Dr. Stephen Smoot, Academic Director, National Journalism Center
Stephen A. Smoot joined the National Journalism Center as director of academic programs for the Fall session of 2011. He designs the curriculum for the interns, leads seminars to build skills and knowledge, and oversees the students’ development as writers. Dr. Smoot brings to the position over a decade of teaching and working with college students and publishing credits from journals to blogs.
Dr. Smoot received his Ph.D. in history from West Virginia University in May 2011. His dissertation examined the establishment and growth of the Republican Party in West Virginia. He also obtained a Masters degree from Marshall University and a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences from the University of Delaware. Dr. Smoot has presented papers and led panels at several different major history and political science conferences across the nation.
From 2005 until 2011, Dr. Smoot taught history at Potomac State College in West Virginia while serving as an assistant director for a regional clothing and furniture charity. Over the last three years, he penned a weekly political and public policy column for Gate House Media. Dr. Smoot was also active in state and local Republican Party affairs. In 2004, he served as a Bush-Cheney county chair. Additionally, Dr. Smoot composed important public relations and press release materials while assisting congressional and legislative campaigns and helping to organize fundraising events.
Dr. Smoot shares a passion for preparing young journalists to make an impact on their profession while also solidifying their foundation of values and principles. He believes that a thinking writer needs to not only know what his or her values are, but also why he or she holds them. Furthermore, journalists coming into the field must be armed with knowledge and ready to take on liberal and left wing foes more numerous and longer entrenched in the profession. With knowledge comes confidence. With confidence comes success.
A lifelong West Virginian, Dr. Smoot’s ancestry comes from both rugged pioneers and determined Italian immigrants. The values of family, hard work, and optimism that these people carried with them form the backbone of the conservative movement and our national character. He currently resides with his wife, Crystal and his son, Jared in Keyser, West Virginia. His daughter, Emily, is currently a freshman at West Virginia University.