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avatar for Richard G. Jones, Jr., Ph.D.

Richard G. Jones, Jr., Ph.D.

OverArching STL, LLC
Founder and Owner
St. Louis
I am an educator, consultant, author, and advocate who has worked in higher education for 17 years. In 2020 I entered a new season of my life and career as the founder and owner of OverArching STL, LLC which provides professional consulting services through Rich Consulting and innovative and engaging online training and professional development through Communication Leader Academy.

I was born and raised in North Carolina and got my BA and MA in communication studies, and a post-graduate certificate in gender and women’s studies from the University of North Carolina Greensboro. I then moved to the Rocky Mountain West to earn my Ph.D. in Culture and Communication from the University of Denver, which then led me to a tenure track position in the School of Communication and Journalism at Eastern Illinois University. In 2020, I was promoted to the rank of full professor, the highest academic rank, which was a milestone I had been working toward my whole career. That achievement, combined with the COVID pandemic and some other variables, also set into motion a series of decisions, choices, and actions that led me to found OverArching STL, LLC with two of my former graduate students, turned amazing friends, and now business partners (and co-presenters!), Emily Vajjala, Ph.D. and Christopher T. Wagner (see more information about them below).

I have delivered hundreds of academic, professional, and applied presentations at the local, regional, and national levels and my academic research has been published in numerous journals and books. I am also the author of two books.Our Communication, Our World: An Introduction to Communication Studies was published by Flat World in 2020.

Communication in the Real World, published originally by Flat World in 2014 and then republished in 2018 and 2020, was recognized by the National Communication Association as a book of distinction in 2019.

I'm passionate about communication and I'm committed to using my academic and experiential expertise to help others unlock their communication superpowers and to using the power of communication to promote social justice and inclusivity.

Emily Vajjala, Ph.D., Co-Owner and Executive Director at OverArching STL, LLC

Emily's academic journey took her from an undergraduate degree in sociology and anthropology to a master's and doctoral degree in communication. She has presented research and led training sessions and workshops on effective teaching and diversity at the local, state, and national levels. Her passion is in social justice education and advocacy, and she is an avid runner.

Christopher T. Wagner, Co-Owner and Executive Director at OverArching STL, LLC

Chris is a renaissance man, focusing on theological studies and political science as an undergraduate and communication studies as a graduate student. His professional experience in the food and beverage industry and as a territorial sales manager has allowed him to put into practice his expert communication skills while also teaching and leading others.

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