of communication for the past 17 years, earning two degrees at Virginia Tech, his doctoral degree at Louisiana State University and being named a JSU professor in January. Throughout his teaching, McCollough has worked with 120 nonprofit and civic organizations helping them through their communicational needs.
Before coming to JSU, McCollough was an associate professor at Columbus State University in Georgia.
McCollough said that the journal is an outlet for public relations and strategic communication educators to provide insight on teaching and learning and study its effectiveness in the classroom.
“For a lot of graduate students and entry-level faculty, they enter the classroom with no formal training or substantive mentorship in teaching and learning, so they have to go to work putting their expertise to the students on the fly in a trial and error process that can sometimes take years to cultivate,” said McCollough.
As the editor, McCollough said that he is responsible for “coordinating three reviews for every study and article educators in public relations submit to the journal for peer review.”
“Those reviewers, in turn, provide feedback on the quality of the research, writing, and significance of the piece in helping serve JPRE’s mission as a resource journal that will improve teaching and learning in public relations,” he said. “This can be a bit challenging, at times, because so many educators in my field are incredibly busy right now juggling in-seat and online learning models, as well as expanded service roles they had to adopt to support their universities’ adaptation to pandemic operations.”
McCollough is also responsible for turning consultations to the chief editor for review and making final decisions on the submitted pieces. McCollough will hold this position for the next three consecutive years.
Since his time here at JSU, McCollough said that the transition to a new institution has been quite an interesting experience.
“Being that I am making this transition in the middle of a pandemic and at the midpoint of the year has made the former rather challenging, but the dedicated students I see every week are dedicated and have been encouraging to connect with as I get more familiar with JSU and the Department of Communication’s programs,” he said. “As for my new colleagues, it’s been like moving to a new neighborhood where people have a strong civic mindset. Plenty of inquiries about how I am doing, what can they do to help, and finding common ground where we can collaborate on teaching and research as I settle in. On the whole, it has been a welcome change and experience roughly two months in.”