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John Wright, Linda Hon assume new roles

University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications Dean John Wright and Executive Associate Dean Linda Hon have accepted new roles after leading the College since 2006, Dean Diane McFarlin announced Jan. 8.

John Wright
John Wright

Wright is the College’s new Director of Sports Journalism and Communications and Linda Hon the Program Director for the Public Relations and Social Advocacy Project.

Wright, a professor of telecommunication, announced in 2011 his decision to return to the College faculty at the end of 2012.  Hon, a professor of public relations, will transition into her new appointment in the coming months.

“Few people are as important to our College as John Wright and Linda Hon,” said McFarlin.  “Their tireless service over the last several years has been extraordinary by all measures.  Through a mix of vision, energy and integrity they have positioned the College well for the future.”

In his new position, Wright will coordinate faculty and staff in areas of sports journalism and communications and work for the establishment of the UF Center for Sports Journalism and Communications that would include the academic programs in sports journalism, sports communication and a consortium for the advancement of bes practices.

Under the new Sports Journalism and Communications program, Wright will:

  • Establish a formal curriculum in sports journalism, working to create a certificate program and undergraduate degree specialization.
  • Serve as faculty coordinator of sports journalism education, internships and professional training activities in the College’s media properties and the University Athletic Association’s Weimer Hall operations.
  • Establish external relationships with state and national sports organizations and working journalists, as well as other major academic institutions with sports programs.
  • Coordinate feasibility analysis of establishing a master’s specialization in sports journalism, delivered in residence and/or via distance education.
  • Re-establish a master’s specialization in sports communication.
  • Create an undergraduate certificate and degree specialization in sports communication.
  • Serve as liaison with faculty in the College of Health and Human Performance’s program in sports marketing.
  • Provide assistance when requested for any development efforts involving sports journalism and communication and the Center.
Linda Hon
Linda Hon

In her new role, Hon will develop a research and public outreach program on public relations and social advocacy as part of the College’s Center for Media Innovation + Research.

Hon will work on how the use of social and emerging media are influencing public mobilization and the effects of activists’ mobilization on organizations in the public and private sectors. This focus is timely, given the dearth of scholarship on this topic at a time when the world has witnessed unprecedented uprisings, fueled by social media, such as the Arab Spring and “Take Back Wall Street.”

Hon will:

  • Develop a web presence that serves as a portal for resources related to the project.
  • Establish of a professional advisory board of leaders in social advocacy.
  • Hold an annual symposium of opinion leaders and prominent practitioners involved in social advocacy.
  • Create collaborative research projects with researchers on and off campus.
  • Conduct original research on the convergence of public relations, digital communications and social advocacy.
  • Develop an original curriculum.

Posted: January 9, 2013
Category: College News
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