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Faculty Update


Professor Hazel Dicken-Garcia was named the 2006 recipient of the Kobre Distinguished Scholar Award, which is given for contributions to journalism history over the course of an academic career. The award, sponsored by the American Journalism Historians Association (AJHA), was presented to Dicken-Garcia at a special luncheon at the AJHA annual convention in October.

Professor Ken Doyle was elected president of the Minnesota Association of Scholars, a professional organization committed to promoting intellectual diversity and academic rigor in Minnesota's colleges and universities, and has also been appointed Acting Director of the Tocqueville Center for the Study of Liberty and Free Institutions. Doyle was also elected to the Board of Directors of i-Learn.org, a Massachusetts non-profit corporation located in Cambridge, Mass., that develops, distributes, and supports innovative interactive distance-learning programs for peoples in the developing world.

Professor Kathleen Hansen and INMS director Nora Paul were semifinalists for a statewide competition for $25,000 in start-up money for a new venture involving their "NeverWinter Nights" project, in which the two modified the computer game for use in journalism classes. Hansen and Paul are working with three colleagues at Pine Technical College to develop a more appropriate game system on which the journalism game, and any other type of educational scenario, can be built.

Adjunct instructor and retired Pioneer Press publisher Harold Higgins was one of fifteen university educators to be selected as a Reynolds Fellow by the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism. As a Reynolds Fellow, Higgins spent a week in January 2007 at Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, attending sessions conducted by top business journalism professors and business journalists.

Associate professor Mark Pedelty received a Public Engagement Seed Grant from the University of Minnesota to support rehearsal space for The Green River Experiment, in which he and his students are using popular music to communicate environmental messages concerning the Mississippi River. A pilot campaign, the Horatio Project, involved web development, recorded music, art, and live performance on the Washington Avenue Bridge on the University of Minnesota campus. The Green River Experiment will take that work directly into the community. Undergraduate groups will perform at a series of events, seeking new audiences to assist the Friends of the Mississippi River in their reclamation efforts.

Associate professor Dona Schwartz was a 2006 Photo Review prize winner for her photo entitled "Grilled Chicken." The winners were chosen by Philip Brookman, senior curator of photography and media arts at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.

Professor Gary Schwitzer was named one of seven winners of the prestigious Knight-Batten Award for Innovations in Journalism. Schwitzer won the award for creating HealthNewsReview.org, a clearinghouse Web site for health news that helps journalists write accurate medical reports and consumers find useful health news. "I'm thrilled that HealthNewsReview.org is being honored as an innovation in journalism," said Schwitzer. Schwitzer also won an eHealthcare Leadership Award for HealthNewsReview.org. The award was presented November 6 at the 10th Annual Healthcare Internet Conference in Atlanta. The e-Healthcare Leadership awards program recognizes the best health information Web sites.

On October 1, 2006, associate professor Marco Yzer completed the 2006 Twin Cities Marathon with a time of 4:10:16. A first-time marathoner, Yzer was the 2,935th overall finisher out of the 8000+ who completed the race.

Publications and Research

An article co-authored by professor Ron Faber entitled "Estimated Prevalence of Compulsvie Buying Behavior in the United States generated significant media interest in the fall of 2006. Well over 100 news stories were written about the article, including stories in the New York Times, Washington Post, L.A. Times, on the ABC and CBS news broadcasts, and in the international press. The article, which appeared in the American Journal of Psychiatry, was accompanied by an editorial calling for the inclusion of "compulsive buying" in the next edition of the DSM (the diagnostic manual for psychiatric diseases). Among the article's findings was the surprising fact that compulsive buying is equally common in men and women.

Professor Kathleen Hansen and INMS director Nora Paul participated in a panel discussion entitled What is New About News: Challenges for Itasca County Journalism in the Digital Age on September 26 at the Grand Rapids Area Library. Paul discussed the changing nature of media and news delivery with special emphasis on smaller, local venues, and Hansen moderated the discussion between the audience and the panel, which included Britta Arendt, editor of the Grand Rapids Herald Review, Lee Johnson, editor of the Scenic Range News Forum, Marshall Helmberger, editor of the Cook/Orr Timberjay, and Scott Hall of KAXE's The Morning Show.

Harold Higgins, Cowles Visiting Professor, made a presentation in Chicago on October 15 to the Inland Press Association board of directors on a plan for modernization of the National Cost and Revenue Study for Newspapers. The Cost and Revenue Study is the oldest and largest database updated annually on newspaper financial and operational statistics. Inland asked Higgins to redesign the study to include new newspaper business tactics that reflect the Internet. Higgins taught the SJMC's Management of Media Organizations course in fall 2006.

Assistant professor Jisu Huh's co-authored paper, "Perceived Effects of DTC Prescription Drug Advertising on Self and Others: A Third Person Effect Study of Older Consumers," was published in Journal of Advertising, 35(3). The paper was co-authored with Denise DeLorme and Leonard N. Reid.

SJMC adjunct instructor David Husom has several photographs in an exhibit at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles. The exhibit, entitled "Where We Live: American Photographs from the Berman Collection," is showing at the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Getty Center, through February 25, 2007. The exhibition showcases the richness of American color photography in nearly 170 works by 24 contemporary artists. One of the photos by Husom, shown at left, is of the Mahnomen County Fairgrounds in Mahnomen, Minnesota, and is part of of Husom's "Fairgrounds" series, which depicts empty Midwestern fairground buildings.

Visiting associate professor Chris Ison gave a number of presentations, including "Journalism Ethics: The Right Way is the Only Way," for the Minnesota High School Press Association on October 3, and "What's the media good for, anyway?" to the Minnesota Association of Government Communicators on Nov. 17. Ison also was on a panel sponsored by the Student Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists on Nov. 13 concerning the court case "Cohen v. Cowles Media" and the need for a federal shield law for journalists. Ison conducted a training session on investigating local government for reporters and editors of The Southwest Journal in Minneapolis on October 11, and also conducted a training session for the Minnesota Daily projects staff on investigative reporting.

Jane Kirtley, Silha Professor of Media Ethics and Law, gave dozens of national and international presentations, including a digital video conference with Palestinian journalists and academics in Jerusalem on January 10 at the Rarig Center on the University of Minnesota campus. The video conference was co-sponsored by a Palestinian think tank, the Al-Hares Center for Studies and Media, and the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem. Kirtley gave several keynote addresses, including one on October 18, 2006, entitled "Media Ethics: An Oxymoron?" at the Second National Applied Ethics Conference in Ankara, Turkey, and another on "My Freedom or Yours: The Collision of First Amendment Freedoms" at the First Amendment Congress at Oklahoma State University on November 17. Kirtley was an invited participant in the Aspen Institute's Arab-U.S. Media Forum roundtable in June 2006; the topic of the roundtable was "Intolerance and Freedom of Expression." The program is part of the Aspen Institute's Communications and Society Program. Kirtley testified in front of the U.S. House Permanent Select Intelligence Committee on May 26, and together with Don Gemberling, retired director of Information Policy Analysis at the Minnesota Department of Administration, led a workshop entitled "Openness in Government: Citizens and Sunshine," at the League of Women Voters 2006 National Convention in Minneapolis. Kirtley also published an article in the Autumn 2006 issue of Communications Law & Policy entitled "Transparency and Accountability in a Time of Terror: The Bush Administration's Assault on Freedom of Information." Research assistance on the article was provided by Silha Fellow Ashley Ewald.

INMS director Nora Paul was on a panel for the Minnesota Association of Community Telecommunications Administrators on the impact of the Internet on community television on Oct. 12. On that same day, she also gave a presentation about INMS's eyetracking project for the Usability Professionals Association. On October 5, she gave a presentation at the Educators Forum in a pre-conference workshop during the Online News Association conference in Washington D.C.

The photographs of professor Dona Schwartz were in three juried exhibitions in the fall and winter. They include the Center Awards Juried Exhibition at the Center for Photographic Art, in Carmel, CA; the Photo Review Best of Show at the University of the Arts Gallery in Philadelphia; and the New Works Gallery Online at the Silver Eye Center for Photography. Schwartz's photos were also included in a photo benefit auction for the Camera Club of New York at Daniel Cooney Fine Art gallery in New York.

Assistant professor Gary Schwitzer and seven Canadian collaborators have been funded by the Office of Consumer Affairs, Industry Canada, for their project, "Hope or Hype in Cancer Reporting: How do Media Reports of New Cancer Treatments Affect Consumers' Perceptions of Effectiveness, Harm and Access?" This is the first research collaboration between Schwitzer's HealthNewsReview.org website and its Canadian counterpart, Media Doctor Canada (http://www.mediadoctor.ca/).

An article by assistant professor Brian Southwell and American Institute of Physics colleague Alicia Torres on the connections between science news exposure and interpersonal communication was published in the September 2006 issue of Communication Monographs. Southwell was also an invited panelist at the 2006 Council of Engineering and Scientific Society Executives conference in Salt Lake City and a review panel member for a special National Institutes of Health study section in Maryland in July.