Q & A with An Alum: Bryce McNeil, Ph.D.

Bryce McNeil headshot

Bryce McNeil headshot

Question: What was your area at Georgia State?

I was in the Moving Images Program in the doctoral program.


Question: When did you graduate?

I graduated in the summer of 2009.


Question: Where are you working now, and what is your title?

●             Company:  Georgia State University

●             Title:  Assistant Director for Student Media


Question: How do you think your major prepared you for the job you have now?

I became well-versed in a variety of media issues; studying law with Dr. Lisby was particularly instructive on this point. I also became involved with student media (WRAS) as a graduate student which led me to making the career move to apply for an advisory position.


Question: What did you like about the program?

There is a flexibility to the Communication department that you don’t find at many other institutions. The ability for theory practitioners to study alongside production majors; the ability to meet and work with students from English and Anthropology departments. Being able to converse with fellow graduate students on rhetoric, then talking with people versed in popular culture and then being able to study how it interacts with interpersonal communication theories…there’s just such a flexibility that is a tremendous resource.


Question: Can you think of any special accomplishments you’ve achieved after college that you might not have been able to do without your college experiences?

Since transferring over to the Student*University Center, I’ve advised the student paper and its standing has improved at regional and national competitions. The TV station was close to non-existent when I started and we had only one literary journal instead of two. I didn’t make all of those things happen, mind you, but I helped facilitate it and the program gave me an intimate knowledge of GSU workings but also helped me understand where students wanted to take their interests in media. It’s helped me relate to them in ways I couldn’t otherwise.


Question: Was there a professor, advisor, or fellow student who made an impression on you or helped you when you were here at Georgia State?

My dissertation chair was Ted Friedman who immediately made an impression from the moment I took my first class with him. He outlined a chapter from his book about file sharing and how the arguments for and against it articulated different views of music as culture. It was just so concise and spot-on and everything I wanted to emulate in my writing at that point. He guided me all the way through a survey of cultural and popular music studies that allowed me to understand what I was trying to articulate about music scenes in my dissertation.


Question: Do you still keep in contact with any of your classmates or professors?

Absolutely! Ted and I remain great friends. Two of my fellow GSU students stood in my wedding! Pursuing a career at GSU has allowed me to maintain contacts within the department and to facilitate opportunities within my division that would benefit COMM majors (newspaper, TV station, etc.).


Question: What did you think of your program’s facilities such as the available technology, resources, the classrooms, etc?

GSU has evolved in the time I’ve been here. I’ve taught classrooms in Kell Hall with a TV in the corner and I’ve taught in Aderhold with all the bells and whistles. The external resources can’t be matched, particularly if you’re on the film side, you have so many contacts with top network affiliates, CNN, Turner, etc.


Question: What did you like about Georgia State?

First and foremost: Atlanta is a great city! And coming from a Canadian that didn’t know what he was in for when he moved here, that’s saying a lot. Inside the classroom, GSU offers a chance to interact with accomplished professors across a number of majors. Outside the classroom, it’s a microcosm for the real world you will step into: other universities may talk the talk about diversity, GSU walks the walk.


Question: Is there anything else you would like to tell prospective students about the college or program?

It’s a chance to interact with students (and professors) from all walks of life in a vibrant city that is the hub of the southeast. There are few experiences that mirror it.


Question: Do you have any advice for current or incoming students?

Keep your eyes and your mind open! Don’t be afraid to explore a class from another division within the Comm. Department because you’ll be amazed at how it informs your track overall.