Award-winning journalist, novelist to visit Baylor

Rod Davis has been published in various anthologies and written, reported and edited for multiple national publications. Davis is scheduled to give a lecture Thursday at the Castellaw Communications Center. Photo Courtesy of Rod Davis

By Caroline Hancock | Contributor

Award-winning journalist and novelist Rod Davis says individuals have to be ready to embrace change, be adaptable and work hard, regardless of the career path they intend to follow.

“All life is change, and if you can’t adapt to change, you’re not going to do very well because it never stays the same,” Davis said. “Always stay very adaptive and keep up-to-date.”

Davis, who has written for national publications and been published in various anthologies, will visit Baylor on Thursday to talk to students about his career, which includes stints as a reporter and editor for newspapers and magazines including The Boston Globe Magazine, Los Angeles Times, Texas Monthly, Texas Observer and Bon Appétit.

During his time as a writer and an editor, Davis witnessed firsthand the fast paced and ever-changing nature of journalism and other areas of life.

Davis’ lecture, “Ronin Life: Journalism’s Path to Excellent Adventure,” will focus on the importance of communication and adaptability both in life and the work force. The lecture will be at 2 p.m. Thursday in Castellaw 245 and again at 5 p.m. Thursday in Castellaw 252. The Bundle, a student-run multimedia magazine, will also host Davis from 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. Thursday in Castellaw 252 for their ongoing Coffee Series.

Dr. Sara Stone, Baylor University Journalism, Public Relations and New Media department chair, said the Baylor community is fortunate to have Davis visit and speak with students.

“He is a consummate communicator — an excellent writer and editor. He has won awards for his feature writing, investigative reporting and non-fiction work,” Stone said. “Oftentimes, very busy and excellent writers don’t particularly want to make time in their busy lives to work with students. That is not true of Rod Davis, and we could not be more pleased to have him on campus.”

Davis said, like many other professions, communication is crucial in the field of journalism.

“Any job you’ll enter, whether it’s sciences — it could be computer stuff, it could be social services — you better be ready to communicate your ideas effectively, sometimes forcefully, if you believe in what you’re doing,” Davis said. “I think that communication is an important part of everything anybody does.”

Davis has traveled extensively chasing after stories. Davis said venturing outside of one’s comfort zone makes individuals more aware of the world around them and provides new perspectives.

“You do find new ideas and new ways of the world that you hadn’t really thought about in a little safe space,” Davis said. “I think that’s what travel brings to people. It definitely gives you a new insight.”

Maxey Parrish, Baylor senior lecturer of public relations and founding director of Baylor in Budapest, also emphasized the importance of travel. Parrish has directed numerous student mission trips and study abroad programs including Baylor in Maastricht, Baylor in Florence and Baylor in Budapest. Parrish said traveling provides an opportunity to encounter and interact with different cultures, which requires adaptability and a willingness to embrace change, synonymous with Davis’ views on travel.

“If you embrace these cultures in a non-judgmental way, you inevitably get to know them,” Parrish said. “This not only gives you insight into a new culture, which in today’s interconnected world is essential, it helps you better understand your own.”