The Rutgers School of Graduate Studies has named Professor of Journalism and Media Studies Jack Bratich a recipient of the 2020 Excellence in Teaching and Mentoring Award. According to the SGS, the award recognizes graduate faculty who have made significant contributions to graduate education at Rutgers University. Bratich is only one of two faculty members across the three Rutgers University campuses in Camden, New Brunswick, and Newark to receive this award.
“It’s a true honor to receive this award,” Bratich said. “Rutgers is filled with dedicated teachers and mentors to graduate students—it’s part of what makes us a leading research university. I’m thrilled and humbled to be recognized among them.”
Bratich researches the intersection of popular culture and political culture, examining media culture as an intersection of power, knowledge, and subjectivity. His writing applies autonomist social theory to such topics as audience studies, reality TV, social movements, and crafting. He is currently working on a book titled, “Deathstyle Fascism” and he is also a zine librarian at ABC No Rio, a cultural center in New York City.
SC&I Associate Dean for Programs and Distinguished Professor of Journalism and Media Studies Dafna Lemish said, “A unique quality of Jack as a teacher and role model for the students is his deep commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion values in everything he teaches and does!”
Professor and former Chair of the SC&I Journalism and Media Studies Department Susan Keith nominated Bratich for the award, writing to the SGS awards committee in her nomination letter, “Professor Bratich taught a Ph.D. seminar in his first semester at Rutgers, and has successfully taught graduate courses throughout his nearly seventeen years here. He has primarily offered theory-heavy seminars based on his own research (including Audience Studies; Media and Culture; Media Subjectivities; and Media, Affect, Subjectivity). He developed three seminars, and significantly updated the Media Studies section for the 601 Pro-seminar (our doctoral program’s required first semester course, which he co-taught three times.)
“At the Masters level, he recently developed and taught Media and Popular Culture (an online course, receiving relatively high scores for an initial foray into online teaching). His courses result in publications for him as well as his students. Students have published one monograph, seven book chapters, eight journal articles, and launched one ongoing digital news project based on courses and dissertations. Two advisees have won Louis Bevier Dissertation awards, one received the Rutgers Dissertation Teaching Award, and a nation-wide prestigious American Association of University Women Dissertation Fellowship.
“He has supervised eighteen Research Practica (a required independent study course leading to a public-facing product) and given fifteen talks in other Ph.D. seminars or other related graduate program talks. In sum, counting completed and current students, he has formally advised fourteen and served as a committee member for another fifty-one students.”
Bratich said he first learned of this award opportunity when Keith sent him the SGS announcement and told him she thought he would make a good candidate for it. “Her nomination was even more remarkable given it was happening just as Rutgers was closing down for coronavirus!” Bratich said.
Asked what qualities he believes teachers must possess in order to be outstanding teachers and mentors, Bratich said, “I will say that I had wonderful teachers and mentors (to this day) while in graduate school, who pushed me to think to my limits while creating a supportive space for growth (sprinkled also with humor and collegiality).”
The SGS Award committee wrote in an email to this year’s award winners, “We are very impressed by your accomplishments and you should be very proud.” The Rutgers faculty and staff serving on the SGS Awards Committee are Janet Alder, Carol Lutz, Teresa Delcorso, and Erica Reed.
The SGS will honor Bratich and the other SGS 2020 award winners at a virtual ceremony on Wednesday, November 18, 2020.