Amber Roessner is an associate professor of journalism and electronic media in the College of Communication and Information. Her research focuses on the cultural history of US media and politics, and she teaches principles of journalism and media, mass communications history, and media reportage.
Roessner once considered a career in early childhood education but ultimately decided to follow her other interest—journalism.
As an undergraduate student at the University of Georgia, Roessner served as a sports journalist at the independent student newspaper The Red & Black and interned with the sports information office of UGA’s Athletic Department and the American Junior Golf Association. These experiences opened the door to her first journalistic gig, as a sports reporter covering prep sports and SEC football with the Gainesville Times in Gainesville, Georgia.
The grueling work schedule left the newlywed searching for a something more manageable, so she took the job editing two local lifestyle magazines—Gainesville Life and Athens Magazine. In this role, Roessner managed the intern program and realized her passion for teaching future journalists.
That newfound passion and a desire to examine the industry’s history led her back to UGA to pursue her master’s degree and doctorate in journalism and mass communications.
Today, she likes to remind her students to follow their passions.
“You need to love what you’re doing every single day, because you will be doing it day in and day out for the next 40 years,” she said.
Roessner and her family enjoy hiking. During her first three years in Tennessee, Roessner completed 400 of the 900 miles of trails in the Great Smoky Mountains.
Once when she and a hiking partner approached a rushing creek, Roessner decided to toss her treasured new boots across the rapids so they wouldn’t get wet. Unfortunately, one boot never made it—and Roessner had to trudge back to the trailhead barefoot.
“We never made it up to Shuckstack that day, all because I didn’t want to walk in wet hiking boots,” she said. The lesson learned: “The journey of a thousand painful steps begins with one silly miscue.”
Roessner looks forward to the day when she can hike the Appalachian Trail with her son, Joseph, but for now she’s content walking along the foothills of the Smokies with her family.
If she didn’t do this . . .
Roessner can imagine herself as a park ranger working in either Yellowstone National Park or the Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine, Florida, the oldest masonry fort in the continental United States.
Favorite spot on campus
Roessner can often be found at the Golden Roast coffee shop adjacent to campus or at the McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture, where she often finds a quiet alcove to grade or to focus on her latest book, a history of news media and presidential politics in the mid-1970s.