About

Patrick T. Lafferty is an award-winning mass communicator specializing in production and content management, as well as Professor of Web Development and Digital Media at Johnson County Community College (JCCC). A photo of Professor Patrick T. LaffertyBefore joining the faculty at JCCC, Professor Lafferty served as Director of Multimedia and Technology for The University of Kansas School of Fine Arts. He also managed and taught a staff of 200+ student journalists the ways of the new media landscape while running dozens of web sites affiliated with the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications at The University of Kansas.

Lafferty, a certified social media strategist, is also among the first people certified by the Creative Commons in Open Licensing and has completed all coursework for certification as a Climate Change Professional (CC-P). From March of 2020 until January of 2022, his courses were entirely solar powered. Currently, more than 50% of his courses remain solar powered.

Outside of his teaching duties, Professor Lafferty consults with non-profits, startups and Fortune 500 industry leaders when his schedule permits. He served two terms as President of the JCCC Faculty Senate, as well as two terms as a Senator and Officer-At-Large. He co-authored the JCCC Social Media Policy (520.00) and JCCC Social Media Guidelines Operating Procedure (520.01) amid his other campus and community service.

He earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from The University of Kansas. Graduate work followed at The University of Kansas School of Law, as did a Master of Science in Journalism and Mass Communications from the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications at The University of Kansas, where he subsequently taught for four semesters.

Lafferty is the author of Implications of Ownership: Applying The Propaganda Model to Media Ownership Theory (PDF). His research focuses on the democratic impact of media consolidation and conglomeration, community journalism, implementations of technology for news dissemination, evolution of the news industry, as well as the ever-changing internet journalism landscape.

Lafferty’s curriculum vitae is available here, along with his teaching philosophy and selected media appearances.

Teaching
Philosophy

This is my second reflection on my teaching philosophy. The first was written when I had roughly two years of experience instructing students. Now, more than a decade into my academic career, it is fascinating to reflect again on how I approach this calling.

My approach to teaching derives from a place of inquiry. The human condition is one of constant questioning. As such, I find the best way to teach is with a modified Socratic method. "Modified" in the sense that I do not only speak in interrogatories. I recognize that ultimately there may come a time when first and second year students may legitimately not know the answer to a question through no lack of effort on their part. The detriment of not informing them outweighs the benefit of making them dig deeper themselves. Rather than leave them dangling as my Socratic law professors were fond of doing, I provide enough guidance to get them to the “light bulb” moment. Inevitably, that leads to more questions and the cycle continues.

In addition to questioning students, nudging them towards logical conclusions, I also believe in maintaining a dynamic classroom environment. I don’t like to “lecture”. I prefer to have “conversations” with my (hopefully prepared) students. I suffered through many a course where the professor would stand at the front of the room and talk at us, not with us, day after day. Or worse, some would turn their back on the class and simply read a PowerPoint presentation aloud. Those courses were always the most likely to have students dozing in the desks. I am fortunate to teach subject matter that is by itself dynamic and popular with students, but that alone is not enough to keep them involved in the classroom. Subjects like copyright law and net neutrality can glaze over even the most inquisitive and bright-eyed of students.

In moments like that, the approach to the information is essential to the process of absorption for the students. In the world of web development and digital media, you ignore current events at your own peril. By weaving the latest and best media elements available into the discourse, students are able to see timely, relevant examples pertaining to the subject at hand, often torn from today’s headlines. Once, while teaching a morning and an afternoon section of the same course, I had to rewrite my lecture between classes because the law (and therefore the world) changed between my two sessions.

This dynamism isn’t common across the higher educational experience, but it is part of what makes teaching these subjects so exciting and challenging. By engaging them in conversation about events happening to all of us, students are forced to process that information enough to respond. This pushes their cognition into the next echelon.

Finally, let's consider honesty. There are too many faculty out there who are unwilling to utter the phrase, “I don’t know.” I’m not one of them. I began this piece talking about questioning. That blade cuts both ways. As much as I question my students, they in turn question me. Not my authority, per se, but how the standards, history, laws, syntax, etc. came to be. This is as it should be. None of us is above reproach. I am the authority on the subject matter in my courses, but that does not mean that I know everything. The rewritten lecture scenario above illustrates just how easily my “authority” could have gone the other way. Had I taken a leisurely lunch that day, my later lecture would have been inaccurate. Embracing this humility is key to my presence in the classroom and is missing from too much of the academy.

Curriculum Vitae

Areas of Research:

  • Implementations of technology for news dissemination
  • The democratic implications of media consolidation and conglomeration
  • Community journalism
  • Evolution of the news industry in the 21st century

Areas of Expertise and Teaching Competencies:

  • Web design and development
  • Multimedia editing/production/reporting
  • Online journalism

Education:

Master of Science, Journalism & Mass Communications
William Allen White School of Journalism & Mass Communications,
The University of Kansas, 2006

  • Concentration: Online News and Information; Strategic Communications
  • Thesis: “Implications of Ownership: Applying The Propaganda Model to Media Ownership Theory”
  • Committee: Assistant Professor Kristen Swain (chair), Assistant Professor Barbara Barnett and Professor James K. Gentry

Graduate studies in Law
The University of Kansas School of Law, 2002

Bachelor of Arts, Political Science
The University of Kansas, 2002

Bachelor of Science, Business Administration
The University of Kansas, 2001

Professional Certifications:

Type Description Org Valid Until
Certificate Open Licensing (c.CC, 2019) Creative Commons
Certificate Social Media Strategy Hubspot Academy 2023
Certificate Climate Change Professional (C-CP, ABD) Association of Climate Change Officers Coursework completed in 2019
  • Climate-101: Understanding Climate Science & The Latest Projections
  • Climate-103: The Basics of Sea Level Rise and Impacts on Coastal Assets & Infrastructure
  • Climate-201: Identifying Climate Hazards & Conducting Vulnerability Assessments
  • GHG-101: Basics of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Accounting, Reporting & Disclosing GHG Emissions
  • GHG-102: Fundamentals of the Energy, Water & Food Nexus
  • GHG-201: Establishing GHG Reduction Goals & Management Structures

Academic Positions:

Professor
Web Development and Digital Media

Johnson County Community College
Overland Park, Kansas (2020-present)

Associate Professor
Web Development and Digital Media

Johnson County Community College
Overland Park, Kansas (2015-2020)

Associate Professor and Lead Faculty Member
Interactive Media

Johnson County Community College
Overland Park, Kansas (2013-2015)

Assistant Professor and Lead Faculty Member
Interactive Media

Johnson County Community College
Overland Park, Kansas (2010-2013)

Faculty - New Media
Kansas Journalism Institute
The University of Kansas
Lawrence, Kansas (2007)

Developed and taught a curriculum for high school journalism students from across the nation, with lessons focused on internet publishing via content management systems, emphasizing responsible SEO methods and web best practices. Specifically, taught the students how to distinguish themselves through their writing, basic videography and editing skills, slideshow creation (with Soundslides) and how to create netcasts of their experiences at KJI.

Lecturer
The University of Kansas
William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications
Lawrence, Kansas (2006-2007)

Multimedia Newsroom Coordinator
The University of Kansas
William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications
Lawrence, Kansas (2006-2007)

Graduate Research Assistant
The University of Kansas
William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications
Lawrence, Kansas (2004-2006)
(Professor Peggy Kuhr; Assistant Professor Kristen Swain; Assistant Professor Doug Ward)

Other Professional Employment:

Web Consultant
pt.lafferty.me
Overland Park, Kansas (2004-present)

Director of Multimedia and Technology
The University of Kansas School of Fine Arts
Lawrence, Kansas (2007-2008)

Communications Intern
Andrews McMeel Universal
Kansas City, Missouri (2005)

Claim Representative
The Hartford
Overland Park, Kansas (2003-2004)

Supervisor
Policy Research Institute
Lawrence, Kansas (1999-2001)

Teaching Experience:

*Current courses in orange
# Name Taught
WEB 110 HTML & CSS f'22, s'22, f'21, s'21, f'20, s'20, f'19, s'19, f'18, s'18, f'17, s'17, f'16, s'16, f'15
WEB 112 Professional Skills For The Digital Developer f'22, s'22, f'21, s'21, f'20, s'20, f'19, s'19, f'18, s'18, f'17, f'16, f'15
WEB 114 JavaScript I s'17
WEB 116 Digital Media Concepts f'22, s'22, f'21, s'21, f'20, s'20, f'19, s'19, f'18, s'18, f'17, s'17, f'16, s'16, f'15
WEB 121 Content Management System Strategies s'17
WEB 122 CSS Techniques & Projects s'22
WEB 156 JavaScript I s'16, f'15
WEB 172 WordPress f'17, f'16
WEB 243 Search Engine Optimization f'18, s'18, f'17, f'16, s'16
WEB 290 Capstone s'22
CIM 130 Interactive Media Concepts s'15, f'14, s'14, f'13, s'13, f'12, s'12, f'11, s'11, f'10, s'10
CIM 140 Interactive Media Assets f'14, s'14, f'13, s'13, f'12, s'12, f'11, s'11, f'10, s'10
CIM 200 Interactive Communication Forms s'15, s'13, f'12, s'12, f'11, s'11, f'10, s'10
CIM 270 Interactive Media Project s'14, s'13, s'12, s'11, s'10
CIM 272 Portfolio s'14, s'13, s'12, s'11, s'10
CPCA 105 Intro to Personal Computers s'15, s'14, f'13
CWEB 103 Professional Skills f'14
CWEB 110 XHTML & CSS s'15, f'14, s'14, f'13
CWEB 160 Intro to JavaScript I s'15, f'14
CWEB 205 Search Engine Optimization s'15
JOUR 415 Multimedia Reporting f'06, s'07, sum'07
JOUR 419 Multimedia Editing s'07, with Asst. Prof. Doug Ward
JOUR 445 Multimedia Writing
and Production
f'06, with Assoc. Prof. Max Utsler
JOUR 500 Knight Incubator Project (sum'07) Designed, created and taught a curriculum for a team of five KU students initially focused on how to develop, critique and present their news innovation, “VoxPop,” to students and faculty from six competing academic institutions (Michigan State University, Kansas State University, Western Kentucky University, Ithaca College, University of Nevada-Las Vegas and St. Michael’s College) and then to a broader audience. Thirty-five students from the other institutions ultimately joined the KU team. Mentored the new group through their eventual presentation to the Online News Association convention in Toronto. “VoxPop” is still in development.
JOUR 694 Online Writing, Design, and Production f'06, s'07, with Prof. Rick Musser

Invited Lectures & Panel Appearances:

Johnson County Community College
Overland Park, KS

  • JCCC Great Books Lecture Series, “Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451”, February 5, 2020
  • The Brain Burrito podcast, s01e02, “OER (Open Educational Resources)”, Panelist, October 31, 2019
  • JCCC Copyright Committee and Student Activities presents, “Should our ideas be owned?”, Panelist, April 18, 2016
  • JCCC Copyright Committee and Student Activities presents, “Should our ideas be owned?”, Panelist, April 16, 2015
  • JCCC Copyright Committee and Student Activities presents, “Should an idea be owned?”, Panelist, April 29, 2014
  • Honors Symposium, “Privacy, Hacking and Things Left Unsaid”, Featured Lecturer, November 6, 2013
  • Technology Brown Bag Lecture Series: “Managing a Facebook Page: Three Pros and Cons”, Featured Lecturer, March 21, 2012
  • Technology Brown Bag Lecture Series: “Engaging Students with Twitter”, Featured Lecturer, May 6, 2011
  • Technology Brown Bag Lecture Series: “Digital Media: New Learners of the 21st Century”, Panelist, March 2, 2011

Kansas Center for Career and Technical Education
Pittsburg State University
Pittsburg, KS

  • KCCTE Summer Series at Johnson County Community College, “WordPress: The Basics”, Featured Lecturer, June 15, 2017

Summer Institute on Distance Learning and Instructional Technology (SIDLIT)
Overland Park, KS

  • “Twitter: Evolution, Not Revolution”, Featured Presenter, August 1, 2013

The University of Kansas, Edwards Campus
Overland Park, KS

  • “Twitter 101: A Hands-On Primer”, JOUR 840: Communicating Social and Environmental Initiatives, March 18, 2011, with Assoc. Prof. Simran Sethi

Kansas Journalism Institute
Lawrence, KS

San Francisco State University
San Francisco, CA

  • “What is the one skill that a journalist of the near-future should possess?”, JOUR 226: Digital Newsgathering, March 24, 2010, with Asst. Prof. Staci Baird

The University of Kansas
William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications
Lawrence, KS

  • “Blogging 101: Content Management and You”, JOUR 201: Current Issues In Journalism (s'07)
  • “Blogging 101: Content Management and You”, JOUR 636: Opinion and Commentary (s'07)
  • “Content Management in the newsroom”, JOUR 692: TV News I (s'07)
  • “This Is What Democracy Looks Like”, JOUR 608: Ethics and the Media (s'06)
  • “Stephen Glass: I Lied For Esteem”, JOUR 608: Ethics and the Media (s'06)
  • “Maximize Reach with Content Management – Part II”, JOUR 500: Science & Medical Writing, May 4, 2006
  • “Maximize Reach with Content Management – Part I”, JOUR 500: Science & Medical Writing, April 13, 2006

Technical Skills, Programs & Protocols:

Previously taught:

    Acrobat, Audacity, Audition, Blogger, CSS, DVD Studio Pro, Facebook, Final Cut Pro, FileZilla, Fireworks, Flash, FTP, HootSuite, HTML, JavaScript, Photoshop, Premiere, programming concepts, Microsoft Office Suite, mobile first design, MovableType, MySpace, OpenOffice, OSX, organic SEO methods, Soundslides, TweetDeck, Twitter, Vimeo, Windows, WordPress, YouTube

Regularly used:

    Acrobat, Audacity, Camtasia Studio, CSS, DVD Flick, FileZilla, FTP, HTML, InDesign, LinkedIn, LibreOffice, Microsoft Office Suite, OSX, Photoshop, Premiere, programming concepts, organic SEO methods, TweetDeck, Twitter, Vimeo, Windows, WinSCP, WordPress, YouTube

Familiar with:

    ActionScript, After Effects, Django, Flash, LAMP/MAMP, MySQL, PHP, Python, RSS, SPSS, XML

Grant Work & Consulting:

Partnered with Lorie Paldino’s Business Communications (BUS 150) courses at Johnson County Community College as a part of a $750 Collaborative Learning mini-grant from the JCCC Collaborative Learning Lab (CoLab). The project brought Web Development and Digital Media students (WEB 123) together with Business students so both groups could gain valuable experience and insight into the client/consultant relationship. The WEB consultants worked with the BUS clients to improve the design and content strategies of their WordPress-based blog sites. (s’17)
Created and led the Innovation Incubator for The University of Kansas as a part of a $230,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation’s 21st Century News Challenge. The project was designed to foster creative thinking about solutions to digital news problems. (sum’07)
Partnered with The University of Kansas Department of Design, the KU School of Business’ Entrepreneurship Program and the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications, under corporate grants from telecommunications industry leaders Nokia and Cingular (now AT&T) on an international, multi-disciplinary project examining the viability of the high-end Nokia N73 and N93 camera phones from the perspective of multimedia newsroom implementations, design and product viability. (s’07)
Produced a video under a grant from The University of Kansas Center for Teaching Excellence in collaboration with The University of Kansas Center for Research and the Kansas Energy Office of Assistant Professor Kristen Swain’s Science and Medical Writing students highlighting new facilities and projects underway at the Multidisciplinary Research Building on KU’s West Campus. (sum’06)
Developed a new interface and aesthetic for the Associated Press Managing Editors’ National Credibility Roundtables Project web site (apme-credibility.org). The site is the repository of research and reports of this Ford Foundation-funded project that promotes continuing communication between the public and the press, encouraging journalists to build better news practices. (s’06, sum’06)
Developed the Covering Communities project web site (coveringcommunities.org) in partnership with John Harwood of The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation and Professor Peggy Kuhr of The University of Kansas as a part of a $200,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation seeking improved community contact and representation via web tools for journalists and community leaders. (f’05, s’06, sum’06)

University & College Service:

    Johnson County Community College

    CSIT Elections Committee (2022 - present)
    Open Educational Resources (OER) Grant Committee (2018-present)
    Open Educational Resources (OER) Task Force (2018-present)
    CSIT Student Engagement Committee (2016 - present)
    Web Development and Digital Media Curriculum Committee (2011 - present)
    Web Development and Digital Media Advisory Board (2011 - present)
    Various Campus-Wide Hiring Committees (2010 - present)
    Educational Technology Advisory Council (2011 - 2021)
    Faculty Senator (At-Large) (2015 - 2021)
    Faculty Senate Constitutional Committee (2017 - 2021)
    Technology Innovations Grant Committee (2010 - 2020)
    President, Faculty Senate (2016 - 2018)
    Chair, Faculty Senate Executive Committee (2016 - 2018)
    Collegial Steering Committee (2016 - 2018)
    Faculty Leadership Council (2016 - 2018)
    Chair, Faculty Senate Communications Committee (2015 - 2017)
    Digital Media Editor – Hare and Bell Academic Journal (2014 - 2016)
    Reading Readiness Taskforce (2014 - 2015)
    Emerging Technologies & Communications Curriculum Development Committee (2012 - 2014)
    Secular Student Alliance Faculty Adviser (2012 - 2014)
    Social Media Policy Committee (2011 - 2012)
    Co-authored, along with former JCCC General Counsel Tanya Wilson, the JCCC Social Media Policy (520.00) and JCCC Social Media Guidelines Operating Procedure (520.01). They were drafted in response to a student victory in federal court overturning a campus disciplinary ruling related to a social media post. The policy and guidelines are written to afford maximum free expression for the campus community while maintaining quality learning environments in both physical and digital spaces.
    Campus Civility Campaign Committee (2011 - 2012)
    Interactive Media Advisory Board (2010 - 2011)

    The University of Kansas

    William Allen White Technology Committee (2005 - 2007)
    William Allen White Senior Evaluation Committee (2005 - 2006)
    William Allen White Graduate Advisory Council (2005 - 2006)
    The University of Kansas Student Union Activities Board (2000 - 2001)
    The University of Kansas Student Union Activities Constitutional Revision Committee (2000 - 2001)
    The University of Kansas Student Lecture Series Board (2000 - 2001)
    Kansas Memorial Unions Program Director Selection Committee (2000)
    Kansas Memorial Unions Advisor Selection Committee (2000)
    The University of Kansas Student Senate Finance Committee (Voting Member) (1997)

Community Service:

    Interactive Design Program Adviser, Center for Advanced Professional Skills (CAPS), Blue Valley School District (2011 - present)
    Multimedia consultant/web master, Project: Katrina Hope, New Orleans, Louisiana and Lawrence, Kansas (2006 - 2011)

Professional Awards:

    Best Station Website
    “tv.ku.edu”
    Kansas Association of Broadcasters (2007)

    Best Online In-Depth Reporting
    "Drought affects Kansans" by Matthew Goble and Patrick Shehan
    Society of Professional Journalists’ Mark of Excellence National Finalist;
    Region 7: 1st place (2007)

    Best Online Sports Reporting
    "Evolution of KU cheerleading" by James Pinick and Andrew Baker
    Society of Professional Journalists’ Mark of Excellence National Finalist;
    Region 7: 1st place (2007)

    Best Affiliated Website
    “tv.ku.edu”
    Society of Professional Journalists’ Mark of Excellence Region 7: 2nd place (2007)

    Best Online News Reporting
    "Seniors dance to their health" by Heidi Fedak and Heather Brummitt
    Society of Professional Journalists’ Mark of Excellence Region 7: 2nd place (2007)

    Best Online Opinion and Commentary
    "eHub" by Heidi Fedak and Michael Phillips
    Society of Professional Journalists’ Mark of Excellence Region 7: 2nd place (2007)

    Manager’s Citation for Innovation
    The Hartford (2003)

    Manager’s Citation for Excellence
    The Hartford (2003)

Academic Awards & Achievements:

    The Chancellor’s List
    The National Dean’s List
    The University of Kansas Student Union Activities Board Scholarship
    The University of Kansas Honor Roll
    The University of Kansas Mt. Oread Scholar
    The University of Kansas Honor Scholarship

Web Apps & Publications:

Exhibitions:

    High-Definition Multimedia Video: KUDesign, Permanent Installation, Digital Media Center, Art and Design Building,
    The University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS (2007 - present)
    High-Definition Multimedia Video: KUDesign, 8th Annual Collage Concert, The Lied Center, Lawrence, KS (2007)

International Experience:

International travel experience throughout Australia, Europe, and North America
Deutsch (German) language Ich bin gut in Wort und Schrift, aber meine vokabeln ist so lala.
Français (French) language Je lis français, je parle français, mais je ecrive français tres mauvais.
Español (Spanish) language Hablo un poco de español, pero necesito mucha práctica.

In the media:

Web Apps &
Publications

Title Details Authored License
Timeline Builder Developed as part of Creative Commons certification in Open Licensing, this mobile-first, keyboard and mouse accessible web app allows anyone to create a web-based timeline of events with full data portability but without any programming knowledge. December 2019 Creative Commons License
A Brief History of Copyright Law JSON written for use with Timeline Builder October 2019 Creative Commons License
A Brief History of Creative Commons JSON written for use with Timeline Builder October 2019 Creative Commons License
Implications of Ownership: Applying the propaganda model to media ownership theory Thesis written for a Master of Science in Journalism and Mass Communications May 2006 ©2006

Professional
Awards

    Best Station Website
    “tv.ku.edu”
    Kansas Association of Broadcasters (2007)

    Best Online In-Depth Reporting
    "Drought affects Kansans" by Matthew Goble and Patrick Shehan
    Society of Professional Journalists’ Mark of Excellence National Finalist;
    Region 7: 1st place (2007)

    Best Online Sports Reporting
    "Evolution of KU cheerleading" by James Pinick and Andrew Baker
    Society of Professional Journalists’ Mark of Excellence National Finalist;
    Region 7: 1st place (2007)

    Best Affiliated Website
    “tv.ku.edu”
    Society of Professional Journalists’ Mark of Excellence Region 7: 2nd place (2007)

    Best Online News Reporting
    "Seniors dance to their health" by Heidi Fedak and Heather Brummitt
    Society of Professional Journalists’ Mark of Excellence Region 7: 2nd place (2007)

    Best Online Opinion and Commentary
    "eHub" by Heidi Fedak and Michael Phillips
    Society of Professional Journalists’ Mark of Excellence Region 7: 2nd place (2007)

    Manager’s Citation for Innovation
    The Hartford (2003)

    Manager’s Citation for Excellence
    The Hartford (2003)

Podcasts &
Presentations

The Brain Burrito - Season 01 - Episode 02 - OER

Faculty Development Coordinator Farrell Jenab joins Robbie Miller, Diversity Recruiter, Professor Barry Bailey, Library, and Professor Patrick Lafferty, Web Development & Digital Media, to discuss Open Educational Resources (OER).

“Managing a Facebook Page: Three Pros and Cons”

“Engaging Students with Twitter”

“Digital Media: New Learners of the 21st Century”

Syllabi

Current courses:
  • WEB 110 - HTML/CSS
  • WEB 112 - Professional Skills For The Digital Developer
  • WEB 116 - Digital Media Concepts
Courses previously taught:
  • WEB 114 - JavaScript
  • WEB 121 - Content Management System Strategies
  • WEB 122 - CSS Techniques and Projects
  • WEB 156 - JavaScript
  • WEB 172 - WordPress
  • WEB 243 - Search Engine Optimization
  • WEB 290 - Capstone
  • CIM 200 - Forms
  • CIM 270 - Project
  • CIM 272 - Portfolio