ASU honors Cronkite School assistant dean with faculty achievement award

April 21, 2014

Mark Lodato, assistant dean at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, is a recipient of this year’s Faculty Achievement Award for Excellence in Curricular Innovation at Arizona State University.

Lodato received the university award from President Michael M. Crow and Provost Robert E. Page, Jr. during a university ceremony today at the ASU Tempe campus. The annual awards recognize select faculty for their excellence in research and instruction. portrait of Cronkite Dean Mark Lodato Download Full Image

As professor of practice and news director at Cronkite, Lodato transformed the school’s student-produced television newscast “Cronkite NewsWatch” from a once-a-week magazine show into a nationally recognized live program that reaches 1.4 million households on Arizona PBS four nights a week.

"The trademark of Arizona State University is bold innovations in how we teach, creating new, dynamic and immersive learning environments in all disciplines," said Cronkite Dean Christopher Callahan, who worked closely with Lodato when both were at the University of Maryland and recruited him to Cronkite. "For Mark to be recognized as a great innovator within ASU is a tremendous and well-deserved recognition. He has redefined how television news is taught, and set a new bar nationally."

Lodato is one of 14 ASU faculty members to receive a 2014 award. He shares the Faculty Achievement Award in Excellence in Curricular Innovation with Mark P. Haunschild, an English instructor in the School of Letters and Sciences.

“It’s wonderful to see the university recognize what has truly been a collaborative effort here at Cronkite,” Lodato said. “The broadcast curriculum looks much different today than it did in 2006, and our students are taking advantage.”

Lodato joined the Cronkite School in 2006 after working 16 years as a television reporter and anchor in Phoenix, Washington, D.C., San Francisco and Fort Myers, Fla. He also served as news director at the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism.

Lodato redesigned the newscast by focusing on coverage of statewide public policy issues, transforming the program to a daily experience and requiring students to participate in full-day shifts to create a professional newsroom experience.

Under his leadership, “Cronkite NewsWatch” has consistently been honored at the highest levels of student news competition, including the Broadcast Education Association, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation College Television Awards and the Society of Professional Journalists. In the Hearst Journalism Awards, considered the top recognition in collegiate journalism, the Cronkite School has finished first or second in the broadcast division six of the past eight years under Lodato's leadership – the best record of any school in the nation.

Students are recruited by many of the nation’s leading media companies, including ABC, CBS, CNN, ESPN, Gannett, Meredith Corp., NBC, E.W. Scripps and Univision.

Reporter , ASU Now


Krauss honored at international festival of science documentaries

April 21, 2014

Arizona State University professor Lawrence Krauss was honored at the Academia Film Olomouc, near Prague, for his contributions to public understanding of science, and for his work in increasing awareness of science in society. The Academia Film Olomouc award for Outstanding Communication of Science was presented at a special ceremony on April 19, in Olomouc, Czech Republic.

Academia Film Olomouc (AFO) is an international festival of science documentary films, the largest such festival in Europe, held annually under the patronage of the Palacky University in Olomouc. The festival features science and educational films from the fields of the humanities, natural and social sciences, educational programs of both domestic and foreign television productions, and current science, artistic and technological progress. Lawrence Krauss speaking at the Origins Great Debate in 2014 Download Full Image

“It is surprising and humbling to be recognized like this in such a distant and beautiful country,” Krauss said. “It is very heartwarming to feel one’s work has had some global impact, but more importantly, it vividly demonstrates that science is truly a global human activity which can be enjoyed across cultures, languages and religions, and provides a universal language that can bring people together.

“This wonderful award emboldens me to continue to reach out, both with my scientific research and my efforts to encourage the use of science and reason to help inspire young people and also guide public policy,” he added. “It was also wonderful to see the reaction to our new film, 'The Unbelievers,' which was screened to a sell-out crowd at the festival.”

Krauss is being recognized by AFO “because of his wide involvement in the popularization and communication of science,” said Jakub Rális, program manager for Academia Film Olomouc. “He has devoted a lot of energy to communicating physics and the social importance of science and critical thinking in general.” He was also cited for “his work in cross-topic issues where science meets popular culture, art and humanities.”

Krauss is internationally known for his work in theoretical physics, including his prescient predictions of the existence of dark energy and also of gravitational waves from the early universe, both of which have helped push forward the frontiers of cosmology. He is also a well-known author and science communicator. In addition to being a Foundation Professor at Arizona State University, Krauss is the director of the Origins Project, which explores key questions about our origins, who we are and where we came from, and then holds open forums to encourage public participation.

Krauss is the only physicist to receive major awards from all three U.S. physics societies: the American Physical Society, the American Institute of Physics and the American Association of Physics Teachers. He was given the 2012 Public Service Award from the National Science Board for his efforts in communicating science to general audiences.

Krauss has authored more than 300 scientific publications and nine books, including his most recent best-seller, “A Universe from Nothing,” which offers provocative, revelatory answers to the most basic philosophical questions of existence. It was on the New York Times best-seller list for nonfiction within a week of its release.

Krauss also wrote the international best-seller “The Physics of Star Trek,” an entertaining and eye-opening tour of the Star Trek universe, and “Beyond Star Trek,” which addressed recent exciting discoveries in physics and astronomy, and takes a look how the laws of physics relate to notions from popular culture. A book on physicist Richard Feynman, “Quantum Man,” was awarded the 2011 Book of the Year by Physics World magazine in the UK.

Krauss has been a frequent commentator and columnist for newspapers such as the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. He has written regular columns for New Scientist and Scientific American, and appears routinely on radio and television.

He continues to be a leader in his field as he serves as a co-chair of the board of sponsors of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, on the board of directors of the Federation of American Scientists and is one of the founders of ScienceDebate2012.

Director, Media Relations and Strategic Communications