Mass Comm professor wins national award

It is not uncommon for a member of the GSU family to be showcased all around the country. That was exactly the case on Aug. 25 as the Society of Professional Journalists presented Dr. Gene Murray with the Distinguished Teaching in Journalism Award at the Society of Professional Journalists national convention in Chicago. The honor is presented to an instructor of journalism who has make a difference in journalism education. Not all of Murray’s votes were members of the SPJ. Students, alumni and colleges were among those who voted for his honor. Upon receiving the honor, Murray said, "I was very surprised. I felt that it was quite an honor, especially since one of my former professors from Ohio University was also nominated for the award. "I’m the first professor from a HBCU in the 30 years that the award has been given, and I hope to get more GSU students involved in this organization called Society of Professional Journalists." A Mass Communication Department professor, Dr. Murray was a key factor in creating the department’s master’s degree program and a founder and co-adviser of the Lincoln Collegiate Chapter of the SPJ. Many students are not surprised that Dr. Murray has received such a distinguished award. "He is an awesome teacher," said Ronnie Davis, a junior from Houston. Dr. Murray is no stranger to being acknowledged for his accomplishments. Not only has he been twice elected the Mass Communication Teacher of the Year, but he was also selected for the American Society of Newspaper Editors Institute for Journalism Excellence.