By Sheng Lee (@shengdanger)
2011 was a busy year for the Journalism department. It was a year of change and progress for the department’s community. Awards were won and revisions were made. Alumni were welcomed home and new scholarships were introduced for current and incoming students. Here’s a quick recap of the Journalism department’s greatest accomplishments of 2011 in chronological order:
Approval of New Curriculum
During fall 2010, the Journalism department devised a new curriculum in order to earn full re-accreditation from ACEJMC. The new curriculum was approved in January 2011.
The Dave Engels and Orville C. Sherman Journalism Scholarships were awarded in spring 2011 and were formally recognized during homecoming 2011.
PR Team Wins National Award
In spring 2011, a student team led by faculty advisor Julie Henderson received honorable mention in the Bateman Case Study Competition, a national case study competition sponsored by the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA).
Advance-Titan Wins Award
During the University’s spring commencement ceremony, Jim VandeHei ’95, journalism alumnus and founder of Politico, received an honorary doctorate degree, the University’s highest honor. He was also parodied on Saturday Night Live, a comedy skit TV show.
Move to Sage Hall
During summer 2011, faculty in the Journalism department packed up their offices and classrooms to relocate in Sage Hall, the first green building on the UWO campus.
CEPR PR Accreditation
In September 2011, the Journalism department’s public relations program was certified by the Certification in Education for Public Relations (CEPR), making UWO the first university in Wisconsin and one of 28 universities in the world with this designation.
Alumni Homecoming Reunion
During homecoming weekend, the department organized an alumni reunion, the first in several years. Events included a social media tweetup, an alumni panel session and a tour of Sage Hall.
Distinguished Alumni Receive Honors
During homecoming festivities, three journalism alumni received top honors from the University. Patrick Stiegman ’88 received the Distinguished Alumni Award, the highest honor given by UWO’s Alumni Association, while Michael Fredrick ’97 and Lori Kraus ’02 received Outstanding Young Alumni Awards.
ACEJMC Site Visit
In November 2011, two representatives from the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC) visited the Journalism department to review the program. The representatives met with students and faculty to focus on the curriculum.