The Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) has named SC&I’s Ph.D. Candidate Qun Wang the recipient of two of its most prestigious awards, The 2018 Lee Barrow Minority Doctoral Scholarship and first place in the graduate student division of the Promising Professors Award, which is managed by the Mass Communication and Society Division of the AEJMC.
“I’m honored and humbled to receive these awards,” Wang said, “which make this summer exciting. I’m grateful to everyone that I work with, professors, colleagues, and students. They make me who I am and where I am today. I’m especially thankful for my advisor Dr. Susan Keith, who took the time out of her busy schedule as Chair of the Department of Journalism and Media Studies to encourage me to apply and help me through the application process. I would also like to thank Dr. Philip Napoli for his help and Sean Leavey for sharing his advice. It wouldn’t be possible without all these people’s support. With the encouragement of these awards, I look forward to growing more in my future career.”
Wang will receive both awards at the upcoming AEJMC Conference, which will be held in Washington, D.C. from August 6-9.
Department Chair and Associate Professor of Journalism and Media Studies Susan Keith, Wang’s dissertation advisor, said, “Qun is a dedicated teacher and a brilliant, motivated and self-directed researcher. Since I first met her, I have been impressed with her ability to identify issues that need to be researched, push through a project no matter its difficulty, and publish important work, both on her own and as a collaborator. She also cares very much about her students and helping them learn, which came through in her Promising Professor application.”
The 2018 Lee Barrow Minority Scholarship evaluates each candidate’s “capacity for making significant contributions to communication theory and methodology.”
In her application for the Barrow award, Wang explained she wrote to the committee, “My work is theory-driven, aiming to explore the digital transformation of journalism and media. In my application I shared with the award committee how I broaden the application of existing theories in communication and media studies, and how I explore methodological innovation by integrating traditional and computational approaches in my research and projects that I have been involved.”
According to the Promising Professors Award website, this award honors “new faculty and graduate students who demonstrate excellence and innovation in teaching. . . three junior faculty and three graduate students will be honored again at this year’s conference. Monetary awards of $250 for first place, $150 for second place, and $75 for third place will also be presented to the winners at the business meeting. Winners will be recognized at the Awards Luncheon.”
When Wang wrote her application letter for the Promising Professors Award, she was required, according to the website, to, among other requests, explain “what makes your teaching unique and your assessment of your strengths and weaknesses as an instructor, a statement of his teaching philosophy and other materials that demonstrate teaching creativity, instructional development and responsiveness to student needs (Limit of five additional materials).”
“In my application letter,” Wang said, “I used real-world examples from my teaching experience in both face-to-face and online courses to demonstrate how I handled problem-solving, student engagement, and relationship-building in my classroom. These ideas reflect my teaching philosophy by treating teaching as an ongoing process of sharing and learning. I learned a lot from my students. I’m so proud of them. I have been constantly reflecting on my teaching skills and seeking out opportunities for improvement. There are many such opportunities in SC&I, such as the recent Scholar Incubator: Teaching and Learning. These experiences benefited me in the application.”
Wang, who formerly worked as a TV anchor and news director in both China and the United States, received her Master’s Degree from the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Her research focuses on the digital transition of media, journalism, and Internet culture.
“I appreciate that my passion in research and teaching, which are greatly shaped by my previous work experience as a TV journalist, is recognized by the award committees. In the case of the Promising Professors Award, it is also the recognition of SC&I as a community. Members of SC&I have won this award in different categories in the past, for example, Susan Keith was a faculty winner in 2006, Sean Leavey and Dr. Camille Reyes, who are Ph.D. graduates of SC&I, won the award in the graduate student category in 2017 and 2014 respectively. Their achievements have demonstrated the award committee the teaching excellence of SC&I as a tradition,” Wang said.
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