Deb Morrison and John Sweeney

SOJC Professor Deborah Morrison with Professor John Sweeney from the University of North Carolina, who nominated her for the Distinguished Teaching Award.

Two University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication (SOJC) faculty members were honored at this year’s Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) conference in San Francisco. Each year, more than 2,000 researchers, well-known authors, professionals and practitioners attend and participate in panels, sessions and workshops covering teaching methods, research and public service areas in journalism and mass communication.

Deborah Morrison, Carolyn Chambers Distinguished Professor of Advertising, received the 2015 AEJMC Advertising Division Distinguished Teaching Award. Assistant professor Héctor Tobar won the AEJMC-Knudson Latin America Prize for his book Deep Down Dark: The Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine, and the Miracle That Set Them Free.

Morrison was nominated by Professor John Sweeney from the University of North Carolina and turned in a lengthy teaching portfolio, manifesto and letters of recommendation from former students.

“The award is such an honor. I think I’m a pretty good teacher but more, I think I’ve had the opportunity to learn from so many dedicated teachers and thinkers,” she says.

Tobar says the SOJC faculty encouraged him to submit his book. The Latin American Prize is given to an original contribution that advances knowledge about Latin America to the public, U.S. students or journalists. The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist says he was deeply honored.

“When I received the award, I thanked dean Julie Newton, Mark Blaine and Gabriela Martínez for inviting me to become part of the faculty,” he says. “If I hadn’t joined the University of Oregon, I wouldn’t have won.”

Tobar has spent more than 25 years writing about Latin American people. He served as the L.A. Times bureau chief in Buenos Aires. “Journalism is a very noble craft and to be recognized by people who teach is an honor,” he says.

When Morrison joined the SOJC 10 years ago, she worked with Kim Sheehan, Dave Koranda and Tim Gleason “to build a program like no other.” She says the teaching award and other honors are a testament to the collaborative work of the program.

“The trifecta of this and other teaching awards for our faculty, along with the Advertising Team’s recent National Championship, and our unprecedented success with internships and jobs for our students tells a story of a banner year for the SOJC advertising program,” Morrison says.

Story by Corinne Boyer, MS ’15