August 11, 2023 | Erin Bluvas, firstname.lastname@example.org
One memory that sticks out from Grant Jackson’s nine years at the Arnold School took place in 2019. The media resource consultant remembers filming graduate lectures for three epidemiology faculty members.
“I am glad I paid attention to that one as it turned out to be very poignant,” Jackson says. “Little did I know that soon we would all be learning a lot more about disease and global pandemics.”
After growing up in Ohio, Jackson completed his bachelor’s and graduate studies in Florida before landing in Columbia in 1998. The son of two newspaper journalists, Jackson himself is a natural creator and says that visual media and communication have always been in his blood.
Following his graduation with a Master of Fine Arts from Florida State University, Jackson took a job at the Columbia Museum of Art where he taught studio art classes. The role soon expanded to include multimedia projects (e.g., audio tours, podcasts, social media). He spent the next five years working at South Carolina Public Radio, producing Spoleto Today and Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz as well as doing some graphic design work.
In 2014, Matt McGrievy, director of what is now known as Information Services, hired Jackson to provide multimedia services for the Arnold School. He had already been teaching adjunct classes for USC’s Fine Art Department since 2005, so making the move was a natural transition.
“I like being on a college campus, and all of the people I work with are great,” Jackson says. “In a large school like ours, there are always a variety of projects happening, so almost every day is a bit different. I could film a lecture in the morning, then edit and mix a podcast or go on a photo shoot in the afternoon.”
A more exhaustive list of his responsibilities would include graphic design, script development, voiceover work, shooting and editing photography/film and many other digital media activities. Jackson has created videos for online classes, produced podcasts, and developed promotional content for departments, centers, research projects, and external USC clients (e.g., School of Medicine, Law School).
"Grant often works behind the scenes, but he has a broad array of skills that make him invaluable to the school," says McGrievy. "His calm and personable demeanor puts people at ease when they’re in front of the camera or behind a microphone and allows him to capture people at their best. He’s extremely talented and I feel very fortunate to have him as a colleague and team member."
One of Jackson’s favorite aspects of his job is the opportunity to learn and try new things. It helps that he likes to experiment with new technology/platforms and enjoys looking for ways to leverage emerging tools for the benefit of his clients.
“I was trained in drawing, painting and design, which all involve a lot of problem solving through experimentation,” Jackson says. “Looking back at my now over two-decade career in museums, public media, and university settings, I realize that my creative skills have almost always been applied in an education setting and helping others, and I feel great about that. So being a part of a big public health school like the Arnold School is really an ideal fit.”
The Staff Spotlight Series is sponsored by the Arnold School's Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.