Bob Ruggles Receives Barrow Award for Achievement in Diversity Research and Education
Achieving diversity requires commitment.
It will not happen on its own.
Once achieved, like a garden, it requires constant tending.
- Robert M. Ruggles
Robert M. Ruggles, Professor Emeritus at Florida A&M University, will receive the 2010 Lionel C. Barrow Jr. Award for Distinguished Achievement in Diversity Research and Education at the 2010 Denver Conference during the AEJMC Business Meeting on Friday, August 6.
The award recognizes outstanding individual accomplishment and leadership in diversity efforts within the journalism and mass communication discipline.
The award was created by the Minorities & Communication Division and the Commission on the Status of Minorities of AEJMC
Ruggles was the founding dean of Florida A&M University's School of Journalism and Graphic Communication.
wrote and fine-tuned FAMU's
journalism curriculum, established its first journalism degree program, and helped lead the program to national accreditation in 1982.
was the first historically black university to receive ACEJMC accreditation.
consulted with 10 historically black colleges on program accreditation, of which several are now accredited, including Grambling, Jackson State, Hampton, and North Carolina A&T
In his nominating letter, Phillip Jeter, Professor and Chair at Winston-Salem State University, wrote, "A review of Robert Ruggles' career at FAMU indicates he was a visionary, a builder, a fierce advocate of journalism and mass communications education for college students, especially racial minorities."
In a personal statement, Ruggles
writes, "In 1974 I came to predominantly black Florida A&M University
to establish a journalism degree program. [...] One of my first efforts was to drive around the state to visit newspaper editors and publishers.
Everyone was warm and welcoming.
All were white males.
All said they supported my efforts to bring minorities into journalism.
I'm sure they all believed I would fail."
"Without Bob Ruggles, diversity in journalism education might still be struggling to get a foothold," Gale A. Workman, Professor at FAMU, writes.
During his tenure at FAMU, Ruggles served as president of ASJMC, a national organization of mass communication department chairs, deans and directors.
In 1998, he
was selected as the national Journalism Administrator of the Year by The Freedom Forum
, and in 2000, was honored by the University of Oklahoma
journalism school as a "distinguished alumnus.
Ruggles retired in 2003 and was named Professor Emeritus in 2004.
Ruggles is a 1957 graduate of Ponca City (Oklahoma) Senior High School, and earned his BA and MA degrees in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma in Norman, in 1961 and 1962 respectively.
He worked at newspapers in Ponca City and Oklahoma City before joining the faculty at the University of Oklahoma in 1969.
Ruggles has been a member of the Society of Professional Journalists since 1959, and was once the president of the Oklahoma Professional Chapter.