Michelle Carr Hassler, M.A.
Associate Professor of Practice
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Michelle Carr Hassler teaches a variety of journalism courses, including advanced reporting, multimedia reporting, solutions journalism and reporting for and about diverse audiences.
She has been teaching at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln since 1998.
Before coming to UNL, Michelle was a newspaper reporter and editor for 16 years, beginning as education reporter at the Tempe Daily News and Mesa Tribune in Arizona. She also served as state editor at the Lincoln Journal and night city editor and interim editorial page editor at the Lincoln Journal Star.
Michelle has received eight national teaching awards, including winner of the 2017 Great Ideas for Teaching, a refereed panel presentation of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, and winner of the 2015 Teaching News Terrifically in the 21st Century, another AEJMC refereed competition.
On campus, she was honored in 2004, 2005 and 2007 by the UNL Teacher's Council and the UNL Parents Association, which recognize faculty, advisors and staff members who have had a significant impact on the lives of one or more undergraduates.
Her students also have won national and regional awards for the journalism they created in her classes. Student work in the Nebraska Mosaic course, which focuses on telling the stories of refugees and immigrants in Nebraska, has been a perennial award winner since the fall of 2016, when she started the concept of having students produce topic-based and in-depth multimedia projects.
Michelle has taken part in several innovative journalism initiatives. She was involved for several years with News21, a journalism program funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation of Miami to promote in-depth and innovative journalism. In the spring of 2011, she co-taught a reporting seminar on food safety with professors from Arizona State University and Maryland University to prepare students for a 10-week national reporting project in Phoenix that produced an award-winning news website, “How Safe Is Your Food?
In fall 2014, she led students in a capstone journalism class to produce multimedia stories for the Heartland Project, funded by the Ford Foundation to increase media coverage of minorities and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities in Nebraska. Her students produced a series of stories about the joys and struggles of residents in a diverse city neighborhood.
In 2018, she was chosen to participate in the inaugural Solutions Journalism Educators Academy in Portland, Oregon.
Also in 2018, she led “One College, One Project: The Heart of Lincoln,” a year-long effort in which students in eight CoJMC courses reported on, participated in or learned about a civic engagement initiative sponsored by Collective Impact Lincoln in the city’s six poorest neighborhoods.
Michelle takes an active role on campus, where she serves on a number of committees and task forces. She also is a group leader with the UNL Peer Review of Teaching Project, a faculty support program. She was appointed to the Chancellor’s Commission on the Status of Women in 2019 and was chosen to participate in the Executive Vice Chancellor’s inaugural Faculty Leadership in Academia: From Inspiration to Reality program for the 2019 academic year.
As executive director of the Nebraska High School Press Association, she works closely with high school teachers to strengthen scholastic journalism in the state.
Michelle received a bachelor's degree in journalism and a master's in English, both from University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Her curriculum vitae is available on her website.