Dr. Matt Barton’s passion for communication began in high school through participation in the speech and debate club and school radio station. After earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication from Southern Utah University, Barton worked in the radio industry as an on-air personality, commercial copy writer, promotion’s assistant, and sales director. He went on to study and teach at the University of Nevada Las Vegas earning an MA in communication with specific study in rhetoric and public address. Barton worked as a market researcher for various clients and as a PR professional for a small firm handling a number of accounts in the Las Vegas market before earning a PhD from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he also taught. After completing his education, he returned to SUU in 2001 as a professor in the Communication Department and became the director of the master’s program in 2009 (Master of Professional Communication Studies). Through these many experiences, he is motivated to “pay it forward” by working to instill an appreciation for the importance of communication in his students as they strive for professional and personal success.
In addition to dozens of conference presentations and corporate trainings, Barton has authored, co-authored, and contributed to 18 books and research publications. He has received Top Paper Awards for his research in Health Communication, Rhetoric and Public Address, and Communication Education and Instruction. He was awarded Tenure at SUU in 2008 and was named SUU’s Outstanding Educator in 2005 and a Service Learning Fellow in 2012.
Jonathan Holiman earned his BA in Church Leadership from Bethany Bible College in Santa Cruz, CA. He spent over 20 years leading and developing church programs, clarifying organizational goals and ensuring communications were articulated effectively with active members as well as the community. Jonathan’s creative use of multimedia in his weekly messages created opportunities to speak at numerous conventions and conferences.
Jonathan moved his family to Cedar City, UT in 1999 and opened a coffee shop which he operated for 5 years. During those 5 years, he earned several business awards, including Progressive Business of the Year, for innovate connections between the business and community. After selling the business, Jonathan earned his MA in Professional Communication from Southern Utah University. Upon graduation he was hired as a Lecturer of Communication at SUU.
Leaning on his professional organizational communication experience from both church and business, Jonathan was able to bring a practical resource of knowledge to the SUU communication department. He served as the Assistant Director of the Speech and Presentation Center and is currently the Director of the Introduction to Communication course.
Jonathan’s interest in computer mediated communication began with his Master’s capstone on Parasocial and Hyperpersonal communication. He has developed course curriculum focusing on social media/strategic communication and computer mediated communication. Each year he is invited to present at SUU and to the community on the topics of public speaking, leadership and relational communication. He has not fully left the business world as he was recently asked to assist with opening a second coffee shop where he blends his love for coffee and social media branding. Jonathan is an avid student of human communication, and computer mediated communication has become his focus as social media and mobile technology have begun to shape communication.