MEDIA, Pa. — Hans Schmidt, assistant professor of communications at Penn State Brandywine, received the Pennsylvania Communication Association’s 2015 Harvey Kelly Award for Excellence in Teaching at the association’s 76th annual convention.
This year, the Pennsylvania Communication Association’s convention focused on translating communication research into practice. The Pennsylvania Communication conference included individual presentations, panel presentations, and poster sessions that represent the diversity of the association and complement this year’s theme. At the convention, Schmidt presented about his research and chaired the panel discussion, “Understanding Computer Mediated Technology: Algorithms, Artificial Intelligence, and Super Intelligence.”
The research Schmidt focuses on is media literacy education, journalism and journalism education, and sports media. At the convention, Schmidt presented about the “Perspectives on Women and Sports Journalism: A Survey of Professional Journalists.” This research looks into the problematic gender roles that exist within sports media, like the inequality that is present in the world of sports — especially when considering the extremely limited, and limiting, coverage of female athletes and women’s sports. He is also researching the steps that need to be taken — both within the industry and within higher education — to improve the situation.
Penn State Brandywine communications arts and sciences student Stamatina Mattie Mylonas also attended the convention and presented a poster about the research she conducted along with Judith Smith, former Brandywine geography student who transitioned to University Park this fall. With guidance from Laura Guertin, professor of earth sciences, and Susan Fredricks, associate professor of communications arts and sciences, Mylonas and Smith teamed up to create a series of geology and geophysics “101” information pages for the Society of Exploration Geophysicists' (SEG) wiki page.
The Harvey Kelly Award recognizes outstanding teaching inside and outside the classroom, including innovative methods in the classroom, community-based education, demonstrated impact, lifetime accomplishment, and/or a single exceptional accomplishment.
“I’m just very honored to receive this award,” Schmidt said. “I have a great deal of respect for the leaders and members of the Pennsylvania Communication Association. Pennsylvania Communication Association is an organization that is full of dedicated educators and researchers. So, to be recognized by them with this award is a tremendous honor.”
Joe Downing, Pennsylvania Communication Association president, Penn State York campus senate chair, and associate professor of communication arts and sciences, nominated Schmidt for the award. In his nomination, Downing solicited student feedback to include in his nomination letter. Downing states that he “quickly received enthusiastic emails” from students.
“One of his [Schmidt’s] adult students commented that Dr. Schmidt’s ‘passion for education, kindness and helpfulness’ greatly eased this student’s transition back to school,” Downing wrote. “Another student told me how ‘approachable’ he is as a teacher, which ‘made learning a whole lot easier.’”
Schmidt has served as chair of the Media and Society Interest Group for the Pennsylvania Communication Association since 2011 and on the executive council. He has also served as the second vice president of the Eastern Communication Association, the oldest professional communication association in the United States. Schmidt is on the editorial review boards of several peer reviewed academic journalism and is associate editor of the Pennsylvania Communication Annual, a Pennsylvania Communication Association publication.
Schmidt’s disciplinary interests range from interpersonal communication to media studies. He has taught a variety of communication, media, and journalism courses at Penn State Brandywine and several other colleges and universities, including public speaking, mass media and society, public relations media and methods, sports writing, and various other courses.
According to its website, the Pennsylvania Communication Association was founded in 1939 to promote teaching, research, service, and development of all areas of human communication.