School of Communications announces annual faculty awards

Three faculty members in the School of Communications were recognized for their outstanding work this academic year during the spring Advisory Board luncheon April 3.

Dean Paul Parsons and Advisory Board Chair Don Bolden presented associate professors Frances Ward-Johnson and Harlen Makemson and assistant professor Lee Bush with the faculty awards.

Bush won the Excellence in Service/Leadership Award, which recognizes a faculty member who richly contributes 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 both the fact-gatherer and the vision-maker for creation of our student agency, and she serves as its faculty director,” Parsons said. “Working with her colleagues, Lee proposed a structure requiring student applications and a mix of commercial and nonprofit clients. As you just heard, the agency has been an enormous success.”

Ward-Johnson was given the Excellence in Teaching Award, which recognizes a faculty member who is strong 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.

“In the fall and spring terms, Frances is a mainstay in teaching Strategic Writing and also teaches Media Writing and the Public Relations course,” Parsons said. “She’s good. Superlatives are the norm.”

Makemson won the Excellence in Scholarship Award, which recognizes a faculty member whose scholarly work has a significant intellectual impact. In making its decision, the selection committee looks not only for publication and presentation of the highest quality, but work that advances the school’s reputation and the mentoring of students in undergraduate research. Makemson will be releasing a book titled “How Media Shaped America’s Quest for the Moon,” which is being published by Peter Lang Publishers and will be released this summer.

“Harlen, you’ve written an important book about the way media shape our national consciousness,” Parsons said. “Bravo on being an Elon teacher-scholar.”

Parsons also presented the Dean’s Award for Exemplary Service. The recipients were Mark Albertson, Susan Patton, Robin Straka and Karen Pore, all from the Registrar’s Office.

“My goodness, I don’t know how the School of Communications would make it without the Registrar’s Office,” Parsons said. “I meet with Mark regularly, and he keeps us on track about matching our course offerings to student needs. The School of Communications simply wants to say to the Registrar’s Office: You are fantastic.”

(l-r) Frances Ward-Johnson, Harlen Makemson, Lee Bush