By: Chuck Gallina
The University of Memphis Department of Journalism and Strategic Media will be honored with the 2023 Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication’s Equity & Diversity Award in a unanimous decision.
“After reviewing this year’s nominations, the EDA selection committee highlighted several achievements in the UofM Department of Journalism and Strategic Media’s submission that demonstrated how your unit has worked toward and attained measurable success in increasing equity and diversity among faculty and students within the past three years,” said Lillie Fears, PhD, chair of the award selection committee and professor at Arkansas State University. “The UofM’s record is an example to every other program in the country.”
Some of the notable achievements that stood out include:
• Excellent, well-written narrative that told a compelling story of the unit’s intentionality and commitment to equity and diversity;
• Many innovative classes and programming at the cutting-edge of DEI and journalism and mass communications instruction;
• Rich student diversity, including 46% students identifying as African American; and
• Significant increase to faculty diversity in recent years, with 39% faculty of color in 2022-23 and at least 50% women.
“I am so pleased that my faculty and staff are receiving AEJMC’s national recognition of their tireless efforts in building academic programs and an overall departmental culture that embrace diversity and create a welcoming and nurturing place for all our students, said Dr. David Arant, chair of UofM’s Department of Journalism and Strategic Media.
The 2023 AEJMC Equity & Diversity Award will be presented during the AEJMC’s Washington, D.C., Conference Aug. 7-10. The AEJMC president also will travel to the winning academic unit during the 2023-24 academic year to make an on-campus presentation of the award.
“We’re honored to accept this award and hope to continue our work in this area,” said Dr. Matthew J. Haught, associate professor and assistant chair of the UofM’s Department of Journalism & Strategic Media.