Kappa Tau Alpha chapter renamed to honor Anderson

April 14, 2010

Penn State's chapter of Kappa Tau Alpha, the college honor society that recognizes academic excellence and promotes scholarship in journalism and mass communication, has been renamed to honor the current dean of the College of Communications.

Faculty members in the journalism and advertising/public relations departments voted to name the chapter the Douglas A. Anderson Chapter of Kappa Tau Alpha, and surprised Anderson with the honor during a recent faculty awards event.

Anderson has served since July 1999 as a professor of journalism and dean of the College of Communications. Prior to that, he was Cronkite Endowment Board of Trustees professor and director of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Telecommunication at Arizona State University.

"Doug's leadership style is not only inspired but also inspiring," said Martin Halstuk, an associate professor in the Department of Journalism and adviser for the Kappa Tau Alpha chapter. "It's no coincidence that the decade-long, outstanding upward trajectory of our College, its faculty and our students -- in teaching, research and service, and in almost every measurable aspect -- began with Doug’s arrival here.”

A snapshot of that success includes consistently strong performances by students in national competitions in several disciplines, record numbers of faculty publications in peer-reviewed journals and vibrant outreach offerings that serve audiences from high school students to communications professionals.

Anderson is the author or co-author of six books, two of which have gone into subsequent editions: "Contemporary Sports Reporting" (in its second edition) and "News Writing and Reporting for Today's Media" (in its seventh edition). He also has written more than 70 academic articles, papers, book chapters and workbooks.

A former daily newspaper reporter, sports editor and managing editor, Anderson is a past president of the Nebraska Associated Press Managing Editors Association. He also is a past president of the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication and the Southwest Education Council on Education in Journalism in Mass Communication. He is the former three-term chair of the national Accrediting Committee of the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications. He also serves as chair of the steering committee of the Journalism Awards Program of the William Randolph Hearst Foundation.

In 1996, The Freedom Forum named Anderson Journalism Administrator of the Year, making him the youngest person ever to receive the award. In 1997, he served as the inaugural fellow at the Freedom Forum Pacific Coast Center in San Francisco, where he conducted a study on the state of journalism-mass communications education. He served on the faculty at Arizona State from 1977 to 1999.

  • Doug Anderson.

    IMAGE: Penn State

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated November 18, 2010