By Jamie Crow | Staff Writer
Christopher Daley, a JMA professor at Duquesne, was recently named to Pittsburgh Magazine’s “40 Under 40.” This honor is described by the magazine as a chance to recognize people under the age of 40 based on their professional and personal achievements, as well as notice their dedication to and effect on the Pittsburgh region.
“It’s really cool,” Daley said. “There’s some awesome people on that list, and I’m excited to even have a place on it.”
Daley’s merit is evident, and he has multiple jobs that qualify him as a well-rounded person. He works on the digital marketing team for UPMC Health Plan, organizes TEDx talks for the Pittsburgh area, teaches at Duquesne, fronts a punk band and also makes lamps. Daley, however, insists that it is the people he works and collaborates with who make the work worthwhile.
“It’s just fun to work with people who enjoy the same things as you,” Daley said. “We have the same goals but different ways of getting there, and the more diversity of opinion we have, the better the result. Getting to an end goal together with someone is incredibly rewarding — and more rewarding than standing on your own.”
Daley’s jobs exemplify his focus on people. While each of his passions touch others in some way, organizing TEDx talks is particularly rewarding to him.
“It’s really about inspiring people who are from here to realize that there are a lot of great ideas and great people who come out of Pittsburgh and that you don’t have to look far for innovation here,” Daley said. “My favorite part is hearing people talk about the talks later, especially because it can lead them to do something they never thought of before. Even if you just get that little bit of energy to do one thing that was on your bucket list, that’s a positive.”
Daley also affects people through his music. He’s the frontman of his own band, Mace Ballard, and he chose to write punk music because he felt that there was more of an outlet for genuine social expression in that genre. Daley described music as something that lasts forever and said that he enjoys writing music about both people close to him and social commentary that everyone can relate to.
Since becoming a professor at Duquesne three years ago, Daley has been teaching real world skills in his classes, as well as inspiring several outlets of creativity in his students. This semester, he is teaching a social media and digital marketing course that he brought to Duquesne. Daley said one of his biggest attributes as a teacher is that he teaches about things from the real world that his students will eventually be paid to do. Instead of just teaching theory, he tries to instill creative and relevant skills in his students.
Not only does Daley focus on creativity in the classes he teaches, but he also allows a big spot for creativity in his life. When describing all of his jobs, Daley noted that there is a common thread of creativity and learning woven throughout his many passions. Each job fulfills a different outlet for Daley, and it’s that variety that keeps his life interesting. He noted that sometimes it is hard to keep track of everything, but that he enjoys it.
“My different jobs satisfy my need for creative expression, and they also give me the opportunity to meet people I normally wouldn’t meet,” Daley said. “It’s fun to go to a different city and be able to say, ‘I played a show here’ or ‘I know a TEDx person here.’ All of the different outlets create a sort of network that is really awesome to see.”
In describing his inspirations for his work, Daley said his parents raised him to have a sense of empathy. His parents helped people in their jobs, so that caring nature was passed down to him.
Daley said that his jobs are really a way for him to be creative and to continue learning for the rest of his life. He describes having an open mind as one of the most important things to him, and that his work ethic is what has gotten him to where he is today.
“My biggest talent is my effort,” Daley said.