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Ken Nordin Award for Supporting College Media Research

Ken Nordin was one of us – similar to many members of CMA.

He taught at a small, liberal arts institution, Benedictine University, in Lisle, Ill., undergraduate enrollment about 2,600. There, he advised The Candor, the award-winning, weekly student newspaper. He served as a professor of communication arts and was active in the Illinois College Press Association.

He was a good person, mild mannered and fun to talk to, with a quiet sense of humor, according to various advisers who knew Nordin.

And he was in shape. He loved to jog. He ran numerous marathons and competed in various triathlons. He led the morning run at national CMA conventions.

On Feb. 6, 2006, though, he stopped running. His heart gave out. Nordin, a long-time CMA member, died of a heart attack.

When he died, Nordin was the chairman of CMA’s Research Committee. He had attended CMA conventions religiously and was well respected by his CMA peers.

Naturally, then, CMA decided to honor him for his service to the organization and remember him as an exceptional adviser and, at least to some, a dear friend.

That’s how the Ken Nordin Award for College Media Research was born. The award began with a competitive, peer-reviewed research paper session during fall CMA conventions, with the top paper receiving the aptly titled Ken Nordin Award. To ensure the award is honoring the very best in college media research, the award has since been changed to recognize the best article published in College Media Review over the course of the academic year.

Scholars who submit their work for publication in College Media Review will automatically be considered for the award. They will need to submit their work by Feb. 15 in order to be published during that academic year; papers submitted after that date will be considered for the Nordin award in the following academic year.

Papers can be written on any research topic related to college media. The research may be qualitative or quantitative, but it must deal with college media.

Possible research areas include:

•    Case studies of student media 

•    Analysis of student media coverage

•    Audience analysis

•    Pedagogy for student media coursework

•    Converging media for student media  

•    Independence and student media   

•    Advisers’ roles

•    Financial aspects of college media

As you can see, CMA leaves a lot of leeway for the research. In fact, graduate students are invited and encouraged to submit articles as well. Authors should follow the submissions guidelines outlined on the CMR website: http://cmreview.org/submission-guidelines/

The only thing needed to keep the competition running – we’re guessing Ken would have liked that choice of words – is your papers.

Past Nordin winners:

2012: Holly-Katharine Johnson

2011: Robert Bergland, Cliff Brockman and David Hon

2010: Joanne M. Lisosky

2009: Brian Thompson

2008: Vince Filak and Scott Reinhardy

2007: Mark Butzow