ASU Cronkite School to receive AEJMC Equity and Diversity Award

April 5, 2017

Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication is receiving one of the highest honors in journalism education for diversity and inclusion.

The Cronkite School is the recipient of the 2017 Equity and Diversity Award from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC). Established in 2009, the Equity and Diversity Award recognizes journalism and mass communication programs that have attained measurable success in increasing equity and diversity over a three-year span. Cronkite School building The Cronkite School is the recipient of the 2017 Equity and Diversity Award from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. Download Full Image

The award will be presented to the Cronkite School during the keynote session at the 100th AEJMC Conference in Chicago on Aug. 9.

The AEJMC selection committee said that equity and diversity “have become a way of life” at the Cronkite School. The committee noted that diversity is integral to the school’s teaching, research and service. “This has resulted in a broad definition of diversity that infuses student and faculty recruitment, curriculum design and content, outreach activities and student retention rate,” the committee said.

A recent onsite evaluation by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications said the Cronkite School “is one of the nation’s great leaders in diversity and inclusion in journalism and mass communication.”

Cronkite Dean Christopher Callahan said the school works hard to ensure that diversity is top of mind for all faculty and students.

“Diversity in all of its forms is a cornerstone of the Cronkite School because it is essential to quality journalism in order to fully, fairly and accurately inform increasingly diverse audiences,” Callahan said. “To be recognized by the AEJMC with this prestigious honor is a testament to our dedicated faculty, staff and leadership.”

Callahan said the school’s approach to diversity starts with outreach to high schools with underserved populations. Since 1988, the Cronkite School has hosted a summer high school journalism institute, a two-week residential program for students from underrepresented communities to get hands-on experiences in broadcast and digital journalism at no cost.

Diversity also is a cornerstone of the curriculum. All students take a course in ethics and diversity that challenges them to think about diversity as a critical component of ethical decision-making. Skills classes, ranging from reporting to editing, emphasize assignments that encourage students to go outside their comfort zones, and diversity lessons are spread throughout the curriculum.

In Cronkite News, the news division of Arizona PBS, students report on underserved communities and multicultural issues through a nightly newscast that reaches 1.9 million households and a multiplatform website that reaches many more. Cronkite News also includes a borderlands bureau, where students report on important issues from the U.S.-Mexico border, and a Spanish-language bureau, where students produce broadcast and digital content in Spanish.

The Cronkite School recently launched Cronkite Noticias, a new digital Spanish-language platform for reporting on issues critical to Arizonans. As part of the immersion program, students produce a 30-minute news program, “Cronkite Noticias,” which airs on Unimas.

Callahan said the school has made significant strides in diversifying its student body. The percentage of minority students grew from 22 percent in 2003-2004 to nearly 40 percent this year. Additionally, he said the school has hired 15 new faculty members, more than half of whom are people of color and two-thirds of whom are women, over the past three years.

The school’s diversity and inclusion efforts extend into the journalism profession. The school is home to the National Center on Disability and Journalism, which provides guidance to journalists around the world as they cover disability issues and people with disabilities.

Cronkite also hosts the National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation’s Media Sales Institute, a 10-day residential media sales program for recent college graduates. One of the key goals of the annual program is to improve the diversity of sales staffs in television and radio broadcasting.

Many of the Cronkite School’s 100-plus annual public events focus on diversity topics and include speakers from diverse backgrounds.

This is not the first time that the Cronkite School has been recognized for its diversity efforts. In 2012, the school was the recipient of ASU’s inaugural College Award for Contributions to Institutional Inclusion, a university-wide honor that recognizes college-level contributions to equity and inclusion. The award included a grant for a diversity scholar lecture series at the Cronkite School, which has featured such speakers as the late “PBS Newshour” anchor Gwen Ifill.

The AEJMC is a nonprofit organization of more than 3,700 educators, students and practitioners. Its mission is to promote the highest possible standards for journalism and mass communication education, to encourage the widest possible range of communication research, to encourage the implementation of a multicultural society in the classroom and curriculum, and to defend and maintain freedom of communication in an effort to achieve better professional practice, a better informed public, and wider human understanding.

Communications manager, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication


Smithsonian Institution’s Dwandalyn Reece visits ASU School of Music for weeklong residency

April 5, 2017

Arizona State University's School of Music welcomes Dwandalyn Reece, curator of music and performing arts at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, for a weeklong residency April 10–14.

During her time on campus, Reece will present public lectures on her research and curatorial work, offer career development workshops in the public arts and humanities and work with students in ASU courses. She will present a talk titled “Musical Crossroads: American Music through an African American Lens” from noon to 1:30 p.m.April 13, in Katzin Concert Hall and will engage in a more informal community dialogue on the topic of “Curating Black Music History” at the Phoenix Center for the Arts (PCA) from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. April 14, as part of the ASU School of Music and PCA’s “Community Music at the Center” partnership. Dwandalyn Reece Dwandalyn Reece, curator of music and performing arts at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, will visit the ASU School of Music. (courtesy photo) Download Full Image

“We are delighted to welcome a scholar of Dr. Reece’s caliber for a residency in the ASU School of Music, as we seek ways for our students to learn about the multiple ways in which their work can impact society,” said Heather Landes, director of the ASU School of Music. “Dr. Reece’s visit highlights to our students the importance of the arts in our world and provides them with an understanding of the ways in which they can utilize their own creative capacities to advance culture and build community.”

Throughout her career, Reece has worked in the public sector conducting community-based research projects, curating exhibitions, writing articles and developing public programs for general audiences. Along with building the new museum’s collections, Reece curated the music exhibition “Musical Crossroads” and co-curated the music festival Freedom Sounds: A Community Celebration for the Museum of African American History and Culture’s grand opening in September 2016.

Before joining the Smithsonian, Reece was a senior program officer at the National Endowment for the Humanities and worked in several museums, including the Louis Armstrong House and Archives, the Brooklyn Historical Society, the New Jersey State Museum and the Motown Historical Museum. Reece holds a doctorate in performance studies from New York University, an master's in American culture and a certificate in museum practice from the University of Michigan, and a bachelor's in American studies and music from Scripps College.

Her visit was organized by Christopher Wells, assistant professor of musicology in the School of Music, who saw strong connections between Reece’s work and the school’s current focus on issues of diversity, inclusion, and community engagement as well as an increasing emphasis on preparing students for a broad range of career options.

“In our new PhD program in musicology, we’re asking our students to think creatively about how music scholarship can have a substantial public impact, and we’re also encouraging students to consider a broad range of possible careers in addition to the traditional pathway of a university professorship,” Wells said. “Dr. Reece’s work really speaks to these ideas as well as to the Herberger Institute’s ‘Projecting All Voices’ initiative.”