N.C. A&T’s Callahan wins Knight Award

By Cheryl Pell



A faculty member at North Carolina A&T State University is this year’s recipient of the AEJMC Robert P. Knight Multicultural Recruitment Award.

Linda Florence Callahan, Ph.D., was selected to receive the award because she is a strong advocate for diversity in journalism. She has encouraged, advised, and supported under-represented students in journalism for more than three decades at five different universities.

In 1997 she founded a regional workshop for high school students in Greensboro in partnership with the North Carolina Scholastic Media Association. The workshop continues to this day with Callahan taking the lead every year.

Monica Hill, director of the North Carolina Scholastic Media Association in Chapel Hill, N.C., nominated Callahan because she believes Callahan is making an impact on young journalists through the workshop.

“Linda’s workshop is a highlight each year,” Hill said. “At no other workshops are students from a more rural region of the state treated to a morning salute from an award-winning university marching band and drumline. The entire drumline. How Linda manages this every year is beyond comprehension.”

Sue Farlow, a retired high school journalism teacher, said her yearbook and journalism students attended the media day from 1997 until 2011, when Farlow retired, and said they looked forward to interacting with the diverse groups in attendance.

“Professor Callahan consistently goes beyond what is expected of her,” Farlow said. “The workshops are well thought out and very engaging . . . She brings well known diverse media professionals to speak to the students, be on panels and present workshops.”

Gail Wiggins, interim chair, of the journalism and mass communication department at North Carolina A&T State University, supported the nomination.

“Dr. Callahan’s active role as an educator, her passion for funneling minorities into the media profession, the significant contributions to enhance journalism education via publications and her well-rounded involvement in the community make her a top candidate . . . ”

Callahan is an active member of AEJMC and recently received recognition for Outstanding Service to the organization as well at Outstanding Service to the AEJMC Commission on the Status of Minorities.

The Robert P. Knight Multicultural Recruitment Award, which is sponsored by the AEJMC Scholastic Journalism Division, recognizes any individual or organization that has made significant contributions to promoting diversity in high school or middle school media programs. The award is named after Robert P. Knight, a professor at the University of Missouri School of Journalism, who served as director of the Missouri Interscholastic Press Association from 1965 to 1992.

Callahan will receive the award at the AEJMC convention in Washington, D.C., on Friday, Aug. 9. The presentation will take place at the Scholastic Journalism Division-Minorities in Communication Luncheon at Hill County Barbecue, 410 7th St N.W.

For more information, please contact Cheryl Pell at pell@msu.edu.

(Cheryl Pell is a senior faculty specialist in the School of Journalism at Michigan State University. She served as the executive director of Michigan Interscholastic Press Association from 1987 to 2012.)

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