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Robertson faculty and staff honored with College Awards

Oct 23, 2020

Posted in: News

Four faculty and staff members of the Robertson School of Media and Culture were honored with annual awards by VCU's College of Humanities and Sciences on Oct. 23.

Thomas, Clarence
Dr. Clarence Thomas

Dr. Clarence Thomas, associate professor of journalism, has been selected for the Trailblazer in Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Award. The purpose of this award is to honor individuals or groups of VCU administrators, faculty, staff or students who exemplify the importance and commitment to inclusion, diversity and equity. The Robertson School Awards Committee wrote in its nomination that "Dr. Thomas' colleagues in our School highly value him as 'a voice of conscience,' as 'the cornerstone and initiator of many diversity initiatives,' and as someone who makes sure that 'diversity is baked into every course.' Dr. Thomas has had a sustained record of contribution to teaching and service of racial and ethnic minorities in journalism and mass communication over the last three decades and his initiatives ensured that the Robertson School and VCU have become more diverse and inclusive places to work and learn. Dr. Thomas’s most impactful accomplishment in the Robertson School is his 'Diversity in the Media' course in our undergraduate curriculum."

South, Jeff
Professor Jeff South

Professor Jeff South, associate professor emeritus of journalism, has been selected for the Distinguished Mentor Award. The award is for mentoring activity by an individual faculty member who has helped to build a supportive academic environment through faculty-to-student mentoring and/or faculty-to-faculty mentoring. The Robertson School Awards Committee wrote in its nomination that "Professor South has had a remarkable 23-year career at VCU that was marked by a sustained record of mentoring of his students, his colleagues and professional journalists. Among his many accomplishments, Capital News Service is his lasting legacy at the Robertson School and VCU, and this legacy is recognized state- and nationwide and beyond through the success of his students. Under Professor South’s leadership, CNS grew into one of the nation’s premiere student-operated newswires. Many of Professor South’s students work at the leading media enterprises nationwide, such as CNN and The Wall Street Journal. What lies behind the long list of mentoring activities is a deep commitment for the purpose of journalism and the role a free press plays in a democratic society."

Williams, Pamela
Pamela Williams

Mrs. Pamela Williams, executive assistant, has been selected for the Excellence in Administrative and Office Support Award. This award is presented to an individual who has cultivated a reputation as the go-to person for general and miscellaneous administrative matters by displaying expert knowledge of various policies and guidelines, enthusiastically assisting those in need and holding themselves to high standards in all they do. The Robertson School Awards Committee wrote in its nomination that "Mrs. Williams is the executive assistant to the Robertson School’s director and associate director. But that is just her title. She’s truly the heart of our School. A great team player, Mrs. Williams is the one that keeps our School moving forward every day. She’s an outstanding and efficient manager of the School’s business and the calm in the middle of any brewing storm. Most of all, she is always a pleasure to work with and a delight to be around. Her great organizational skills, her reliability and her dependability are greatly appreciated by all of the School’s faculty and staff. She is a role model to the School’s staff that many colleagues turn to regularly for advice. "

Roy F. Roach III
Roy Roach

Mr. Roy Roach, academic adviser, has been selected for the Excellence in Humanities and Social Sciences Advising Award. This award is presented to an individual who provides distinguished academic support to students, serves as an exemplary resource on academic matters and makes the success of their students a top priority. The Robertson School Awards Committee wrote in its nomination that "Roy provides invigoration and tremendous commitment to the undergraduate student advising efforts. As one of the three academic advisors in the Robertson School, Roy leads major workshops, meets with prospective students, mass communication foundation students, and at-risk students. He provides such wonderful care in making sure students are heard and they feel like they belong. Roy is also teaching MASC 291: EmPower. The class is an exploration of mentorship and personal/professional development in mass communications. It examines models for identity development and social-capital development."

"Congratulations to Dr. Thomas, Professor South, Mrs. Williams and Mr. Roach. This is so well deserved and we are so very proud of them," said Dr. Marcus Messner, director of the Robertson School. "I would like to thank them for all they have done for the Robertson School, the College and VCU."

All of the award winners are listed on the website of the College of Humanities and Sciences.