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Journalism school names Professor Chuck Marsh winner of Katich creativity award

Monday, May 20, 2013

LAWRENCE — Journalism Professor Chuck Marsh is the recipient of the 2013 John Katich Award for Creativity. The annual Katich Award is given to a tenure-track or tenured faculty member in the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications who demonstrates creativity in teaching, research, service or a combination of these areas. 

Marsh, the School’s Oscar Stauffer Professor of Journalism and Mass Communications, is heavily involved in service at KU and currently serves as the chair of the University Core Curriculum Committee. He also is the recipient of several teaching, research and journalism-related awards and honors, including a HOPE Award from the University of Kansas in 2005.

“It’s funny to win the Katich Award this year, because I feel like this has been one of my least creative years. I’ve been reviewing sabbatical proposals, chairing the j-school promotion and tenure committee, and working on the KU Core curriculum,” Marsh said. “But at the same time, I guess the KU Core has required quite a creative effort. Our committee has reviewed 2,000 course proposals and kept everyone on track through something that’s never been done before at KU. I’d rather be teaching and doing research, but with the KU Core, we’re certainly creating something new and important.”

School of Journalism Dean Ann Brill says that Chuck Marsh is a dean’s dream as a faculty member.  “He excels at research, teaching and service,” she said. “He is a great role model for his colleagues and his students.”

Barbara Barnett, the journalism school's associate dean for undergraduate studies, says Marsh’s versatility and depth as a teacher, colleague and professional makes him a critical asset to the journalism school and KU.

"Chuck Marsh is a professor who inspires me every day. He is incredibly creative in teaching. I team-taught J101 with him my first semester here, and I learned so much about how to teach students, how to interact with them, how to work with them to help them learn,” Barnett said. “He is a creative researcher, and I have sought his advice numerous times when I'm trying to figure out how to write elegantly or how to develop a project. He is always helpful and patient. He is a role model for faculty and students alike."

Marsh received his bachelor’s degree in English from KU in 1977, his master’s degree in 1979 and his doctorate in 1985, both from the Department of English at KU as well. He worked as an editor for American Airlines and JCPenney before joining KU’s faculty in 1989.

The $1,000 award is named in honor of John Katich. He served on the journalism school faculty from 1986 until his death in October 2001. Among his achievements, Katich is credited with establishing the sales curriculum, the enhancement of the professionalism of KJHK radio and the creation of KUJH-TV. Katich’s commitment to students and accomplishments as a teacher inspired the school, his family and his friends to establish this award.

“John was one of my of my favorite people to work with. He had such a good mind, and he was so gracious,” Marsh said. “When you asked him how he was doing, he would always say, ‘I’d be ashamed to complain.’ I find myself saying that now. I’d be ashamed to complain.”   

Previous award recipients include Rick Musser, 2006; Bob Basow, 2007; Barbara Barnett, 2008; Doug Ward, 2009; Mugur Geana, 2010; Tien Lee, 2011; and Jimmy Gentry, 2012.