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Southwest Education Council for Journalism and Mass Communication Announces 2021 Educator Award Winner: Dr. Cassy Burleson September 27, 2021

Posted by Mia Moody-Ramirez in : Uncategorized , trackback

Cassy Burleson, senior lecturer, Baylor University wins for her exceptional dedication to student success

DENVER ― Oct. 1, 2021 ― The Southwest Education Council for Journalism and Mass Communication (SWECJMC) today announced its inaugural Educator Award winner, Dr.Cassy Burleson, senior lecturer at Baylor University. Burleson was selected for this award for her innovative teaching practices and her exceptional commitment to her students’ education.

As one of her colleagues explained, Burleson transformed the PR program at Baylor University and was essential in the effort to make it a premiere department in the field. Single-handedly, she recruited more than 200 internship sites and formalized intern assessment procedures. In addition to her teaching schedule, she supervises an average of 40 interns each semester and conducts sites visits to each site every semester.

“Cassy is one of the hardest workers I know,” said Dr. Mia Moody-Ramirez, department chair, Baylor University. She is innovative and committed to making sure students are prepared for the job market. She has helped our department institute practices that result in meaningful student outcomes for students. In particular, she spends hundreds of hours each semester coordinating portfolio reviews, doing site visits, recruiting a ‘dream team’ of experts, developing a diverse speakers list and compiling the results of internship evaluations to improve the program.”

Burleson has taught in the Journalism, Public Relations and New Media Department at Baylor University since 2001. She teaches public relations, writing, reporting and editingcourses, and has earned several accolades over the course of her career.

“Deep gratitude to site leaders who saw the value of paying and mentoring interns, students who worked harder and learned faster, supportive colleagues (especially bosses, TAs and work study students), alumni and practitioners all over the country who generously pour their expertise into our program and hire our graduates, and to those who keep our classrooms as free of COVID as possible,” said Burleson. “And to all those who taught me the value of developing courses tuned to the needs of potential employers.”

The SWECJMC Educator Award recognizes a faculty member at a SWECJMC member institution who demonstrates outstanding contributions to journalism and mass communication education. Faculty members at all ranks who employ inventive teaching practices, measurable student outcomes, and/or classroom-focused research were considered for this award. The SWECJMC intends to offer the Educator Award annually going forward.

“We celebrate Dr. Burleson’s work in the classroom and collaboration with her community to ensure her students are well prepared to launch their careers,” said Michelle Baum, president, SWECJMC. “The intention of the Educator Award is to honor the meaningful work of journalism and communications faculty, and we congratulate Dr. Burleson for exemplifying how novel approaches to education can transform learning experiences and empower students to realize their potential.”


The Southwest Education Council for Journalism and Mass Communication promotes the recognition, welfare and progress of journalism and mass communication education in the Southwest part of the United States. Members of SWECJMC include journalism and mass communication programs in institutions of higher education offering the baccalaureate degree in Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and Wyoming. SWECJMC is an affiliate of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. For more information, visit https://swecjmc.wp.txstate.edu/.



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