This school year, the Brock Center for Agriculture Communications had the pleasure of welcoming Dr. Karen Cannon as our new director. Dr. Cannon is now working with us alongside our previous director Megan Silcott to help Brock become the best version of itself that it can be.
Dr. Cannon started her education at Colorado State majoring in agricultural and natural resources journalism and, after spending some time in industry, decided to return to school at the University of Florida to pursue her doctorate in agricultural communication. She has worked for the United States government; a private, multinational meat processing corporation; as well as a national commodity organization before finding her home here at Cal Poly.
Dr. Cannon was drawn to Cal Poly for a variety of different reason, one of them being one her long-time friends who was already part of the faculty in the Agricultural Education and Communications department, Dr. Ann De Lay. Dr. De Lay and Dr. Cannon were great friends in grad school and, “for years she’s talked about how great Cal Poly is and how much fun being a faculty member in the Agricultural Education and Communication department is”. Along with her friend, Dr. Cannon was drawn to the College of Agriculture, Food, and Environmental Sciences because it is the only place in California where students can earn a bachelor of science degree in Agricultural Communication as well as the dedicated students here.
Dr. Cannon often spends time traveling California and the world to visit family and friends, and she is excited to travel California more now that she gets to spend more time exploring. She and her dog Angus have participated in canine obedience training and now that she is back in California in an area with plenty of horses she’s “really looking forward to starting to ride and train horses again.” When Dr. Cannon isn’t outside she can be found watching Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, women’s tennis, or reading mysteries.
Dr. Cannon is looking forward to getting the Brock Center started doing some interesting investigations into communicating about the wide range of agricultural topics and issues here in California. She believes that one of the most interesting challenges agricultural communicators face is the concern over food safety problems so she is interested in meeting professionals in this industry as well as getting students engaged in research. “Maybe that shows my ‘nerdy’ side but I love addressing real world problems in communication and working with college students, so it’s a genuine answer!”
Along with her duties at Brock Center, Dr. Cannon is looking forward to spending time outside. “It’s great being in a place where the sun shines so much! I love being outdoors and there’s so much to do in this area!”
Brock Center welcomes you Dr. Cannon, and we look forward to working with you!