Thursday, November 22, 2012

Dedication to Diversity, Communication Brings Recognition to A&S Dean

From UC News:

Dedication to Diversity, Communication Brings Recognition to A&S Dean

The dean of the McMicken College of Arts & Sciences will be honored by the National Communication Association for his exemplary career and service as co-editor of an academic journal.

Date: 11/15/2012 12:00:00 AM
By: Tom Robinette
Phone: (513) 556-8577
Photos By: Jean Assell

UC ingot   When it comes to diversity, Ronald L. Jackson II certainly practices what he preaches.

The dean of the McMicken College of Arts & Sciences has identified diversity as a strategic priority in his first year leading the largest college at the University of Cincinnati. And this week he’ll receive a lifetime distinguished service award from the largest communication association in the United States for exhibiting many estimable personal and professional attributes – including commitment to diversity and concern for others – and for advancing the discipline.
Dean Ronald L. Jackson II will be honored with the National Communication Association’s Robert J. Kibler Memorial Award.

Jackson recently was chosen as this year’s recipient of the National Communication Association’s (NCA) Robert J. Kibler Memorial Award. Jackson will receive the award during NCA’s 98th annual convention to be held Nov. 15-18 in Orlando, Fla. The NCA promotes the importance of communication in public and private life and its ability to improve the quality of human life and relationships, and to solve human problems.

The NCA’s Kibler award was created in 1978 to honor Kibler, a professor of communication at Florida State University. The award was designed to recognize qualities epitomized by Kibler, such as dedication to excellence, commitment to the profession, concern for others, vision of what could be, acceptance of diversity and forthrightness.

“It is always great to be recognized by one's peers,” Jackson says. “Having this kind of award shows that the field of communication recognizes there are challenges ahead but that there is important work toward addressing those challenges. The famous civil rights activist Eldridge Cleaver once stated, ‘If you are not a part of the solution, then you are a part of the problem.’ I am proud to be a part of the solution.”

Jackson and Kent Ono of the University of Utah also will be recognized by the NCA for concluding their co-editorship of the NCA's Critical Studies in Media Communication journal. Jackson says his work on the journal helped him further appreciate the interdisciplinary nature of the field of communication and the importance of understanding media in today’s increasingly technology-connected society.

“Clearly, the world in which we live practically inundates us with all kinds of media. This environment continues to grow as a result of the proliferation of handheld devices,” Jackson says. “Therefore, we have to understand the nature of media if we are ever to understand the evolution of society. That is the case in the United States and throughout the entire world.”

Jackson is one of the leading communication and identity scholars in the nation. His research examines how theories of identity relate to intercultural and gender communication, and he is nationally recognized for having developed a model known as the Black Masculine Identity Theory. 

This summer, he released a book, “Communicating Marginalized Masculinities,” that was co-edited with Jamie Moshin of Marietta College and published by Routledge. Jackson hopes readers will gain an understanding of how masculinities can at times be marginalized and at other times be privileged.   

“I think the presumption is that all men have privilege all the time and everywhere they go,” he says. “There are several factors that contribute to the marginalization of men such as issues related to sexuality, socioeconomic status, race, physicality and family background.”

Jackson also was recently announced as the keynote speaker for the fifth annual University of Cincinnati Diversity Conference on March 27. His topic will be "What It Means and When We All Matter: A Mandate for Diversity Excellence."

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