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School of Communications receives national Equity and Diversity Award

Elon's School of Communications has been named the 2010 recipient of the national Equity and Diversity Award by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC).

The School of Communications will be honored twice, first at the AEJMC convention in Denver in August and then in a special presentation at Elon next fall by 2010-11 AEJMC President Jan Slater of the University of Illinois.

The award recognizes an academic unit for progress and innovation in racial, gender and ethnic equity and diversity in such areas as faculty hiring, school initiatives, the presence of a supportive climate for women and minorities, and institutionally embedded support.

Specifically, AEJMC praised the School of Communications for building a diverse faculty that is more than 25 percent minority, for its commitment to salary equity by gender, for its participation in national diversity programs, for securing $200,000 from the Hearst Foundation to endow minority student scholarships, for twice engaging in an innovative teacher exchange with historically black North Carolina A&T, and for faculty scholarship in the realm of diversity.

"I am thrilled on behalf of our school's faculty and staff that Elon is being nationally recognized for its commitment, efforts and success in advancing equity and diversity," Dean Paul Parsons said. "We talk all the time about the importance of building a school that reflects the society in which our students will live and work. We didn't embark on this mission to win an award, but we are happy to serve as a model for others of what can be accomplished with commitment and hard work."

The selection committee co-chair, Anita Fleming-Rife of the University of Northern Colorado, notified Parsons of the award on April 6. She said the selection committee used the metaphor of Elon as "the little engine that could" in citing the school's successes in equity and diversity.

The Manship School of Mass Communication at Louisiana State University was the inaugural recipient of the national award in 2009.

Dan Anderson,
4/8/2010 3:38 PM