Evaluations of Teaching
Recommendation Letters from Former Students
The following are excerpts of recommendations from former students and teaching assistants now working in various mass communication industries
Web Producer at WBTW News
I took Dr. Perreault’s specialized reporting capstone class in the spring 2016 semester at Appalachian State University and within nine days of completing his course, had a job offer at a television news station. I accepted the position in May, and I am currently the web producer at WBTW News, the local CBS affiliate in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
The story of how quickly I secured employment in my chosen field is a testament to Dr. Perreault’s effectiveness as an instructor. Though I only worked with him for 16 weeks, the senior seminar he designed was engaging, challenging and I walked away with the skills I needed to secure employment and be successful in the media industry.
Specialized Reporting is a fast paced course rooted deeply in experiential learning. Students are asked to pick a specialized beat, forge relationships and utilize expert sources to turn one multimedia story a week. Though the format sounds fairly basic, students quickly learn that scheduling interviews on short notice, coming up with original story ideas and learning to work with unfamiliar gear and editing applications on deadline is much easier said than done. It is difficult to teach students how to plan ahead, to triple check your gear and adapt on the fly, but Dr. Perreault creates a space for students to leave their comfort zones, make mistakes, ask questions and learn these lessons themselves.
Assignment Editor, Spectrum News
My first Perreault class was Intro to Journalism. I never missed a class. Not because the attendance policy was strict, but because I was scared to miss something valuable. He didn’t teach the curriculum for a test, he taught lessons for our careers…The discussions were formative. He taught us how vital journalism is to democracy and life as we know it. He explained how a career in journalism serves a higher purpose. (On hard days at work, his lessons remind me why I’m there.) [He] was actually preparing us for what the real world would demand of us. He asked for our best,
and we rose to the occasion.
Mobile journalism was not something I had really thought about until Dr. Perreault’s class. In the ever changing world of journalism, you have to be up-to-date on the latest trends and Dr. Perreault definitely taught us that. I now can go to a news organization and say “hey I can write a story, film and edit a video and take great photos all in the field.”….My involvement with Dr. Perreault continued on after my capstone class had ended. He asked if I would be interested in helping him do some research on the history of video game journalism for a book project he is working on…We spent the semester parsing through old video game magazines and analyzing the evolution of video game journalism in them. It was such an interesting topic and I was able to see the history of the field I want to go into. It helped me gain perspective on video game journalism and I wouldn’t have gotten if I hadn’t worked with Dr. Perreault.
Perreault, G. & Rahili, M. (2016) Repairing the Gamer Community: Paradigm Repair in Early Gaming Magazines Nintendo Power and Sega Visions. 2016 Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication in Minneapolis, MN.
Greg’s student-focused teaching style encouraged the class to interact, share and ask questions when we needed further explanation. Perhaps more importantly, Greg was always happy to offer advice on non-class days. Sometimes, that meant offering tips on a story before I sent it off to my editor. On other occasions, it was simply getting a cup of coffee to talk about class, my internship or life in general. Throughout the semester, Greg found a way to put students at ease. He made himself approachable and easy to talk to. He took an interest in us—as students, journalists and people. He often shared his own experiences and knew the right tone to take when offering constructive criticism. He’s helped encourage my own journalism career.
Greg Perreault is a caring and hard-working teacher, and it has been a pleasure working with him. For example, during the semester I had him as a news writing instructor he observed the significance I placed on pitching religion stories. He began asking me questions about what exactly I wanted to do after graduation. I admitted to not knowing and he advised me to look into religion reporting. Since then, he has continued to assist and mentor me. His constructive feedback and positive outlook have improved my writing abilities and facilitated me to find my own writing style. He has had a profound influence on my future as a journalist. Through his guidance I have had internships at Columbia Faith & Values and Religion News Service, as well as, won an award in religion reporting. Without his open communication and passion for student success, I wouldn’t have found where I belong in the journalism world…Greg Perreault doesn’t just teach each student while they are in his classroom, he continues teaching and advising them for years to come, always being available when needed. He says he teaches to the heart, but personally, and more importantly, I think he teaches from the heart.
Not only was Greg enthusiastic about the city, journalism and class lectures, but you can tell he really cared about the success of his students. Greg personally invested time and effort into helping me figure out and achieve my dreams.
Reporter, Religion News Service
Recommendation Letters from Teaching Assistants
Todd Boedeker (M.A., Missouri)
Communication Manager, St. Louis Area Business Health Coalition
What I found most impressive about Greg’s teaching was his ability and desire to get to know his students. Whether there were 50 or 150 students in his class, by the end of the semester he was on a first name basis with most of them. Even in a large lecture setting, he was able to create an environment in which students felt comfortable speaking up and were encouraged to participate in class discussions…As his assistant, the workload was always manageable and he did his best to assist in anyway possible. I never felt overwhelmed with the required work and felt comfortable going to Greg with any questions or concerns. He was always open to hearing my opinions and suggestions and encouraged criticism and recommendations throughout the course.
His lectures were bursting with Venn diagrams, videos, memes, and jokes to pad the complex content he had to break down and make digestible. Some subjects he tackled were journalistic objectivity, the various types of media bias, cultural hegemony, and the market versus public sphere journalistic models. He never used visible notes during lectures, and provided an authoritative presence without being overbearing…Greg actively worked on creating an open and safe atmosphere, and would carve out time for what he called “coffee with Greg” at a place close to campus. During these hours, students could come and talk to him about any questions or concerns about life on their minds.