He had to see it to believe it. And while Fountain Jones was looking at his son's campus, he visited a few classes as well.
Typically graduates return to Oswego to take part in the Alumni-in-Residence, or AIR, program that places them in a day of classes. A senior technical director for CBS-TV, Jones wanted to see all the great things his son, Winthrop '10, was talking about.
Fountain Jones is comfortable visiting young people to talk about his career in television, music and multimedia. He tries to visit a high school or college once every other month.
"I am where I am today because some other people came to my classes and spoke about their careers," said Jones, a graduate of CUNY Queens College mass communications program. "I feel this is the least I can do, because I've seen the benefit."
Jones' initial interests included philosophy or on-air announcing, but he gradually made his way to the technical side of the music and television industry.
"I started out with one concept and the concept kind of morphed and spun around," said Jones, who has been a recording engineer for the likes of Stevie Wonder, television producer, broadcaster and co-founder of Perigee Corp., a multimedia firm. "I think if you just pursue a dream, you're going to get there."
He currently works on several CBS programs, including "The Early Show" and many live events.
In the classroom, Jones tries to help students better understand the makeup of the television industry and how to find available opportunities.
"It's more than that camera person or director," Jones said, pointing out as an example that hair and makeup work has become a big job with the advent of high-definition television.
"The tools are there for young people to get involved," he said. "I like to share the concept that young folks are in a direct path into creating content in the media."
As for his campus visit, Jones was really impressed with the state-of-the-art WTOP-TV studio, which was donated by Al Roker '76.
"What I saw up there was actually better than some of the smaller CBS studios I've seen," he said, adding his positive experience with the faculty while he was here in December.
-- Shane M. Liebler
CBS-TV Senior Technical Director Fountain Jones talks to students about his media career during his visit to campus this December. His son is Winthrop Jones '10.
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