CJC Alum Elected as 2017-18 AEJMC President
Within the confines of the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile hotel, academics, scholars, teachers and industry professionals will convene at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC ) annual conference to discuss and shape the future of journalism and communication education. Dr. Jennifer Greer, Ph.D. 1996, associate provost at the University of Alabama, will help lead the way as incoming president of the largest organization of journalism and communication educators in the world. Greer is currently president-elect of the organization.
Greer said her vision for AEJMC is inspired by her experience as a Ph.D. student at the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications (UFCJC) and her 20 years of service in AEJMC. During her term, beginning October 1, 2017, she will focus on building collaborative partnerships and strengthening the divisions and interest groups that are the lifeblood of the organization. Her goal is to make AEJMC the “go to” place for today’s academics. From best practices to career advice, to building university and industry collaboration, Greer said her vision is to help make AEJMC a home for all journalism and mass communication scholars.
Learning the Ropes at CJC
Greer got her start working as a reporter for The Kansas City Star and then as managing editor of the first online edition of The Gainesville (Fla.) Sun, a job she held because of her role as a graduate assistant while working on her Ph.D. in Mass Communication. Fascinated by the effects of political advertising in popular media, she studied under professors John Wright, Mary Ann Ferguson, Michael Weigold and Marilyn Roberts.
In a class with Public Relations Professor Mary Ann Ferguson, she quickly found her passion for collaborative research and leadership. Greer and fellow graduate students designed a study to examine the effectiveness of “Rock the Vote’, an organization whose stated mission is “to engage and build the political power of young people.” This experience required the students to work as a team, identifying the strengths and passions of each team member to produce a rigorous and insightful study. Greer says her graduate school experience taught her how to “find what people are passionate about, help them find where they fit and develop something of value as a team.”
Finding Her Community
Upon graduating from the Ph.D. program, Greer took a position as an associate professor at the University of Nevada, Reno. As a new professor, she wanted to learn and grow as an educator and scholar. Greer found her community at AEJMC. There she learned the critical skills needed to succeed as a professor, scholar and now administrator. According to Greer, most critical to her success was her education in leadership and collaboration. Through her work with the organization, she again saw the unique value individuals give to an organization through their skill sets and passion. Leadership, she learned, is about helping build collaboration between people that best utilizes their talents and interests.
Prior to her current position at the University of Alabama, Greer was interim dean of the College of Communication and Information Sciences and chair of the Department of Journalism. She has served as a graduate director, department chair, associate dean or interim dean for more than 15 years.
She serves on the editorial boards of three of the field’s leading research journals: Mass Communication and Society, Journalism and Mass Communication Monographs, and Journalism and Mass Communication Educator. She earned bachelor’s degrees in journalism and political science from the University of Missouri and a master’s degree in political science from the University of Kansas.