School of Journalism and New Media

The University of Mississippi

5 Questions with Assistant Professor Alysia Steele

Posted on: September 9th, 2014 by drwenger

Photo by Marlen Polito, September 8, 2014.

Asking questions is the way to Assistant Professor Alysia Steele’s heart.   Originally from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Steele has been a part of the Meek School for more than two years.  You can read all about her awards and education, but you’ll get a sense of her as a teacher right here.

1.  What class do you most like to teach and why?

I really enjoy teaching Jour 375, which is the photojournalism class. I’ve been a photographer for 27 years and it’s my life; I can’t imagine doing anything else. Most of my passion is teaching students how to take good, sound photographs with strong compositions and beautiful light.

2. Describe your favorite type of student.

My favorite type of student is someone who is communicative. Someone that likes to talk in class, that offers their opinion, that is not afraid to speak their mind. I love someone who is always challenging me and asking questions and wanting to learn more. I really enjoy students who develop a passion in photography.

3. What are you working on outside the classroom that you really enjoy doing?

I just finished one book that was so much fun and it didn’t feel like work, it’s called Jewels in the Delta. I interviewed, photograph, and collected oral histories from 50 Mississippi Delta church mothers. They’re women that are leaders and belong to Baptist churches in the Delta. I had a lot of fun and had my own private history lessons with these 50 women.

4. Describe what type of student you were.

I was a model student; my grades were very important to me; I was an over achiever. Life lessons when I was over 25 made me a better student.

 5. Of all the things you’ve done in your career, what makes you most proud?

Wow, that’s a really hard question. I’m in a new chapter in my life right now, I would have to say that when students show enthusiasm, and when they get something and they have a passion for it, that’s such a fulfilling feeling. I am really proud of when students do exceptional work in our field and come back and show it to me. In my personal life, the work that I am most proud of would be Jewels in the Delta. I think I have become a better human being; I’ve become a more patient and more understanding person.

Story contributed by multimedia journalism graduate student Marlen Polito.