Faculty & Staff Achievements 

Highlights of the research and other recent professional activities going on at the J-School 

Fall 2018 Edition  


Assistant Professor  Joseph Erba , pictured with Dean Ann Brill, received the Katich Creativity Award in May. The Katich Award goes to a tenure track or tenured faculty member in the school who has demonstrated creativity in teaching, research, service or a combination of these areas. The award is named in honor of John Katich, a former J-School instructor who loved students and inspired them to excel.

Assistant Professor Joseph Erba, pictured with Dean Ann Brill, received the Katich Creativity Award in May. The Katich Award goes to a tenure track or tenured faculty member in the school who has demonstrated creativity in teaching, research, service or a combination of these areas. The award is named in honor of John Katich, a former J-School instructor who loved students and inspired them to excel.

Kerry Benson , strategic communication track chair, received the Bengtson Faculty Mentor Award at the J-School Scholarships and Awards ceremony in April. The award was established in 2012 by Mark Mears (above), 1984 J-School graduate, to honor his mentor, Professor Tim Bengtson, who taught in the school for more than 30 years.

Kerry Benson, strategic communication track chair, received the Bengtson Faculty Mentor Award at the J-School Scholarships and Awards ceremony in April. The award was established in 2012 by Mark Mears (above), 1984 J-School graduate, to honor his mentor, Professor Tim Bengtson, who taught in the school for more than 30 years.

Chuck Marsh

Chuck Marsh

Professor Chuck Marsh was chosen as the 2018 Chancellor's Club Career Teaching Award recipient. The award recognizes one faculty member each year for teaching contributions to the university over a period of 20 years or more. The last J-School recipient was Calder Pickett in 1987. (Read the news release.)

Associate Professor Mugur Geana is part of a research team that received an $88,000 grant from the Brown Performance Group to pilot test a communication and engagement intervention aimed at promoting recruitment of patients from rural clinics into urological cancer clinical trials. The pilot study will be conducted this year in Oklahoma and Louisiana.  

Associate Professor Jerry Crawford was elected to the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication's Professional Freedom and Responsibility Committee. Crawford also is the new subcommittee chair for the AEJMC Presidential Task Force on Careers, and he was invited to join the AEJMC Advisory Board for the Institute for Diverse Leadership.  

Assistant Professor Teri Finneman has launched a new podcast, Journalism History, on iTunes as part of her work with the AEJMC History Division. 

Gayle Vannicola

Gayle Vannicola

Gayle Vannicola (right), J-School business manager, this year marked 40 years of service at KU. Vannicola has worked at the J-School for 12 ½ years. 

Associate Professor Mike Williams was invited to be co-chair of the Kansas Board of Regents Transfer and Articulation Council for next year. He also has been selected to the board of directors for Trips for Kids, an organization that get kids involved with bicycling.

Matt Tidwell

Matt Tidwell

Associate Professor Genelle Belmas won first place in the AEJMC Law & Policy Division's teaching award competition. 

Integrated Marketing Communications program director and faculty member Matt Tidwell was named to the international executive board of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC). Tidwell also received the Arthur Lowell Communicator of the Year award from the Kansas City chapter of the IABC at its annual KC Quills Awards ceremony in June. Past winners include J-School alumni Mike Goff and Eric Morgenstern and IMC instructor and doctoral student Michelle Keller

Associate Professor Hyunjin Seo,  Assistant Professor Joseph Erba,  Associate Professor Yvonnes Chen, and Assistant Professor Hyejin Bang were awarded a one-year Curriculum Innovation Program grant from the KU Center for Teaching Excellence. The team will work on better incorporating social media and other digital media components into strategic communication courses. 

Associate Professor Hyunjin Seo has been selected as a fellow at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University for 2018-2019. She will continue her research on social media and social change while working with faculty, researchers and other affiliates at different academic units at the university. Seo will be in residence at Harvard during her Spring 2019 sabbatical.

Tom Volek

Tom Volek

Associate Dean Scott Reinardy was honored by the South Dakota State University Department of Journalism and Mass Communication as one of its distinguished alumni. Reinardy earned bachelor's degrees in journalism and history from SDSU in 1987.

Tom Volek, who retired from the J-School in May as associate dean for undergraduate studies, was awarded the Russian, East European & Eurasian  faculty service award on Sept. 7. The award was in appreciation of the contributions he has made to the REES programs and initiatives over the years. 

Ashley Anguiano Gomez and Dan McCarthy

Ashley Anguiano Gomez and Dan McCarthy

J-School advisors Ashley Anguiano Gomez and Dan McCarthy were nominated for KU Advisor of the Year. They were recognized during a ceremony May 7. Anguiano left the J-School in September to become the recruiting coordinator for the School of Social Welfare. 

Pam Fine, the Knight Chair for News, Leadership and Community, received a grant from the Online News Association on a project to pair journalism students with working professionals to build a data-driven, crowdsourced, locally focused model of presenting business news and information that can potentially be used by small news organizations across the country. Read the KU News story.  

Associate Professor Max Utsler is co-chair of the curriculum committee for Dayton Moore's "C You in the Major Leagues" Foundation. Moore is the general manager of the Kansas City Royals and established the foundation to support youth baseball, education, faith-based organizations and events, and families in crisis. Utsler will be involved in a program for 12-15 Kansas City metro high school juniors that focuses on character-based leadership, mentoring and community service.

Lisa McLendon , Bremner Editing Center coordinator (right), J-School Associate Professor  Peter Bobkowski  (left), and Center for Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies Director  Vitaly Chernetsky  (center) visited Ekaterinburg, Russia, as part of their Peer-to-Peer grant from the U.S. State Department. They are working with a Russian university to develop materials for journalism students on fact-checking and verification. They also visited several local media outlets and the Yeltsin Center museum.

Lisa McLendon, Bremner Editing Center coordinator (right), J-School Associate Professor Peter Bobkowski (left), and Center for Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies Director Vitaly Chernetsky (center) visited Ekaterinburg, Russia, as part of their Peer-to-Peer grant from the U.S. State Department. They are working with a Russian university to develop materials for journalism students on fact-checking and verification. They also visited several local media outlets and the Yeltsin Center museum.