Mark Larson, professor and chairman of the journalism and mass communication department at Humboldt State University, recently received a Lifetime Achievement award from the California Journalism Education Coalition.
Larson was honored during a February journalism retreat in Morro Bay. The award was given in recognition of Larson's contributions to California journalism education and student media.
First hired at HSU in 1975, Larson was named department chairman in 1984. Since that time he has expanded outreach efforts to build journalism-education alliances in California with the community college and four-year journalism programs and the California newspaper industry.
"It's been very important for journalism educators to link up with journalists and the California Newspaper Publishers Association in California," Larson said. "These alliances have resulted in scholarships, internships and greater understanding of what challenges each of us face."
He has helped lead statewide curriculum reform in journalism education and defend First Amendment freedoms for college media. He was previously honored in 1999 by the Journalism Association of Community Colleges.
"I have particularly enjoyed working with the community-college journalism programs over the years," Larson said, "because of their talented faculty who perform educational miracles. I also have led statewide recruiting efforts of transfer students to HSU and elsewhere because journalism needs their diverse cultural backgrounds and skills."
Larson is active in the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication and National Press Photographers' Association. He formerly was adviser to the HSU student chapter of the Society of Professional Journalism and led workshops at SPJ national conventions for many years.
The California Journalism Education Coalition coordinates journalism education organizations and activities in the state at the high school, two-year and four-year college level. The Cal-JEC awards are a rejuvenation of the old CNPA Foundation honors for high school, community college and university newspaper advisers and faculty, which were last awarded in 1998.