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Jim Tuxbury (BA 1988, BSEE 2016)

The story of Jim Tuxbury is one of hope and inspiration for anyone considering a new career, even while in the middle of a successful one. Jim’s professional journey took root at the University of Missouri–St. Louis, where he earned a degree in communication in 1988. After graduation, Jim embarked on his first career in television news, discovering a passion for being behind the camera to bring the news home to viewers. Nearly 15 years later, Jim decided to embark on a second career, this time in engineering. He chose UMSL once again for the training and education to prepare him.

“I chose UMSL the first time because it was a great local place to further my education and I could explore my options,” Jim said. “I originally enrolled as a business major, but after I landed my part-time position at KSDK-TV, I changed it to communications. Dr. Michael Murray was a true inspiration and mentor to me as I made my way through the program. We are still friends to this day. I chose UMSL the second time because the program offered me the flexibility to go at my own pace, mostly at night. I knew from my first experience the education would be top-notch and would prepare me for the next phase of my journey.”

Jim Tuxbury

"In each case, I felt UMSL provided me with a strong foundation to enter the job market,” he said. “My communications degree gave me the opportunity to explore my creativity. The technical and writing skills I picked up at UMSL, both in my radio production class and working at The Current (UMSL’s student newspaper), served me well throughout my career as a photojournalist. My BS in Electrical Engineering also prepared me well for my current career as an automation engineer. The program was well rounded and taught me the problem-solving skills necessary to become a successful engineer. I had plenty of hands-on experience in my laboratory courses to solidify the concepts learned in class. I’m proud to be able to use the knowledge and skills I learned at UMSL to make the St. Louis community, my community, a better place."

During his time as a photojournalist with KDSK Channel 5, Jim covered stories from across the U.S. and around the world, including the Olympic Games and a papal inauguration. Jim also captured the moving frames of tragedy and turmoil, from the Oklahoma City bombing to the civil unrest in Ferguson.

Jim was at the top of his profession after winning several Emmys for his work in photojournalism when he decided to return to UMSL in 2004 to pursue another degree, this time in electrical engineering. Smart phones were a new phenomenon then and Jim recognized from the beginning just how significant these devices would become for the consumption of news and information.

“I’ve always had a technical part of my mind which I wanted to explore,” Jim said. “I’m also committed to being a life-long learner. It made sense to me, when the time was right, to give engineering a shot. The most difficult part of the journey was leaving my comfort zone at the television station and taking that leap into a completely new career.”

He was accepted into the joint UMSL/Washington University engineering program, juggling a full-time job and full-time class load. While pursuing his engineering degree, he spearheaded the documentary, “Landmark of Legends,” that followed the construction of the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge from groundbreaking to completion. During production, he organized a visit for the joint engineering students to tour the construction site.

After his second successful UMSL experience, Jim joined Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, where he has spent the past eight years working as a project engineer.