UA Journalism Professor Wins National Multicultural Recruitment Award
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Dr. George Daniels, an associate professor of journalism at The University of Alabama, has been named recipient of the 2015 Robert P. Knight Multicultural Recruitment Award.
The award, which has been presented annually since 1987 by the Scholastic Journalism Division of the Association of Educators in Journalism and Mass Communication, or AEJMC, recognizes an individual or organization that has made significant contributions to promoting diversity in scholastic media programs.
Daniels will receive his award at an Aug. 8 luncheon at the 2015 AEJMC Conference, held in San Francisco.
“It is exciting to be recognized for the efforts we continue to make to ensure our student body and, ultimately, the media industries look like an increasingly diverse world around us,” Daniels said. “I am honored to receive an award named after a pioneer in multicultural journalism recruitment like Dr. Robert Knight.”
Daniels, a faculty member at The University of Alabama since 2003 and currently an assistant dean and chief diversity officer for the College of Communication & Information Sciences, has spent nearly two decades fostering scholastic journalism through his teaching, research and service.
“A mix of leadership and entrepreneurialism, on-the-ground outreach and activism, and academic research is what sets Dr. Daniels’ efforts in scholastic journalism and diversity apart,” wrote Dr. Wilson Lowrey, journalism department chair, in his nominating letter. “At Alabama, Dr. Daniels has been a tireless advocate for high school journalism and the pursuit of diversity within the profession and within the news.”
Among his efforts, Daniels has partnered with students at the McWane Science Center in Birmingham to produce a newspaper about their inner-city neighborhoods; assisted Tuscaloosa-area high schools that were struggling to maintain their journalism programs; and helped Oakdale Elementary School launch a school newsletter. Daniels also facilitated and directed a multicultural journalism workshop at The University of Alabama and consistently teaches at scholastic journalism conferences and events.
“Dr. Daniels has been a great mentor to me,” wrote Ellisa Bray, a University of Alabama journalism student. “He represents a steady voice of encouragement and insight, and his contributions to diversity on and off campus are greatly admired.”
Daniels’ work has also been felt nationally. A certified master journalism educator, a designation given by the Journalism Education Association and mostly held by high-school journalism teachers, Daniels has facilitated a diversity-oriented conference for high school teachers, served on the advisory board for the Knight Center for Scholastic Journalism and served on AEJMC’s Commission on the Status of Minorities.
“The amount of time and attention he devotes to recruiting minorities into journalism not only at our school, but other schools around the country, is mindboggling,” wrote Meredith Cummings, director of scholastic media at UA. “He is a beacon of light among scholastic journalism educators who often become jaded.”
In addition to his hands-on work in multicultural recruitment, Daniels has also been a prominent researcher in diversity and journalism. From examining the gender divide in high school student media involvement to studying racial diversity in local commercial television, Daniels has had more than 20 articles published in top research journals and has had presented more than 50 of his studies at academic conferences.
The Robert P. Knight Multicultural Recruitment Award is named after a late University of Missouri journalism professor who directed the Missouri Interscholastic Press Association from 1965 to 1992. For more information about the award and for a list of past winners, visit http://aejmc.us/scholastic/awards/robert-p-knight-multicultural-award/.
The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.