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Witty Weiss preaches his wisdom

Written by Frank Stampfl on . Posted in Features

Scott Weiss is a Communications Arts professor at St. Francis College that uses his expertise and exuberant character to enrich his students.

weiss1Before making the decision to commit his life to becoming a full-time college professor, Weiss held important job titles, earning him the experience necessary to teach effectively.

After graduating from Brandeis University with a Ph. D. in Comparative Literature in 1997, Weiss seized the opportunity to work in the Internet industry as it was beginning to take off.

One of his first jobs after gaining his doctorate was as an analyst for a high-tech marketing firm called The Hurwitz Group based in Framingham, MA.

While there, he wrote opinion pieces for trade journals about the business value of new technologies. He also worked as a manager in the competitive intelligence department at the Ericsson Phone Company. After 9/11, however, many businesses took a hit, forcing Weiss to venture into new territory. He dove into the financial sales industry in what he calls the "mortgage boom" era.

While holding these positions, Weiss taught throughout the years as an adjunct professor at institutions such as Wheaton College, Middlesex Community College, and Brandeis University but knew deep down, he wanted a full-time career in academia.

"I went back to teaching because I really missed it and I took a chance to see if there was anything," he said.

Weiss has been teaching different classes at SFC since 2007. This semester, he teaches advertising, public relations in modern media, global communications, and an honors course in American cinema. He has also taught classes such as theories in mass communication, political communication, and popular music. While he loves teaching all his courses, there are a few he especially admires.

"My favorite class to teach is my popular music class because I love music history and pop music. It has been a big part of my life ever since I was a small kid. It's usually a small class though," he reveals.

"There's something about a full classroom I like too though which I get with my advertising course. I feel that [advertising] is my most effective class," he added.

Weiss has a style of teaching in the classroom that allows him to get his point across in a professional way while remaining his lighthearted, jubilant self. Some professor's struggle with connecting to the students and keeping them engaged but Weiss has a solution.

"If I'm enthusiastic about the topic and I can project that to them, then the students most of the time will also be enthusiastic. I want to be entertaining at times and make people laugh. I feel that making people laugh is the best thing you can do," he said.

Senior Aaron Maldonado said, "Scott Weiss teaches his students that it's not worth coming to school unless you're enjoying it. I didn't know what the old saying 'work hard, play hard' really meant until I met this man."weiss2

Along with being a professor, Weiss contributes as an advisor in the advertising and public relations concentration of the Communications major. He helps students organize their schedules and supervises seniors as they work on their comprehensive projects throughout their final semesters.

Senior Justin Worsley, "As an advisor, Weiss has been easily approachable and has helped me select classes that both evolve me as a person while enhancing my education."

All Weiss' hard work and dedication to the college in the past six years has not gone unnoticed, as he has just recently been tenured.

"Scott has done an excellent job at teaching here at the college. He is extremely knowledgeable and really goes out of the way to help his students," said Lauren Bertolotti, Technical and Administrative Assistant of the Communication Arts department.

"Scott Weiss is the real thing. He has integrity and sincerity. He is a committed scholar and teacher. We should all be so lucky to have someone like him in our orbit," added Communication Arts department chair, Lynne Jackson.

Weiss claims to have a better connection with the students in Brooklyn more than any other place he has taught at throughout his career. Perhaps teaching in this city is embedded within his genes as his father also taught in Brooklyn as a high school teacher for over 30 years while Weiss was growing up.

"My father taught in Brooklyn for 33 years into the early 90's. He had a way of getting along with the students. In a sense, they were the same folks. There's just something about teaching in New York City and there's something about the people from New York City that I feel I identify in some way," said Weiss.

Weiss is quite the music junkie.

He enjoys all types of different music ranging from classical symphonies to rock and roll to pop music and more. While he enjoys attending big stadium shows for the more popular bands, his appreciation for the art will even lead him to the smaller shows played by local bands.

"There is an incredible amount of musical talent in New York City; more than anything else. It's such a tough industry. The same thing goes for up in Boston. It was never hard to hear good music," said Weiss.

Those interested in meeting Weiss can catch him roaming the halls of SFC or at a local gig near you enjoying live music!

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