Meet the Professors

After 27 years of teaching at St. Cloud State, Professor Spry looks forward to future advancements

November 26, 2018

By Team People Photojournalist Chelsea Bauman

Since 1992, Tami Spry, a Communication Studies professor has watched students grow, learn, and develop their education. After completing grad school at Michigan University, she found herself moving to the chilly state of Minnesota. Now, 27 years later, she looks forward to greeting the next bunch of eager students to advance their knowledge.

When asked what does being part of St. Cloud State mean to her, Tami had nothing but positive things to say.

“I get to walk into a classroom and be with students who for whatever reason, whether they have to take the class or want to take this class, I am there to talk about issues of communication and enact different kinds of activities and to understand the complexity and joys of it because that’s what a four-year university is for,” Spry said, “and we can contribute to our civic, personal, and professional learning.”

Spry has focused the majority of her teaching on Performance Studies and how we, as humans, use it as a method to explore interconnections between people, culture, and context.

“How we relate to others, how our race and gender impacts communication, and how we grow as communication scholars all is important to my everyday teaching,” Spry said.

As St. Cloud State University looks to celebrate their 150th year as an University, many professors take time to reflect on their time spent here and the changes that took place. She noted that a big change she has witnessed was the diversity of the student population.

Spry stated, “The influx of immigrants from different parts of the globe have really enriched the experience of what it means to teach here, work here, and learn here. Not only immigrants, but students from all over the world who choose St. Cloud as their education.”

As St. Cloud State moves forward to celebrate the big reunion, Spry said she is excited to see what the future holds, especially with a new female president.

“I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I love our new president at St. Cloud State. I have never said those words about SCSU before. We surely have had good leadership, but this president, she seems absolutely committed to students, to the learning experience, and to assist, to really assist, understanding the connections,” Spry said.

Another change regarding the presidency Spry is excited to see is getting out of the debt the University has plummeted into.

“I think she is the person to lead us out of the financial problems we are in. She will help us in the challenges we are in as a world right now. The violence, more than thoughts and prayers, a university is not here for that phrase. A university is here to help understand how to move forward,” Spry said.

“She is the person who can facilitate that and I am so excited for that. And it’s not just because she is a woman, although I am excited about that, it’s not just that. She had to be excellent at her job.”

Lastly, Spry discussed how St. Cloud State has made an impact in her life personally.

“This is what I do. I get up in the morning, I get in a car or commuter train, and I come here. I invest my head and my heart into this place. Working with students has been what constructs who I am in the world. It is the great professional love of my life.”


By Team People Photojournalist Albery Rysavy


From Student to Employee, a Professor talks about what’s changed and what must change at St. Cloud State

November 29th, 2018

By Team People Photojournalist Adrian Fredrickson

After first arriving in 1993 as a student, Jim Gray returned 10 years later for his graduate studies before attaining the position he’s held since 2005, Director of Operations at KVSC, a student run radio station at SCSU, and serving as an adjunct professor amongst the department of Mass Communications.

When asked about changes that have occurred during his time at St. Cloud State, Gray gave his response from an instructor’s standpoint.

“The university used to think of each department as its own silo, but today there’s so much more crossing of function and sharing of knowledge and overall communication. It’s come to act more as a whole university rather than a college or just a department.”

When asked about what he wants to see change in the future, Gray said that despite one of the things that SCSU is known for is its exceptional Mass Communications program he believes the university can communicate with the community better.

“The world is moving faster than ever before, and the bureaucratic structure of colleges has moved slow. I think for survival SCSU needs better and quicker communication with its community; I think there are a lot of people who don’t understand the university as well as they should and that some have misconceptions on how the university fits in where it does.”

As St. Cloud State University looks to celebrate their 150th year as an University, many professors take time to reflect on their time spent here and the changes that took place. He noted that St. Cloud State has given Central Minnesota National recognition.

Gray stated, “As much as the community might like to say otherwise, St. Cloud State is a major part of the identity of this place, and not just within our own state but nationally…There is a long reach of this place over time and impact that the university has had on people and places well beyond the students here that I think people are now just starting to realize, and being a part of that means a lot.”

Lastly, Gray discussed what SCSU means to him personally.

“To start there’s the alumni piece, then the friends I’ve gained as a student and maintained over the years. This is now my work place, it’s a place that I have passion towards and commit deeply into the inner workings. With all of those ties it has so many pieces of my life that I really can’t give you just one single answer on that.”


By Team People Photojournalist Cassie Fiskewold