Doctoral student earns two awards

November 06, 2007

A doctoral student in the College of Communications earned one award from a state press association and another from an academic association for two separate articles he authored in recent months.

Murali "Mo" Balaji, an author and former newspaper journalist with experience at the Washington Post, St. Paul Pioneer Press and Wilmington (N.J.) News Journal, among others, earned first place from the New York Independent Press Association for an article titled "Desi Hip Hop." It was named Best Article on Immigrant Issues, Racial or Social Justice, after appearing in Little India, the largest circulating Indian magazine in the United States.

In addition, Balaji earned an honorable mention from the American Journalism Historians Association (AJHA) for Best Paper on a Miniorities Topic during its recently completed convention. Founded in 1981, AJHA exists to foster research and teaching of journalism history, to provide a forum and to be a resource. The association defines journalism in its broadest sense to encompass a wide range of mass communication studies.

Balaji, the author of two books ("House of Tinder" and "The Professor and the Pupil: The Politics of W.E.B. DuBois and Paul Robeson"), has taught at Temple University, the University of Minnesota and Delaware State University.

His research at Penn State focuses on the construction of black masculinity in hip-hop, as well as media's creation of "ideal type" minorities in television programs and films.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated March 19, 2009