Julie Smith has been teaching media literacy and media-related classes at the university level since 1997.  She holds her B.A. in Public Relations from the University of Tulsa and her M.S. in Mass Communication from Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville.  Julie is currently on the faculty at Webster University in St Louis. Hear Julie in episode 93 of The Path to Authenticity.


If your life were a novel, what would be the title? 

She wasn’t great but she was fast. 


Where were you born?

Alton, IL – but grew up in Edwardsville, IL which did not have a hospital at the time


Where is the place you call home?

 Literally – St Louis MO.   But Illinois is my “home.”


When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I never really had specific goals. I just knew I wanted to be good at whatever it was.


What is your profession?

I teach at Webster University in St Louis


What profession, other than your own, would you like to attempt?

I’d LOVE to be a pilot. Not commercial, but military. I’d want to fly F15s or F18’s. I’d also love to be a history teacher. Or a pastry chef.


What is your favorite quote?

 “Life is nothing but a series of adjustments” – my Dad.


What is your preferred form of creative expression?

I’m a baker.  But I guess since I’ve written a couple books. I need to say “writing.” 


What is your favorite movie, song, and work of art?

Favorite movie is too hard to narrow down. There are some that never get old: Dumb & Dumber, Saving Private Ryan, Dunkirke, Young Frankenstein, etc.

My music taste is weird – I don’t pay attention to lyrics at all – the songs I listen to need to have an “engine” – a constant beat that keeps me moving.

I was shocked when I was in Florence and saw Michelangelo’s Prisoners.  They moved me to tears.  And I’m not that artsy.  David moved me to tears too – who knew??


Who do you admire most?

This is a toughie. There are the men of Point du Hoc who stormed the beaches of Normandy in 1944. There’s the woman at church whose adult son has Down’s.  Any middle school teacher (seriously, how do they do it??). Anyone who has overcome adversity – because I don’t feel like I’ve ever had any, and probably couldn’t handle it well.


Over the course of your life, what is an issue with which you have repeatedly struggled?

I’m the youngest of four. So, approval/belonging has always been important to me. I wish I was less of an approval-seeking puppy.  I’m working on it.


Who is your celebrity crush?

Daniel Craig or Christian Horner.  Maybe it’s the accent??


What historical figure would you most like to meet?

King George VI of Great Britain.  Or Harry Truman.


What natural gift or ability would you most like to possess?

I wish I had a photographic memory. As I get older, I feel like my memory is slipping, and it’s terrifying.


What do you consider your greatest achievement?

raising three decent young men


What quality do you admire most in a person?



What is something you would like to learn about?

Geology – why are there layers of different colors in some mountains or landscapes?

Meteorology – low pressure/high pressure, cloud formation, etc.

I also wish I could speak more than one language.


What do you wish more people knew about you?

 That I still grieve my mom every day, and she’s been gone ten years.


What is your idea of success?

Having people be happy that they knew you


What would you like people to say about you when you’re gone?

She added to my life.”



Julie Smith is the author of Master the Media: How Teaching Media Literacy Can Save Our Plugged-In World and over the last three years has traveled all over the world helping teachers and parents with media literacy, digital citizenship, classroom engagement and social media.  Julie is currently working on a book advocating for more engagement in the college classroom.

Julie is on the Board of Directors for the National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE).