School of Communications student media newsroom named for Dean Paul Parsons
Elon’s Board of Trustees has named the newsroom on the first floor of McEwen Building in honor of Paul Parsons, who is stepping down as dean May 31.
Elon University President Connie Ledoux Book has announced the naming of the student media newsroom in McEwen Building in honor of Paul Parsons, who is concluding 17 years of service as Dean of the School of Communications. The naming was approved by Elon’s Board of Trustees in February and announced at the spring meeting of the School of Communications Advisory Board.
Advisory Board members also announced that a student scholarship fund has been created in Parsons' honor.
“Since he was named founding dean in 2001, Paul Parsons has built one of the finest communications schools in the nation,” Book said. “The student media newsroom is a constant hub of activity and exemplifies the school’s excellence in engaged learning. By naming this space the Paul Parsons Student Newsroom, we are honoring his outstanding legacy of leadership, and encouraging students of the future to learn about his unwavering standards of excellence, integrity and service to society through quality journalism.”
Parsons will take a yearlong sabbatical starting in June and will return to the school to teach full-time during the 2019-20 academic year.
The Parsons Newsroom is headquarters for the Elon News Network, which includes The Pendulum newspaper, regular Elon Local News newscasts and a weekly morning show, ELN Morning. The newsroom is an active journalism lab, with a central desk, design and writing desks, meeting spaces, electronic broadcast tools and a large digital video board. It occupies a large part of the first floor of McEwen Building, just a few steps from the school’s broadcast control rooms and studios.
Since its founding, the School of Communications has grown to more than 1,250 undergraduate and graduate students and 75 full-time faculty and staff, with majors in journalism, strategic communications, cinema & television arts, communication design, media analytics and sport management.
The school’s accomplishments during Parsons’ tenure include the following:
- Receiving the discipline’s national Equity & Diversity Award for the school’s success in building faculty diversity and gender equity
- Establishing the Imagining the Internet Center and becoming home to the North Carolina Open Government Coalition
- Publishing the nation’s only journal of undergraduate research in communications since 2010
- Creating student opportunities such as Live Oak Communications student agency, elondocs documentary program, Cinelon Productions and Maroon Sports
- Celebrating student successes such as two collegiate Emmys, gold and silver ADDY awards, championships in filmmaking and sports analytics, and national top-10 recognition in writing, multimedia and broadcast in the Hearst Journalism Awards
- Establishing and staffing the Elon in Los Angeles program
- Inaugurating the master of arts in interactive media degree and partnering with Elon’s Martha and Spencer Love School of Business to offer a corporate communications concentration in the master of science in management degree
- Completing a major building project that more than doubled the size of School of Communications facilities.
Parsons graduated from Baylor University, worked for a decade as a journalist including as a United Press International reporter and Associated Press editor, earned a doctorate at the University of Tennessee, and spent 16 years on the faculty at Kansas State University, where he received the Outstanding Teaching Award in the College of Arts and Sciences, was promoted to full professor upon publication of his second book, and served eight years as associate director of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications. He was a Fulbright Professor at the China School of Journalism in Beijing in 1992-93 and a visiting professor at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore in 1999-2000.