Spotlight- Justin Ross

MARYVILLE, MO- Northwest Missouri State alumni, Justin Ross, made his way back to the university to share his Hollywood knowledge in the classroom with communication and mass media students.

Ross graduated from Northwest in 2003 with a degree in broadcasting and an organizational communication minor. He received his masters of fine arts degree from the Florida State University and currently lives in Las Angeles, California. One of Ross’s most recognizable works has been a part of the production of “Texas Chainsaw 3D”.

Ross came back to Northwest this semester to help out the communication and mass media department by teaching Fundamentals of Electronic Media Production, Digital Cinematography and Television Production.

“Television production is my favorite class to teach. I love that all the students are new and I get to expose them to ideas for the first time,” Ross said. “The students are unique because this is the only time a lot of them will make a short film or have been exposed to the art form.”

Besides small workshops during his undergraduate time here at Northwest and a few in class Skype sessions this is the first teaching experience for Ross. It is extremely beneficial for the communication and mass media students to be able to learn from someone with real experience in the field.

Many people in the film producing film would say that their professional goal would be to win Academy Awards but Ross just wants to tell stories for a living. A producer is the one person who instigates a project and really makes a story work.

“My advice for students would be no matter what you want to do make your life story interesting. Go someplace where you find interesting; if that is Las Angeles, China, or Louisiana that is great. What is important is that you don’t just play it safe,” said Ross.

Ross plans on moving back to Las Angeles to continue work on a few feature films after this semester. He will continue to always remember how Northwest Missouri State University has affected his life and will keep in contact with the department.

For more information regarding the Department of Communication and Mass Media and how it can help you find an internship or prepare you for one, contact Matt Walker at

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