Woodrow Wilson Wagner III
The Art Institute of California—Sacramento, a campus of Argosy University
I want to elevate the intellectual spirit of my students to help them exercise their freedom as active participants in the society around them. Woodrow Wilson Wagner III , Program Coordinator , The Art Institute of California—Sacramento, a campus of Argosy University
Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?
Teaching my first college class, in the fall of 1999.
How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?
When I worked on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., I used political communication methods to respond to constituents and brief members of Congress and media outlets on legislation. In the classroom, I use some of those same methods to help students connect the theories of communication to the actual practice. Students have often commented how analyzing the words of politicians, entertainers, and religious leaders applies to their real-world endeavors.
What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?
My media and political communication lessons are designed to help students appraise the impact of advertisers, lobbyists, politicians, interest groups, and constituents. I want them to learn how to use communication to exercise their freedom, understand the needs of diverse groups, and create unique and innovative solutions to make their community a better place.
What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?
I’m reminded of the words of President Woodrow Wilson, who said, “We are not men because we have skill of hand, but we are men because we have an elevation of spirit. It is in the spirit that we live and not merely in the task of the day.” My greatest goal as an educator has been to elevate the spirit of my students by helping them become proficient communicators in the real world. I want to elevate the intellectual spirit of my students to help them exercise their freedom as active participants in the society around them.
Anything else you’d like to share?
As the workplace becomes more culturally, behaviorally, educationally, and philosophically diverse, more versatile communication is essential to students’ success. I teach them to appreciate their own communication styles and the styles of others, and to use this knowledge to develop far more effective and productive working relationships.