About Me   -   Dr. Tom Grier


Through a few career changes, a couple things remain constant in my life: communicating clearly and with purpose through words and images; and motivating people to do their best through meaningful, important projects.

My early career was in radio broadcasting and included announcing, news, music and advertising writing and producing. I also held leadership roles in a variety of stations and worked in hard rock, country, news-talk and even beautiful music and polka formats.

I returned to college in the 1980s and completed a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication-Advertising at Winona State University. While in school, I ran my own small advertising-promotions agency.

A career change resulted in me serving as the Director of University Communication for Winona State University for more than 18 years.

During this period, I earned a Master of Arts degree in English Language and Literature from Winona State University, and a doctorate degree in Education Policy and Administration from the University of Minnesota.

In 2006, I started my third major career phase as a member of the faculty of the Winona State University Department of Mass Communication. I am the department’s “mass communication generalist” teaching courses in broadcasting, journalism, media literacy, photojournalism, and public relations as needed.

I founded the Navajo Oral History project in 2005, a collaborative effort between Winona State University and Diné College-- The Tribal College of the Navajo Nation. The summer travel study project gave students journalism experience while living and working for three weeks on the Navajo Nation in northeast Arizona. In its first six years, the NOHP involved more than 100 students producing documentary films focused on the lives of 27 Navajo elders, including nine World War II Navajo Code Talkers. NOHP films are archived at the Navajo Nation Museum and Library, The Diné College Library, The Winona State University Library, The Winona Public Library, and the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian.

During my nearly 30 years of service to Winona State University, I’ve received many awards and honors; the most meaningful of these are the ones that came directly from students: WSU Professor of the Year in 2007-08 and again in 2013-14, and E-Professor of the Year in 2005-06. In 2015, I was honored with a Distinguished Faculty Award from the Winona State University Alumni Society.

Photo by WSU MCOM graduate Nick Furlong.                       page updated December 2017

Courses  Taught

MCOM 100

Mass Media & Society

MCOM 115

Photo Appreciation

MCOM 172

Print & Web Production

MCOM 173

Audio & Video Production

MCOM 175

MCom Computer Applications

MCOM 210

Visual Communication

MCOM 215

Photo Communication

MCOM 215
Photo: The Technical Art

MCOM 232

News Writing

MCOM 240
Principles of Public Relations

MCOM 275

Publication Design

MCOM 310


MCOM 311

Topics: Aerial Visual Communication

MCOM 311

Topics: Converged Journalism

MCOM 311

Topics: Living History Project

MCOM 316

Experimental Visual Communication

MCOM 319

Studio Photography

MCOM 332

News Gathering

MCOM 340

Public Relations Cases

MCOM 356

International Media & Society

MCOM 409

Field Journalism

MCOM 425

Senior Seminar-Electronic Media

MCOM 437
Journalism Publication Practicum

MCOM 400
MassCom Assessment Portfolio

OR 100

Intro To Higher Education

ENG 111

College Reading And Writing


Department of Mass Communication

Winona State University

PO Box 5838

Winona MN 55987

Office Phone: 507-457-5239

Email: tgrier@winona.edu

Communicating and Motivating