Randy Nichols grew up in San Antonio, Texas, as the middle of three children. Graduating from San Antonio's Health Careers High School in 1990, he went to Texas A&M University. He was the first member of his immediate family to get a college degree.
As an undergraduate, Dr. Nichols majored in Journalism, but he also studied Anthropology. His first work in media was as a freelance photographer, but he quickly jumped over to radio. He worked on-air and as a producer for Texas A&M University's award winning public relations radio programs Focus, Noticias, and Edit Points. He has also worked in banking, focusing on quality control for banking software.
Dr. Nichols also spent time doing improv comedy, working with the troupe Freudian Strip. In addition, he began to experiment with the Internet as an undergraduate, designing early web pages and beginning to experience life in an Information Society. Both of these experiences have impacted his views, teaching, and research to this day.
After graduating, Dr. Nichols worked as a supervisor in Citibank's online division. In 1998, he returned to school, attending the University of Oregon. He received both his M.S. and Ph.D. from the university's Communication and Society program in the School of Journalism and Communication. He taught for a year as a visiting Assistant Professor at Cleveland State University, and then for four years in the Communication Studies program at Niagara University. He is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of English and Media Studies at Bentley University. He also serves as an editor for Eludamos, an online journal for video games and culture.