It’s been said that laughter is the best medicine, but Donovan Myrie, a communications professor at the University of Tampa, feels that laughter is the best way to learn.
It is this approach to teaching that has made him one of the most popular professors and advisors on campus.
As he sits behind the overflowing pile of tests on his desk, Myrie reminisces about how he began teaching, a job he swore he’d never do.
Myrie obtained an undergraduate degree from Ithaca College and received his Masters of Science in Journalism at Columbia University.
He has since moved from city to city working as an executive producer, writer, news director and operations manager, before finally settling as a professor at UT, his home for the past six years.
Myrie has worked for a number of prestigious companies, including Time Inc, WNBC-TV New York, KTVT – TV Dallas, and WFLA – TV Tampa.
While in Dallas, Myrie helped his team win three Emmy’s in broadcast journalism for special events programming. “It was awesome!” he said, still excited about beating out the competition three years in a row.
“Donovan worked in the industry and has first-hand experience,” Mostafa Abdelguelil, a senior at UT, stated. “He is experienced and can transfer that knowledge onto students.”
After years of working in big cities, Myrie grew tired of the “rat race,” and moved to St. Petersburg in 2001.
He began working for WFLA – Tampa, when he applied for the job as a professor at UT.
He began as an adjunct that summer, and soon applied to be a full-time professor.
During his time at UT, Myrie has helped to create a new television facility. He teaches up to four classes a semester, and has become an advisor to over 70 students, a job he takes very seriously.
“His ability to communicate with each student is hard to find,” senior Danielle Luckenbaugh said. “I feel like I could advise my friends just from what Donovan has helped me to do.”
Myrie has recently decided to go back to school for his Ph.D.
He is currently enrolled at the Union Institute and University in Cincinnati, a limited commuter university.
His heavy workload makes him sympathize with his students.
“I’m definitely softer now than I used to be,” he stated. “I have a better understanding of what students go through.”
The laid back atmosphere in which he teaches is the reason his classes fill up at rapid speed during registration each year. “Life gets in the way sometimes and I want my students to know that if they have a problem, they can call me,” Myrie explained.
Myrie describes teaching as the most rewarding career he has chosen to date. “Every day I make a difference,” he said.
Myrie smiled as he remembers the first time a student thanked him at graduation. “It was a student I had busted for plagiarism and I gave him another chance. He shook my hand and thanked me for not screwing up his college life. I’ve never felt so accomplished.”