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Get to Know the Faculty: Dr. Gabriel Tait

02/17/2015

An assistant professor of multimedia journalism, Dr. Gabriel Tait joined A-State in the summer of 2013. Let’s get to know him.

Dr. Gabriel Tait
Dr. Gabriel Tait

Place of birth?
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Family?
Wife, Erica; sons Devon and Galen
What makes a good professor?
A willingness to understand your students, but firm enough to not be run over.
Your philosophy on education in seven words.
I am a seed planter and cultivator!
What is the one thing you wish you could teach everyone about your field?
I would love to teach everyone how to see. When one learns how to see, the world of photojournalism/visual storytelling opens an uncharted land for one to explore.
What music is playing in your car?
News or Sports on Sirius XM
What is your favorite podcast?
NPR
The greatest motion picture is...
The Shawshank Redemption.
The last book I read for fun was...
“Invisible Man” by Ralph Ellison.
What’s the value of a university education?
University education is a key that unlocks the world. As a young man who grew up in the inner city of Pittsburgh, the question was not if I was going to college, but where! When I settled on Slippery Rock, a new world literally opened for me. There were opportunities to meet people from all around the world; to travel and study in Edinburgh, Scotland; to develop my craft of photojournalism by working on the university newspaper. Many of the same opportunities are available here at A-State. Students need to embrace opportunities and step outside of their inhibitions.
My favorite trip was...
In 2011, to Liberia, West Africa, to begin my Ph.D. research. The trip was life changing and mentally freeing!
If I could travel anywhere it would be...
either Turks & Caicos or Tahiti.
Four people I’d take to coffee...
Former President Bill Clinton and my grandmother. I will save the two other spots for anyone else who wants to join.
My hobby is...
traveling.
My passion is...
growing students.
A perfect day is...
on the beach with my wife in another country!
Only my friends know I...
am really a shy person.
My favorite saying is...
“We are all students in the game of Life.”
Why did you choose A-State?
I chose A-State because of its standard for developing leaders world-class leaders and for the opportunity to help expand a competitive photojournalism/visual journalism program. I also love the location.
Who was your favorite teacher (and why)?
I have three favorite teachers for different reasons. My first was my first and second grade teacher Mrs. Henderson. Mrs. Henderson was kind, informative, and stressed the importance of hard work, character, and owning my African America culture. My second favorite teacher was Pat “Cumbie” Walsh. He was my ninth-grade English teacher and one of my football coaches. He encouraged me to set goals and approach the vocation of teaching with passion! My third favorite teacher was my photojournalism instructor Boyzell Hosey. Hosey worked with me as a young photo lad in the mid-1980s. Through him, I learned that photography was not about taking photographs, but was about telling stories of people with images inspired by vision.