Greenlee School Earns National Diversity Award


COLUMBIA, S.C.—The Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication has been selected for the 2014 Equity and Diversity Award presented by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.

The award recognizes journalism and mass communication academic programs working toward measurable success in increasing equity and diversity. Guidelines state that the unit “must display progress and innovation in racial, gender, and ethnic equality and diversity during the previous three years.”

The award will be presented in August at the keynote session of the annual AEJMC conference in Montreal.

Jennifer McGill, AEJMC executive director, said that 14 other schools applied for this award and it was their most competitive year yet. Last year’s winner was Penn State’s College of Communications.

In addition to the presentation of the award at the AEJMC convention, there will also be an advertisement placed in the conference program. This year the Elizabeth Toth, AEJMC president and professor at the Department of Communication at the University of Maryland, will make a visit to Iowa State’s campus to present the award. The Greenlee School can choose the date and time for this visit, which will be announced later in the fall.

As part of its transparency initiative, the Greenlee School posted its application for the award on [a page devoted exclusively to diversity](/about/diversity/).

AEJMC is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote the highest possible standards for journalism and mass communication education. Part of that effort is to encourage the implementation of a multicultural society in the classroom and curriculum. The organization has 3,700 members from 50 countries that affiliate among 18 divisions, 10 interest groups and two commissions.

Michael Bugeja, director of the Greenlee School, credited efforts by faculty, staff, alumni and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences for this noteworthy distinction. The application was prepared by the School’s Diversity Committee, which includes chair Raluca Cozma and members Joel Geske, Tracy Lucht and Jason Wiegand. “Their leadership, not only in committee but in helping to establish the culture of the School, was a chief reason for our program earning the award.” Cozma and Geske are award-winning professors. Lucht has worked to advance women at the workplace, and Wiegand to diversify the student body at Greenlee.

Bugeja and Geske are former Diversity Committee chairs for the LAS College, in which the Greenlee School is located. Geske also has won several diversity honors, including the College’s 2011 Diversity Award. Wiegand was recently selected to be part of the National Academic Advisers Association’s Emerging Leaders Program, which fosters diversity.

Other contributors to the diversity initiative include Daniela Dimitrova’s and Dennis Chamberlin’s efforts to add a multicultural emphasis to curricula in the graduate and undergraduate programs. Dimitrova heads the graduate program and Chamberlin, the undergraduate program. The school also credits Advertising Professor [Jay Newell](/directory/jay-newell/)’s focus on international students.

Most important, Bugeja noted, is the school is an active member of AEJMC and so promotes its multicultural values. We also take very seriously the inclusiveness and diversity standard set by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications.

Bugeja credited support from the LAS College, as well as the collective efforts of all faculty, staff and alumni leaders, in contributing to School’s diversity initiative.

“The key is to establish an inclusive, collegial environment to which all personnel contribute,” he said. “Morale is a factor in any diversity initiative. Rather than focus on perceived shortcomings, we celebrate our successes and are transparent in everything we do, from posting committee meetings and agendas in the hallways to displaying our metrics and goals on our website. Once that celebratory atmosphere is established, it must be maintained so that everyone—from prospective student to alumni benefactor—feel part of something larger than themselves.

“That is the very definition of university, and we are proud to be part of the first land-grant institution in the country, Iowa State.”

Previous winners of the Equity and Diversity Award include Penn State; the University of Southern California, 2012; Texas State University, 2011; Elon University in North Carolina, 2010; and Louisiana State University, 2009.