Jason Croxall at WOUB studios
Left to Right: WOUB’s Rusty Smith, Former Students Tom Furey and Jason Croxall lending a hand for the live broadcast of Showdown, May 2019

Former WOUB Student Inspired to Pay it Forward as a Teacher

Posted on:

< < Back to

Jason Croxall’s future was shaped by his student experience at WOUB  

ATHENS, OH – When Jason Croxall came to Ohio University in the mid-1980s, he hadn’t even planned on attending college. The 18-year old from East Liverpool, Ohio planned to join the U.S. Army after high school but that all changed when he won the McGuffey Scholar Summer Essay Contest.

“I was asked to write an essay on the person who was my greatest influence. That was an easy for me. I wrote it about my grandfather,” said Croxall. “He was a person who did whatever it took to get a job done. He was a man with a lot of faults, but also great forgiveness and faith. He was as forgiving, as he was in need of forgiveness.”

Croxall received a full ride scholarship for the first three months to find out if college was the right fit for him. He was a first-generation college student and had never even been to a college campus before, let alone Athens.

“When I first came to Ohio University, I thought I wanted to be a psychology major, but I quickly found that wasn’t for me,” said Croxall. “I got involved with a work study program and got a job at WOUB. I worked in the feed center and began taking advantage of learning and doing anything I could. Jeff Spalding, audio production supervisor, just immersed me into the production world. I fell in love with the place and telecommunications.”

Croxall working for WOUB when he was a student

Croxall did a variety of engineering and production work at WOUB. He worked on Athens High School sports broadcasts, The Athens’ Criterium, live rock, bluegrass, jazz, and classical music productions, Uptown Thursday Nights, Afternoon Edition, and also hosted The Gold Rush on WOUB AM Saturday afternoons. His favorite activity was producing and airing live Ohio University Club Hockey games with fellow students Tom Furey and Andrew Stockey.

“The professional staff there, I fell in love with those folks. I loved the challenge, and I loved the fact that they put responsibility on me,” said Croxall. “They were about getting the job done. I was not only needed but wanted, and I was serving a purpose. That sense of belonging just sealed the deal.”

After he graduated with a telecommunications degree in 1992, Croxall worked in radio and music production. Inspired by the WOUB professional staff and professors he had at Ohio University, Croxall eventually returned to Ohio University to get his education certificate and started teaching.

“I have been a teacher for 22 years. I’ve been the interactive multimedia instructor for the last eight years in East Liverpool,” said Croxall. “I learned so much at WOUB. Jeff Spalding had a poster on the wall in his office. It was of a sloppy painter painting a doghouse, and the doghouse was horrible. The poster said, “Every job you do is a reflection of you and your team.” Jeff shaped my future. He taught me that the job needs to get done, it takes a team, and it needs to be done to the best of your ability. That’s the way he ran that program and because we knew and understood that, as students, we made it happen. It is what I do with my students today. It is the best way I can pay back my debt owed to WOUB and especially Jeff Spalding.”