For the past five competitions, I’ve been privileged to be a small part of one of the Association of Educators in Journalism & Mass Communications’ most important annual activities, GIFT, an acrostic for Great Ideas For Teachers. This is the college/university journalism profession’s only “peer to peer” sharing of best tips and advice about classroom teaching, the primary purpose of our careers and professions.
For the past several years, I’ve been privileged to be a small part of one of the Association of Educators in Journalism & Mass Communications’ most important annual activities, GIFT, an acronym for Great Ideas For Teachers. This is the college/university journalism profession’s only “peer to peer” sharing of best tips and advice about classroom teaching, the primary purpose of our careers and professions.
Dr. Edna Bautista began and headed up the first GIFT competition in 2000. The Community College Journalism Association (CCJA) division of AEJMC has been the sole continuous GIFT “sponsor” since it began. The Small Programs Interest Group, (SPIG) has been a partner with CCJA for just about the entire 16-year history of GIFT. The Scholastic Division has also been a frequent partner as well.
This year, Professors Mary Jean Land of Georgia College and Nicole Kraft of The Ohio State University have been the primary movers and shakers behind GIFT. Nicole coordinated entries, and Mary Jean judging. THANK YOU. There were more than 30 GIFT entries submitted. Congratulations to these 15 winning “GIFTers” whose great ideas will be unveiled via poster session and peer-to-peer sharing on Thursday, August 4, at the AEJMC Conference in Minneapolis.
At least four of this year’s “Final 15” are repeat GIFT finalists. Having read many of these (and some of the non-finalists as well) myself, I can say without hesitation that this is the best group of GIFT submissions I have seen in my six-year association with Great Ideas For Teachers.
THE 2016 GIFT FINALISTS AND THEIR Great Ideas for Teachers are:
Dianne Bragg, Univ. of Alabama, “Making the First Amendment Real.”
Susan Bullard & Andrew Bechtel, Univ. of Nebraska, “Skimming the News.”
Kay Colley, Texas Wesleyan Univ., “Crisis! Zombie Apocalypse Descends on Campus.”
Shugota Dastgeer, Univ. of Oklahoma, “Visualizing research methods.”
John Freeman, Univ. of Florida, “The lives of others.”
Nicole Kraft, The Ohio State Univ., “You be the justice.”
Adam Kuban, Ball State Univ., “Privilege.”
Kathleen McElroy, Oklahoma State Univ., “Vote for Journalism.”
Chad Painter, Eastern New Mexico Univ., “Teaching across through a public records project.”
Donnalynn Pompper, Temple Univ., “Overcoming time zone barriers when teaching students about crisis in a social media age.”
Carol Schwalbe, Univ. of Arizona, “Pairs and squares: engaging all students in class discussions.”
Rachel Somerstein, SUNY New Platz, “Picturing Diversity: Using Theory and Content Analysis to Drive Journalism Practice”
Darren Sweeney, Central Connecticut State Univ., “Going Live: owning the breaking news story”
Lisa Waananen Jones, Washington State Univ., “Making data personal.”
Tamara Weltner, Biola Univ., “Learning a tool to teach a tool.”
Susan Kirkman Zake & John Bowen, Kent State Univ., “The People vs. the Simpsons.”
The GIFT Committee also expresses its appreciation to our panel of judges for this year. They are:
Kelly Bruhn – Drake University
Lori Dann – Eastfield College
Patricia Dobson – Eastern New Mexico University
Tamara Gillis – Elizabethtown College
Mary Jean Land – Georgia College
Jeremy Sarachan- St. John Fisher College
Christina Smith – Georgia College
Cindy Simoneau – Southern CT State University
Carol Zuegner – Creighton University
This is also one of the best judge panels in my memory. Several of the judges are former GIFT finalists themselves. Thank you for your service to AEJMC and GIFT. As in years past, the top GIFTer for 2016 will be announced at the AEJMC Conference.