An alumnus of Southeast, Fred Jones decided the perfect job was right at home, as an associate professor in the Department of Communication. A film maker from Jackson, Mo., Jones got his start with a Bachelor of Arts in English degree at Southeast before studying film at the University of Utah.
Southeast has always been a good fit for him. After earning a master of fine arts degree in film production, he worked at the state police academy in Utah, helping to put together training videos. Upon learning of a position at Southeast, there was no question in his mind about what to do next.
He applied for the position, and now is in his fifth year of teaching at Southeast.
“I’m going to stay as long as they’ll keep me,” said Jones, who teaches video production classes, mass media writing, and screen writing.
“Southeast has always been perfect for me. You get small class sizes, which is great. Big schools have 100-seat auditoriums, and you don’t get to know your students. I don’t think I’d be well-suited for a big university, having overwhelming class sizes or situations where I don’t know the students. I like this atmosphere.”
When he’s not in the classroom, his spare time also revolves around film making and screen writing. Recently, he won an award for Best Screenplay from the Broadcast Education Association at their Festival of Media Arts in Las Vegas. University faculty members from around the world submit entries to the contest.
Jones is married to Shirlee Wilson, a faculty member in the Department of Communication. They met at the University of Utah, where the two attended film school together. Currently they are working on their first documentary.
“The documentary is about 18 Q -, a medical syndrome that affects only a couple hundred kids in the United States,” Jones says. “We know a family in Jackson who has a child with this syndrome, and the story is about the child and his mother’s work to get a service dog. The child is functionally blind, functionally deaf and in a wheelchair. We have done all of the taping already, and now we are in the process of editing. We’re hoping to finish it soon.”
He and his wife hope to get their documentary broadcast somewhere, mentioning P.O.V. on PBS. P.O.V., a cinema term for 'point of view,' is public television's annual award-winning showcase for independent non-fiction films. P.O.V. films are passionate, powerful and poignant reports on people’s lives.
The couple has two children: Jasmine, 4, and Eli, 1.