My given name is Simon J. Dahlman, but people call me Jim. (The nickname involves a long family story, full of mystery and conflicting accounts. Either that, or it’s the simple tale of one aunt who thought I looked more like “Jim” and less like “Simon.”) My usual byline is S. J. Dahlman, which is very helpful when screening for telemarketing calls.
Here’s a quick rundown:
Personal: Husband to Stacy; father of two grown daughters and one son-in-law (soon to be two), and two stepchildren. (I’ll resist the urge to dadbrag here. But feel free to ask about my kids. Please.) I’m a Christian. I grew up in New York City and Tampa, Fla., and lived in Wigan, England; Cincinnati, Ohio; and Colorado Springs, Colo., until moving to Johnson City, Tenn., in 1999, to teach journalism. I’m also the chief steward for one cat. I’ve been an avid runner (Boston Marathon 2014, among others), hiker (see below) and soccer player (ret.).
Professional: My day job is professor of communications at Milligan College, where I courses in journalism and media law and ethics and serve as the campus news organization’s faculty adviser. As a freelance journalist, I wrote a weekly column on religion for the Johnson City (Tenn.) Press from 2003 to 2010, still write a monthly column for Christian Standard magazine, and have been published in a variety of newspapers and magazines, including The Guardian (UK), Leadership Journal, and The Cincinnati Enquirer. For five years in the mid 1980s, I was the minister of a small church in Wigan, England.
Education: B.A., Milligan College, 1980 (cum laude); M.A., English (editing and publishing), University of Cincinnati, 1998; M.F.A., creative nonfiction, Goucher College, 2014.
I’m currently working on my first book, tentatively titled A Familiar Wilderness, a travel story about hiking the route of Daniel Boone’s “Wilderness Road” from east Tennessee to central Kentucky in 2013. The photo here is me at the end of that journey, at Fort Boonesborough State Park. Stay tuned.