Adam Cochran is Colorado Mesa University’s technology guru |

Adam Cochran is Colorado Mesa University’s technology guru

Adam Cochran, a Colorado Mesa University professor of the Mass Communication department, smiles while working on a project.
Jessica Kelly |

Editor’s note: Who We Are features men and women who embody the Grand Valley’s unique spirit. Email nominations to

Adam Cochran’s job demands that he spend hours daily feeding the minds of students at Colorado Mesa University.

He is not your stereotypical monotone-voiced professor that lectures students to sleep. He teaches students (and fellow teachers) the usefulness of social media, software applications in business, photojournalism and design.

“If students are giving me several hours of their time each week and paying money to sit in my class, I had better give them something that they will actually use in the real world,” Cochran said of his teaching philosophy.

According to Cochran, he holds two arts degrees ­— from University of Memphis in Tennessee and Colorado Mesa University. He’s also lived in Grand Junction for most of his life. In his short time away from the valley, he lived in California as a Latter-day Saints missionary and traveled around the United States for professional projects.

“I haven’t found any opportunities outside of the area that are worth the trade-offs that come with leaving the valley,” he noted.

Over the last five years, Cochran pursued a passion for producing videos as well. He enjoys bringing visual elements together to make films, podcasts, and more. He’s worked on a number of different projects locally including the Colman Entrepreneurship Fellow Foundation and technical advising for live stage events.

“I think he’s a genius, especially when it comes to social media and photography,” said Jarico Rouse, a junior at Colorado Mesa University. “I would not know how to do the things I do if it weren’t for him.”

With his background, Cochran teaches a number of different courses at Colorado Mesa University. Currently, he leads four classes that are directly related to social media. In the future, he hopes to create classes that study the portrayal of mass communication in film as well as pop culture.

Cochran additionally teaches students the power of social media as a business tool, not just a playground for one’s personal life. And he wishes he could work with students as a mentor to guide them in social media use after they graduate.

“If they aren’t learning the latest and greatest mainstream tools and techniques, then we are not providing a real education in the discipline,“ Cochran noted.

Though teaching is Cochran’s main priority, he also aims to keep a foot in the professional world outside Colorado Mesa University.

“Adam Cochran is always on the bleeding edge of technology and that’s a good thing,” said Dan Flenniken, head of Colorado Mesa University’s Mass Communication program. “He stays two steps ahead of industry changes and trends and shares his expertise freely with students and faculty. … His enthusiasm for technology and what it brings to the realms of education and mass communication is contagious.”

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