A Professor’s Passion for Journalism
This year the Journalism and Mass Communication Department at AUBG was enriched by one more American professor. A journalist with an experience in both hard journalism and fiction writing, Ron(ald) Wiginton joined the department to share his knowledge with the AUBG students.
Wiginton comes from Chicago, Illinois. He started his professional career as a journalist for daily newspapers and magazines, after which he started teaching – first at the Florida State University, and then at Elmhurst College in Chicago for 17 years.
As a teacher he thinks of himself as someone who is preparing the new generation for the future and feels it as his real obligation. Ever since 1991 when he participated in a college newspaper’s discussion and was invited to become its advisor, Wiginton has been helping students’ newspapers and organizations by encouraging their work.
He has worked as a journalist for years and has won journalistic awards. He also worked as a freelancer and did features and profiles. As a whole, he enjoys playing with storytelling. When he returned to graduate school, he quit journalism and pursued a master’s degree in creative writing. He also enjoys writing short fiction stories, so he went for a PhD in American Literature. At this point of his life he realized that both journalism and creative writing could be combined. Wiginton began writing creative non-fiction stories, which later became his biggest passion.
Wiginton has always desired to explore new places and to try something different. Thus, when he found an open position at AUBG, he decided to go for it. So far, he is impressed with the friendly Bulgarian community. As a foreigner, he did not expect to be welcomed very warmly, but he was surprised to find out that everybody treats him well. The professor is thrilled by the fact that the AUBG students are so engaged with the material. For him, being able to speak and write in a second language, as his students do, is admirable. Currently, he is teaching Writing for Media and Specialized Writing. In the spring semester, he will be teaching News Writing as well.
Wiginton is on a one-year contract at AUBG. He is still not sure what he will do next, but he is keeping his options open. He is writing a book and depending on its success he might change his idea about the future. The book is about the American writer J.K. Salinger, the author of the novel “The Catcher in the Rye”. Wiginton is going to present his first paper on it in January on an international humanities conference. The book will be a guide on how to read Salinger, as he is “a bit
difficult” to understand.
Back in the United States, Wiginton has a wood shop in his garage and he loves creating different pieces of art and restoring furniture. He is also an amateur photographer and right now he is practicing by capturing his adventures in Bulgaria. The professor has a blog, where he shares all of his thoughts and life experiences.“I like writing – it became my hobby and sometimes I even got paid for that, so how cool is that,” said Wiginton.
This article was prepared by AUBG Daily’s Owls Mina Dobreva and Zhaklin Dib.