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Get to Know the Faculty: Ronald W. Sitton


Ronald Sitton is an Instructor in the College of Media & Communication with a passion for all things journalism.

Ronald William Sitton

Ronald W. Sitton

Place of birth:
Little Rock, Ark.
Why did you choose A-State?
A-State provided a good fit and my biological father, Aaron Andrews, attended years ago. I also knew Bonnie Thrasher from working together on the Arkansas College Media Association, and therefore understood the quality of the A-State media program.
What makes a good professor?
A good professor not only teaches, but also does whatever possible to help students understand the material. Most of all, a good professor is fair.
My favorite motion picture is...
The television series I must TiVo...
Who was your favorite teacher (and why)?
Dr. M. Mark Miller, my dissertation adviser at the University of Tennessee. Miller asked me, “Are you here for the education or the degree?” After I told him both, he explained he wouldn’t accept my master’s credits toward my doctorate. In short, he reaffirmed the idea that you get out of education (and life) what you put into it.
What music is playing in your car?
Jazz and blues sprinkled with classic and alternative rock.
The last book I read for fun was...
"The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho.
What’s the value of a university education?
A university education shows the world you started something and completed it. You cannot do it for your friends, family or anyone else, i.e. you get the degree to prove to yourself that you care enough about a subject to learn as much as possible about it before going into the “real world.” You can make mistakes in college without losing your job.
Your philosophy on education in seven words:
Perseverance provides the key to an education.
If you could teach another field, which one and why?
Criminal Justice. Aside from being my undergraduate minor, my stepfather worked in the Arkansas State Police for 33 1/2 years and the U.S. Marshals Service for another 10; my mother worked for the U.S. Court of Appeals in the 8th Circuit. You could say I grew up constantly being reminded ignorance of the law is no excuse.
What is the one thing I’ve learned I’d tell my college self...
Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.
What is the one thing you wish you could teach everyone about your field?
Even though everyone can blog, not every blogger is a journalist. There’s a big difference between uninformed rants and true journalism.
My favorite meal is...
Mississippi Mud Cake w/a side of milk.
A perfect day is...
spent fishing. Notice I didn’t say “catching” — that’s why they call it fishing.
What are you working on right now?
Updating a study on differences in opinions between educators and professionals on what a journalist should know upon graduation.
In college, I was known for...
having my journalism education paid by singing in the UALR Concert Choir and working two-to-three jobs each semester; I made it through two degrees without owing anyone a dime.
My favorite trip was...
Israel, for three reasons. First, it provided both an archeological and Biblical take on the stories of my faith. Second, it was the first time I’d flown overseas. Finally, it gave me a chance to be with my mom and sister as adults.
If I could travel anywhere it would be...
Alaska and/or Hawaii. I want to see all 50 states by the time I’m 50; I’ve seen 47 1/2, i.e. I’ve been to Northern California, but there’s a lot more to that state.
Four people I’d take to coffee...
Dr. Manu Bhandari and Dr. Daniel Usera since we’re all new to the CMAC faculty, Dr. Gabriel Tait since he and Manu help me drain the daily coffee, and Dr. Mary Jackson Pitts to discuss research.
The best advice I ever received was...
As a child, Papa told me while teaching me how to tie a hook, “You can make a lot of money doing a lot of things, but if you’re not happy with your work, you’re cheating two people: your boss and yourself.” I’ve followed that advice most of my life.
My hobby is...
I play blues harmonica and hope to learn enough guitar to play my own songs, some of which I’ve already performed. Not everyone can stand just vocals and harp.
My passion is...
My pet peeve is...
tardiness and/or missing appointments, i.e. it shows a lack of respect. As a journalist, if you’re not early/on time, you may not get another chance at the interview.
What I like about Jonesboro is...
the friendly people.
Cats or dogs?
Cats never actually need anything though they do a great job convincing us they couldn’t live without us.
E-book or hardback?
Hardback hands down. There’s nothing like the feel of paper on fingertips.
Beach or mountains?
The mountains (gingers deep-fry on the beach)
Dinner or supper?
I wish I could...
travel the world, and possibly beyond if they provide rides to Mars in my lifetime.
Only my friends know I...
shaved all of my body hair for free tickets to see Widespread Panic at Nashville River Stages while I was working on the doctorate.