The Manship School just added eight new people to their internationally – known faculty full of scholars and top professionals, and on that list is St. Louis native, Dr. David Stamps.
Stamps brings a dynamic background, working within the entertainment industry, as an actor and dancer, as a field publicist with NBC Universal, as well as a strong research portfolio. It was his professional dancing that initially led him into acting and eventually to NBC Universal.
“I really wanted to be a dancer for Janet Jackson, but I would go to auditions and see these huge guys and I did not look like that, so I told my manager that we needed to find something different,” Dr. Stamps said.
That “something else” turned into opportunities for Stamps to work as an actor/dancer in film, commercials, and on shows such as “Hannah Montana,” as well as introduce his very own line of fitness videos.
Stamps soon found his way to the world of entertainment public relations, where he worked for NBC Universal for about eight years. Along the way he found himself interacting with various stars like Rihanna and Blake Lively on the films BATTLESHIP and SAVAGES, respectively.
“My boss would call me Sunday night and tell me that he needed me to deliver a film to Oprah’s estate Monday morning that hasn’t been released yet, so I would have to travel, wait for her to watch it in her theater, and make sure the movie did not leave the estate because that was a multi- million dollar project that has not yet been released to the public,” Stamps said.
Stamps helped develop marketing and strategic communication plans for multi-million-dollar box office movies such as the Fast and Furious franchise and the tentpole blockbuster, Despicable Me.
“My team and I helped bring this set of minions from unknown characters in a movie that hadn’t launched yet to a household brand – now you see them everywhere,” Stamps said.
Stamps traveled across the country, sometimes spending time working in multiple cities during a week. “It was exhilarating and exhausting,” Stamps said.
After nearly a decade in public relations, Stamps decided to go into teaching, specifically at the college level. Stamps wanted to teach students the same lessons he learned in the classroom, with his bachelor’s degree in media management, as well as his lessons in the industry. David earned his master’s at California State University in Northridge and doctoral degree at the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB).
During his time as a graduate student, Stamps was awarded the Kennedy/Graves Research Fellowship in 2017 and 2018, was named the Pearl S. Simmons Scholar and Graduate Equity Fellow, and his research has been supported by the Congressional Black Caucus and the University of California, Santa Barbara Center for Black Studies. He also won the Mass Communication Graduate Portfolio Award from the CSU Mike Curb College of Media and Communication and was named a finalist of the CSU Trustee Award in 2015.
Stamps has bridged his work in media to his research program. He examines race-related media effects and stereotyping of marginalized groups within mass media. He’s authored numerous publications on media, including “The social construct of the African American family on broadcast television: A comparative content analysis of The Cosby Show and Blackish” in the Howard Journal of Communications and “Is it Really Representation? A Qualitative Analysis of Asian and Latino Characterizations in Broadcast Television” in The American Communication Journal.
Now that he’s at LSU, Stamps is eager to continue his important work and to mentor graduate and undergraduate students who want to conduct research and work in public relations or the academia.
“It’s cool that I walk past a tiger every day. The Manship School has a lot of great resources and potential and if we work together collectively, we can tap into a unique and culturally rich space,” Stamps said.
Written by Brianna Jones-Williams