Jennifer Woodard receives 2021 John Pleas Faculty Award

Jennifer Woodard, assistant dean and associate professor in the School of Journalism and Strategic Media, received the 2021 John Pleas Faculty Award.

Woodard, an MTSU alumna, teaches classes on convergence, digital writing, podcasting, audio journalism, women in the media, and race, class and gender. Her emphasis on media literacy instructs students in how to judge the media they see and hear based on credible facts, a valuable skill in an age of growing disinformation. As assistant dean, Woodard focuses on diversity issues, assessment, student and faculty mental health programs, curriculum development, internship development, and a mentoring/advocacy program for faculty. She also is the faculty advisor to the National Association of Black Journalists student chapter.

The award, created in 1997 to honor the MTSU professor emeritus of Psychology, is presented annually during Black History Month to a Black faculty member who has demonstrated excellence in teaching, research, and service.

“John Pleas was the first African American professor that I ever had a class with,” Woodard said. “I took his psychology class my freshman year at MTSU, and it changed my life. You see, representation matters, and he represented what was possible for me in the classroom.”

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