Two senior faculty members at the School have received unique recognition at the University of British Columbia.
Senior Instructor Kathryn Gretsinger has been named as a Senior Faculty Advisor to UBC President Santa Ono and will advise him on topics and issues that are important to faculty across UBC.
Former School Director and Emmy-award winning journalist Peter Klein has been promoted from Associate Professor to full Professor.
Focus on mental health
In her role as Senior Faculty Advisor to the President, Gretsinger will be working on an initiative tackling mental health challenges that exist on post-secondary campuses.
“Mental health is something I’ve worked on a lot over the years. It crosses all segments of society and it affects people profoundly,” she said. “As a society, we are talking about it more and I don’t think we’re there yet.”
Gretsinger’s role as advisor to the president will allow her to participate in discussions about the university. She plans to use the research funds that come with the role to contribute to a collaborative investigative journalism project with other Canadian and U.S. post-secondary schools.
“There is a lot of good work being done, but we all know there is much more to be done. I’m hoping this project will help us get a clearer picture of the situation and the services that are — or are not — available.”
Gretsinger is also working on a project developing a certificate program in Biomedical Visualization and Communication at the Emerging Media Lab with an interdisciplinary team led by Professor Claudia Krebs at the UBC Emerging Media Lab. She will be creating teaching and learning modules around learning complex concepts through audio.
As a Senior Instructor, she teaches Advanced Audio, and co-teaches Integrated Journalism, Reporting in Indigenous Communities, and the Global Reporting Program. Gretsinger is also the Internship Coordinator for students who complete 12-week practicums as part of their degree requirements.
Peter Klein, who joined the School in 2006, is the only full Professor currently on faculty. An appointment to Professor is reserved for those whose contributions are considered outstanding, have shown excellence and have wide recognition in their field of interest, and have attained distinction in their discipline.
“It’s a testament of UBC’s commitment to applied scholarship that they would grant full Professorship to someone like me, who has focused primarily on journalistic output,” he said.
“I think it sends an important message to current and prospective students that the Faculty of Arts, and UBC Journalism in particular, value professionalism with a critical lens.”
Klein’s work has appeared in numerous international news organizations such as The New York Times, Al Jazeera, and CBS’ 60 Minutes. He runs the Global Reporting Program at the School and serves as executive director of the Global Reporting Centre.
He heads an interdisciplinary Social Sciences Humanities Research Council Partnership Grant investigating the hidden costs of supply chains. He was formerly the School’s Director from 2011-2015 and is also a faculty associate at the UBC School of Public Policy and Global Affairs.
These are just the latest honours for journalism faculty. Last year, Associate Professor Candis Callison was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and was named as a Trudeau Fellow.
In the fall of 2019, Director and Associate Professor Alfred Hermida visited OsloMet University as a Digital Journalism Research Fellow. This year, Associate Professors Candis Callison and Mary-Lynn Young will be heading to OsloMet as fellows.