Every month the Administrative/Professional (A/P) Council highlights an A/P staff member through a series of questions as another way for the Illinois State community to connect. This month readers can get to know Jim Gee, coordinator of communication and faculty development for the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Technology (CTLT).

What are your responsibilities in this role?

I manage communication for the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Technology, which includes our website, social media, and direct outreach to instructors and staff. I also host and produce our unit’s podcast, Let’s Talk Teaching. I wear another “hat,” working directly with instructors through workshops and consultations in support of their teaching and their students’ learning. Over the last year, I’ve become our primary support person for teaching with Zoom which has kept me busy! I also teach part-time in the School of Communication.

How long have you been an employee at ISU?

I’ve been a full-time employee since 2013. Before that, I was a graduate teaching assistant in the School of Communication for two years.

What do you love most about working at ISU?

The mission of an institution like Illinois State is critically important—we help young adults become informed, engaged members of society. Saying it like that sounds cheesy to some, but I fervently believe it’s true. This is the one job I’ve had in which I really feel like I can make a difference in the world, whether through applying my communication and media experience in new and challenging ways, helping our faculty and staff in their important work, or helping students discover new ideas and ways of thinking about the world, themselves, and each other. 

What is one fact about yourself that might surprise people?

I had a brief stage career. I played the mustache-twirling, black hatted villain in our fifth grade musical, singing the duet, How Could You Believe Me When I Said I Love You When You Know I’ve Been a Liar All My Life.  

When you’re not working, what are you most likely doing?

Indulging in a brief obsession, which changes from time to time. Lately, it’s been watching a lot of YouTube cooking videos. Before that, I was re-reading Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe mysteries.

What is your favorite spot on campus?

Fell Hall. Lots of good memories, both recent and ancient, some dating back to my undergraduate days more than 25 years ago. I try to find an excuse to cut through the lobby whenever I cross campus.

What quote most inspires you? Why?

“…the Cosmos is also within us. We’re made of star-stuff. We are a way for the Cosmos to know itself.”

I was eight years old when Carl Sagan’s science series debuted on PBS. Few things have inspired me in the same way since. The idea that we’re all made of atoms created in the hearts of collapsing stars eons ago is profound enough.  As I’ve gotten older, I marvel more and more about this fundamental connectedness we all have.