Faculty and staff achievements


Please welcome Hyejin Bang, who is joining the J-School this fall as an assistant professor. Bang received her doctoral degree from the University of Georgia, and her research examines how digital technologies influence the way people perceive, process and evaluate branded messages.

 Dean Ann Brill with Associate Professors Max Utsler and Carol Holstead.

Dean Ann Brill with Associate Professors Max Utsler and Carol Holstead.

Faculty awards were presented at the last faculty and staff meeting of the semester on May 5. Associate Professor Max Utsler received the John Katich Award for Creativity, and Associate Professor Carol Holstead received the Tim Bengtson Faculty Mentor Award.

Kerry Benson, strategic communications track chair, was one of four finalists for the Del Shankel Teaching Excellence Award at the Sept. 10 KU Athletics Rock Chalk Choice Awards. The award was established by the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee to honor outstanding KU faculty members. Shankel, professor emeritus of microbiology, served as KU chancellor twice and interim athletics director twice. Professors are nominated by student-athletes.

 Associate Professor Yvonnes Chen.

Associate Professor Yvonnes Chen.

Associate Professor Yvonnes Chen is one of the selected 2017-2018 Center for Teaching Excellence Diversity Scholars. During this one-year program, she plans to incorporate inclusiveness and diversity content in her Research Methods class. The goal of Diversity Scholars Programs is to promote broader faculty adoption of teaching methods, strategies and course materials that enhance inclusivity and respect for diversity while building a network of leaders in this area across KU.

Associate Professor Yvonnes Chen gave a workshop on marketing and strategic communications for KU's Crimson & Blue Day attendees on Oct. 13. Heather Lawrenz and Vicky Reyes also gave presentations at the event, which welcomed more than 1,000 9th-12th graders to KU and provided an overview ranging from KU's academic programs to rich traditions and history.

The Torch chapter of Mortar Board honored Associate Professor Yvonnes Chen as a 2017 Outstanding Educator at halftime of the men's basketball game on Nov. 17. Mortar Board is a national college senior honors society that values scholarship, leadership and service. Since 1974, Mortar Board members have nominated and selected five winning educators each year who are devoted to academia, teaching style, accessibility, and knowledge of their subject as well as their positive influence on students both academically and personally. Chen wants to share this award with her supportive network of colleagues, without whom this award would not be possible. 

Chen was also inducted into Phi Beta Delta Honors Society on Nov. 14. Phi Beta Delta recognizes students, faculty and staff who have distinguished themselves through their participation in international education.

Cade Cruickshank, J-School director of broadcast operations, was featured in the Office of the Provost's 24 Hours in the Life of KU feature.

A study by J-School professors and former graduate students shows that mass communications studies rely heavily on non-representative samples. Authors Joseph Erba, assistant professor of journalism; Peter Bobkowski, associate professor of journalism; Brock Ternes, lecturer in sociology, and Yuchen Liu and Tara Logan, then-master's students, all at KU. They presented the findings at the International Communication Association Conference. Read the KU News story.

Professors Pam Fine, Hyunjin Seo and Mike Williams are teaming together on a new project with the Lawrence Journal-World that has been awarded a $35,000 “Innovation in Journalism Education” grant from the Online News Association. The professors will work with students and the news company to develop a data channel that will feature community business and economic information. The project will use crowdsourcing techniques to get input from community members. The money will fund student journalism and research positions.

Associate Professor Mugur Geana and colleagues from the Department of Public Health, KU School of Medicine-Wichita, have been awarded a $750,000 grant by the National Institutes of Health for their proposal, “Texting for Mobility in Overweight/Obese Adults with Peripheral Artery Disease” (PI: Tracie Collins, M.D.). The award is the culmination of over two years of collaboration and pilot studies focused on developing behavioral interventions using multiple approaches (including text messages) to promote physical activity to patients with peripheral artery disease. The original online app used in the pilot studies to deliver and track tailored text messages was developed with support from the Center for Excellence in Health Communication to Underserved Populations (CEHCUP). Dr. Geana is the PI for the subcontract awarded to the Center for Research-KU Lawrence. 

Associate Professor David Guth has received reaccreditation from Public Relations Society of America.

Professor Tien Lee has been appointed to the editorial board of the Journal of Information Society.

In his new book, "Public Relations, Cooperation and Justice: From Evolutionary Biology to Ethics," Professor Chuck Marsh contends that cooperation and building positive relationships is, in fact, the superior practice -- and backs the claim with evidence from the fields of evolutionary biology, philosophy and rhetoric. Read the KU News story.

 While teaching his last class in December, Associate Dean Tom Volek received a visit from Dean Ann Brill and a thank you gift -- a conductor's cap because of his love of trains. Volek will retire after the spring semester.

While teaching his last class in December, Associate Dean Tom Volek received a visit from Dean Ann Brill and a thank you gift -- a conductor's cap because of his love of trains. Volek will retire after the spring semester.

Scott Reinardy, the Malcolm Applegate Professor in News Management and Editing, will assume the role of associate dean for undergraduate studies on Aug. 1, 2018, after the retirement of Associate Dean Tom VolekTien Lee, the William Allen White Professor of Journalism and Mass Communications, will assume the role of associate dean for graduate studies.

Scott Reinardy was featured in a Poynter article titled "Women dominate journalism schools, but newsrooms are still a different story." The article was written by Catherine York, a Duke University senior writing for the Investigative Reporting Workshop, a nonprofit newsroom in Washington, D.C. Read the story.

Associate Professor Hyunjin Seo received a grant from the Waterhouse Family Institute for the study of communication and society to fund her research of the role of social media in protests, such as the impeachment of former South Korean President Park Geun-hye and the 2014 Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong. Read the University Daily Kansan story.

 Associate Professor Hyunjin Seo received the 2017 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award from the KU Center for Civic and Social Responsibility (CCSR). CCSR Director John Augusto and Assistant Director Linda Dixon made a surprise visit to her J615 Social Media class May 2 to present the award.  

Associate Professor Hyunjin Seo received the 2017 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award from the KU Center for Civic and Social Responsibility (CCSR). CCSR Director John Augusto and Assistant Director Linda Dixon made a surprise visit to her J615 Social Media class May 2 to present the award.  

Matt Tidwell, program director for the Integrated Marketing Communications master's program at the KU Edwards Campus, was named volunteer of the month by the Kansas City chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators.

Assistant Professor Hong Vu is the 2017 Recipient of the Diversity and Inclusion Action Group (DIAG) Summer Applied Research Award for his proposal “Digital Media, Social Support and Social Adjustment: A Community Engagement Approach to U.S. Immigrants’ Digital Literacy.” The research focuses on recent African immigrants to the United States and aims to develop an education module and associated strategy to enhance their digital literacy to facilitate social adjustment in the United States. The $5,000 award will support the work of a multidisciplinary research team that includes Associate Professor Hyunjin Seo, Hannah E. Britton, associate professor, political science, and Abel Chikanda, assistant professor, geography and atmospheric science and African & African-American Studies.

Associate Professor Doug Ward is co-principal investigator of a $612,000 National Science Foundation grant intended to help STEM departments provide a richer evaluation of faculty teaching and ultimately, expand the use of practices that have shown to improve student learning. The work will eventually expand beyond STEM fields. The project is part of a $2.8 million initiative that involves the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, the University of Colorado, Boulder, and Michigan State University. Ward also will be a senior administrative fellow at KU for the 2017-18 academic year.

J-School alumni and professors were speakers at the interdisciplinary workshop on Misinformation in the Social Media Age on Nov. 9 at The Commons. The event drew more than 100 attendees including communications professionals and scholars from other universities as well as KU faculty, staff and students. J-School participants included Dean Ann BrillJerry CrawfordJoseph ErbaMugur GeanaCrystal LumpkinsLisa McClendonHyunjin SeoMatt TidwellHong Vu and Doug Ward. J-School alums who spoke at the event were: Vickie Walton-James, senior national editor at National Public Radio; Desiree Fish, vice president of global communications, TripAdvisor; Eric Nelson, assistant managing editor/digital, at The Kansas City Star; and Colleen McCain Nelson, editorial page editor at The Kansas City Star. The workshop was organized by Hyunjin Seo and Fengjun Li, associate professor of computer science.