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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