Dr. Mitzi Lewis, Assistant Professor of Mass Communications, has been named Teacher of the Year for 2013 by the Small Programs Interest Group (SPIG) of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC).
SPIG will present Lewis with the award Aug. 10 during the group’s annual luncheon held in conjunction with the AEJMC convention in Washington, D.C.
Lewis came to MSU in 2008. She has taught several undergraduate courses at Midwestern, including Publication Design; Computer-Assisted Reporting; Web Site Design; Multimedia Design; Introduction to Mass Communication; Foundations of Public Speaking; and an online course, The Internet and Society.
Dr. Jim Sernoe, chair of the Mass Communication Department at Midwestern, wrote in a letter of support, “When Dr. Lewis joined the faculty in 2008, she was told that she was to take charge of the newly created digital media minor and to run with it. She was also told that because it was a new area – for us and for the rest of the mass communication education world – no one knew exactly what that would mean. In just four years, the mass media landscape has, again, changed considerably, leaving educators attempting to a) understand where the world of mass communication is going and b) figure out how to structure our curricula to address it all in ways that will adequately prepare our students. Dr. Lewis has met this challenge and then some.”
Lewis earned her Ph.D. in educational research from the University of North Texas. She received both her master’s of arts degree in communication and her bachelor’s degree in university studies, with a concentration in communication, from the University of New Mexico.
Lewis has served as the Teaching Co-Chair and Webmaster at SPIG, and was on the ad hoc committee that explored and launched the interest group’s first peer-reviewed journal, Teaching Journalism and Mass Communication, where she served as co-editor in chief in the first year. The journal is completing its second year, and she is the publication’s current production editor.
In addition to Teaching Journalism and Mass Communication, Lewis has been published in the Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society, International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Behavior Research Methods, Workforce Education Forum, and Perspectives on Undergraduate Research and Mentoring.
“I am humbled by this honor from an organization that serves faculty whose primary focus is on teaching, advising, and mentoring undergraduate students,” Lewis said. “I’ve learned so much from my SPIG colleagues and from my colleagues at Midwestern State University. Jim Sernoe, chair of the MSU mass communication department and the person who introduced me to SPIG, has been a guiding force through my development as a teacher. I’m lucky to get to work with such bright, resourceful, and giving educators and with students who challenge and energize me every day.”
The AEJMC is a nonprofit, educational association of journalism and mass communication educators, students and media professionals. Its mission is to promote the highest possible standards for journalism and mass communication education, to cultivate the widest possible range of communication research, to encourage the implementation of a multi-cultural society in the classroom and curriculum, and to defend and maintain freedom of communication in an effort to achieve better professional practice and a better informed public.