• Sloane Sivewright

Professor Spotlight: Dr. Robin Jones

By Sloane Sivewright

For The Southwestern

What does Anadarko, a movie theater, and communication courses have in common? Dr. Robin Jones.

Entering her 24th year of teaching and 12th year of chair of Art, Communication and Theatre Department, Jones is retiring May 2021. She has been able to watch her department transform and grow — leaving behind full confidence in the years to follow.

“It is time to turn it over to the next generation,” said Jones.

Jones knew she was interested in teaching at the collegiate level, but jobs were limited upon graduation. With her husband working in Anadarko, Jones sent out resumes within a 60-mile radius. After interviews and waiting for a phone call, she received two job offers within hours of each other— one of which being Southwestern Oklahoma State University.

The same afternoon, Jones and her husband went to the movies while she considered her decision. In a “gotcha” moment, a Southwestern Oklahoma State University advertisement popped up on the movie theater screen and the rest was history.

One of her favorite classes to teach is public speaking. Students come in with anxiety but are pleasantly surprised with the outcome. “That’s a victory for me, getting people over their fear,” said Jones.

As for plans after retirement, she wants to do more volunteer work in the community and experience the fall foliage in Colorado. With everyone else in her family retired, she will be able to enjoy more family time and family trips.

COVID-19 has not affected any retirement plans, but Jones admitted, “This is a once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon.” With her many years in her department and at the university itself, her connection is deep, but knows each will go on amid Coronavirus.

Her biggest challenge teaching during the pandemic has been Zoom. “I love technology, I’m glad it’s there for us, but with communication courses, I miss the face-to-face interaction.”

Combined with problems and anxiety, Zoom reduces the social interaction in-person classes offer.

Jones said she has full trust in SWOSU’s faculty, staff and students, stating, “We are getting over it, we do what we have to do.”

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