ASU faculty who inspire: Retha Hill

April 19, 2022 · 3 min read · By ASU Online
Learn why Retha Hill, a professor of practice with years of experience in media and journalism, moved across the country to teach at ASU.

From the field to the classroom

For as long as she can remember, Retha Hill loved school. She loved learning new things and being able to share them with the world. Later, Hill grew passionate about writing. She embraced this passion and, after graduating from college, began her professional career as a reporter for The Washington Post.

As the journalistic landscape evolved, so did Hill. She was one of the founding editors of the online division of the newspaper, Hill then became the founding vice president of Black Entertainment Television’s interactive division and site, a major cable channel owned by Paramount Media Networks. While working these full-time positions, she continued to freelance and run her own business.

Hill made the decision to leave her East Coast friends and family behind to work at Arizona State University. Hill was drawn to ASU for its innovative reputation.

“It was clear from talking to people that ASU would be a place that's moving with the speed of innovation and that was very attractive to me. So I came out here with my son and it's been a wonderful ride. I don't regret it for one moment. It's been everything that I thought it would be and more,” Hill said.

Today, Hill is a professor of practice for immersion students and at ASU Online, doing what she loves and providing her students with the connections needed to succeed.

"A professor of practice is a professor who doesn't necessarily have a PhD, but instead has years and years of experience in the field in which we're teaching," Hill explained. "[Professors of practice] still have connections back in the industry, so when a student is looking for an internship or thinking about going to one place versus another, it's quite realistic that I have a contact there, or I know someone who knows someone who's at a place.”

Courses that support your professional path

Hill has been part of the ASU Online education program for six years and she currently teaches Instruction in Digital Media Entrepreneurship, an elective course for the bachelor’s in digital audiences and a required course for the master’s in digital audience strategy.

Digital media entrepreneurship focuses on the role of entrepreneurship and digital media in journalism. Hill maintains a connection with her class as an online educator by communicating with students regularly on various online platforms, encouraging one-on-one meetings and offering continuous guidance.

As Hill put it, “This generation is not picking up a newspaper or going, ‘I'll wait until 6 p.m. to turn on the news to find out what's going on.’ They're on social media. They're on their game console. They're consuming information in so many different ways, and if that's where our audience is, we have to be able to reach people through the mechanisms and the mediums they feel most comfortable with and where they are already.”


Turn your passion for mass communication into a career

When all is said and done, Hill hopes her students understand that learning is a lifelong endeavor; just because they’ve obtained their degrees doesn’t mean the learning has to end. 

“What I try to teach the students to do is two things. One, to be independent, aggressive thinkers. To be able to get information and evaluate it. The second thing that I always try to teach my students, both online and in person, is to not be afraid of technology,” Hill concluded.

With professors committed to giving you hands-on learning opportunities while providing excellent real world connections, you’ll be able to enter the workforce with confidence. Navigate your education from anywhere in the world and start making your dreams a reality with ASU Online.

The many types of communication careers you can pursue

A communication degree can open the door to a wide range of careers. Learn more about your many degree and career options.


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