Aerial photograph of the Immaculate Conception Chapel

Get to know Dr. Joseph Valenzano

Joe ValenzanoDr. Joe Valenzano, assistant professor in the Department of Communication, always wanted to be a college baseball coach. He was on track to become a coach when 9/11 happened. At the time, Joe had two brothers living in New York City; one a NYC police officer. Joe said it was the scariest day of his life. After this event, Joe evaluated his life and realized that he could impact more lives teaching than he could being a coach. He decided he wanted to become a college professor as result of the events on 9/11. He became invested in the basic course, because that is what graduate students teach as they are getting their degrees. He also started studying the intersection of religion, politics and media and looking at it from a rhetorical point of view. Joe states that his research interests were inspired by 9/11.

Joe was attracted to the University of Dayton because of the opportunities available with the reinventing of the undergraduate general curriculum and working on the Common Academic Program. He also wanted the opportunity to be a part of redesigning the Basic Course. Joe spent five years at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas working on its Basic Course and was excited to start something new.& Joe also said that moving to Dayton would allow him and his wife to be closer to their families which was an added bonus.

Now, Joe's main responsibility is to develop and implement the new Basic Course. It will be fully implemented in the fall of 2013. Joe is also responsible for training and advising the part-time faculty and graduate teaching assistants who teach the communication module courses, on top of him teaching two of his own courses.

More about Dr. Joe Valenzano

If Joe did not have to work anymore, he would want to coach college baseball.

One thing Joe thinks most people wouldn't know about him is that he was a college baseball staff member for 10 years at four different schools.

The one aspect Joe enjoys most about his job is the interactions with his students and his colleagues. He enjoys being able to bounce ideas off his colleagues and hearing their different perspectives. Joe also finds it rewarding to watch his students develop throughout a course, especially watching his public speaking students go from being nervous in front of the class to being able to deliver a speech.

One thing on Joe's bucket list is to visit every island in the Caribbean.

Joe spends his spare time working out, spending time with his wife and playing fantasy sports with his friends.

The most exciting thing that has happened to Joe recently is that he was asked to be a groomsman in his friend's wedding this summer.

Joe wanted to add that he is enjoying UD and will never pass up the opportunity to meet someone on campus for a cup of coffee.