Furnas honored by Virginia journalism association 

The School of Communications lecturer was heralded as the “epitome of a scholastic journalism supporter and advocate” by the Virginia Association of Journalism Teachers and Advisers. 

Kelly Furnas, a lecturer in the School of Communications and faculty mentor to the student-run Elon News Network, was named the 2017 recipient of the Virginia Association of Journalism Teachers and Advisers (VAJTA) Award, which recognizes organizations and individuals that have furthered scholastic journalism in Virginia.

“Furnas has been an exceptional friend to scholastic journalism in Virginia and the country for years,” said the VAJTA Award release, published on Aug. 7. “The epitome of a scholastic journalism supporter and advocate, Furnas has an unparalleled work ethic. When he believes in you or a cause, he gives it everything he has, and then digs deep to give just a little more.”

​In January 2018, Furnas will return to Virginia to serve as the adviser-in-residence for the state’s annual jRetreat, where he will instruct advisers on how to incorporate multimedia broadcast in their journalism classrooms.

Before arriving at Elon University last year, Furnas was an assistant professor at Kansas State University and executive director of the Journalism Education Association (JEA), the nation’s largest scholastic journalism organization for teachers and advisers. JEA is housed on Kansas State’s campus.

However, Furnas’ contributions to the field of journalism are not limited to the United States. In summer 2016, he served as an instructor at the inaugural JEA China convention at Duke Kunshan University, located outside of Shanghai. He later published an overview of the conference on College Media Review, the journal of the College Media Association.

In April, Furnas further examined the challenges facing journalism education in China with an article, titled “Journalism Takes Hold Among Chinese High School Students,” published on MediaShift.org.