Dr. Jay Rayburn Balances Being A Professor, Director of Communications Research Center, and Contractor

RayburnDr. Jay Rayburn, Associate Professor in CCI’s School of Communication and Director of the Communications Research Center, also works consistently on contract work for various agencies and organizations. Recently, Rayburn landed a new contract with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, a result of their relationship cultivated over the past 30 years.

“I used to be a hunter, so I really enjoy this field and this type of work and learning about the agency and managing fishing and hunting,” says Rayburn. “I also really like the people that I get to work with. They are all very professional and appreciative of what we do for them.”

The contract focuses on a program that aims to teach conservation biologists and land managers how to improve wildlife management. Rayburn will be providing the research to discover the teaching procedures that will most effectively maximize the existence of a species. This contract assesses how well the people in Tallahassee did in creating and presenting these workshops, and Rayburn’s job is to evaluate the delivery of the habitat management program.

“As director of the Communications Research Center, something that I do that enables us to maintain funding is contract work. Continuing to do contract work helps bring in contract money, helps us support graduate students, and helps us support faculty members over the summer. So there is a financial benefit as well as a rewarding benefit of helping state agencies perform better,” says Rayburn. “It is a win, win for everyone.”

Perhaps the largest benefit for Rayburn to continuing to do contract work even during the busy fall and spring semesters at Florida State is its effect on his teaching.

“I get to bring back real world examples into the classroom to show exactly how to bring in a sample, collect data, write a questionnaire, and interpret the data to make a conclusion and [ultimately] a decision for a [company or organization],” says Rayburn. “It has made me a better teacher. I get feedback from students all the time about how helpful my real world examples are for them to understand the material better.”