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Craig Scott '91

Professor, Department of Communication, Rutgers University

Craig Scott '91
Craig R. Scott earned his master’s degree from SDSU in 1991 (Speech Communication) on his way to more advanced graduate work and a career in academia. He is author of over 100 scholarly papers and over 40 publications, including a recent award- winning book about hidden organizations. He and his wife of 17 years have two teenage kids and two pre-teen cats. San Diego remains one of his favorite cities in the entire world and he annually meets up with a group of other SDSU grads to cheer the Aztec basketball teams around tournament time.

What made you choose to attend SDSU?

I was looking for two things: a school that was good in organizational communication, and one that had a warmer climate than where I grew up in Colorado. SDSU had a reputation as a good program in my areas of interest—and you can’t beat the weather!

What is your favorite college memory?

I spent a lot of time at the beach, reading class materials and books. Within the department, we regularly had picnics and other social events at the beach. That experience was so different from where I grew up. I have very fond memories of bonfires and just being at the beach.

Who was your favorite professor and/or what was your favorite class?

Two professors stand out to me among many good ones: Dr. Susan Hellweg, and Dr. Peter Andersen. Dr. Hellweg taught Organizational Communication and guided me through a lot of the training about teaching. Dr. Andersen was the graduate director who convinced me to come to SDSU. My favorite classes were actually those where I got to teach. Teaching others in a classroom setting was a wonderful experience.

If you were to give current SDSU students some advice, what would you say?

Find and keep a balance of playing and working hard. San Diego and SDSU have so many interesting and fun things to do, but along with enjoying the place it is important to work hard, take classes seriously, and recognize that your education is the key to opening a lot of doors. In the moment, we don’t always appreciate the resources and teachers and opportunities available to us, but coming back to SDSU always reminds me that this is an incredible place. I hope students recognize that and remember to balance working and playing hard..

What are you currently reading? What’s your favorite book?

I read a lot of books for work related to espionage organizations and anonymous/secret communication. But, for pure fun, I have been reading John Stewart’s Earth, which is a really humorous telling of the story of humanity and our history. He is a great comedian and social commentator—which makes the book wonderful for light reading.

What is your passion?

I am passionate about my family; I am passionate about watching and playing sports; and I am passionate about my work—especially graduate education. I enjoy advising students and sharing knowledge in a way that helps them grow as researchers and teachers. In my experience at SDSU, a great deal was given to me as a graduate student, so it is rewarding to give back to others.

What is your motto?

Early on, as I was entering college, I heard a phrase which has been a good guide: “Don’t be too cool to be impressed.” I try to live by this because often we won’t admit it if we don’t know something, or we act like we know everything already. It is important to allow ourselves to be impressed by other people and the world around us.

Tell us the highlights of your professional career. What are your proudest achievements?

I consider myself very fortunate to have a job I love in a setting where I get to do research and interact with people generally eager to explore and learn. Being a tenured full professor at a place like Rutgers is a real honor. I also had a book on hidden organizations come out last year which was a really exciting project that pulled together my research interests related to identity and anonymity in various organizations.

If you won the lottery, what would you do with your winnings?

I would pay the house off, line up finances for my kids’ education, and then travel a bit with my wife. I would love to have a foundation so we could give money out to others so they can change the communities and world around them.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Even though my time at SDSU was relatively short, many of my closest friends were from that cohort of students and my time there. As students, we bonded over struggles as we worked our way through the program. I think we all look back on that time as something incredibly special.