The Clayton State University Office of University Relations recently sent out a news release regarding the College of Arts and Sciences at Clayton State awarding Dr. Virginia Bonner the Gene Hatfield Teacher of the Year Award for the 2011 to 2012 academic year.
However, the release wasn’t written by the professionals in University Relations, it was a collaborative effort by 11 students in Assistant Professor – Communication Dr. Susan McFarlane-Alvarez’ CMS (Communication and Media Studies) 4560 class.
Like McFarlane-Alvarez, Bonner is a faculty member (of film and media studies) in the Visual and Performing Arts Department of the College of Arts and Sciences, where she teaches courses in film, women’s studies and art history. Upon learning that her colleague had won the prestigious Hatfield Award, McFarlane-Alvarez had an idea for providing her class with a hands-on learning experience.
“As they delve into learning about how to write press releases, I wanted us to collaborate on the writing of a press release on Dr. Bonner’s recent win of the Teacher of the Year Award for Arts & Sciences,” McFarlane-Alvarez explains. “Dr. Bonner agreed to participate and for my students to interview her toward such an exercise.”
Undertaking the exercise with professionalism were the following CMS4560 students; Breanna Mack (Macon, Ga.), Yolanda Solomon (Boston), Sarah Boyd (Stockbridge, Ga.), Lindsey Gregory (Mechanicsville, Va.), Laticia Lewis (Conyers, Ga.), Tiffany McKinney (Atlanta), Amanda Parham (Morrow, Ga.), Sabrena Stolze (San Pablo, Cal.), Aisha White (Atlanta), Avery Crow (McDonough, Ga.), and Christopher Baldwin. Upon completion of their classwork, McFarlane-Alvarez sent their finished release to University Relations, whereupon it was released to the news media as a standard Clayton State release.
The Gene Hatfield Teacher of the Year Award recognizes the accomplishments of outstanding faculty members within the College of Arts and Sciences. Now in its fourth year, the annual award is presented to a teacher who displays enthusiasm, creativity, compassion, authority, authenticity, patience, persistence, or humor in their teaching and interactions with students. The Arts & Sciences Teacher of the Year award is made possible by, and is named after, Dr. Eugene Hatfield, long-time (1976–2008) history professor at Clayton State.