Alumni Spotlight
James Carskadon

By: Belle Grace Wilkinson, PR student intern

James Carskadon Headshot

James Carskadon received his Bachelor of Arts in Communication with concentrations in Journalism and Broadcasting in 2012 from Mississippi State University.

Carskadon grew up and currently resides in Starkville, where he started in April of this year as the marketing and communications manager for the Mississippi State University High Performance Computing Collaboratory. Prior to joining HPCC, he spent nearly eight years working in MSU’s Office of Public Affairs as a news writer and research editor.

Carskadon says his daily responsibilities range from generating press releases to collaborating with MSU’s external research partners to managing personnel within the HPCC publications unit.

“In short, I support MSU's strategic communication efforts, with a particular focus on research and the centers that make up the High Performance Computing Collaboratory. That can look different from one day to the next. One of the more fun parts of my job is talking to students and faculty about their research. Part of my job includes providing public relations support for MSU's Office of Research and Economic Development. I do a lot of social media management, event planning, supporting strategic initiatives, collaborating with MSU's external research partners, and developing marketing materials.”

Carskadon shares his previous experience working on the Reflector better prepared him for his future career.

“I was on the editorial staff of the Reflector when I was in college, and that experience really taught me how to handle working in a deadline-driven environment. It also helped with interviewing skills and learning how to effectively communicate. I learned many important lessons from Frances McDavid, who was The Reflector's faculty advisor at the time. For most of my college years, I worked as an undergraduate research assistant at the Social Science Research Center. Being part of a research unit allowed me to see how our research centers operate and the importance of the work they do.”

Favorite memory as a communication student?
Taking several classes with the woman who I eventually married.

Favorite communication class you took and why?
Mass Media and Society with Dr. Pete Smith. I just remember it being a really great historical overview of media in society and why it matters.

Favorite communication professor and why?
Frances McDavid. In addition to being a great instructor, I really admired her approach to advising the Reflector staff. She would answer questions and help us as needed. But more importantly, she let the students own the paper, for better and for worse. Some of the most important lessons I learned in college came from mistakes made at the Reflector. When those happened, she was there to help us understand what went wrong and how to handle the situation. Her encouragement during the stresses of school and work was always invaluable.