Morrisville State College honors journalism professor

Morrisville State College faculty member Brian McDowell, of Hamilton, is the latest recipient of the Distinguished Faculty Award.

He was recognized at the college's 100th commencement at 1 p.m. on May 14. The award is presented to faculty members who display professional growth, personal and professional achievement as well as those who have provided outstanding service to the college.

McDowell, assistant professor of journalism and chair of the journalism department, has worked at Morrisville State College for 26 years. Ten of those years were spent with the public relations department, where he also served as its director.

A devoted member of the college and campus community, McDowell has served on various committees and in numerous capacities. He is currently advisor of the student-run newspaper, The CHIMES, and also has taught at the Norwich campus. Throughout his academic career, McDowell has worked as a freelance writer, newspaper columnist, graphic artist, publicist and book publisher. His experience in the industry has spirited him in the classroom, where he is revered by students for his unique classroom lessons and teaching style.

"The mark of a truly distinguished professor lies in the impact that professor has on his or her students," a nominating letter from 28 current students stated. "We can honestly say that, as his students, Brian McDowell has changed us; fundamentally and for the better."

He's been vital in the growth of the journalism program too. McDowell has participated in curriculum development that led to numerous new courses and the college's journalism for online communication bachelor degree. He also established a photography show for students in the Press Photography course.

"Brian is very dedicated to keeping alive the best of the 40-year traditions of the journalism program, including close student-faculty contact and a major emphasis on student writing and reporting skills," said Dr. Paul Griffin, dean of the School of Liberal Arts. "He's been instrumental in developing a new bachelor and associate degree that address the needs of today's student going out into the contemporary job market."

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