A lifelong student of the humanities, Taylor Bauer works in all disciplines across the topics here at Direct Knowledge. His educational journey was far from ordinary. First driven to study jazz performance and music theory, he discovered a passion for rhetoric and persuasion in college. These college years led him to study the subjects at the undergraduate and graduate levels. As an advocate for access to learning resources for all, Taylor’s confidence in the mission of Direct Knowledge drives him to contribute to its library of online learning tools.
Taylor Bauer is a professional writer and digital marketing expert specializing in rhetoric, critical theory, and media studies. His work spans across the broadcasting and tourism industries, as well as an extensive technical writing portfolio. Overall, his professional endeavors center around an interest in technical writing and journalism. Through various experiences, he has worked to become a well-rounded communication scholar and digital media critic. His advocacy for media literacy, social equality, and responsible consumption of news drives his personal and professional life.
Taylor has lived in various cities across Illinois and currently lives in Champaign-Urbana, IL. Taylor’s full-time job is in destination marketing for a convention and visitor’s bureau. How did Taylor get where he is today as a technical writer and digital marketing professional?
Early Life and Educational Background
Overall, Taylor enjoyed reading from an early age. If you read the bios of other contributors on the site, then you’ll find that’s a common theme. Another early interest of his was music. Taylor studied the saxophone and fell in love with music studies. Likewise, he spent significant time playing baseball and basketball growing up. Throughout every new hobby and activity, Taylor always found himself drawn to learning new things. That passion for education is something he carries with him to the present. He believes many also desire to learn new skills and subjects but cannot often do so. From a young age, aspirations of college drove him to work hard in school.
Upon entering college, Taylor Bauer first decided to study music theory and jazz performance. Once enrolled as an undergraduate at Illinois State University, he discovered the political communications program at the Illinois State’s School of Communication. Here he began studying classical rhetoric, persuasion, and critical theory. His primary areas of focus included Marxism, socialism, and the works of Antonio Gramsci and Stuart Hall. He studied under renowned communication and rhetoric professor Dr. Joeseph Zompetti. Taylor earned his bachelor’s of science in political communication in 2016.
While studying political communication, Taylor transitioned his love for music into work at WZND, the college’s student radio station. He worked on-air as a DJ as well as as the station’s Music Director. At WZND, Taylor won several awards from the Illinois Broadcasters Association and Broadcast Education Association. These experiences helped land him his first job at the NPR-affiliate WGLT in Normal, IL. Taylor hosted evening jazz programming, produced and edited podcasts and Morning Edition, as well as hosted NPR shows on the weekends. Despite loving his work in radio, Taylor inquired about the Master’s program at Illinois State University’s School of Communication. The prospect of continuing his education while teaching courses became his next goal.
Taylor Bauer Graduate Research and Accolades
In 2016 after completion of a bachelor’s degree, Taylor Bauer entered Illinois State’s internationally recognized Graduate School for Communication. Here he studied and researched several topics in critical theory. Topics included Marxism, critical theory, rhetorical criticism, and African-American history. Research projects while in graduate school included the effects of religion on political beliefs, critiques of popular music and culture, and the role of cultural hegemony in media literacy. His graduate thesis detailed the 2015 University of Missouri football boycott that called for and succeeded in forcing then-President Tim Wolfe to resign. He focused his graduate thesis on post-racialism and the backlash to high profile killings of black men and women since 2011 and the death of Trayvon Martin.
Other research projects investigated the way online users create communities around interests or hobbies. His work investigated Reddit members who enjoy “indie” music. The findings concluded that online spaces are just as essential to socialization and human needs for interaction as in-person contact. Other research projects focused on topics in news literacy. The ability for citizens to accurately research and comprehend what they see, hear, or read in the news is vital to Taylor’s values. He continues to advocate for adult media literacy courses offered online to help decipher the difference between responsible journalism and “fake news.”
Taylor Bauer worked as a graduate teaching assistant and instructor at Illinois State University during this time. He taught two classes: Radio Production and Radio Management. His other focus in this position was to mentor and manage the students working at WZND. In 2018, WZND was named Station of the Year by the Broadcast Education Association. The station also won a national award for Social Media from College Broadcasters Inc. in 2017.
Graduate School Awards and Recognition
During his graduate career, Taylor earned Top Student Paper at the Illinois Communication and Theater Association’s 2016 conference. His submission detailed how to teach the concept of “fake news” to students to increase media literacy. Taylor also presented at the Culturally Responsive Campus Community conference in 2016 on discussing divisive subjects in the classroom. The presentation focused on how to talk about abortion, religion, and gun rights as subjects in the college classroom. Taylor’s thesis is now in the Illinois State University library system.
After graduate school, Taylor began looking for a place to call home with his fiancé, whom he met while obtaining his Master’s degree. Because of its expanding job market and the influence of the University of Illinois, he moved to Champaign-Urbana to officially begin his professional career.
Taylor Bauer’s Post-Educational Career
After completing his Master’s of Science in Communication in 2018, Taylor began working in destination marketing. The role involves Taylor working closely with local businesses and stakeholders in his community to market the area. The job is something he is incredibly passionate about and allows him to use his knowledge extensively. Likewise, Taylor began writing for clients on weekends and evenings as a means to grow his skillset. He works as a technical writer, podcast editor, and marketing consultant.
Get to Know Taylor Bauer
You can follow Taylor on Twitter at @tbauerwrites. You can also find him on LinkedIn at this link. Both sites are great places to find out what he is up to and currently pursuing. Taylor is an avid music listener and lifelong Cubs fan. He also reads around 75-80 books a year and loves discussing his favorites. He is happily married, and a proud dog dad to two toy Australian Sheppards.
Taylor’s motto in life is a quote from James Baldwin: “not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” This drive to make a positive change in the world helps to motivate him in all professional and personal endeavors. There are several reasons to continue learning as an adult, even after college, in his opinion. He believes sites like Direct Knowledge allow learning from home and busy in-between schedules to be possible. Explore his work here on the website, and follow him on social media to keep up with his projects and efforts.
The Future Looking Forward
Taylor looks forward to continuing his career in destination marketing and looking to build on his current skillset. In the future, Taylor hopes to increase his writing portfolio and areas of study. With so much to learn online and more to explore within his field, he expects to continue learning something new every single day. For the time being, Taylor wants to work on engaging content that will help readers learn more about rhetoric, the humanities, and anything someone might want to learn. He hopes to start learning to code shortly using online learning tools.
If there is one thing Taylor hopes readers learn about him, it’s the passion he feels for learning and education. There are several ways we can continue learning no matter where we are in life. If something is standing in a person’s way, then hopefully, online learning tools can help them move forward. With more and more people attending colleges and certification programs online, Taylor looks forward to assisting everyone he can in reaching their personal education goals.
Follow Taylor on Twitter and LinkedIn to keep up with his work. Follow his articles here on Direct Knowledge and remember to comment on them to start a conversation with him.