New professors have been hired at Troy University to accommodate the large influx of incoming students and open positions left by recently retired staff. The Department of Theatre and Dance has experienced some of these new additions firsthand.
Scott Anderson, who has a master’s degree in costume design from Indiana University, has filled a position in costume, design and technology.
He comes to the University with 12 years of experience in his field.
Anderson was born and raised in Philadelphia. “I always knew I wanted to teach,” Anderson said.
In his earlier years of education, he thought he would be teaching the sciences after pursuing and eventually obtaining a Bachelor of Biology degree from Penn State University.
Later, however, he began to “(find) the sciences boring.”
Meanwhile, Anderson was a classically trained ballet dancer for nine years until he tore his hamstrings and was no longer able to perform.
Even so, he knew he wanted to continue a career in the arts.
An endeavor into costume design was a “natural blending,” and he later received his Bachelor of Theatrical Arts, Costume, Design and Technology from DeSales University.
When asked his reason for coming to Troy University, Anderson responded that the staff in the theater department “seemed generally thrilled about teaching here.”
He also mentioned that the theater program at Troy is much smaller compared to others nationwide, and he wanted a close mentorship with his students.
“I knew at this stage in my life, I wanted to support undergraduates who could work in the industry and have strong portfolios and be contenders outside of the university.”
The last six years before coming to Troy, he spent doing freelance work across the country.
With this, he said he believes his knowledge of practical application can benefit his class.
“Looking at the program, I would love to grow the costume technology section a little bit more,” Anderson said.
Professor James “Jim” Jenkins, from Virginia, is another new face who can now be seen around the Troy University Theatre Department.
He is teaching technical theater, which focuses on creating scenes for theatrical productions.
Jenkins said the “techniques (he teaches) are indicative of theater and pertain only to theater” such as “(making)platforming and walls structurally sound, but at the same time, lightweight.”
Jenkins is coming from an extensive background in his field. He received his bachelor’s degree from James Madison University in communications with a concentration in theater in 1983.
However, he began working professionally in 1980.
Jenkins has worked on the sets of TV shows and movies, and has traveled the world on crew ships.
Additionally, he has been the production manager for Dayton Contemporary Dance Company in Dayton, Ohio, a dance company with an extensive collection of African-American dance pieces.
In 2005, he began making custom-built furniture and jewelry boxes.
These jewelry boxes were a successful venture and have been featured on websites like Pinterest and Etsy and can now be found on the Facebook page for Jim Jenkins Designs LLC.
Jenkins also has prior experience teaching at Bridgewater College in Virginia.
Altogether, Jenkins has acquired about 35 years of experience in technological theater.
On the subject of choosing to teach at Troy University, Jenkins said that he found the small-town atmosphere appealing.
Having been hired only a few weeks ago, Jenkins said his short-term goal is to have his household moved from Florida to Troy.
“My long-term goal is to make an impact with the students here,” Jenkins said. “The spark in a student’s eyes when they finally understand something is my reward.”
With him, he brings real-world application and knowledge of old-school and new-school ideas that he feels will enhance his class by giving his students a more well-rounded understanding of the material.