Jason P. Chambers
Get to know some of our College of Media faculty. Jason P. Chambers is the associate dean for diversity, equity, and inclusion and associate professor of advertising.
How long have you been a professor at the College of Media? What sparked your interest in teaching advertising?
I've been at the College of Media since August 2001. I started working here directly out of graduate school from The Ohio State University. I have always been interested in advertising, ever since I was a kid. I was one of those kids who didn't change the channel when commercials came on—I always wanted to watch and pay attention to the content. In graduate school, I specifically examined the African American experience in advertising as professionals, entrepreneurs, agency owners, executives, and other similar roles. When I joined the College of Media, they were interested in someone who could combine history with advertising. I had this exact experience through my research, so it was the perfect opportunity.
What classes and topics do you currently teach?
Because of my administrative role as the associate dean for diversity, equity, and inclusion, I focus my time in teaching ADV 175: Diversity in Advertising. It looks at race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, age, and intersectionality. It also dives deeper into targeted advertising towards members of those communities or groups and the challenges, stereotypes, and opportunities as a result.
What are your research interests?
Research-wise, my next book is on a gentleman named Tom Burrell. Tom Burrell was one of the first African Americans in the Advertising Hall of Fame. He's from Chicago, and his agency, Burrell Advertising/Burrell Communications Group, was founded in Chicago in 1971. My interest remains, even after 20 years, in African American entrepreneurship and analyzing how it plays out in the advertising industry.
What do you enjoy the most about working with college students?
What I enjoy most is seeing the light come on when students can make connections between the topics I’m teaching and their interests. Much of my role is to facilitate how students grow in reaching their interests. It's not just about dispensing information in one direction but finding ways to help students grow intellectually and professionally. After having been here for 20 years, I have seen students I taught 10, 12, and 20 years ago, nearly running Fortune 50 or Fortune 100 companies. You get to witness the minuscule role you played in that growth. It’s really gratifying to see.
What's the biggest piece of advice you have for students graduating from the College of Media?
My biggest piece of advice is to keep learning and stay nimble. The world of advertising is in an ongoing state of flux. It’s rarely stable in terms of the way that things are done and the roles that exist within the industry. It’s also just as important to stay as flexible as you can, for as long as you can. Flexibility gives you the opportunity to take opportunities. Avoid making decisions that get you so far into your career that you get to a place where you can’t leave or feel the need to stay. Whatever the case may be, stay as nimble as possible for as long as possible.
What are some of your hobbies?
I watched far too much football. The Ohio State football, in particular, being from Ohio and graduating from The Ohio State University. I also dabble in woodworking, I'm quite the DIY’er. I'm currently building a book set of built-in shelves and cabinets in my basement. Those hobbies, in addition to hanging out with my family, my kids, and my wife, are how I like to spend my free time.
—Interview by Lauren Barjami, New Voices Intern