School of Communications announces faculty excellence awards
Four faculty members in the School of Communications were recognized for their outstanding work this academic year during the school's annual awards ceremony April 28.
Dean Paul Parsons presented professor David Copeland, associate professors Janna Anderson and Byung Lee and senior lecturer Randy Piland with the faculty awards.
Copeland won the Faculty Excellence for Teaching Award, which recognizes a faculty member who is excellent in the classroom, current in the discipline and committed to student learning at a high level. The selection committee looks for a teacher who embraces fresh ways to engage students in active learning, who is known as a good academic adviser, and who displays a willingness to teach when and where needed.
Copeland was the school’s first recipient of the Scholarship Award in 2004 for good reason. In his career, he has written 11 books, 21 journal articles and 15 book chapters. He has also been a series editor for 26 books. In October, he was honored with the Sidney Kobre Award for Lifetime Achievement in Journalism History from the Journalism Historians Association, the organization’s highest honor. He has taught Media History, Media Today, Communications Capstone and Editing and Design, among other courses, while at Elon. He currently serves as the director of the Interactive Media master’s program.
“As one who has access to course feedback, I can report that David’s classes always receive among the highest ranges in the school,” Parsons said. “Students describe him as caring, fair, professional, inspirational and – my favorite – incredible. Professor Incredible, thank you for your enthusiasm and dedication to teaching.”
Anderson won the Excellence in Scholarship Award, which recognizes a faculty member whose scholarly work has a significant intellectual impact. The selection committee looks not only for publication and presentation of the highest quality, but work that advances the School's reputation, along with the mentoring of students in undergraduate research.
Anderson is the director of the Imagining the Internet Center and has co-authored five books in partnership with the Pew Internet & American Life Project. She’s often a featured participant in Internet Governance Forums both nationally and internationally, and she’s led teams of students to conferences in Washington, D.C., Raleigh, N.C., Lithuania, Greece and Brazil. In 2008, she was named the nation’s top journalism educator by the Newspaper Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. She has taught Media Writing, Reporting for the Public Good and several futurist-themed courses at Elon.
“Janna does it all,” Parsons said. “She involves her students in her research—for instance, we’re the only university that sends student teams to the Internet Governance Forums around the world. Janna, we appreciated your hard work and dedication to helping us understand the role and future of the Internet in our lives.”
Lee and Piland both won Faculty Excellence for Service and Leadership Award, which recognizes faculty members who richly contribute to the ongoing welfare and betterment of the school, the university and the professions. The selection committee looks for clear, positive outcomes of leadership on the campus and national levels, as well as an ability to bring new ideas to reality that reflect well on Elon and the School of Communications.
Lee was recognized for the Service and Leadership Award because of two substantive contributions to the school in the last few years. First, he serves as editor of the Elon Journal of Undergraduate Research in Communications, a role that allows him to direct the article-selection process. Second, Lee administers and analyzes the school’s assessment exam that now has a pre- and post-test component.
“Byung, in this era of assessment and undergraduate research, we appreciate your service and leadership in these two critical areas,” Parsons said.
Piland advises Phi Psi Cli, the university’s yearbook, which he has helped guide to several regional awards that have recognized the book’s design and coverage. He was also named Elon’s first Technology Fellow this year, which will allow him to help direct how Elon faculty incorporate technologies into their pedagogy. Piland teaches Photojournalism, Corporate Publishing and other classes in the iMedia program.
“Randy’s skill set in interactive media is so strong that he’s become a mainstay in the iMedia program, taking a group of graduate students to Panama last year and again this year,” Parsons said. “And whenever our collective schedules aren’t so hectic, he will resume being the gentle leader of our ‘I don’t get it’ workshops. Thanks so much for all you do, Randy.”