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Rutgers Appoints Juan González to the Richard D. Heffner Professorship in Communications and Public Policy

Rutgers Appoints Juan González to the Richard D. Heffner Professorship in Communications and Public Policy

By Robin Lally for Rutgers Today

The Board of Governors today appointed Juan González, Professor of Professional Practice in Journalism and Media Studies in the School of Communication and Information, to the Richard D. Heffner Professorship in Communications and Public Policy.

Internationally recognized for his scholarly contributions and leadership in communications and public policy, González’s outstanding career in journalism and broadcasting includes 29 years at the New York Daily News where he was a columnist. He also covered major national and international events through his work as a co-host of Democracy Now! – an independent news program that broadcasts across the United States and Canada as well as in countries around the world.

“I am delighted that Juan González has been appointed to the Richard D. Heffner Professorship in Communications and Public Policy,” said Jonathan Potter, dean of the School of Communication and Information. “As part of his distinguished journalism career he has explored, investigated and narrated the untold story of U.S. minority media and provided a new perspective on the role of media in local political organization. His work sits perfectly within the vision of the professorship in communications and public policy. He will continue to stimulate the School of Communication and Information community and Rutgers-New Brunswick more broadly, on these topics.”

The award-winning journalist and investigative reporter has been at the forefront of influential research and scholarship on the history of Latinos in America, involvement of minorities in American media and community-based political movements. He is a two-time winner of the George Polk Award, joining a number of prestigious journalists, including Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, Walter Cronkite, Edward R. Murrow, Christiane Amanpour, Peter Jennings, Norman Mailer, Diane Sawyer, Seymour Hersh and Glenn Greenwald. He also the founder of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.

One of González's books, Harvest of Empire: A History of Latinos in America, has been used for more than a decade as a required text in nearly 200 college Latino history and ethnic studies courses. A more recent work he co-authored in 2011, News for All The People: The Epic Story Race and the American Media, is currently used in several college media history courses.

The Richard D. Heffner Professorship in Communications and Public Policy was created in 1987 as the Edythe and Dean Dowling Professorship in Communications and Public Policy with a generous gift from the Edythe and Dean Dowling Foundation. It was renamed in honor of Richard D. Heffner, a professor of communications and public policy at Rutgers and the host of the long-running public television broadcast The Open Mind, who died in 2013.

This story originally appeared in the Wednesday, April 11, 2018 issue of Rutgers Today

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