Athens, Ga. – C. Ann Hollifield, University of Georgia associate professor of telecommunications, has been named the first holder of the Thomas C. Dowden Professorship in Media Research in UGA’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.
“I am very honored to be named the Dowden Professor. Tom is one of the great pioneers and visionaries of the cable industry, and I hope the work I will do will reflect his spirit of leadership and innovation,” said Hollifield.
A pioneer in cable media, Dowden is a GradyCollege and UGA alumnus (A.B.J. in 1962; M.A. in political science in 1964), as well as founder and director of Dowden Communications. He is an emeritus chairman and member of the Peabody Board and emeritus UGA Foundation trustee.He alsoreceived Grady’s John Holliman Award for Lifetime Achievement in 1990.
“Increasing faculty endowment is the first priority of the college as we embark upon the Centennial Campaign for Grady,” said E. Culpepper Clark, dean of the Grady College. “We are deeply grateful that Tom and WendyDowden are taking us toward this goal, and we salute Tom for his long-standing support of Grady College.” In 1989, Dowden funded the Dowden Center for New Media Studies at Grady.
The Dowdens, who reside in Cashiers, N.C., were in attendance on Wednesday, Oct. 3, when Clark announced the professorship during a Grady College faulty symposium featuring Hollifield’s research.
As Dowden Professor, Hollifeld will direct research on social, political and economic issues involving media. “Media are a critical infrastructure in society-particularly in this age of the information economy. Right now traditional media industries are being seriously disrupted by technological change, and their future is not clear,” noted Hollifield. “My research and outreach work will focus on how the challenges facing media will affect the media’s performance and, therefore, society.”
Hollifield will receive a support account for her scholarship. In 2008, she plans to host a Dowden Symposium on “Media in the Age of Audience Empowerment.” The symposium will bring leading scholars and media professionals to UGA from around the world to examine how the relationship between audiences and the media are changing and what that will mean for media business models. “I expect it to be the first of a series of Dowden Symposia that will examine critical issues of media and society. I’m looking forward to partnering with Tom as we plan these key projects,” Hollifield said.
Hollifield received her bachelor’s degree in journalism/political science at Whitworth College, her master’s in journalism from The Ohio State University, and her Ph.D. in communication from The Ohio State University.
She came to UGA as an assistant professor in 1997 and was promoted to associate professor in 2002. During that time she also served as coordinator of Grady’s Michael J. Faherty Broadcast Management Laboratory.
Hollifield’s areas of specialization include media and telecommunications ownership, management and economics. She teaches courses in telecommunications management and programming, advanced telecommunications management, and graduate seminars in media management, economics and organizational theory.
Hollifield has worked as a reporter, anchor, news producer and documentary producer in television, and as a reporter and editor in the newspaper industry. Her professional media career included positions as managing editor of Business First Newspaper in Columbus, Ohio; documentary producer, public affairs programming producer, and news magazine producer, reporter and anchor with public television in the Pacific Northwest; and reporter, news producer and anchor with the ABC television affiliate in Spokane, Wash.
She was named a Senior Policy Fellow with the Voinovich Center for Leadership and Public Affairs in Ohio for 2001-2002. She has been the recipient of an Ameritech Faculty Research Fellowship, a Robert Bosch Foundation Fellowship, a Poynter Institute Fellowship in Media Management, and a Kiplinger Fellowship in Public Affairs Reporting. Hollifield also co-authored the 2007 edition of Media Management: A Casebook Approach.
Established in 1915, the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication offers seven undergraduate majors including advertising, broadcast news, magazines, newspapers, public relations, publication management and telecommunication arts. The college offers two graduate degrees, and is home to the Knight Chair in Health and Medical Journalism and the Peabody Awards, internationally recognized as one of the most prestigious prizes for excellence in electronic media. For more information, visit www.grady.uga.edu.