T. J. Thomson, Ph.D.
An award-winning visual communication scholar and educator with an international outlook and a digital media production focus.
Thomson grew up in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains outside Denver, Colorado, U.S.A., as the youngest of four children. He describes himself as a professional nerd and enjoys exploring his surroundings. When he's not in the office, you might find him soaking up some artistic or cultural experience, visually documenting and making sense of some slice of the world, or exercising (he's a fan of swimming, walking, and yoga).
Educational BACKGROUND + ACADEMIC FOCUS
After earning a Ph.D. and graduate certificate in qualitative research from the Missouri School of Journalism, Thomson accepted in 2017 a faculty position at the Brisbane-based Queensland University of Technology’s School of Communication, ranked first in Australia and 16th globally in communication and media studies, according to the 2019 QS World University Rankings. Since 2017, he has served as an associate editor of Visual Communication Quarterly and is on the advisory board of the Society for Media and Phenomenology.
As a visual communication scholar within the multidisciplinary institution of communication, Thomson focuses on the production influences involved in the creation of visual journalism and on issues of self-representation in social media contexts. He has been published in Journalism Studies, Journalism Practice, and Visual Communication Quarterly, among others. His supervisory research interests include: visual communication, especially in mediated or networked contexts; visual literacy; visual sociology; visual self-representation; photography; and image culture.
In the classroom, Thomson has helped students explore and deepen their understandings of multimedia reporting, multimedia planning and design, visual editing, photography, interviewing, and the principles of journalism.
Professional BACKGROUND & EXPERIENCE
Thomson has experience with both journalistic and corporate communication. Before entering academia, he worked as a freelance visual journalist and designer for a number of news outlets and organizations, including The Associated Press, The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, and the Omaha World-Herald. Corporate clients include QuickFire Networks, which was acquired by Facebook in 2015; Colorado Academy; and HotelTonight.