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His students are often found in front of microphones, behind cameras, and engaging face-to-face with faculty, staff and students as they report campus news—but their combined energy might still fall short of the day-to-day enthusiasm generated by Dustin York, EdD, assistant professor of communication.
York has been recognized by the St. Louis Business Journal’s ’30 Under 30’ Class of 2016.
“An unquenchable enthusiasm for life, teaching, and growth is what keeps me charged daily,” York says. “I’ve always been addicted to the accomplishment of seeing something become better—a corporate crisis winning back trust, building a public relations campaign that moves the needle, a house getting renovated, and most importantly, students growing into successful professionals.”
In his three years at Maryville University, York has enjoyed developing new courses, and has been a tenacious leader in using technology in the classroom. Enrollment continues to climb in the Communication Program, and as the new director of the undergraduate major, York plans to build on that successful foundation. He wants to increase the number of opportunities for students to work directly with clients in the business community, and continue to enhance student media experiences. York serves as faculty adviser to Pawprint, Maryville’s online student newspaper, including video journalism projects; and Saints Talk, a student sports podcast.
York’s gratification comes from seeing a job completed well, and nurturing growth—whether in his students, or in an organization with which he consults on PR-focused efforts. Currently, he works with Make-A-Wish Foundation, Ameren, the Great Lakes Valley Conference, and the DNC.
“I value the diverse nature of my work,” he says. “I feel comfortable when I’m working, but I get burnt out doing the same thing over and over.”
Prior to joining the faculty at Maryville three years ago, York worked at a PR agency with high-powered clients like Nike and Pepsi. He began teaching as an adjunct, then moved into a full-time teaching role, but not before working on a presidential political campaign in 2008, where he shared his expertise on nonverbal communication skills.
York, who is currently developing a class on the use of drones, focuses on innovation and technology in designing and implementing courses. Mentorship and real-world, project-based learning are also hallmarks of his teaching philosophy.
“I’m driven to positively affect as many students as possible through active learning,” York says. “I enjoy seeing every student grow, and work with each one individually to guide them through classes, and second and third internships, right on through graduation.”
About the ’30 Under 30’ Award
The 30 Under 30 awards recognize the future leaders of the region and the local business community. Honorees were chosen from a pool of 400 nominations by a panel of previous 30 Under 30 winners and the Business Journal editorial board.