Journalism associate professor Amanda Hinnant won the Outstanding Woman in Journalism and Mass Communication Education award from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication .
The association is a nonprofit, educational organization made up of educators, students and professionals in the fields of journalism and mass communication. The award is not offered annually, but discretionally in cases of exceptional merit, according to an MU School of Journalism news release.
“It meant a lot to me to be honored by AEJMC, and specifically the Commission on the Status of Women,” Hinnant said. “I mean, there’s so many amazing women in this field.”
Hinnant noted that the Commission on the Status of Women was the first division at the conference to accept one of her research papers.
“It was cool to have it come full circle,” Hinnant said.
Hinnant has taught at the journalism school for 15 years and has a background in magazine journalism. She’s taught 15 classes and served on 122 graduate committees during that time.
“When I counted them up, I was kind of surprised that it’s been that many over the years,” Hinnant said.
Hinnant’s research focuses on health and science communication as well as the sociology of how journalists work. One of her current projects is about COVID-19 vaccine messaging funded through the Institute for Clinical and Translational Sciences
Faculty group chair Yong Volz was among Hinnant’s many nominators.
“She stood out for her exceptional commitment to empowering women through mentorship,” Volz said. “If you look at her syllabi, diversity and equity are very much embedded throughout.”
Many of Hinnant’s current and former students submitted nomination letters as well.
“She’s whip smart and really fun,” Politico audio producer Annie Rees said.
Rees worked with Hinnant both as her student and as a teaching assistant.
“She invited my insight and collaboration a lot,” Rees said. “I got to see her in slightly different lights, and then we’ve become friends.”
Rees recalled a specific incident when a student’s child care provider was sick and unable to work. The student reached out to Hinnant who encouraged her to bring the child to class. Rees held the child initially, so that the student could focus on the lecture, but the baby began to fuss. Hinnant, a mother of two herself, took the child instead.
“There’s not a lot that can faze her,” Rees said.
Hinnant held her student’s baby for the remainder of the lecture.
“She holds her students to the highest academic standard, and she has done it with the utmost compassion,” Volz said.
Hinnant is also active in the Columbia community at large. She’s active with both the True/False Film Festival and the GreenHouse Theatre Project and serves as the chair for the local Human Rights Commission.