Carter to Share North Pole Adventure at Alumni LENS Event

Posted on: April 1, 2014


Michigan State University's Alumni LENS (Lifelong Enrichment for Spartans) is hosting a Spartan Women Speaker Series, which will include Professor of Journalism Sue Carter. This exciting series, featuring MSU women with compelling stories of breaking through boundaries, is sure to inspire all who attend.

If you missed Carter's recent TEDx Lansing talk, this is another chance to hear her speak on the "Things I Learned While Skiing to the North Pole." The Spartan Women Speaker Series is Wednesday, April 9, between 8 a.m. and noon, at the James B. Henry Center for Executive Development at Michigan State University.

In 2001, Carter and 12 other women began the first all-women ski expedition from Russia to the North Pole. Carter said "it started like a lot of big things do, but with something small."

For Carter that small item was a piece of paper cut out of a newsletter that offered her an adventure to the North Pole. An adventure that made her stronger by exposing her weaknesses; an adventure that inspired middle school students to pursue their own dreams and desires; and an adventure that encouraged all to follow their heart.

To hear more on the "Things I Learned While Skiing to the North Pole," register for the event by visiting the Alumni LENS website. Cost is $45 per person.

Carter, a member of the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame, is recognized not only throughout the state but also nationwide for broadcasting. In 1990, she was named United Press International (UPI) Sports Broadcaster of the Year for reporting on the Detroit Free Press International Marathon while running in it.

She also is a two-time Emmy award winner. She was awarded an Emmy as executive producer of "The Great Experiment," a documentary on the history of the first land-grant college in America. She later received another Emmy for her documentary, "Malawi and Malaria: Fighting to Save the Children."

Carter joined MSU's faculty in 1991 after a 17-year career as a news broadcaster and talk show host at radio and television stations in Michigan, Connecticut and Ontario, Canada. Prior to coming to MSU, she taught journalism at Wayne State University in Detroit.

The Alumni LENS is a program of the Michigan State University Alumni Association. Alumni LENS provides a wide variety of noncredit personal enrichment offerings for MSU alumni and friends and community members in the Lansing area and surrounding region. All adults are welcome; you do not have to be affiliated with MSU to participate in Alumni LENS events.

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Wash Awarded Prestigious NSF CAREER Grant

Posted on: March 11, 2014

Rick Walsh

Assistant Professor Rick Wash has received one of the National Science Foundation's (NSF) most prestigious and competitive awards for junior researchers - a Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) grant.

Wash, who has a joint appointment in the School of Journalism and the Telecommunication, Information Studies and Media department, was awarded a five-year, $489,678 CAREER grant to study online communities - how they are formed, how they shape expectations about the future of the community, how they co-evolve with the community over time, and how they form a critical mass that is essential for successful work and community survival.

"This grant will allow me to continue my work understanding how people make reasoned decisions about their use of technology and will allow me to continue discovering more about how groups function online," Wash said. "It will help me to explore in detail how online groups develop, how people decide whether they should participate in these groups, and whether they should keep participating once they have joined."

CAREER awards recognize promising faculty in the early stages of their career who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research.

Wash's research, titled "Mental Models and Critical Mass: Shaping the Success of Online Communities," will help in designing, managing and participating in many kinds of online communities and will contribute to information, cognitive and social sciences education.

"One of the most important and valuable features of the Internet is that people can get together in groups to discuss interesting topics and work together. However, creating and sustaining these online communities is really difficult; most fail to generate much interest and die before they get really interesting," Wash said. "The goal of my research is to understand how people make reasoned decisions about their use of technology. I hope to use this understanding of people's decision-making process to design better tools and techniques for helping people make good decisions and for encouraging participation and support of online groups."

As part of the study, a unique, cross-disciplinary education program will be created to train students to use this research to build special-purpose online communities. A joint class will be offered beginning this fall that links the School of Journalism with the Telecommunication, Information Studies and Media department. The class will form cross-disciplinary teams that will spend a semester creating and growing an online community.

"This will represent a new type of education in journalism that will bring students into new, community-driven methods of doing journalism, based more on curating content and facilitating discussion than on original, unidirectional reporting," Wash said.

Students in the class will be taught to apply social science and computer science research for real-world applications and how to work on collaborative, cross-disciplinary teams that include both technical and creative people as well as topic experts.

"I am hoping that students come away from this class understanding the large variety of different ways that people can talk together and work together on the Internet, understand both the technical and the social challenges of doing so, and be able to address those challenges and build online communities that are sustained and valuable," Wash said.

Wash is one of the primary investigators in the Behavior, Information and Technology (BIT) Lab, a group of social science and technology researchers in the College of Communication Arts and Sciences.

The grant will support at least one Ph.D. student for five years and a number of undergraduate or master student research assistants. It also will help support the BITLab and the research being produced there.

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Acting Dean Lacy Well Versed at Being both Scholar and Leader

Posted on: February 4, 2014


Stephen Lacy, professor in the School of Journalism, became Acting Dean of MSU's College of Communication Arts and Sciences on Feb. 1. Although the appointment is new, Lacy is a familiar member of CAS, having served in a number of J-School, college and university leadership positions.

When asked about his focus for the college during his term, Lacy emphasizes that his job is to "keep the college on course in the same energetic, strategic and results-oriented direction that it's been headed over the past several years."

Lacy is quick to note that "creating opportunities to help our students become global communicators and to help our faculty to engage in teaching and research that inspires students and enriches lives around the world is what we do in the college, and we will continue to do so."

During his 30-year career at MSU, he has served as Director of the School of Journalism, Associate Dean for Graduate Studies in the College of Communication Arts and Sciences, Director of the Media and Information Studies Doctoral Program, and Honors Professor in the Honors College. He also has served on numerous academic governance bodies, including Faculty Council, Academic Council, and the University Committee for Graduate Studies.

Lacy is known internationally for his scholarship in content analysis methodology and media management and economics. He has published more than 100 articles in refereed journals, co-written four books, edited two books, and published dozens of book chapters, papers and other publications. He is former co-editor of the Journal of Media Economics. The Knight Foundation, the Pew Foundation, and the National Science Foundation have funded his research.

In addition to his work at MSU, Lacy has been active in professional and outreach activities. He served as president of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, testified before Congress, and consulted with the Federal Communication Commission, Project for Excellence in Journalism, and American Press Institutes.

MSU awarded him the Teacher-Scholar Award and the Distinguished Faculty Award. In 2010, he received the Paul J. Deutschmann Award for Excellence in Research, a career achievement award from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, and last summer he served as Deakin University Thinker-in-Residence in Melbourne, Australia.

He received a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana, a master's degree in journalism from Texas A&M University, Commerce, and a Ph.D. in journalism from The University of Texas at Austin.


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Journalism Faculty's Photos, Research Featured at MSU Museum

Posted on: January 28, 2014


School of Journalism Associate Professor Darcy Greene first discovered French photographer Pierre Verger's work while serving in the Peace Corps (1969-1971) in Benin, West Africa. It was then she found a copy of his 1954 publication, "Dieux D'Afrique" (Gods of Africa).

"I was captivated by its contents. I had seen a number of the activities it depicted in the village where I lived and worked," Greene said. "In the years since my return home, I often wondered how Verger's compelling photographs would compare to those taken today."

Forty years later, Greene traveled back to Benin, West Africa, to some of the same places as Verger to capture her own images that are similar, or somewhat related, to those taken by the French photojournalist.

This photographic comparison of Verger's historical black and white photos paired with the contemporary color photos taken by Greene document life and traditions in Benin, West Africa, and will be on display Feb. 2-April 27 at the MSU Museum.

The exhibit, "Revisiting Verger's Dahomey: A Photographic Contrast," opens Sunday, Feb. 2, with an opening reception from 2 to 4 p.m. and gallery talk by Greene at 3 p.m.

Verger, who passed away in 1996, immersed himself in the lives, customs and beliefs of the people of Dahomey (now Benin) West Africa. The MSU Museum exhibit pairs 16 of his photos, many taken in the town of Abomey in the 1950s, with 17 of Greene's photos taken in 2012 in many of the same locations.

"The exhibit is a reflection of my long-held interest in using photography to examine what has changed and what has remained the same in people's lives and environments over time," Greene said.

Greene-Darcy-CASNews2The exhibit was made possible with support from an MSU Humanities and Arts Research Program (HARP) Development Grant, which allowed Greene to travel to Salvador, Brazil, where Verger's archive is located, in March 2012 to review more than 1,000 of his photos. She then traveled to Abomey, West Africa, in May and June 2012 to re-photograph the places, family members and events found in Verger's photos.

In addition to the photo comparisons, the MSU Museum exhibit includes seven portraits taken by Greene in Abomey as well as objects depicted in Greene's images that she brought back from West Africa. These objects include a ceremonial ax and alter, tapestries, clay pots, cowrie shells, and the actual book by Verger that served as the inspiration for the exhibit.

"Revisiting Verger's Dahomey: A Photographic Contrast" was curated by Howard Bossen, professor of photography and visual communication in the School of Journalism and adjunct curator of photography at the MSU Museum.

Four CAS students in the University Undergraduate Research program (UURAF) helped with the project by doing research, writing captions and designing materials. Julia Grippe and Danielle Turcotte assisted in 2012-2013 and Elizabeth Izzo and Dylan Sowle assisted in 2013-2014.

The MSU Museum, 409 W. Circle Drive (next to Beaumont Tower), is open Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. Admission is by donation. For more information, see the MSU Museum website.

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Journalism's Grimm to Receive MSU Excellence in Diversity Award

Posted on: January 20, 2014


Joe Grimm, visiting editor in residence for MSU's School of Journalism, is one of only three people across campus chosen to receive a 2014 Excellence in Diversity individual award for his outstanding efforts and commitment to the principles of diversity and inclusion.

President Lou Anna Simon and Acting Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs June Pierce Youatt will present Grimm with the award Monday, Feb. 3, at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center.

"Diversity is so important in journalism and in education," Grimm said. "Without diversity, you cannot do an honest or accurate job of describing the world or a community. It is becoming a great strength of our university and our nation."

Since 1990, the Excellence in Diversity Awards have recognized and rewarded the outstanding efforts of MSU faculty, students and staff who support an environment where diversity and inclusion are valued. Grimm was nominated for the award by School of Journalism Chair Lucinda Davenport.

In spring 2013, Grimm launched a new course where students create cultural competence guides with the goal of using journalism to replace bias and stereotypes with information and to encourage conversation among people.

"This semester will be our third working on guides to greater cultural competence," Grimm said. "The students do cross-cultural interviews, which can seem awkward at first, about the stereotypes that others encounter. They then create guides that answer 100 questions about the group we are learning about.

"The guides are really getting popular. We hope they are a first step to more person-to-person conversations that help us really benefit from the wonderful diversity we have at MSU."

The first cultural competence guide, titled "100 Questions and Answers About Indian Americans," was released in May 2013. The second book, geared toward international students, is titled "100 Questions & Answers About Americans" and was released in December with the help from a grant from the Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives. Both guides are available on Amazon.

Two new books in the series will be released this spring. One focuses on Hispanics and Latinos and the other on Asians. The one on Asians is being completed with the help from Advertising + Public Relations Professor Dawn Pysarchik's International Advertising class.

One other way Grimm has demonstrated his commitment to diversity and inclusion is by serving as campus adviser to the MSU Association of Black Journalists.

"I love being adviser to the MSU Association of Black Journalists," Grimm said. "The students run everything themselves and have a real mission to help new students at MSU feel welcome and connected. This is a big place, but it is also a welcoming place."

Last year, Grimm received a $46,900 grant from the McCormick Foundation for workshops on "Grading the Teachers" that Grimm helped organize with Cheryl Pell, senior faculty specialist in the School of Journalism.

Grimm has taught media editing, copyediting, reporting, editorial writing and photojournalism. He also has received many awards and honors for his work and was inducted into the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame in 2009.

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Freedman Takes Helm of Knight Center for Environmental Journalism

Posted on: December 3, 2013

Eric-Freedman350Pulitzer Prize-winner Eric Freedman has been named Knight Chair and director of the John S. and James L. Knight Center for Environmental Journalism, which is housed in the College of Communication Arts & Sciences' School of Journalism at Michigan State University.

Freedman joined the School of Journalism faculty full-time in 1996 after almost 20 years as a newspaper reporter in New York and Michigan. He won a Pulitzer Prize in 1994 for coverage of a corruption scandal in the Michigan legislature.

He now serves as the director of Capital News Service, the School of Journalism's public affairs reporting internship program, which is one of the leading legislative and state government news sources for media outlets throughout Michigan.

A former MSU associate dean of International Studies & Programs, he has led MSU's study abroad program on Australia media, environment and culture and a freshman seminar abroad on media and environment in Scotland. As a Fulbright Scholar, he developed and taught the first university-level course on environmental and science journalism in Uzbekistan.

"Eric Freedman is a highly distinguished journalist and scholar with a deep and long-standing commitment to environmental journalism and educating the next generation of environmental reporters," noted Pamela Whitten, Dean of the College of Communication Arts & Sciences. "I am delighted that he has been appointed as the new Knight Chair and director of the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism.

"His expertise and leadership, combined with the outstanding team of scholars already on board at the Knight Center, will ensure that MSU's School of Journalism continues to be at the forefront of this increasingly important and challenging field."

Freedman earned a bachelor's degree in government from Cornell, a law degree from New York University and a master's in resource development from MSU. His master's project examined public lands litigation alliances between Native American and public interest groups.

With the academic and career credentials that clearly enable him to fully appreciate the challenges of being an effective environmental reporter, Freedman recognizes that "environmental and science issues permeate every news beat, from education, sports, health and business to justice, politics, entertainment and foreign affairs."

He acknowledges that "while not all journalists and journalism students need or want to be environmental journalists, all of them should be prepared to understand, analyze and explain the issues to a wide range of audiences in a fair, balanced, accurate and ethical way - regardless of medium."

As a journalist, his interests include public lands, habitat and diversity, invasive species, eco-tourism, forests, international transborder environmental problems, fisheries, environmental enforcement and archaeology. As a researcher, he studies environmental journalism practices and coverage of environmental news in formerly Soviet Central Asia.

His environmental reporting has appeared in publications as diverse as the Detroit News, Earth Island Journal, Automotive News, Times of Central Asia and Canoe & Kayak, as well as SEJournal, published by the Society of Environmental Journalists. His books include Great Lakes, Great National Forests: A Recreational Guide and On the Water, Michigan.

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Pell to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award

Posted on: October 1, 2013

cheryl-pellThe Journalism Education Association is honoring Cheryl Pell, senior faculty specialist in the School of Journalism, with its Lifetime Achievement Award.

Pell teaches publication design, a capstone journalism course, and a study abroad course in Spain. She is co-founder and co-adviser of the MSU Society for News Design student affiliate.

The Journalism Education Association's Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to retirees for their lifetime dedication to journalism education.

Pell taught high school English and journalism for more than 11 years before working as the executive director of the Michigan Interscholastic Press Association, a position she held for 25 years before retiring in 2012.

"So many wonderful high school journalism teachers and their students made my work in scholastic journalism the pleasurable experience it was, and I'm proud to have been a part of MIPA for so many years," Pell said.

Pell has received numerous awards for her work including the Journalism Education Association Medal of Merit, Columbia Scholastic Press Association James F. Paschal Award, National Scholastic Press Association Pioneer Award, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication Scholastic Journalism Educator of the Year, Michigan Interscholastic Press Association John V. Field Award, and Honors Lecturer award. She was inducted into the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame in 2007.

Pell will receive her Lifetime Achievement Award at the Journalism Education Association's National High School Journalism Convention on Saturday, Nov. 16, in Boston, Mass.

The Journalism Education Association is the only independent national scholastic journalism organization for teachers and media advisers. It is headquartered at Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kan.

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Museum Exhibits Curated by Journalism Professor and Students

Posted on: September 3, 2013

curateThe driving force behind MSU Museum's two upcoming photography exhibits can be found within the College of Communication Arts and Sciences.

Howard Bossen, professor of photography and visual communication in the School of Journalism and adjunct curator of photography at the MSU Museum, proposed the idea for the two exhibits -- "An Extraordinary Document of Our World" and "Detroit Resurgent" -- and curated them with the help of two students, including a CAS student.

Both exhibits showcase the work of French photographer Gilles Perrin and run from Sunday, Sept. 8, through Jan. 12, 2014, with the opening reception scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 18, from 5-7 p.m.

"There is an enormous amount of work and detail that goes into projects like this," Bossen said.

The two students who worked with Bossen are Marisa Hamel, journalism major and Honors College student, and Kathleen McLain, anthropology major and Honors College student.

"They have been involved from top to bottom from transcribing interviews, creating educational materials, working on the press release and selecting final images," Bossen said. "It has been an amazing educational experience."

Portraits of the Motor City, the centerpiece of "Detroit Resurgent," is based upon the MSU Museum's commission of Perrin, at the urging of Bossen, to make a series of portraits over a three-week period in 2012 and have Perrin's wife, Nicole Ewenczyk, record interviews with each subject.

The result: 62 portraits of 64 people in photographs and their own words. The photos show people from all walks of life, ages and ethnicities, from factory workers, union organizers and community activists to business executives, artists and entrepreneurs: these are the people of Detroit; the people who breathe life into the city and help move it forward.

A "Detroit Resurgent" book also is in the works and will be released by the MSU Press in April 2014.

The other exhibit, "An Extraordinary Document of Our World," is a selection of Perrin's black-and-white photographs of workers from around the world, including farmers, foundry workers, fishermen and artisans. The portraits span nearly 25 years of travels.

Perrin worked first as an advertising photographer before turning to documentary photography. Since 1989, he has traveled around the world to make portraits of people in the social documentary tradition.

"My work is to make photographs, and I want to be a witness to the condition of the world. I try to show a reality that matches my vision and my emotions; the work is a conscious construction intended to be far from ordinary photography," said Perrin in an introduction to his work from the Omo Valley in Ethiopia.

Perrin and Ewenczyk will be on campus Sept. 16-19 and will be meeting with several journalism classes.

For more information on the photography exhibits, see the MSU Museum website.

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