Since graduating with his master’s degree from BYU, Kris Boyle has always had the dream of returning to his alma mater to teach.
This dream became a possibility last year, when he received word that BYU’s Communications Department was looking to hire a new professor in journalism. Boyle, a product of the department’s journalism program, was more than qualified for the job. While at BYU, he was a special sections editor, campus editor and news editor and in his last semester he was the managing editor for NewsNet (The Universe).
“The journalism department provides students with such real-world experiences,” Boyle said. “When I left BYU, I knew how to do interviews, how to write stories, how to do different things. I knew the importance of building relationships with my sources and my editors.”
After graduating from BYU with his bachelor’s degree in journalism, Boyle took a job as a reporter for a newspaper in Idaho Falls. He and his wife spent two and half years there.
“As much as I loved being a newspaper reporter, I worked a lot of nights and weekends,” said Boyle. “That is what brought us back down here. I got into BYU’s master’s program, and I knew that teaching was exactly what I wanted to do. I also knew I wanted to teach here at BYU.”
On the day of graduation for his masters, his classmates sat excitingly waiting for their name to be read. Boyle was filled a bittersweet feeling. He was happily graduating with his master’s in journalism and he knew that he wanted to continue his education toward earning a Ph.D. However, he hadn’t been accepted to a program yet and he was not sure what he was going to do. To his surprise, later that day, the director of the Ph.D program at Texas Tech called to tell him that they had an extra spot available for him.
“We were in Lubbock, Texas for three years. Before I was admitted into the program, I didn’t know what Texas Tech was or where it was located,” said Boyle, “My family and I had a great experience there and when I graduated in 2008, I was hired by Creighton University.”
Boyle feels that one of his greatest accomplishments at Creighton was an iPad program he implemented for his classes. His students checked out iPad minis, which they used to create stories from start to finish. By only using the iPads, students were able to do audio and video interviews, take photos and transcribe the story. Boyle established this program because the field of journalism is so drastically changing that he wanted to help his students become familiar using different tools to report the news.
“When people think they are going to be a journalist, they think of an old-fashioned pen and paper and writing it up on a laptop,” said Boyle. “It is not necessarily that way any more. Writing is definitely still a part of it, but now with a tablet or a phone journalists have all the tools they need to write a great story.”
Despite the drastic changes to the field of journalism, Boyle isn’t worried and feels that the world still needs good journalists.
“We all look to journalism in different ways, be it social media or on news sites, but we all need news and information and need to understand things in this world,” Boyle said. “For example, we may hear about a Middle East conflict and want to know why it’s happening. What is the conflict about? The places we turn to are these news sites. We turn to journalists to provide us with that information.”
Now that he’s back, Boyle is excited to start working with BYU’s students to help better prepare them for a career in journalism.
“The most rewarding part of being back here is being able to shape young minds,” Boyle said. “Seeing a student progress and reach those goals they have set for themselves is the most rewarding thing. That’s why I like being in the classroom.”
Boyle is grateful for this amazing opportunity and hopes that he can help more students become interested in the journalism program and its great benefits.