Faculty Spotlight: Jamie Loizzo

July 14, 2015

About Jamie Loizzo:

Jamie Loizzo
Jamie Loizzo

I grew up in a small town in central Illinois called Hillsboro. I received my bachelor's from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale in Radio and Television. I’ve worked for television stations in Illinois, Kentucky and Florida before moving to Indiana. I worked for Purdue University for 10 years in their Agriculture Communications Department as a video producer, electronic field trip manager, and later in an academic department as an academic advisor and instructor while working on my master's and Ph.D. I received my Ph.D. this past May in Learning Design and Technology.

What is your position at UNL?

I will be helping with the Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Communication undergraduate program as an assistant professor. We want to build up the multimedia course offering so I will be teaching courses such as digital photography, mobile video production, informal science communication and constructive journalism.

It’s all based off of projects I would like the students to be working on that have to do with an agricultural or environmental issue. We want students to create these multimedia projects in a real-world setting. Let’s not just create a photo essay, let’s create it in a way which will help the public understand a science related issue such as climate change. I’ll also be advising and helping with strategic communication efforts in Nebraska Extension. I’m really into informal science communication or helping the public understand science through museum exhibits, Extension programming, or other informal programs.

What drew you to UNL?

I think the land grant mission is very exciting and there is a lot of potential for the AESC program to make a big impact in Nebraska. This program is very unique in that we have a lot of resources such as the IANR Media television studio and professionals for the students to interact with and learn from. I like the idea that it is a small program and we’re at the beginning of something. It’s an important time. People want to know where their food comes from. They’re upset about GMO’s. They’re upset about climate change. It’s really important for these students to learn how to do this kind of work to engage the public in a scientific conversation.

What aspect of education do you enjoy the most?

I really enjoy seeing students who come into class who have never held a video camera before, and I charge them with making a video by the end of the semester. They are all very nervous and especially those who don’t like to put themselves out there or struggle with their creative side. To see those students work through that process in 16 weeks from nerves and worry to their excitement once their video is complete is very cool. I enjoy taking them through that process and watching them grow.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

I’m a mother that completed graduate school!

My family is, of course, my greatest achievement, but the fact that I had their support to complete graduate school and move on to my career is very special. This is a very exciting moment in my life right now.

What is something that most people don’t know about you?

I am a runner. I’ve run a few half-marathons and the Chicago marathon. I also enjoy hiking and have hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and back up.

What is your life like outside of work?

Life is really adventurous and fun right now. It’s our first summer here in Nebraska so we’re enjoying getting to know the state. My three children keep me very busy and we’re getting them involved in different camps and swimming.