LOCK HAVEN — When Joe Garrison ’90 and ’06, a two-time Lock Haven University (LHU) graduate, was in high school, many of his teachers praised him for his academic abilities and encouraged him to become an educator. At the time, his goal was to become a television journalist.
More than three decades out of high school, through tireless commitment – and two stints at The Haven – Garrison achieved his goal and then redirected his focus. He is not only an award-winning journalist, but also a high school math teacher, committing himself daily to helping the people he serves in each of his two professions.
Every effort has brought him great joy, and neither, he believes, would be possible without his time at LHU.
From 1987 to 1990, Garrison immersed himself in the campus culture of LHU, taking advantage of the wealth of experiential learning resources the university offers its students as he worked towards a four-year degree in broadcast journalism.
He took advantage of extracurricular professional development opportunities by participating in journalism-focused clubs like WLHU Radio, the Havenscope Television Club, and the student newspaper The Eagle Eye. He was also a member of University Players and said on-campus theater helped prepare him for live television.
An internship with local news station WNEP during his senior year at LHU gave Garrison the opportunity to write and film stories, edit footage, manage studio equipment, train telling on-air news and more.
The opportunity to hone his skills through the wide range of learning resources facilitated by his time at The Haven, he said, was invaluable in how they prepared him to enter the world of journalism immediately. professional broadcasting once he graduated.
Today, Garrison is a multimedia reporter for the Williamsport office of Nexstar Broadcasting, owner of local news stations WBRE and WYOU. He covers news and sports reports and hosts local sports broadcasting when needed. Throughout his career, he has held almost every position, both on and off camera.
In 2003, Garrison returned to LHU to pursue a second degree. This time in secondary school mathematics.
After earning his first degree in three and a half years, he earned his second degree in just three years. He jokes that his official Lock Haven University transcript shows a total of 199 credits. Looking back, he had no idea that number and would have earned extra credit along the way had he known the milestone was within reach.
That may be his only regret about his stay at the Haven.
When not behind the camera or on the sports anchor set, Garrison works remotely teaching Algebra II and Business Math at Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School (PAcyber).
Her role with PAcyber is more of a teacher/career counselor hybrid role, according to Garrison. Delighted in helping students graduate from high school, Garrison enjoys working with families who have chosen a non-traditional way of learning for their children through PAcyber.
“It is important to build relationships with families who have decided to change the way their children acquire an education”, Garrison said. “Many believe that the process of teaching and learning is an art form. Discovering how my students can better understand the concept at hand is always one of my goals, and I tailor my teaching to meet those needs. »
Garrison returned to Lock Haven University several times during his career. On many occasions, he participated in math competitions with his high school students.
He also spent time on campus teaching journalism classes to share his professional knowledge with LHU students interested in a career in journalism. His main message when mentoring communication students is to focus on the importance of honesty, sincerity and credibility when delivering news.
“Thanks to advances in technology and social media, anyone can ‘spread the word'” Garrison said. “I want students to know that authenticity and credibility are essential in this line of work if they hope to have a rewarding and successful professional career.”
“We’ve all been in a position where we needed help with our careers,” he added. “If you feel you have something to offer, it’s only right that you give back to the system that helped you achieve your goals.”
Originally from Mountaintop, Pennsylvania, Garrison resides in Loyalsock Township with his wife – 1993 LHU graduate Marcy (Yencha) – and their two daughters. Her son is currently majoring in political science at Bloomsburg University (BU).
“My time at LHU has made possible all my wonderful professional achievements”, he said. “Using my two degrees from LHU is my greatest career achievement. I’m so glad I chose The Haven, not just once, but twice.