Dr. James Crook, distinguished journalism educator and director emeritus of the School of Journalism & Electronic Media, passed away on April 30.
Dr. Crook graduated from Floyd High School in 1958 and earned his bachelor and master degrees at the School of Journalism at the University of Iowa in 1961 and 1963.
He earned a Ph.D. in mass communication and education at Iowa State University in 1973, focusing on educational public relations and media literacy. Dr. Crook accepted appointment as associate professor in the University of Tennessee School of Journalism in 1974 and was promoted to director of the school in 1978 holding this position until his retirement in 2001.
During this time, he also served as visiting professor at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communication at Syracuse University and at the Dutch School of Journalism in Utrecht. He joined six American and European journalism schools to create a transatlantic study of Journalism Without Stereotypes, funded by the U.S. Department of Education and the European Union.
Dr. Crook was a member and journal editor of the Journalism & Mass Communication Educator for the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) for 13 years, president of the Society of Professional Journalists, East Tennessee chapter, and co-founder and director of the annual Front Page Follies.
Awards for his professional journalism work included recognition from the National Scholastic Press Association, the Tennessee Press Association, and three service awards from the AEJMC. In 2003, the AEJMC awarded him the Eleanor Blum Distinguished Service to Research Award, which recognizes individuals who have devoted their careers to promoting research in mass communication. In 2014, he was inducted to the University of Iowa Journalism Hall of Fame.
“I got to know Dr. Crook when he served for a year as interim director of the School of Journalism and Electronic Media. During that time, I grew to admire his keen sense of leadership,” said School of Journalism and Electronic Media director Dr. Catharine Luther. “He was able to effectively convey the high expectations he held for faculty, while also demonstrating that he cared about each person’s wellbeing. Dr. Crook guided me through the tenure and promotion process during that year and I will forever be thankful for the part he played in shaping my academic career.”
Dr. Crook’s obituary can be viewed here.