Three faculty members in the School of Journalism and Communication were recognized today by the Faculty of Public Affairs for their excellence in teaching and in fostering equity, diversity and inclusion.

The awards were presented at a special luncheon hosted by the Dean of Public Affairs, Brenda O’Neill, to celebrate recipients of the FPA 2023 Excellence Awards.

Adrian Harewood, an Associate Professor in journalism, was recognized with a new award for his contributions towards equity, diversity, inclusion, and decolonization (EDID).

Vincent Andrisani, an Instructor in Communication and Media Studies and Matthew Pearson, an Assistant Professor in Journalism, were each recognized for their teaching excellence.

The new equity and inclusion award was presented by Ben Woo, the FPA Associate Dean for Equity and Inclusion.

“Challenging systems of discrimination and exclusion in our institutions and standing up for ourselves, for our students and for our present and future colleagues can be emotionally taxing and professionally risky,’’ Woo said.

Woo saluted Harewood for taking up important EDID work, for his relentless role as a host and moderator at Carleton, for his work behind the scenes and for his impressive community outreach activities, notably with local high schools.

In his acceptance remarks, Harewood noted how important it is to keep moving forward at a time when in some places, the opposite is happening.

“I’m not in Florida and I say that because these struggles are never over,” Harewood said in reference to just one jurisdiction where progress on inclusion is actually being rolled back. “What history teaches us is it is always possible to go backwards. So, in spite of many gains and many sacrifices that people have made over generations, it is actually possible to go backwards and reverse some of the progress that is being made.”

Harewood also saluted Carleton journalism students “for insisting that we need a different way of being, a different way of organizing ourselves, a different way of imagining education.”

After joining Carleton in 2021, Harewood created the school’s first-ever course focused on journalism, race and diversity. And this year he made another addition with the first course in Canada devoted to the history of Black Canadian journalism.

David Mendeloff, the associate dean, academic, presented the awards for teaching excellence. Mendeloff saluted Andrisani’s demonstrated passion and commitment and his concern for the student learning experience. He said the judges were particularly impressed with Andrisani’s transformation of the two introductory courses in the Bachelor of Communication and Media Studies and the creation of an innovative podcast to showcase student projects.

In accepting the award, Andrisani said his work is situated in a culture of teaching excellence.

“All of my colleagues take teaching and student learning so seriously, and I know this because this is what we talk about when we meet on campus, when we’re at the bar, when we’re just shooting the breeze in everyday life,” Andrisani said. “This award is a testament to the teaching culture that has been built up across FPA.”

Andrisani, Pearson and Harewood at the FPA excellence award

Bridging the gap between media theory and experiential learning, Andrisani encourages students to develop various forms of media creation that respond to real-world issues. First year communication students get to develop media such as mock op-eds, infographics, and video content.

In 2021 Andrisani also created the audio show, “The place of sound,” which allows workshop students to present their communication ideas on a podcast that airs biweekly on CKCU, the campus radio station.

In presenting the faculty’s second teaching excellence award to Matthew Pearson, Mendeloff said the committee was struck by Pearson’s dedication to teaching innovation and his sensitivity to diversity and the wellbeing of students. He noted in particular Matthew’s ground-breaking and innovative work on trauma-informed reporting, including a project that had students conduct interviews in a simulation with actors to heighten awareness of trauma-informed journalism.

Matthew joined the school in 2020 and taught his first year entirely online. He has been a trail blazer in creating the TAKE CARE approach to trauma-informed reporting and designing and delivering the first stand-alone course of its kind in a journalism school in Canada. That course included a novel simulation exercise that saw students interview professional actors who were portraying trauma survivors.

In his remarks, Matthew said it was teaching that drew him to Carleton and he recalled, with emotion, how rewarding it is to be able to watch the progression of the journalism careers of former students.

“One of the great things I love about teaching journalism is seeing students progress in their careers. And we can often watch this happen in real time, we read their stories in the newspaper, we see them on TV, we hear them on the radio when we’re waking up,” Pearson said.

“It’s amazing to do this job in a public way and see people go on to do the things they want to do.”

Wednesday, May 17, 2023 in , , ,
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