Tracy Lucht Wins National Award for Excellence in Teaching

Tracy Lucht
Tracy Lucht, Assistant Professor

Tracy Lucht, assistant professor in the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication at Iowa State University, has been selected to receive the 2015 American Journalism Historians Association National Award for Excellence in Teaching. Earlier this summer Lucht won the American Journalism’s Rising Scholar Award for her research.

The annual AJHA Teaching Award honors a college or university teacher who excels at teaching in the area of journalism and mass communication history, makes a positive impact on student learning, and offers an outstanding example for other educators.

Michael Bugeja, Greenlee School director, noted Lucht ranks among the highest evaluated teachers in the Greenlee School, which boasts 19 College, University and national teaching awards since 2003. Bugeja noted that the School’s 850-plus undergraduate students rate individual teaching at Greenlee between 4.1 (Spring 2015) and 4.4 (Fall 2015) on a 5.0 scale. “Tracy routinely earns close to 5.0 in both journalism skills and media history classes. Moreover, she continues to assess and innovate in the classroom and has an open door policy for advising.”

Lucht said she is honored to be the recipient of the teaching award. “I am both humbled and inspired,” she said. “Journalism history is my favorite course to teach, and in the past few years I have been working to develop hands-on assignments that engage students more actively,” she said. “I am grateful for this organization’s recognition of that kind of work and the scholarship that drives it.”

Lucht was praised by this year’s judges as an exemplary teacher whose tireless commitment to student learning was unmatched. One judge commented that Lucht’s “materials offer ample evidence of her strong and solid commitment to her students at every juncture and level,” while another judge commended her strong research agenda, which informs her instruction.

Bugeja noted that one of the traits of an excellent teacher is the ability to do first-class research and introduce that into lectures. “Tracy is exemplary in that regard.”

In July, Lucht won the American Journalism’s Rising Scholar Award for her proposal, “Soloists or Members of the Choir? Professional Networks in the Careers of Midwestern Women Broadcasters.”

The judges noted that Lucht’s thoughtfully conceived and detailed proposal has the potential to make a valuable contribution to historical literature and to elevate journalism history, all while enhancing her growth as a scholar and expert.

The Rising Scholar Award recognizes the achievements and potential of an untenured scholar and is accompanied by $2,000 in research funding. This year’s award will be funded by a gift from Stan Cloud in honor of his wife, the late Barbara Cloud, who was an early member and former president of AJHA.

Lucht will be recognized for both awards at AJHA’s annual conference Oct. 8-10 in Oklahoma City, Okla.