Jonathan McIntosh is fondly remembered in Shewmaker for his outstanding debate skills and interest in politics. It’s no surprise to the communication faculty that Jonathan is now living in New York and working to improve education policy.
While at Drury, Jonathan earned bachelor’s degrees in speech communication and political science and went on to earn a master’s in communication. He eventually moved to New York City and is now completing a fellowship as a Teaching Ambassador for the United States Department of Education in the Office of Communication and Outreach. The Department of Education is involved in numerous education policy initiatives which gives Jonathan the opportunity to improve conditions for educators and students.
“I work directly as an educator voice and advocate, facilitating roundtables across the country with education leaders and teachers, conducting presentations, writing reports, and working on education policy with senior officials in Washington, DC.”
Jonathan also serves as a Director of Special Education and Academic Differentiation at the Knowledge is Power Program, a free, open-enrollment charter school network located in New York City. His role involves advocacy as well as coaching teachers and other specialist to deliver the best instruction to some of America’s most marginalized and underrepresented students. Jonathan also teaches policy debate at KIPP and New York University. In this role, he works to “ensure that today’s youth understand how to distill and analyze federal government policy and how these policies affect issues ranging from social justice to economic theory.”
Ten years ago Jonathan would have never believed how much his education and experience at Drury would inform so much of his professional life. He frequently draws upon the communication, presentation, theatre and strategic analysis skills he learned and sharpened while at Drury.
“The beauty of Drury was that it provided me with tremendous access to amazing pedagogues in a variety of disciplines and truly taught me to be an interconnected thinker that has the ability to make linkages across disparate subjects.”
Jonathan is a strong believer in a liberal arts education and the importance of communication skills. “Communication completely opens up avenues never thought possible or related … think about how the work you are doing could be connected across subject areas and how it creates you into a more competitive and wonderfully well-rounded human being. I contend communication is the ultimate discipline because it forms the foundations of business, education, science, and the humanities.”
A highlight of Jonathan’s time in the Department of Communication is his marriage to fellow Drury alumna Jessica Redmond ’10 in the Shewmaker Communication Center. Given their special memories of the time they shared in Shewmaker, they couldn’t imagine a more appropriate place to share their nuptials.
Jonathan offers this advice to students:
“Take risks, don’t get too comfortable, challenge your friends, challenge your professors, and challenge yourself. Do not wait for someone else to tell you what to do, seek those opportunities out for yourself.”