AEJMC President Paula Poindexter, center, surrounded by Minorities and Communication officers: from left, Felecia Ross (2012-2013 head), Yuki Fujioka (current head), Frances Ward-Johnson (vice head), and Mia Moody-Ramirez (Mid-Winter coordinator).
This article is reprinted from Dr. Mia Moody-Ramirez’s blog
Graduate students, alums, faculty and friends celebrated Dr. Paula Poindexter’s installation as president of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) at an Aug. 10 reception during the 2013 AEJMC Conference in Washington.
At the event, held at the National Press Club, Poindexter discussed her vision for her term in office, which includes three new initiatives. She also highlighted the McCombs Graduate Student Research Publishing Award at the University of Texas School of Journalism as well as recognizing students and colleagues.
“I look forward to continuing the great efforts that are already in place and introducing some of my own signature programs,” she said.
The Texas-Austin School of Journalism, where Poindexter is an associate professor, sponsored the reception. Glenn Frankel, the department’s director, praised Poindexter for her mentoring abilities, and called her an inspiration to both students and faculty.
“She has even been my mentor at times,” Frankel said.
Students reflected on Poindexter’s high expectations for herself and her students. Kathleen McElroy, a UT doctoral candidate, said Poindexter has the distinct ability to mold students and to motivate them to excel. Many of her former students and mentees are successful professors, award-winning scholars and/or authors.
“She really makes you strive to do your best,” said McElroy who published three articles last year. “She sets the bar high, and she doesn’t settle for less.”
AEJMC is a nonprofit, educational association of journalism and mass communication educators, students and media professionals. Poindexter has been active in AEJMC for several decades. She was awarded the Inaugural Lionel C. Barrow Jr. Award for Distinguished Achievement in Diversity Research and Education. She also received a First Place Award in the Excellence in Teaching Paper Competition, sponsored by AEJMC’s Teaching Standards Committee. She has served on various committees while participating in the organization.
Poindexter will pursue three initiatives during her tenure as president:
1. Journalism and Communication Graduate Student Info Expo. This pilot initiative for graduate student recruitment connects journalism and communication graduate programs with prospective graduate students.
2. International regional conference pilot to be held in Santiago, Chile. After leading a delegation to Santiago in March, the AEJMC Board of Directors approved Poindexter’s request to hold a pilot international regional conference in Santiago in October 2015. After AEJMC establishes its presence on the international regional conference stage, Poindexter’s goal is to have AEJMC international regional conferences in Asia, Europe, Africa, etc.
3. Future News Audience Initiative to Encourage News Engagement. This initiative will include a national campaign and event to raise awareness about the importance of being informed, the future of the news media, the future of journalism education, the future of an informed democratic society, and the mission of AEJMC.
Poindexter said she believes this initiative is very important in light of data from her National Survey of News Engagement highlighted in her book, Millennials, News, and Social Media: Is News Engagement a Thing of the Past? (Peter Lang), The book helps readers understand the generation that came of age as the importance of news waned and social media emerged.