Dr. Frances Ward-Johnson, Associate Professor in the School of Communication, recently received one of the 2006 African/African-American Studies at Elon Course Development grants for “African Americans and the Mass Media.” The course, which will be offered for the first time in Spring 2008, will be designed to introduce students to some of the complexities of the relationships between race, culture, popular culture and mass media, and students will acquire some of the basic tools and techniques for evaluating, analyzing, and understanding these relationships.
The AAASE initiative, which solicits proposals from all full-time faculty for new courses that focus on African, African-American, or Caribbean experiences from specific disciplinary perspectives, is designed to develop and expand the program’s scope in areas not traditionally represented in African/African-American Studies at Elon, such as the Schools of Business and Communications, and the Departments of Fine Arts, Philosophy, Foreign Languages, Religious Studies, Human Services, Psychology, and the sciences.
Dr. Ward Johnson brings more than 10 years of academic, scholarly, and research interest and experience on minorities in the mass media, including print, public relations, film and television. She has studied the issues of people of color in media through qualitative and quantitative research. She is currently developing her work, “Through the Looking Glass: Reflections of the Reality of the Workplace from African American Women Practitioners,” which has been published by the Public Relations Society of America. Her work sheds light on the growing need for diversity in mass media and has revealed reasons why ethnic groups remain under-represented in the media and related fields.
Prior to entering academia, she spent 12 years as a journalist for several newspapers, including the Greensboro News and Record and the Associated Press wire service. Additionally, for five years, she worked as a public relations manager for the Center for Creative Leadership, an international, educational institution headquartered in Greensboro.
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