School of Communications announces 2012 faculty excellence awards

Three faculty members in the School of Communications were recognized for their outstanding work this academic year during the school's annual awards ceremony April 26.

Faculty Excellence Award winners (l-r): Jessica Gisclair, Michael Skube and Vic Costello

Dean Paul Parsons presented associate professors Jessica Gisclair, Vic Costello and Michael Skube with the faculty awards.

Gisclair 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.

Gisclair was named the department chair of the School in 2010, but she has been at Elon since 2000. She is active in several professional organizations, including the Tar Heel Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, for which she is the president-elect for the executive board. Gisclair has also published and presented her research extensively, and taken students on service trips to the Gulf Coast following Hurricane Katrina. Gisclair, who earned her J.D. from the University of Toledo College of Law, teaches Media Law & Ethics, as well as courses in the Strategic Communications major, including Strategic Campaigns.

“The School of Communications is known for excellent teaching, and Dr. Gisclair plays a key role in that,” Parsons said. “She’s organized, clear, engaging, precise and rigorous—and students really appreciate that. She’s known by students as one of the best teachers in the school, and she’s also known for having high expectations to earn an A in one of her classes. Jessica, thank you for keeping good teaching uppermost in our minds.”

Costello 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.

Costello recently authored the book “Multimedia Foundations: Core Concepts for Digital Design.” The book was written primarily for college students preparing for careers in digital design and multimedia production. He debuted the book at the Broadcast Education Association in April in Las Vegas. Costello has also chaired the School’s technology committee for the last several years and has overseen the School’s transition to a tapeless environment and the studios’ HD conversion. In a professional capacity, Costello has served as the producer and festival chair for the BEA Festival of Media Arts. Costello came to Elon in 2001 and has taught Digital Media Convergence, Corporate Video and Television Production, among other courses.

“I’ve spent a number of hours with (“Multimedia Foundations”) and am blown away by how good it is. It’s about multimedia production and storytelling, presented in full color with hundreds of illustrations and a companion website with video tutorials and links. Wow. Vic, bravo on a long journey completed.”

Skube won the 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.

Skube worked as a reporter, editorial writer and book critic for several newspapers over a number of years before beginning his teaching career. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism and the American Society of Newspaper Editors Award for Distinguished Commentary in 1989, while he was working for the Raleigh News & Observer. He has also served as a Pulitzer Prize juror many times and chaired Pulitzer juries in 1998, 2000, 2005 and 2011. He continues to write guest columns for newspapers across the nation. Skube came to Elon in 2002, and he teaches Media Writing, Feature Writing and Politics and Media, among other courses.

“Professor Skube exhibits leadership and contributes positively to Elon’s national reputation by frequently chairing Pulitzer Prize juries,” Parsons said. “It’s a world no one else at this university inhabits. Michael, in recognition of your repeated leadership in chairing Pulitzer juries, bringing acclaim to Elon and to our faculty, we honor you with this year’s Excellence in Leadership Award.”