Padgett Receives Award from AEJMC

George Padgett, associate professor in the School of Communications, is the 2007 recipient of the Professional Freedom & Responsibility Award from the Newspaper Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.

Padgett received the award at the AEJMC national convention in Washington, D.C., on August 10. It was presented by Professor John Carvalho of Auburn University.

The award recognizes one faculty member nationally whose life and work display a commitment to free expression, ethics, diversity and public service.

Paul Parsons, dean of the School of Communications, nominated Padgett for the award, citing him as an ideal nominee for PF&R Professor of the Year for these reasons:

-- Padgett created the Five Freedoms course in which Elon students presented First Amendment concepts to elementary school classes. This innovation won second place nationally for “Best Practices in Teaching the First Amendment” at AEJMC in San Francisco.

-- Padgett is author of a 2006 book New Directions in Diversity: A New Approach to Covering America’s Multicultural Communities (Chicago: Marion Street Press) and is now at work on a diversity dictionary and stylebook for students and professional journalists.

-- Padgett has twice taught media law and ethics at the historically black North Carolina A&T as part of an innovative faculty exchange program between Elon and A&T.

-- Padgett’s scholarship focuses on law, ethics and diversity, most recently an article published in the International Journal of Diversity in Organisations, Communities and Nations on how the lack of media diversity affected Hurricane Katrina coverage.

-- Padgett’s public service ranges from working with high school newspaper staffs to founding E Pluribus Unum as an organization for diverse students in journalism and communications at Elon.

“Holistically, George Padgett’s record and life reflect a genuine commitment to the themes that represent professional freedom and responsibility,” read Parsons’ nomination letter. “Dr. Padgett deeply values free expression, and his students capture his excitement about its importance in a free society. He is an ethical person, highly respected by his peers who know they can trust his word. And his work as a teacher-scholar on diversity issues comes from the heart.”



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