By Dr. Sara Steffes Hansen (@sameplane)
Our Journalism Department works to keep curriculum relevant and “real-world” through the insights of an important group of media professionals: The Journalism Advisory Board.
The board consists of a dozen respected professionals – including several alumni of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. These professionals work for leading media organizations, companies and non-profits, such as the Wisconsin Newspaper Association, Cramer-Krasselt, Harley-Davidson and American Family Insurance. The board meets with faculty a few times annually to discuss important issues in journalism education.
As faculty, we are preparing and inspiring students for careers in news writing, public relations or advertising. And with that effort comes a balance. We must maintain high standards for quality education and skill development, while keeping up with fast-changing trends in the media landscape. Dialogue with the Journalism Advisory Board adds important insight to that balance.
Officially, the mission of the Journalism Advisory Board is to advise “on matters related to changes in industry needs regarding curriculum, including vital skills, technology, employment, careers and professional development.” As well, the board’s role is to “assist and provide leadership on student recruitment and enhancement of the journalism program.”
Board members gave up an afternoon last month, during Homecoming Week, to meet with journalism faculty. The ensuing dialogue added strategic input to departmental planning, relevant to the Board’s mission and important to issues of the day.
Students may not realize the influence and generosity of these media professionals to give their time and energy toward our program. The board acts as an insightful partner to the department’s efforts to improve education and opportunities for future media professionals. The department extends a big thanks to our Journalism Advisory Board, and looks forward to collaborative efforts yet ahead.