Associate professor Ken Doyle is the recipient of the 2009 Wilbert J. McKeachie Career Achievement Award from the Special Interest Group in Instructional Evaluation and Development of the American Educational Research Association. The award recognizes "outstanding contributions, over a career, to the field of faculty teaching, evaluation and development."
The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has elected Doyle to its Minnesota Advisory Committee. This panel provides the U.S. Commission in Washington, D.C., with research support and advice on issues and incidents concerning deprivation of voting rights and other civil rights "by reason of color, race, religion, sex, age, disability or national origin," as well as patterns of discrimination against any group. He also has been elected to the National Association of Scholars (NAS) board of directors. NAS is an independent membership association of academics working to foster intellectual freedom and to sustain the tradition of reasoned scholarship and civil debate in America's colleges and universities. He is serving his third term as president of the Minnesota Association of Scholars.
Emeritus professor Irving Fang, at age 80, continues research and writing. Last year he published a history of communication titled "Alphabet to Internet: Mediated Communication in Our Lives." The American Library Association magazine Choice named the book one of its "Outstanding Academic Titles" for 2008. A reviewer awarded it three stars, saying the book is "remarkable" and "highly recommended." And a reviewer in this year's spring issue of Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly wrote, "Fang's writing style is accessible and engaging, and his ability to weave together short anecdotes from history into a master narrative is accomplished, to say the least." Meanwhile, he has started work on another book.
Assistant professor Kathy Roberts Forde won two book awards for "Literary Journalism on Trial: Masson v. New Yorker and the First Amendment." She won the 2008 AEJMC History Division's Book Award for the Best Book on Journalism & Mass Communication History and the 2008 Frank Luther Mott-KTA award for the best research-based book about journalism and mass communication.
The National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA) honored professor and Minnesota Journalism Center director Kathleen Hansen with its 2008 Pioneer Award. The Pioneer Award is NSPA's top honor for journalism educators. It recognizes substantial contributions to scholastic journalism outside regular job requirements. Hansen is a former member of the NSPA board of directors and remains active in assisting with NSPA activities in Minnesota and across the country. Hansen, along with six other winners, was recognized at the Journalism Education Association/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention held in St. Louis last November.
In February, Kathleen Hansen, Institute for New Media Studies director Nora Paul and Mithun chair of advertising John Eighmey received a grant of $228,000 from the Minnesota Job Skills Partnership program, a program administered by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development whose objective is to keep Minnesota businesses and their work forces well-trained and competitive. Hansen, Paul and Eighmey will work with the news and ad sales staffs at the Duluth News Tribune and the Pioneer Press to provide training for Newspaper Guild-represented employees. The curriculum that Hansen, Paul and Eighmey develop will help newspapers revolutionize their business model and thrive in an increasingly Internet-based industry. The SJMC and the two newspapers will also contribute in-kind funds, bringing the total project budget to approximately $700,000.
Lecturer Jennifer Johnson received Best Faculty Member recognition in the 2009 Minnesota Daily Grapevine Awards.
Associate professor Mark Pedelty has been named a resident fellow at the University of Minnesota's Institute on the Environment (IonE) for 2009-11. Each of the institute's resident fellows receives $60,000 in flexible funding to engage in creative research and problem solving, to develop new models of teaching and training, and to build new networks and partnerships. Pedelty's research will involve collaboration with a local community organization, Metro Blooms, which is using funding from the Minnesota Legislature to install 150 raingardens in the Powderhorn neighborhood of Minneapolis and is partnering with the Minneapolis Public Works Department and Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board to measure the effects of raingardens on storm water runoff into Powderhorn Lake. Pedelty and his students will be assisting with public outreach, education and media, including the production of a documentary film.
In April, the University of Minnesota awarded Pedelty a $3,000 Imagine Fund grant for his "Music as Environmental Communication" project. The grant will support his efforts with students to use music as a means of communicating environmental messages. The Imagine Fund is a unique systemwide program open to arts, design and humanities faculty to support a range of projects and enhance the presence of these disciplines at the University. This marks the first year of the Imagine Fund Program, which is part of the provost's effort to recognize the value of supporting arts, design and humanities at the University.
Pedelty also received a residential fellowship for the fall 2009 semester from the University's Institute for Advanced Study. Each year up to 20 University faculty members are selected as residential fellows. Fellows are released from all teaching obligations during the term of their fellowships and are in residence at the Nolte Center, where they can benefit from the community of scholars and share their work across disciplines. Pedelty's research will involve a quantitative, computer-assisted content analysis of climate change news coverage in collaboration with David Fan, professor of genetics, cell biology and development.
Last fall, associate professor Brian Southwell was unanimously elected chair of the University's Graduate School Social Sciences Policy and Review Council and also was invited to join the editorial board of the Journal of Public Relations Research.
Assistant professor Shayla Thiel-Stern was named an affiliate faculty member in the gender, women, and sexuality studies department at the University of Minnesota. In April, the President's Distinguished Faculty Mentor Program at the University recognized her and associate professor Brian Southwell as mentors at its annual banquet.