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Who is...

Samuel Jay, Ph.D.?

I am Dr. Jay, which is cool considering Julius Erving, arguably the greatest dunker of all time. Other than that, nothing remarkable. And I cannot dunk. In fact, I am pretty un-athletic.


Was there an “a-ha” moment when you decided to study communication? Become a professor? Is this different from what you imagined doing when you were younger?

"I had a great professor while I was getting my Master’s degree at the University of North Texas. His name was Dr. Harry Benshoff. Great dude, cool research. He really took me under his wing and pushed me. Then when getting my PhD at the University of Denver, Dr. Darrin Hicks was a great mentor. He was honest and engaged. Loved working with him and he remains a great friend to this day."


Why do you feel it is important to study communication?

"Rhetoric is the foundation of all communication. The idea of persuading and being able to persuade for the betterment of the public, society, community, etc., that is just a cool idea. I like pointing out the agenda at the core of everything. Students gain that critical perspective and I think it’s very important to the health of a civil society."


What is the Communication Studies program to you?

"It’s a great collection of people who understand that how we talk and communicate and what we say are the bedrocks of society. It is what makes the world go-round and it’s nice to be in a place where that is held as a belief and a place where others want to pass their knowledge down to the future decision-makers of this world."


What led you to MSU Denver? Why do you stay?

"I was an adjunct here for several years and the opening came right as I was finishing my PhD. My family and I love Denver so being able to stay here was important to us."


What are you most proud of in your professional career? Personal life? Besides teaching and scholarship, what’s your claim to fame?

"Professionally, taking what I have learned and what I teach and using it as the foundation of Sports Nerds, the podcast and radio show I co-host with my buddy Dr. Brian Schrader (our logo is attached… feel free to include and hyperlink to Personally, my family is the most important thing in my life. My wife and my two daughters are what makes getting up in the morning worth it. I am so proud to be a husband and father and fortunate these three ladies are in my life."


Is there a lecture/activity that you look forward to each semester? What’s the story behind it? What is the take home message? How are students affected?

"I love teaching Sports Discourse in Media and Society. That is my favorite course. I love sports and I love looking at sports critically so students can begin to see the role sports play in framing our realities and informing our choices, whether that is playing sports, watching them on TV, or consuming the trash also known as Skip Bayless."

Logo of the Sports Nerds duo and branding

Sports Nerds

Check out my podcast!

Airs Sundays 12pm -1pm on Mile High Sports Radio AM1340/FM104.7 and can be found as a podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloud, and Google Play.


If you could leave your students with one thing after taking your class, what would it be?

"Before you take down “the man” you have to learn to play the game. Learn the game and its rules, use them, and then start changing them."


Can you summarize your teaching philosophy in three sentences or less?

"Use each course as a value-add opportunity. Students must take something from my classes that make them better personal, professionally, and publically."


Who is your hero? Why?

"In terms of someone I actually know, that would be my wife. She’s unbelievably smart and selfless. And she works so hard. In terms of someone I do not know, I would say Michel Foucault. Not really a hero, but definitely the scholar or historian that has had the largest effect on my worldview, research, and teaching. And then Hunter S. Thompson. I wish he was still around because the world could use his cutting critiques and honesty." 


If your office was featured in the Early Bird, what objects would you highlight?

"I was featured a few months back and I went heavy on The Big Lebowski. That’s my favorite movie and probably the only reason I am where I am."


If you had a bumper sticker on your car, it would read “I’d rather be___________”.

"Sitting on my couch with my kids watching the Chicago Cubs win the World Series or watching the Iowa Hawkeyes football team win a national title. My wife wouldn’t be watching the Cubs (she’s a St. Louis Cardinals fan), but she’s be watching the Iowa game. That’s our alma mater."


Random fact!

"My high school graduating class had 43 people in it and I used to be in show choir."

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