Karen Russell named one of five 2017 Meigs Professors

Karen Russell, Jim Kennedy New Media Professor and associate professor of public relations at Grady College, is one of five University of Georgia professors named to the Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professorship, the university’s highest recognition for excellence in instruction.

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Karen Russell, 2017 Meigs Professor

“This continues an amazing three-year streak of Grady representation in the university’s highest teaching honor, and is a true testament to the quality of teaching and mentorship all over the college,” said Charles N. Davis, dean of Grady College. “Dr. Russell is a state-of-the-art teacher who works tirelessly to keep pace with the rapid change in social media campaigns and
digital marketing—areas on the leading edge of public relations.”

Russell joins five other Grady College faculty who are Meigs Professors: Carolina Acosta-Alzuru, James Hamilton, David Hazinksi, Karen King and Lynne Sallot.

The Meigs Professorship underscores the university’s commitment to excellence in teaching, the value placed on the learning experiences of students and the centrality of instruction to the university’s mission. The award includes a permanent salary increase of $6,000 and a one-year discretionary fund of $1,000.

“This year’s Meigs Professors create experiences both inside and outside of the classroom that challenge students to apply their knowledge to real-world situations,” said Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Pamela Whitten, whose office sponsors the award. “Their commitment to students helps make the University of Georgia one of the nation’s very best public universities.”

The other 2017 Meigs Professors are:

  • James “Jeb” Byers, professor and associate dean of administrative affairs and research in the Odum School of Ecology.
  • Markus Crepaz, professor and head of the international affairs department in the School of Public and International Affairs.
  • John Maerz, professor in the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources,
  • Annette Poulsen, Augustus H. “Billy” Sterne Professor of Banking and Finance in the Terry College of Business.

Russell is an award-winning media historian who also uses 21st-century tools such as social media to prepare her public relations students for their careers. She developed a blog on teaching that became a resource for public relations students and faculty members around the globe. Russell has been hailed a “Top 40 Tweeter” by “PRWeek,” and her students have been commended by the Public Relations Student Society of America Bateman competition five times, winning a national championship in 2007. She created the popular campus-wide course “Online Reputation Management” and collaborated on the creation of an online continuing education social media certificate course. She is a recipient of top research awards in her field, including the Pathfinder Award from the Institute for Public Relations.

Meigs Professors are nominated by their school or college and chosen by a committee consisting of 12 faculty members, two undergraduate students and one graduate student.

More information about the Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professorships is online.

Camie Williams, camiew@uga.edu,  Sarah Freeman, freeman@uga.edu

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