You may have met Matthew Adam at Franklin’s curriculum night, where he spoke with prospective students and families about the advantages of early exposure to micro-courses and electives.
Micro-courses are one of the exciting opportunities Franklin students will have, introducing them to a wide range of interests and potential careers paths taught by industry experts. During curriculum night, Mr. Adam shared how he had identified his passion areas of literature and sports early in life, but was only able to pursue his career path after college when he went to journalism school. He underscored how invaluable Franklin’s micro-courses will be to students who can begin realizing their dreams before graduating from high school.
We are delighted that Mr. Adam will be joining our faculty as an English teacher. A graduate of Brown University, where he concentrated in English and American Literature, with a specific focus on 20th-century African American literature, Mr. Adam will draw on his love of literature to inspire students.
We sat down with Mr. Adam to learn more about his own educational journey, career, and what he’s looking forward to when Franklin opens this fall.
Please tell us a bit about your background.
While I was at Brown studying literature, I served as Co-president of PCEP (Pre-College Enrichment Program), which is designed to help first-generation college-bound high school students prepare for and gain admission to college. I also spent a semester studying abroad in Paris at the Sorbonne, where I couldn’t resist the temptation to take an English literature course to see how many of the same books I had read at home were taught as part of a foreign language curriculum!
After graduating, I earned a Master’s degree in Broadcast Journalism from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University. I was a graduate assistant there responsible for teaching undergraduate coursework. I also gained the necessary hands-on experience to begin a career in sports broadcasting and journalism.
How has your career path led to Franklin?
Sports has long been a passion, and I’m fortunate to have had the opportunity to cover numerous landmark events — from Super Bowls and Final Fours, to World Series and Olympic Games — as a lead field producer for NBC. It was very exciting to be in the middle of all the action with the world’s finest athletes. I worked as a sports broadcast journalist for nearly a decade. As the local news and sports broadcasting landscape evolved, so, too, did my career path, and I pivoted to marketing and advertising content production. I worked for a New York City-based public relations agency called Taylor, which has a client base of some of the world’s leading brands such as Samsung, Capital One, OLAY, P&G, and more. Over the course of 15 years at Taylor, I served as Director of Broadcast and Video Production and Senior Vice President of Production.
During this time, I relished the opportunity to build and lead a team and to collaborate on numerous creative projects. While working in the public relations industry is also exciting, I have felt a strong pull to return to my love of literature and to being in the classroom again, where I began as a teaching assistant and enjoyed connecting with students. I look forward to bringing my experiences as an industry leader and in education to Franklin.
Why are you passionate about teaching English?
It all starts with the material. Literature has always been an important part of who I am and where I turn for knowledge, understanding — and most importantly — exposure to various perspectives. Authors and their words make you think and feel a range of emotions, but through conversations with others and an understanding of their interpretations and experiences you can gain an even greater sense of compassion, empathy, and insight. I look forward to facilitating and participating in these discussions with students.
As I think about teaching English at Franklin, two things have me equally excited. First, diving into classic books and familiar authors that have long been included in secondary curricula and have impacted me on a personal level from my days as a high school student to the present. Additionally, I look forward to examining contemporary material and sharing a voice to authors with insights unique to the 21st century, which are so relevant to today’s students.
Why is early exposure to different industries through micro-courses so important?
Early exposure to micro-courses has the tremendous benefit of showing students how their coursework can be applied in the real world. These benefits can work in multiple directions; perhaps a student like me with an affinity for literature and sports could visualize a career path more readily; or maybe a student who is exposed to a fin-tech micro-course might unearth an appreciation for math or economics that would have otherwise remained untapped, giving those subjects a new purpose. I ultimately embarked on a career in journalism; however, I never had the opportunity to take a journalism class until graduate school. With so many rapidly emerging industries, it only makes sense for education to evolve as well and to offer students insights into some of these exciting and innovative fields.
What’s your relationship to sports now?
As a broadcaster or a fan, the thing that has never changed for me is the sheer excitement of watching live sports. It’s one of the few things that is completely unscripted. Having played sports as an athlete, I created bonds with teammates that have lasted a lifetime.
My experiences both on the field and covering sports professionally have given me a real appreciation for all the physical and mental strengths that sports foster … not to mention the benefits of experiencing winning and losing — both individually and as a member of a team —that make us all so much more well rounded and prepare us for life’s highs and lows.
I remain active and play recreational sports with friends and I’ve gained immense satisfaction from playing with my two daughters as well, who are now ages 13 and 10. Coaching both of their youth soccer teams over the past several years has allowed me to stay connected to sports in a new way and to share my own passion with them.
What are you most excited about when Franklin’s opens this fall?
Like so many parents and prospective students, I toured the Franklin campus while it was under construction. I can’t wait to see the fully imagined facility — from the makerspace and the gym, to the incredible views from the classrooms. But most of all, I’m excited for students to arrive, embodying the diversity and curiosity that will make it such an amazing place.
- Faculty Spotlight