The University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s alumni board of directors honored CCI alumna and president of the Poynter Institute for Media Studies, Dr. Karen Brown Dunlap (Ph.D. ’82), by presenting her with its Alumni Professional Achievement Award at a dinner on Friday, September 9, at the Marriott in downtown Knoxville.
Dunlaphas dedicated more than 30 years to the education of journalists and aspiring journalists. As the current president of The Poynter Institute for Media Studies (with which she has been affiliated for almost 23 years) and a member of the Poynter Institute Board of Trustees, she has been on the forefront of providing the education, training and knowledge required for the media/journalistic industries and journalism educators to make the transition from traditional to converged forms of journalistic distribution and education. Dunlap has done an outstanding job, during very difficult times, of helping these enterprises, which are critical to the exercise and protection of our First Amendment rights, survive and prosper in the new media world.
“Dr. Dunlap is richly deserving of this high honor. She was CCI’s Hileman Distinguished Alumni Award recipient in 2005 and an active member of the college’s Board of Visitors where she made many positive contributions especially through the input she provided to help us develop a new media convergence curriculum, said Mike Wirth, CCI dean. “She continues to have a significant impact on the media industries and on journalism and mass communication through her service as President of the Poynter Institute and the force of her personality, ideas and integrity. She is the epitome of what it means to be a professional and a leader.”
In addition to her work at Poynter, Dr. Dunlap is a member of the Board of Directors of the St. Petersburg Times Publishing Company, the Board of Directors of the Newspaper Association of America Foundation and the Eckerd College Board of Trustees.
She is also co-author of The Effective Editor with Foster Davis, and of The Editorial Eye with Jane Harrigan. Dunlap was editor of the Poynter Institute’s Best Newspaper Writing series and has served three times as a Pulitzer Prize jurist. She was a reporter for the Macon News and the Nashville Banner and staff writer at the St. Petersburg Times. She also taught journalism at Tennessee State University in Nashville, and at the University of South Florida in Tampa.
She is a member of the NAACP and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and has received many honors and awards as a result of her distinguished contributions to the journalistic profession. These include: the Legends Award (2008), an Honorary Doctorate from Eckerd College (2006), the Missouri Honor Medal for Distinguished Service in Journalism (2006), the ASJMC Gerald M. Sass Distinguished Service to Journalism and Mass Communications Award (2005), the UTK College of Communication and Information commencement speaker (2005), The Girl Scouts of Suncoast Council’s Women of Distinction Award (2005), Kappa Tau Alpha’s Outstanding Contribution to Journalism in Florida Award (1999), the Outstanding Alumni Award from Michigan State University’s College of Communication Arts & Sciences (1998) and Tennessee State University’s Distinguished Alumni Award (1996).