Russ received his B.A. and M.F.A. degrees from The Ohio State University in 2003 and 2006. From 2008 - 2016 he served as the faculty lighting and sound designer for the Miami University Department of Theatre. Before joining the faculty at Miami, Russ served as the faculty lighting and sound designer & technical director for the Northern Arizona University, Department of Theatre.
Prior to pursuing a path in academics, Russ enjoyed a diverse career in the entertainment industry, working as a production manager and also as a lighting and sound designer. He was the operations manager and lighting designer for Easter at The White House (1998 – 2000), and production manager for the Coastal Carolina Center for the Arts (1996 – 1998). Russ also served as the lighting designer and production manager for Hilton Head Dance Theatre (1996 – 2000). He toured as a lighting engineer with Tom Jones (1991 – 94), Al Jarreau (1992 – 93), and Nickelodeon’s Family Double Dare tour (1992 – 94). He has more recently worked as a member of the production management team for the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, and the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremonies.