Faculty/Staff Directory

Jerry Drye

Jerry Drye

Associate Professor of Communication

Bandy Gymnasium
Room 214
650 College Dr. Dalton, GA 30720

Office Hours




Ed.S. in Adult Education from the University of Georgia
M.S. in Organizational Communication from Murray State University
B.S. in Organizational Communication from Murray State University


Laughter is not a luxury; it is a necessity. I say this all the time. You can call it my slogan, my mantra, or my catchphrase but I truly believe it. Laughter is part and parcel of who I am. It is a big part of my teaching.

Humor saved my life. That may be a bit of an overstatement. Humor certainly enriched my life and set me on a course which ultimately led me (via a circuitous route) into the college classroom. As a hyper-active child with a speech impediment I sought for meaning and approval. I began finding it first as an eight year old boy in a barber shop when I made a joke and all the men in the room laughed. That was an epochal moment in my life because it is the first time in my recollection that I said something funny on purpose and people actually laughed. I remember how gratifying that was and I thought I wanted to do that for the rest of my life.

            That experience caused me to become interested in humor and communication as a very young person. Those interests led me to become a professional communicator and  humorist working my craft as a broadcaster, banquet speaker, workshop leader, and concert artist, etc. I always felt that I should be in the college classroom helping students to discover their callings and dreams and to help them effectively communicate their ideas to the world around them. I have been inspired and mentored by some great teachers. I went back to school as an adult finishing my bachelors and masters degrees in Communication and entering the teaching profession in 2005 as a graduate teaching assistant. I followed this up as a lecturer at a top flight research university and now as an associate professor at Dalton State. Humor is one of my key tools (though not the only one) for reaching my students.  I desire to capture the hearts and minds of the learners in my charge. As a teacher I have four essential goals. I desire to educate, encourage, engage, and empower. Let me deal with each one of those goals briefly.

            Educate: First and foremost the job of the teacher is to educate. I believe that each class should be content rich. Various methods including, but not limited to, lecture, small group processes, Socratic strategies, incorporation of assorted technologies, use of humor and storytelling, and others all work in concert to help students learn. I get to teach.

            Encourage: Secondly, I feel strongly that students need to be motivated and inspired as well as educated. My goal as an educator is to encourage each student to live up to his or her potential. Much of the job of the instructor is done outside of the classroom. I often engage with students in settings outside of the classroom. I believe the teacher should be accessible to the students for advising and clarification of concepts introduced in class.

            Engage/Entertain: My third goal is to be entertaining. Classes should not only be content rich, but that content should be creatively presented. I want students to be engaged. I want them to look forward to coming to class. Studies indicate that humor seems to help with immediacy and retention. I like to use a healthy dose of appropriate humor in the classroom. I seek to involve my students in a setting of edutainment.

             Empower:  Finally, I want to empower my students to achieve their goals and dreams. As I stated earlier, my teachers have helped me to reach higher and to strive for excellence. I seek to do the same for my students. I love those moments when I see the light bulbs going on over students’ heads. To see the lights come on is very gratifying for the classroom instructor.

            I do not think of myself as having arrived yet, or as having perfected the teaching art. To believe there is no growth left is dangerous in any field, especially in teaching. I think it is presumptive to consider yourself at the top of the mountain. I always want to be better, to learn more, grow wiser, and have a richer and deeper experience. I want to share that experience with my students. I want to be an asset to my institution, my community, and most of all to my students.

             I believe that a teacher should continue to look for ways to teach in ways that are relevant and application-oriented. The goal is not just to pour information into students’ minds but to help them to relate their knowledge to real world situations.  To that end I am patient and student centered. We are on the journey together. We are learning, growing, and increasing in knowledge and wisdom. I am always looking for new ways to help me become a better partner with my students in our mutual education and development. I have not arrived, but I am on my way. It is not about me. It is about them. After all, I do not teach classes, I teach people.

Course Name/Overview

Course Name Course Overview
COMM 3500- Humor Communication Humor Comm Flyer.pdf
COMM 3400- Organizational Communication COMM 3400 Flyer - Fall 2014.pdf
COMM 1110- Fundamentals of Speech
COMM 3424- Communication in Small Groups/Teams
COMM 1100- Human Communication
COMM 3350- Listening


A Sampling of Presentations (representative, not exhaustive)

  • Fixin' to Gonna Not Be: A Lighthearted Look at Southern Colloquial Language. 2018 Bandy Heritage Center
  • Giggles and Grits: Southern Humor from Will Rogers to Blue Collar Comedy. 2016 Bandy Heritage Center
  • Talking Funny: The Power of Being Amazingly Amusing in Life and Work. 2013 Last Lecture at DSC
  • Yak, Yak, Yak or How to be a Raconteur: The Art of Conversation. 2013 DSC Alumni Association Lunch & Learn
  • Don't Lose the Wow! 2013 DSC Fall Commencement Address
  • Golden Rule Communication: Speak Unto Others as You Would Have Them Speak Unto You. 2011 Lunch & Learn
  • Making Tigers Laugh. Stand-Up Comedy Keynote for the Tiger Speakout at Clemson University
  • Meaningful Mirth During Difficult Times. 2010 facilities/operations staff annual meeting Kennesaw State University
  • How do Humor and Storytelling Impact Organizational Rhetoric? 2004 Scholars Week Presentation Murray State University
  • Humor as Stress Management. 2002 Workshop for the Tennessee/Alabama District of the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod
  • Frequent Keynoter, Conference Presenter, Workshop Leader, After-Dinner Speaker, Guest Lecturer, and Comedy Concert Artist
  • Open Wide and Say Ha: The Humor-Health Connection in Communication Between Care-Givers and Patients. 2007 Health Communication Panel for the Southern States Communication Association annual conference

Publications (representative, not exhaustive)

  • Humor Appendix (Is That Anything Like the Funny Bone?). In B. G. Tucker's Exploring Public Speaking: The Free Dalton State College Public Speaking Textbook, 3rd Edition (2018).
  • Talking Funny: The Power of Humor. 2013 Dalton State Magazine
  • Open Enrollment for Laughter Prescription Plan. 2012 Journal of Academic Excellence of the Dalton State College Center for Academic Excellence
  • The Humorous Address and How to Conduct a Roast. 2011 in C.R.C. Coleman's The Presentation Book: From the Classroom to the Boardroom.
  • Consultant to DSC Department of Communication open source public speaking textbook by Barton & Tucker.

Awards and Nominations (representative, not exhaustive)

  • Dalton State Foundation Award for Excellence in Service. 2016
  • Dalton State Communication Department MVP award. 2015
  • Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching U. S. Professor of the Year Nominee. 2014
  • Dalton State Foundation Award for Excellence in Teaching. 2013
  • Graduate Teaching Assistant Emeritus Award. 2006 Department of Organizational Communication, Murray State University
  • Who's Who Among American University and College Students.2006
  • Francis Cochran Brazeal Fellowship. 2005 Murray State University
  • Cavett Robert Scholarship Award from the National Speakers Association. 2004
  • Winner (with daughter Meagan) of the Pinson Mounds Archeofest Potato Dance Championship



More About Me

Humor Study Links:

Storytelling Links:

Public Speaking Links:

Communication Associations