Dean Marron receives L.J. Hortin Distinguished Alumna Award

Dean Marron receives L.J. Hortin Distinguished Alumna Award

Wednesday, April 26, 2017 - 4:00pm
Dean Marron Headshot
Dean Maria Marron received the L.J. Hortin Distinguished Alumna Award from E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, Ohio University.

Maria Marron, dean of the College of Journalism and Mass Communications, was honored with the L.J. Hortin Distinguished Alumna Award by the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, Ohio University, April 20.

Faculty in the school of journalism determine the recipient of the award, named after a longtime director of the school. This year marks the first time the award was given to a Ph.D. alumnus. Marron completed her doctorate at Ohio University in 1993.

Bob Stewart, director of the E. W. Scripps School, said that even before Marron tackled her dissertation, her doctoral program classmates had come to respect her instincts for doing research.

“Maria already demonstrated extraordinary qualities and the potential required for a remarkable scholar/teacher,” he said an alum had told him. “And her passion for journalism research was exceptional.”

He noted that Dr. Marron has served as editor of Journalism & Mass Communication Educator, one of three peer-reviewed journals published by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, and she has served as president of the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication.

She had taught at The Ohio State University before working on her doctorate and later taught at Texas State University–San Marcos before spending two years helping to establish the College of Communication and Media Sciences at Zayed University, Abu Dhabi and Dubai, United Arab Emirates. After returning to the United States, she served as professor in and chairperson of the Department of Journalism, Central Michigan University. One of her colleagues at CMU described her as “an extraordinarily caring and attentive chair, making sure new faculty had what they needed to get tenure while, at the same time, insisting on rigor.”

Marron paid tribute to the faculty and staff of the E.W. Scripps School and to the graduate students with whom she worked while she was a student there. She said the school and its graduates were a great community and a network with whom she crosses paths time and again.

“Many of my former classmates have gone on to great careers,” she said, “including the two Debs – Debra Mason, at the University of Missouri and Debashis Aikat at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Deb Mason is the only person I know who has had three titles on her business card – professor, publisher and president, and Deb Aikat is a media futurist at UNC.” Marron said she also worked with classmate Russell Cook who since has been chair of the Department of Journalism at Loyola University in Maryland.

The network of Ohio U. alumni included her very first department chair at Texas State—Roger Bennett. And even at Nebraska, Ruth Brown, a former colleague in the CoJMC, and her husband Eric of the Nebraska Rural Radio Association and a trustee of the NU Foundation, are among Ohio U. graduates.

Learning that she was the 2017 recipient of the L.J. Hortin Award, Marron said, “I was surprised, honored and humbled all at the same time as there are many alumni perhaps more deserving than I of this honor.”