Journalism professor looks toward retirement


James Paulson, an associate professor in the journalism and mass communications department is retiring after a career of over 40 years in the journalism and academic world. 

He recently received the Edward Patrick Hogan Award for Excellence in Teaching. According to the nomination guidelines, this award is given out every year by the university to two nominated professors who have shown an involvement with their students by ensuring quality in the classroom and have demonstrated high scholarly standards. The award recognizes faculty excellence as it relates to the teaching aspect of their profession. Only one faculty member per college will be selected each year. 

“I think it couldn’t have gone to a greater guy,” said Emily Weber, a senior broadcast journalism major. “I was actually asked to write a letter of recommendation for him.” Weber said she would have written the recommendation but was busy with school and was unable to finish it before the Dec. 1 deadline. 

According to Paulson, he became a journalist because it was “a cool way to make a living.” 

Paulson has a wide variety of experience from his jobs in the field, which included news anchor at KROC TV and Radio in Rochester, MN, assignment editor at KMSP TV in Minneapolis and news director at KSFY TV in Sioux Falls. He has worked at SDSU for over 27 years and is currently an associate professor. 

He did not plan on becoming a journalist, but it brought him to places that he would have never interacted with otherwise. 

“When you’re a journalist you get to do things that other people never get to do, get to meet people who you would have never have met,” Paulson said. 

Paulson has received numerous awards for his journalism work including the Mitchell Charnley Award, which is given to a broadcast journalist by the Northwest Broadcast News Association. 

“Paulson has nothing but good things to say about broadcast journalism,” Weber said. “He thinks it’s the best major out there and that everyone should be a broadcast journalism major.” 

At the end of the spring semester, Paulson will retire from his position. 

Paulson said, “The thing about retirement is that everybody thinks that you’re supposed to have a plan but there’s no rule that says I have to have a plan.”