Josh Braun’s Homepage

Assistant Professor of Journalism Studies at UMass Amherst

Josh lecturing Teaching

I am an assistant professor in UMass Amherst’s Journalism Department, where I teach courses in science communication and "media, technology, and culture."

In terms of teaching philosophy, I believe an engaging course is one in which students are cognizant of what they will be able to do with the skills and concepts they are learning, and glean from them a sense of personal accomplishment, while at the same time developing a critical understanding of the field they are studying and the work they are doing.

All of us inevitably do most of our learning outside of formal education contexts—the role of a good course, and a good professor, is to equip students to make the world their classroom, to teach the tools and critical thinking skills that will enable students to continue to glean the best learning opportunities from their experiences long after they’ve left a particular course or university.

During my time as an instructor, I’ve been fortunate enough to be the recipient of a number of teaching awards. In 2008, I received the International Communication Association’s award for “Outstanding Teaching by a Graduate Student.” During the 2009–2010 academic year, I received the “Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Award,” from Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. In 2010, I was the inaugural recipient of the Kenneth J. Bissett Memorial Teaching Assistant Fellowship, now awarded annually by the Cornell University Department of Communication. And in 2011, I was given the Anson E. Rowe Award, bestowed by the Cornell Communication Department in recognition of research productivity, teaching excellence and service to the community.

My students have also won awards for their work in my courses. During my four years at Quinnipiac University, where I held an assistant professorship until recently, four of my undergraduate students the prizes in Quinnipiac's school-wide writing competition, all of them for research papers completed in my "Theories of Interactive Media" class. I am excited to start teaching at UMass Amherst and look forward to continuing to put my best effort forward with new classes and students there.