Baylor Journalism Professor Nominated for National Federation of Press Women Award
by Brooke Hill, student newswriter, Baylor University Media & Public Relations
WACO, Texas (July 15, 2019) — Cassy Burleson, Ph.D., senior lecturer in the department of journalism, public relations and new media in Baylor University’s College of Arts and Sciences, was recognized as a nominee for the 2019 Communicator of Achievement Award from the National Federation of Press Women (NFPW).
Burleson was one of 10 nominees honored during the organization’s annual conference, held this year in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Now in its 82nd year, NFPW is a nationwide organization of professional women and men pursuing careers across the spectrum of journalism and communications.
Burleson said she felt “like a rock star” after being nominated for the prestigious award, which has been given for 62 years.
“I’ve learned you can do more good in a group,” Burleson said. “We provide scholarships and awards to students and communicators in all genres, so any communicator – male or female -- who wants to be inspired, grow professionally and effectively champion freedom of information and the protection of journalists would feel right at home.”
The Communicator of Achievement award is the highest honor bestowed by Press Women of Texas and NFPW upon those members who have distinguished themselves within and beyond their field. The recipient, chosen from nominees selected by state affiliates from around the country, is recognized for exceptional achievement in the communications field, as well as service to NFPW and to the community.
“I was very excited for Cassy to be nominated for this prestigious award,” said Mia Moody-Ramirez, Ph.D., professor and chair of journalism, public relations and new media at Baylor. “I have known her for over 20 years, and she has always been a hard worker and an overachiever. She is an amazing writer, leader and educator who is an asset to the department and media industry.”
Born to an Army family in Washington, D.C., in 1947, Burleson started paying her way through school as a general assignment reporter and believes strongly in truth, justice, freedom, equality, good writing, great art, a free press – and working hard to leave the world a better place.
Burleson has worked full time since 1965, starting at the Huntsville Item under the guidance of two Texas legends. One was pioneering female newspaper publisher Patsy Woodall, and the other, editor Don Reid, who wrote a book opposing capital punishment after being the reporter to have seen the most of them carried out.
Since then, she has been a reporter, editor, curriculum developer, photographer, poet, fundraiser, securities fraud investigator and a teacher at the high school, community college and university levels. She taught workforce education to graduate students in France, Germany and England as a Kellogg Fellow and lived briefly with the Kuna Indians in Panama without electricity or running water. She is on the board for the Economic Opportunity Advancement Corp. and co-edited an anthology of 60 Texas women artists, “Her Texas: Story, Image, Poem and Song.”
Eileen Wirth of Omaha, Nebraska, a retired professor of journalism and mass communication at Creighton University, was chosen from among the nominees as NFPW’s 2019 Communicator of Achievement. Wirth was one of the first female news reporters at the Omaha World-Herald and became the first woman chair of Creighton’s journalism department in 1998.
For more information on Press Women of Texas and National Federation of Press Women, visit the Press Women of Texas website.
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Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 17,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 90 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.
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