Sunday, May 01, 2011
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications (304) 696-7153

Burnis R. Morris, MU’s Carter G. Woodson Professor, selected as 20th Distinguished John Deaver Drinko Academy Fellow
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Burnis R. Morris, Marshall University’s Carter G. Woodson Professor, has been selected as the 2011-2012 Distinguished John Deaver Drinko Academy Fellow, according to Dr. Alan Gould, executive director of the John Deaver Drinko Academy.

Morris is the 20th faculty member to have been appointed as a Drinko Fellow. Dr. Simon Perry was the first Drinko Fellow in the 1994-1995 academic year.


“Burnis has been an outstanding addition to the Marshall University faculty,” Gould said. “He certainly merits the title of Distinguished John Deaver Drinko Fellow. I am especially pleased that he will be using his time as Drinko Fellow in the next academic year to work on certain aspects of the life of Dr. Carter G. Woodson, a one-time resident of Huntington, a distinguished scholar and father of African American history.”


Appointed annually, the Fellow receives a generous stipend, a reduced teaching load, and other financial and clerical support for two academic years to undertake research projects and other scholarly pursuits.


Morris will present the results of his work to the university community at a symposium next spring during Marshall’s annual Celebration of Academics.


Morris, known nationally for his work advising and training professional journalists who cover philanthropy and tax-exempt issues, has held the position of Carter G. Woodson Professor in the Marshall University School of Journalism and Mass Communications since 2003.

“The Drinko Academy Fellowship is one of the most prestigious honors a faculty member can receive in West Virginia higher education,” Morris said. “I am grateful to the Drinko Academy for its support and recognition. I look forward to an exciting year.”

Morris said he will continue his research into Woodson’s career and revisit his most famous work, “Mis-Education of the Negro,” first published in 1933.

“The book, now a classic, was a strong indictment of American education, especially how it systematically ignored contributions from racial minorities,” Morris said. “Although the education system has been more inclusive in the decades since Woodson’s observations, one would have to be Rip Van Winkle not to notice the system still has major problems; it is attacked from the left and the right, incessantly. I hope to figure out whether any of Woodson’s major criticisms in ‘Mis-Education’ are relevant 78 years later – and of course, whether many of today’s criticisms echo Woodson’s observations. There should be enough material for a book.”

Morris has served as head of the Journalism Division at Marshall since 2006. He has created two courses, copy editing and sports reporting, and taught other courses across a wide spectrum in mass communications -- including advanced reporting, public affairs reporting, computer-assisted reporting, mass media history, women, minorities and the media and public relations. He is a member of the Marshall University Faculty Senate and its Executive Committee, chair of the JMC Diversity Committee and Special Projects Committee and former chair of the Faculty Senate’s Student Conduct and Welfare Committee.

For further information, contact:  Office of University Communications
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