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New beginnings at Brandywine 

Phillips

By: Deja Footes, Lion’s Eye Staff Editor, dmf5475@psu.edu

Originally from Central Illinois, Dr. Josh Phillips is a new communication Arts and Sciences (CAS) professor at Brandywine.

This is Phillips’ ninth year teaching. He has been teaching since he was 23 years old. He began teaching as a master’s student at Central Michigan University (CMU) and before beginning his career at Brandywine, he taught at Southern Illinois University (SIU) where he earned his Ph.D. in speech communication.

After teaching at CMU and SIU, with student populations of 20,000, Phillips realized that it was time to find a smaller institution that he could call
home.

“Brandywine has a really good community atmosphere,” Phillips said.  “People get to know each other on a first name basis and build a special relationship.”

Phillips explained it is important to have a one-on-one connection between students and faculty and it’s harder to find that on a larger campus.  Phillips explained why he was interested in pursuing and teaching communication studies.

“It takes more of a hybrid approach and it’s very interdisciplinary,” Phillips said.  “I was really interested in the issues of poverty and homelessness.”

Phillips wanted to study different perspectives of those issues and that is when he realized CAS was the best teaching choice for him. Other
aspects of CAS that he explores include intercultural communication or how people from different cultures interact with each other.

“It’s really the sharing of symbols and the interpersonal one-on-one level that you have to be aware of and think about when choosing a CAS class,” Phillips said.

Phillips became connected with teaching after receiving positive feedback years later from students who graduated.

“Former students who called me really stuck with me because it was nice to see them getting jobs, becoming successful and remembering things
I have taught them in the past,” Phillips said.

From that moment, Phillips started to dig deeper in the aspect of teaching because he realized his hard work was appreciated.

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