Alma College Master of Science in Communication and Information Technology (CIT) program is a familiar face on campus.ALMA — The first faculty member of the new
Stephan Jones, a 1978 graduate of Alma College who most recently served as director at the Center for Information and Communication Sciences (CICS) at Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., has signed on to teach at his alma mater.
“I am honored to have Steve Jones on board as our first professional in residence in the CIT program,” said Jared Linder, director of the CIT program at Alma College. “Dr. Jones has a long history of educating and mentoring communication and information technology students at the graduate level and brings years of expertise to our program. His students love him and we are excited to introduce his enthusiasm and knowledge to Alma.”
Jones will be teaching Communication and Information Technology Fundamentals, which is a core course designed to introduce students to technology and facilitate an understanding of how information is created, stored, and moved across various types of networks.
In many ways, Jones said, his own career arc mirrors that of the prototypical M.S. in CIT student. After graduating from Alma College with a degree in psychology, he started a business, providing high-end commercial voice and data networks to a broad range of end users. He provided all the engineering and technical support for his organization, which eventually grew to employ more than 20 people and pulled in more than $2 million in revenue annually.
However, he sought something more, and after about 16 years of work, sold his share of the firm and went back to school. Jones graduated from Bowling Green State University (BGSU) with a master’s degree in education, specializing in career and technology education, before earning a Ph.D. in technology education from BGSU. Jones worked as a professor at Ball State for more than 24 years and as director of the CICS for 10 years before retiring this spring.
Interestingly, Jones met Linder while Linder was a student at Ball State. Now that his former student has become a master’s program director, Jones said, he couldn’t more proud — or excited to take part in this new project.
“The things you need to learn to be successful in this industry are what we’re going to teach, and Alma College is the perfect setting for such a program,” Jones said. “I’ve seen plenty of very technically skilled engineers come out of college programs who don’t know how to talk to people, and they don’t do as well as someone with a liberal arts background. We’re going to create problem-solvers, and I can’t wait to get started.”
The CIT program is designed to prepare students to lead organizations through the rapidly evolving technological and regulatory landscape. CIT is an interdisciplinary professional master’s program designed to cultivate communication and leadership skills along with a foundation in technical knowledge and skills. Students will gain an in-depth knowledge of networks, cloud computing, cybersecurity, and data warehousing, and also develop leadership and communication skills.