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Bruce Konkle

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Bruce Konkle receives educator of the year award

Journalism professor Bruce Konkle was named educator of the year by a national journalism organization this month for his decades of leadership and research in scholastic journalism. 

Konkle, associate professor in the visual communications sequence in the J-school, received the David Adams Journalism Educator of the Year Award.

Konkle’s research in scholastic journalism and his work as director of the S.C. Scholastic Press Association were high on the list of accolades in the letters of recommendation.

“It would be difficult to find someone with as many attributes and accomplishments to her/his  credit that Bruce has exhibited throughout a long and distinguished career in secondary school and collegiate journalism education,” said Jack Dvorak, professor emeritus at Indiana University.  

Dvorak said Konkle is likely the No. 1 authority in scholastic journalism bibliographic research.

“His bibliographic collection and his analyses of various aspects of it are a significant contribution to our field,” Dvorak said.

The Scholastic Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication presents the award annually to division members for outstanding performance in the college/university classroom and in scholastic journalism workshops and conferences.

Konkle kept exhaustive records of the S.C. Scholastic Press Association during his 17 years as director and continues to keep them current. Karen Flowers, the current SCSPA director, and her staff produced a 76-page history for the 75th anniversary of SCSPA in October 2011 because of Konkle’s fastidious record keeping. 

“We had lists upon lists of the who’s and what’s of SCSPA since its beginning,” Flowers said. “We had the 50th anniversary history Bruce had compiled, and we had newspaper clippings and photos he had collected, but best of all, we had Bruce, himself, to talk to.”

Konkle passed his passion for history and his love of SCSPA on to the intern who worked on the history. 

“Dr. Konkle is a wonderful teacher,” said Jenna Eckel. “Working with him exposed me to expertise and facts pertaining to scholastic journalism, not just in the state of South Carolina but across the country.  No matter how busy he was, Dr. Konkle always took the time to work with me on the history of the association, ideas for the event and anything related to InDesign and photography.”

Konkle distinguished himself early in his career as an innovative classroom teacher and publications adviser.

“I first met Bruce at a summer journalism workshop and was impressed at how well he related to his students and how engaged students were in his classes,” said Dennis Cripe, Pulliam School of Journalism professor emeritus at Franklin College in Indiana. “As a young adviser, I sat in on his classes as often as I could and I began using Bruce’s yearbooks as ‘models’ for my own students to emulate. Clearly, this young teacher had a special gift for teaching and a love and respect for high school journalism students that would last a lifetime.” 

He joined the School of Journalism and Mass Communications faculty in 1985, primarily teaching public relations courses and directing SCSPA and the Carolina Journalism Institute. In 2002, he stepped down as director of SCSPA to concentrate on scholastic journalism history research. He continues his work on behalf of high school journalism. 

 
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