Teacher, Banjo Player, Advisor, Oh My! Faculty Interview with Travis Bartosh
January 20, 2017
You’ve probably seen him around Doti Hall, or maybe you’ve been lucky enough to take one of his classes, but how well do you really know the School of Communication’s Instructor and Academic Advisor, Mr. Travis Bartosh?
Bartosh received his Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies from Humboldt State University and his Masters of Arts in Communication Studies from the University of Nebraska.
From even a short, seemingly impersonal interaction with him, Bartosh can be described as kind, understanding, and charismatic person. With his lifelong love of music and past as a “semi-professional banjo player,” he is a natural fit to oversee Chapman Radio and assist students in linking creative arts and communication.
While he fell into the various fields of communication to improve his own interpersonal skills, he acknowledges and is inspired by both the vast complexity and innovative power of communication. Bartosh is committed to every student he works with, whether that be in the classroom or as an advisor. As an instructor, he takes the role as a guide, leading his classes through the messy, intricate interwoven arenas of communication. As an academic advisor he is committed to working one-on-one with students to develop an education route that best fits their academic goals.
Bartosh came to Chapman to help each and every student that passes through the School of Communication become the best version of themselves and leave ready to take on the complex, ever-growing fields of communication in this boundless, disheveled world.
SOC: What drew you to the broad field of communication?
TB: I grew up as a shy kid. I always understood being shy was not going to be helpful in life. I think many people get interested in communication because they see it as one of their strengths. However, I also think just as many people become interested in communication because they know it is something they need to work on. I fell into the latter category. I still would not call myself an expert in communication; indeed, as I continue to learn about communication I recognize how little I know. Even though the complexity of communication can be overwhelming, I feel the field of communication has helped me overcome the shyness I struggled with while I was growing up.
SOC: Which aspects of communication do you find the most intriguing? Which aspects do you find the most challenging?
TB: Most intriguing: Communication creates, transforms, and maintains reality. Without communication, we would not be able to represent reality. WOW!
Most challenging: The sheer complexity of communication.
SOC: How have the various fields of communication changed since you were a student?
TB: One example of how the field of communication has changed is evident right here at Chapman. While I was an undergraduate student Strategic and Corporate Communication was something I was never exposed to because it was not part of many Communication Studies programs. Now, I teach strategic communication classes and am an advisor for the program. The School of Communication is on the cutting-edge in the field of communication. There are only a small handful of universities in the country that have Strategic and Corporate Communication programs, and Chapman is one of them.
SOC: What led you to Chapman?
TB: The people. The School of Communication houses the smartest people I know, and they push me to be the best academic I can be.
SOC: How did you get involved with Chapman Radio?
TB: Music is something I have done since I was 10 years old, so it seemed the Chapman Radio position would be perfect for me. Thankfully the School of Communication agreed! While I grew up playing in punk bands around Orange County, for over a decade my music influence has centered squarely on bluegrass. I was a semi-professional banjo player for several years, and am currently a wannabe fiddler. Last year I was lucky enough to be invited onto a Chapman Radio show hosted by the Wimberley Bluegrass Band (recent Chapman alums) where we played several bluegrass standards. I am hoping that I will be able to host my own bluegrass music themed Chapman Radio show in the near future.
SOC: As a professor, what is your greatest goal for all of your students? What advice do you have for recent or soon-to-be graduates?
TB: This goes back to what I mentioned earlier about the complexity of communication. I want my students to understand communication’s complexity. Communication is messy, fluid, and contextually dependent. I think once students understand communication is more than reading a How To book then they are headed in the right direction. Once students understand this they begin to look at communication in a more critical and nuanced way.
SOC: What hopes do you have for the future of the new School of Communication?
TB: Continue to teach top-notch students, and continue to produce top-notch graduates!