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Frances Ward-Johnson named AAASE Faculty Member of the Year

School of Communications associate professor Frances Ward-Johnson has been named the recipient of the Faculty of the Year Award from the African/African American Studies Program.

Frances Ward-Johnson

Ward-Johnson was recognized for her service to African/African American Studies and for exemplifying a strong commitment to the study of black life and culture at Elon.

Ward-Johnson received the award on Tuesday, May 4, during the program’s Black Oaks Banquet. Program director Prudence Layne recognized Ward-Johnson for her teaching and research in the area of African/African American Studies and her mentoring of AAASE minors and other students.

In her speech praising Ward-Johnson’s work, Layne focused on her course, African Americans in the Mass Media.

“She received one of AAASE’s first course development grants to offer the class," Layne said. "She has mentored students, taken them to conference presentations and is helping guide them to publication. This is what we look for in faculty scholarship."

Ward-Johnson offered the course for the first time last summer and will teach it again in summer 2010. Five students from the 2009 class presented their papers at the Carolinas Communication Association conference in Wilmington.

In addition, two students presented their research at this year’s Spring Undergraduate Research Forum at Elon. Students in the class also created a blog, "African American Profiles in Mass Media," featuring trailblazers in print, broadcast, public relations and entertainment.

While the course focuses on examining the racial stereotypes and portrayals of African Americans in U.S. culture and communication, it is designed to introduce students to some of the complexities of the relationships between race, culture, popular culture and mass media.

Though emphasis is placed on the portrayal of African Americans, the course also looks at the depiction of other people of color, including Native-Americans, Hispanic Americans and Asian-Americans.

Eric Townsend,
5/10/2010 11:01 AM