Ben Murphy, a proud Gainesville native, is Florida Sea Grant’s Communications Program Assistant. Wearing many hats, he’s been supporting the marine and coastal research, education and extension program since 2018.
Q: Tell us about your role at Florida Sea Grant.
Ben: I do a little bit of everything. I’m a part of the Communications team, and am usually working with science and resource publications or social media strategy and promotion. I also maintain fiscal accounts and databases, support webpage development and maintenance, and execute a variety of special communications projects.
Q: Your favorite project(s) so far?
Ben: Hands down: livestream and video production. I enjoyed assisting with and learning how to set up the A/V component of Florida Seafood at your Fingertips Live series and also helping Bay County Sea Grant Extension Agent Scott Jackson with recording and broadcasting Artificial Reef Workshops and Summit meetings.
Q: One thing that you attribute to your current achievements?
Ben: My involvement in the Reichert House Youth Academy, an all-boys paramilitary program for at-risk males. Reichert House placed a young me in a setting with a variety of professional men. Mentors within the program showed us that we didn’t have to subscribe to stigmas related to the environment we grew up in. The program molded us to be respectful, honest, and disciplined men. Mentors were the father figures I never knew I needed. I turn 25 this year, and I still run to those men whenever I have a problem or questions with life.
Q: What drew you to Florida Sea Grant?
Ben: The environment. I worked construction before working at Florida Sea Grant. The previous FSG Communications Director reached out to my Reichert House looking to onboard somebody who had working experience with communications. At the time, I was building and selling Instagram pages. I wanted to be able to apply that social media experience in a professional setting and make it work for me. Florida Sea Grant is such a welcoming, friendly, and warm-feeling environment. It’s just full of people who are uplifting and caring.
Q: How did your background shape your interest in communications?
Ben: Growing up, I was always interested in technology. Any electrical component or anything that moved fast inspired me to be skilled with computers and electronics. I can apply my skills to today’s current problems through outreach. My love for technology allowed me to be proficient in the online world and I was able to develop skills in marketing and communications.
Q: What inspires you?
Ben: My kids inspire me. I want to be able to provide a safer, cleaner, and more productive environment for my kids, and kids who grew up like me.
Q: Who is someone you look up to?
Ben: I use everybody I meet as an example of a role model – I pick certain traits from people that I don’t want to have, and I pick traits from people that I would like to have. So, I learn from everybody – everyone is my role model.
Q: Favorite thing to do outside of work?
Ben: Creating memories with my loved ones and living in the moment with them.