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May 22, 2014
Contact: Steve Rottinghaus, Baker University director of public relations, (785) 594-8330 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Mass media professor receives distinguished teaching award

Baldwin City, Kan. — Joe Watson, associate professor of mass media at Baker University, received the Jennie Howell Kopke and Verda R. Kopke Award for Distinguished Teaching during Sunday's commencement ceremonies at the Collins Center.Joe-Watsonforweb

The award recognizes a faculty member, without regard to rank or years of service, who has a record of excellence in teaching and in transforming students into scholars, who brings honor to the University and who exhibits good moral character. Recipients also receive a $5,000 cash award.

"We have so many outstanding faculty at Baker," said Watson, a Baker faculty member since 2005. "It's a humbling honor to be singled out among my peers. I'm grateful to Dr. Pat (Long) for selecting me and to Charles Kopke for creating a way to honor the incredible teachers we have at Baker."

Watson teaches courses in broadcasting, public relations, media law and media theory. He has also taught courses about media in popular culture, including a Star Trek interterm course and a recent Quest 212 class called The Hunger Games as Allegory of American Pop Culture.

Charles Kopke, a longtime supporter of higher education, established the distinguished award in 1998 to honor his mother and late wife.
Previous winners of the award are Karen Exon (1998), Anthony Brown (1999), Lee Green (2000), Rand Ziegler (2001), Inge Balch (2002), Darcy Russell (2003), Tracy Floreani (2004), John Richards (2005), Ryan Beasley (2006), J.D. Parr (2007), Cynthia Appl (2008), Cal Cink (2009), Jacob Bucher (2010), Martha Harris (2011), Susan Emel (2012) and Sara Crump (2013).

Baker University is committed to assuring student learning, and developing confident, competent and responsible contributors to society.