Chair chronicles a year of accomplishments

We continue to make progress in the Department of Journalism and Mass Communications. In the last year, we’ve experienced two academic program reviews, a departmental retreat, new faculty hires and numerous accolades. Here are a few highlights:

Dr. Bella Ezumah is the new graduate program director.


Dr. Stephanie Anderson has settled into her appointment as assistant professor and adviser to The Murray State News.

Dr. Sonya Noruwa, J.D., joins us as an assistant professor and 2017-18 Provost Diversity Fellow. She teaches both introductory and intermediate undergraduate courses.

Chad Lampe, MS ’08, and WKMS station manager, joins us as an adjunct to teach a special topics course titled, “Podcasting: Telling a Human Story.”

Advertising instructor Gill Welsch received MSU’s Distinguished Service Award.

Broadcaster Amy Bryan Watson, ‘89, received an MSU 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award.

Dr. Melony Shemberger held a 2017 Scripps Howard Academic Leadership Academy Fellowship.

JMC faculty are making progress
Another successful round of workshops brought high school journalism and broadcast students to campus, hosted Google training sessions for faculty, students and journalists, and brought professionals on campus to interact with JMC students during Meet the Pros and Gravure Day.

Faculty won “Bring Learning to Life” grants which will enhance their ability to teach using digital technology.

This summer, a team of JMC faculty and a graduate student collaborated with Kendall Hunt publishing company to produce a curriculum-specific version of an undergraduate textbook for Contemporary Mass Media, a required core course for all our majors.

Additionally, faculty presented their research at ACA/PCA, AEJMC, BEA and MAPOR, to name a few.

We’ve rebooted our undergraduate curriculum. Faculty have renamed several courses that reflect the types of industry-skills that our JMC students are both learning and producing. Revamped titles include Advertising Capstone: The Campaign; Advanced Multimedia Reporting; Collaborative Journalism Capstone; PR Capstone: Cases and Campaigns; Capstone in Media Production. We’re further integrating Graphic Communications Media into the core curriculum for all majors through a newly designed co-requisite course, Introduction to Digital Imaging.

Graduate faculty worked with deans in the Bauernfeind College of Business to design an accelerated mass communications master’s degree program.

At our JMC departmental retreat in November, faculty explored ideas to develop an extended summer workshop for area high school media advisors and students. Participants also addressed strategies for increasing our efforts to promote diversity and inclusiveness throughout the curriculum, which we generally do practice. However, faculty agreed that in order to better emphasize these issues to our students, diversity-related items should be clearly identified in course syllabi. We will revisit the current departmental diversity plan in order to determine where new challenges might arise. The Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC) Diversity and Inclusiveness Standard includes matters of race, gender, physical (dis)ability, gender preference, culture, class and globalism. Ultimately, we want to establish a consistent approach to meeting, if not, surpassing this standard.

JMC students are making progress
Our students won awards and garnered recognition from organizations such as Kentucky Press Association, Kappa Tau Alpha JMC Honorary Society, and Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities.

They presented research at venues such as MSU’s Scholar’s Week and AEJMC.

During 2017 Homecoming weekend, students and staff and alumni of The Murray State News celebrated its 90th year of excellence!

Our students remained engaged in communities both at home and abroad. They held internships at regional and national media outlets. They earned jobs in the industry or sought advanced degrees.

Just as many other institutions of higher education are regrouping in order to meet the challenges of budget cuts and declining student enrollment, we are exploring opportunities to generate revenue via grants, workshops and new program offerings.

Our enthusiastic JMC Ambassadors will hit the recruitment trail in 2018 with a student-produced brochure and video campaign.

So, with all that’s happened this year, thank you for supporting our program, the JMC Foundation, and for keeping the Racer tradition at the forefront of your thoughts.

You’re helping us keep pace with the technology-driven changes in classroom delivery and the industry-level training that our students need in order to succeed in their fields. This is where their media careers begin. And as an alum of JMC, your support helps us continue to grow future generations of media professionals. Now, that’s progress!

We look forward to hearing from you in 2018!

Debbie Owens
interim chair

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Posted on 05 January 2018 by jmcjournal

Categorized | Faculty/Staff, JMC Dept.