As the head of the Mass Communication and Society Division (MCS) my overall goals are two-fold: 1) ensure MCS is heading in the same strategic directions as the Association for Educators in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) organization, and 2) ensure MCS is fulfilling its responsibilities to members.
I’ve been a member of MCS since 2003 and I’ve been a Division officer since 2010. I’ve seen some amazing leaders direct this great Division and I hope to do the same. To that end, I’ve spent a considerable amount of time looking back at past member surveys, newsletters, business meeting minutes, and annual reports to determine how the Division should proceed in 2015-2016. My objectives this year are to actualize many of the items voted on by MCS members in the past. This will, I hope, ensure that the Division is appropriately aligned for our assessment in 2017. Thus, my objectives are as follows:
Objective 1: Provide MCS members with the award opportunities asked for. In order to enhance member teaching, research and service, as well as provide graduate students with funding for research and conference travel, we will be implementing new awards (e.g., graduate travel, midwinter conference research, PF&R, professional of the year, adjunct/instructor of the year, teaching ideas competition, etc.) as well as updating the application and judging processes of existing awards (promising professors, Trayes service, distinguished educator, research, dissertation).
Objective 2: Retain existing MCS members and encourage new memberships. One of the things we will be working on is communicating the teaching, research, and service successes of our members within the division. Our Vice Heads will be working on a new members’ FAQ/guide to help individuals interested in joining MCS navigate this process. Finally, our new Vice Head-Elect will serve as Membership Chair and actively seek out new members and ways to get them integrated into the Division (e.g., graduate student mentorships, socials, luncheons, etc.).
Objective 3: Strengthen the identity of MCS. Two surveys will be launched this year asking members and graduate students about attitudes and beliefs regarding the Division. These surveys will have a component asking about the identity of MCS as well as if our members would like to see the Division create a second Journal. Other activities to strengthen MCS identity are to update the syllabus exchange with syllabi from our previous MCS Promising Professor and MCS Distinguished Educator award winners and create a speaker’s bureau where our members can offer to share their expertise.
Of course these objectives could not be actualized without the remarkable efforts of MCS Officers. This year we are growing the MCS leadership by creating committees (Teaching, Research, PF&R, Awards, Communication, Midwinter Conference, Graduate Student). Each committee is made up of a Chair, Associate Chair, and two committee members. This will help strengthen our Division’s leadership by providing institutional knowledge for each position as well as supplying a support system for committees to accomplish their tasks.
I encourage anyone interested in working on these goals to contact the chair of the MCS committee overseeing the project. If you have questions about who to contact please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.