The Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change is pleased to announce that the American Society for the History of Rhetoric (ASHR) recently awarded Hooks Scholar in Residence, Andre E. Johnson its inaugural “Outstanding Mentor Award” for 2021. The selection committee based its decision on the following criteria: 1) Consistent, ongoing, and superlative support for others working in or with the history of rhetoric; 2) Specific support and advocacy for students, community members, and/or colleagues historically marginalized within the study of the history of rhetoric; 3) Investment in mentorship roles that extends beyond the requirements of the nominee’s paid positions; 4) Evidence of the mentor’s lasting impact within the field of rhetorical history, on the nominee’s campus, and/or in larger communities.
Dr. Johnson received the award at the Society’s annual business meeting on November 20, 2021, in Seattle, Washington. In a prepared statement, the Society noted that:
Doctor Andre E. Johnson has been chosen as the inaugural recipient of the ASHR Outstanding Mentor Award. The selection committee praised Prof. Johnson’s record of engaged and proactive mentoring, noting how he extends his mentorship to students and colleagues even before they recognize their own needs and staying with them for the long haul. The committee noted the broad and positive effects that Prof. Johnson’s mentoring has had on the study of rhetorical history, even at this relatively early stage in his career. Prof. Johnson’s mentorship has already and will continue to promote research on histories of rhetoric that have been previously neglected. Prof. Johnson himself is a catalyzing figure: attracting diverse voices to ASHR and to rhetorical studies more broadly. Agreeing with nominators who wrote, “Truly, his students, colleagues, and community are better because of his dedication and talents,” the selection committee is pleased to honor Prof. Johnson and recognize the community that he creates and sustains through his mentoring.
Dr. Andre E. Johnson is an Associate Professor of Rhetoric and Media Studies in the Department of Communication and Film at the University of Memphis and is the editor of the forthcoming, The Press, The Platform, and the Pulpit: The Speeches of Bishop Henry McNeal Turner. (University Press of Mississippi, 2022)