The Iowa Communication Association presented its 2018 Outstanding Adjunct Teacher Award to Sherry Berghefer, a senior lecturer in the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication.
The award recognizes adjunct faculty “who have demonstrated effectiveness in teaching, which can be demonstrated through outstanding evaluations, innovative teaching strategies, exceptional learning standards, proof of student learning and service to the department.”
The Iowa Communication Association is a professional organization that unites academics and professionals at all levels in Iowa and in all disciplines of communication and performing arts for the advancement of their fields. It honored Berghefer during its annual conference in September.
An Iowa State University alumna who holds a B.A. (1997) and M.S. (2006) in journalism and mass communication, Berghefer joined the Greenlee faculty in 2010 as a lecturer in visual communication. While teaching full-time, she completed coursework for a Ph.D. in Human Computer Interaction from Iowa State.
Previously, she spent 11 years on staff at Iowa State as a communications specialist. She has also worked as a contract graphic designer and web developer for 20 years.
Berghefer combines her industry experience and her expertise in communication and emerging technologies in her courses, which include Visual Communication for Mass Communicators (a large lecture for majors and non-majors), Introduction to Digital Publishing, Publishing for Mobile Devices, and Ad Tech (an interdisciplinary course combining advertising strategy, design and programming).
“Sherry has taken the lead in advancing the school in digital and visual literacy. As early as 2014, Sherry led the industry in Iowa with a class on the cutting edge of digital publishing, showing how magazine journalism can recruit new viewers and revenue streams with multi-platform mobile media,” said Michael Bugeja, the Greenlee School professor who nominated Berghefer for the award.
Berghefer has also introduced virtual reality into the school’s curricula and is working on a student recruitment video using VR technology made possible through a grant.
“My personal philosophy is that learning does not happen in a vacuum. To be effective, there has to be a sharing of information, rather just pushing information at students,” Berghefer said. “I really want my students to understand that knowledge is collaborative. Having that understanding will be invaluable as they move into their professional careers.”