Freedom Forum Names UMass Amherst Professor One of Three Top Journalism Teachers of the Year

August 4, 1998

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AMHERST, Mass. - University of Massachusetts journalism professor Karen K. List has been named one of three 1998 Freedom Forum Journalism Teachers of the Year. List and two other recipients (Steven J. Helle, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Jacqueline E. Sharkey, University of Arizona) will each receive a prize of $10,000 at the Freedom Forum annual awards luncheon in Baltimore, Wed., Aug. 5. The luncheon will take place at the 1998 convention of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC).

List teaches the history, law, and ethics of journalism, with a special focus on First Amendment issues. She began her professional career in 1970 as a reporter for the Metro-East Journal, in East St. Louis, Ill. Before joining the University faculty in 1988, she taught at Pennsylvania State University, the University of Rhode Island, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the University of Missouri''s School of Journalism. During her time at UMass she has won numerous awards, including the Covert Award for the year''s best journalism history article (1995) and the Distinguished Teaching Award (1993). She has also been a Lilly Teaching Fellow (1990-91) and Faculty Consultant at the Center for Teaching (1994-95). She is currently national president of Kappa Tau Alpha, the journalism and mass communications honor society.

"This is a great achievement for Karen," says UMass journalism department chair Norman Sims. "To be honored by one''s peers is perhaps the highest honor of all."

The Journalism Teacher of the Year Awards recognize teaching excellence in the core areas of print and broadcast journalism instruction: reporting, editing, journalism history, and media law or ethics, says Felix Gutierrez, senior vice president of the Freedom Forum. "These three teachers are outstanding examples of professors on the front lines of preparing the next generation of journalists," says Gutierrez. "Their efforts are appreciated, as letters from their former students show."

The nomination review committee for the awards included practicing journalists and journalism professors from across the United States. The committee reviewed nominations as part of a two-step selection process with final selections being made by the Freedom Forum. QQThis is the second year the Freedom Forum has presented its Teachers of the Year Awards. Recipients in 1997 were Jay Black, of the University of South Florida, and Edward J. Trayes, of Temple University.