Mr. Rodney Bailey, Instructor of English at JSU, is also the Coordinator of Social Media and Marketing for the JSU School of Arts and Humanities (SAH) and Coordinator and Visual Designer for the Marching Southerners Colorguard at JSU. He is from Talladega, AL, and has both his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Science in Education.
Bailey has been working at JSU for the past 21 years, and was initially attracted by the “size of the school, the friendliness of the students, the wealth of knowledge the faculty possesses and the Marching Southerners.” About his favorite part of his job, Bailey says, “interacting with students, and faculty… the interdisciplinary efforts in which the English Department involves itself and working with our Dean to maintain the high level of excellence already present within the School of Arts and Humanities.” What Bailey likes best about the English Department itself is the friendliness of the faculty and staff.
This semester, Bailey is teaching American Literature I and English Composition II. He loves them equally but does find that teaching the former is easier since it is face-to-face, giving him the chance to “interact with his students on a more personal level.”
Bailey currently has several ongoing projects. “By the time this article publishes, I will have completed four Black History Month video presentations—two for JSU, one for Talladega Central High School, and the other for the African American Colorguard Assembly. I also have several guest lecturer engagements that I am involved in as well.”
Bailey has accumulated numerous awards for the work he has done in his areas over time. He received the George Mehaffey Excellence in Teaching Technology Award in 2015 before winning the McWhorter Outstanding Teacher Award the following year. In 2019, JSU’s Indoor Competitive Colorguard made it to the semifinalist round of the Winterguard International World Championships underneath Bailey’s direction. More recently, Bailey was awarded the JSU Excellence in Technology Teaching Grant in 2020.
In his spare time, Bailey watches science-fiction works in between his work to achieve certifications in Microsoft and Apple applications.
If Bailey had to give advice to his students and his past self, he would say the same thing: “You need to make sure you are studious, but you also need to get involved on campus. All the knowledge in the world will not help you if you come out of college with no experience or professional relationships.”