West Liberty’s creative videographer, Jared Thompson, shares his love for the hilltop with campus community


Jared Thompson

Thompson’s job as Creative Video Director allowed him to shoot a video showing the aerial view of West Liberty’s campus. Thompson said this video was one of his proudest accomplishments. The video can be viewed on West Liberty’s Home page.

WEST LIBERTY–Jared Thompson took a marketing position at West Liberty in 2018. He balances his job of Creative Video Director with teaching various classes on campus and running a video production service on the weekends.

The day after Thompson graduated from West Liberty University, he was hired with the campus TV station (WLUTV), and he has since remained here. Thompson says convincing students to participate in campus videos is easy, which is something he loves about West Liberty. With the recent pandemic, he is forced to find new ways to film and photograph campus activities.

Thompson graduated from River High School, and after realizing bigger colleges weren’t for him, he transferred from Ohio University Eastern to West Liberty University. Thompson said, “I fell in love with the school the moment I visited, and it had me. I didn’t realize it at the time but looking back, I know it was meant for me to find my way to the Hilltop.” He graduated from WLU in 2009 with an undergraduate degree in Digital Media Design and then completed a Master of Arts in Education in 2013, also from WLU. In 2018 he continued his education by earning an MFA in Film from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Thompson commented, “I love learning and want to go for another degree soon!”

Though his full-time job is being Creative Video Director, Thompson also teaches several classes for WLU which results in a lot of hours outside of his 8-4 job. He also runs his own video production business that takes up a lot of his weekends and evenings when he has no classes. To balance this hectic schedule, Thompson says, the best way I manage is to always schedule some me time and to plan for it.” Thompson says he loves traveling to State Parks or finding local places to explore nature. He added, “I find that keeps me grounded especially when the semester gets the most hectic.”

“For anyone who feels overwhelmed by the pressures of their job and/or schoolwork, I always advise scheduling time just for you.”

When asked about his favorite memory from working on campus, Thompson said there were many to choose from. He said, “I think my favorite memory if I were forced to choose one, would be traveling with the student production crew to Illinois and driving by an actual tornado less than a mile from us.”

Earning the title of Creative Video Director entails taking photos in classrooms and clubs that have in-person activities and events. When asked what he is most proud of in terms of holding this title, Thompson said, “I think I am most proud of taking seeds of concepts, such as the My Hometown series and the Beyond the Hilltop series and bringing them to life to highlight the incredible students and alumni of West Liberty.”

Though Thompson spent most of his time in previous semesters taking photos and videos of in-person classes, activities and events, this semester has brought on new challenges. Thompson says he hasn’t been able to step foot in a classroom and in-person activities on campus are rare. Thompson’s solution to this problem is to continue campaigns he worked on in the past, such as his What’s Up West Lib series and a new series called My Hometown. Thompson said, “It has been a challenge for sure, but I think we have adapted well…I really cannot wait to be back to normal.” In terms of teaching his classes, Thompson said, “I miss interacting with a full class in person. It has made it harder to connect to my students, but I hope they are still feeling some connection.”

Reghan Johnson, a student from Thompson’s oral communication class, said she has had a good experience as one of his students. This is Reghan’s first time having Thompson as a teacher, and she commented, “I have never taken a public speaking class before (I was always too scared, public speaking is one of my worst fears), but he has made me feel less nervous and more confident. I would say I learned a bunch in his class, and I am slowly but surely getting over my fear thanks to his class.”

Jayden Conner, another student from Thompson’s current oral communication class, says that she has always had good experiences with Thompson’s teaching. She also had him for an Adobe Video Editing class, and says, “I think he is a great professor and very approachable. I specifically made sure to take this class with him because I wouldn’t have felt as comfortable taking it with another professor.”