- College Connections Stories
Get to know Jason Combs
The genuine sweetness of a person can be seen in the simplest of things. This was an infallible truth when I interviewed Jason Combs over hot chocolate. Currently Jason can be found here at the University of Dayton in the Department of Communication. This is truly home for him, since he spent his undergraduate and graduate career studying here. He earned a B.A. in Communication-Management before continuing to earn a M.A. in Communication. Jason then earned a Ph.D. in Organizational Communication with a minor emphasis in Identity and Meaning in Communication from Purdue University. Early on, Jason had no idea what the future held for him after undergraduate graduation, but with the guiding hand of a UD professor he was led to apply for his M.A. Without the aid of a supportive professor, who knows where Jason would be in life.
Some of his favorite courses to teach include graduate courses in training and development, and ethics. He also enjoys teaching the Communication 100 undergraduate courses, which are the first of their kind. The innovative new approach of the introductory communication courses focuses on opening dialogue between people with diverse backgrounds. By initiating a program like this UD is giving its students a head start in the global market.
"Through these courses the student learns to communicate as people of the world," Jason says with enthusiasm. As a lecturer of communication Jason has notice the distinct advantage it gives him in his personal life, "I am more able to understand and communicate with those around me, at a new level.” Jason is a fantastic communicator, listening and speaking in a way that is both disarming and inviting.
Outside of school his life revolves around his family. He and his lovely wife Laura are the happy parents of six children, and most excitingly their first grandchild. The oldest four children are his stepchildren, and Jason couldn't be more proud of them. His children are Khashiar 25, Shahriar 23, Jasmine 20, Jaleh 16, Rose 9, and Jackson 7. With most of his children grown and on their own, he still strives to spend as much time as possible with them. Laura teaches English at Sinclair Community College, and as a team of parent/educators they try to instill the importance of education in their children. Jason strives to be a great dad. He has been a soccer coach and in spring will take on the role of baseball coach.
Jason and Laura encourage their children to partake in the community, through service and faith. They belong to the Baha'i faith, which encourages unity and community. Jason teaches community courses on virtue, and he and his wife also are involved in youth programs centered on faith. "I believe that the emphasis on community here at UD really unites with my beliefs in my faith," Jason tells me of being on the faculty at a Catholic university. Per their faith requirements, Jason and his family have done a pilgrimage to the holy site of Mt. Carmel in Israel. They have also traveled to Ireland together. Jason hopes to get to China at some point to visit his oldest son and new grandchild. In a perfect world Jason would take his family around the world visiting all of their ancestral homelands.
Jason's hobbies usually involve spending time with his family, including his love for movies. Some of his favorites include the Lord of the Rings series. He also loves the books (just about anything written by Tolkien). “When we are together watching movies or playing games I really get the chance to be with them,” Jason says with a smile. He is a video gamer to relaxation and lenjoys playing Skyrim: Elder Scrolls. He is really a kid at heart and loves to play any games in which his children are involved.
In general Jason is just a classic good guy, "I want to help make the world a better place. Because we are only here a little while, it seems logical to leave it a better way than we found it." His friendly and caring personality, paired with his determined nature, make him a person you feel lucky to meet. His advice to students is, "Value your education, don't take it for granted. Love the experiences because every part of school has the potential to enrich who you are as a person." Beyond that Jason's advice to people in general is to "find a way to make the world a better place, and work together to achieve it."