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Dr. Vivian Wagner Named National Advisor of the Year

Dr. Vivian Wagner Dr. Vivian Wagner, Assistant Professor of Journalism, has been awarded the Sheridan Barker Advisor of the Year Award by the Society of Collegiate Journalists (SCJ).  The award, selected from over 100 active chapters nationwide, recognizes exceptional dedication and performance of a student media and SCJ advisor.

Dr. Wagner, a member of the English Department Faculty at Muskingum, teaches classes in the print media area of the Journalism program.  She advises the student newspaper, The Black and Magenta, as well as the College’s Chapter of SCJ.  During her service as advisor to the B & M, the paper and its student writers and editors have received several awards, including the Society of Collegiate Journalists Mark of Excellence as one of the top three non-daily student newspapers in a region that includes Ohio, Michigan and Western Pennsylvania.

Speaking of the Sheridan Barker awards, Dr. Wagner said, “What I love about advising are the students.  They take a lot of ownership in what they do – and they have a lot of freedom.  I don’t see myself as a censor, but as a teacher and guide.  The journalism field is changing rapidly and young professionals need to develop good interviewing and writing skills, and to always be curious.”

The national award continues a noteworthy academic year for Dr. Wagner.  In fall 2005, the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists honored her work, A Voice for Migrant Women, which profiled Monica Ramirez, one of the few attorneys in the United States who specialized in gender discrimination against farmwomen.

Dr. Wagner has extensive experience as a freelance journalist and writer of literary criticism and creative nonfiction.  Recent academic publications include “Unsettling Oz: Technological Anxieties in the Novels of L. Frank Baum; in The Lion and the Unicorn, “Under the Gun” in The Pinch, and “Germs and Utopia” in Genre.  Her journalism articles have appeared in many regional and national publications, including American Profile, The Ohio State Alumni Magazine, The Columbus Dispatch, The Plain Dealer, and the Daily Jeffersonian.

 “Dr. Wagner has been unflagging in her devotion to her students and to our national organization,” writes Dr. William Reuhlmann, SCJ Executive Director and Professor of Communications at Virginia Wesleyan University, who nominated Dr. Wagner.  “Advisors don’t do their jobs with an eye toward awards.  It’s a position that offers more ‘brickbats’ than ‘valentines.’  Vivian Wagner is a role model of why one does this.  She cares about the students, their academics, and the issues related to responsible journalism.  She is a rising star nationally.  She’s remarkable.”

Dr. Wagner joined the Muskingum faculty in 2003.  She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Irvine, her master’s degree from The Ohio State University, and her Ph.D. in English from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

The Society for Collegiate Journalists is a national honor society of collegiate mass communications.  Founded in 1909, it is the nation’s oldest organization designed solely to support students who wish to become journalists.  The purpose of SCJ is to improve the practice of responsible journalism on the campus and to prepare students for professional careers after graduation.