International partnerships earn Cassara award

BOWLING GREEN, O.—From Bowling Green State University to universities in North Africa, students and faculty have benefitted from the efforts of Dr. Catherine Cassara, an associate professor of journalism. Cassara was presented the Faculty Senate’s Distinguished Service Award at the Faculty Recognition Dinner March 22.

Cassara was commended for her dauntless efforts to provide international learning experiences and shared scholarship over a number of years. The award includes $1,000 and a commemorative plaque.

Most recently she has been the director of the federally funded program “Partners for a Sustainable Future: Aiding Future Practitioners in Algerian and Tunisian Environmental Journalism and Communication.” The program received $388,000 from the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State under the Fulbright-Hays Act.

It extends the earlier successful, multi-university partnership between two Tunisian universities, an Algerian university and BGSU to improve curriculum and professional development to students and faculty. Both partnerships have resulted in numerous workshops on two continents and the establishment of positive relations and learning experiences for participants.

In other international teaching activities, Cassara in 2004 directed an intensive communication workshop in Croatia sponsored by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) for public information officers working for USAID’s Eastern European and Eurasian missions. Five other BGSU faculty members also participated.

“Our university and our partner universities abroad have benefitted greatly from her commitment to not only service, but also to how her global service intersects with her teaching and research,” wrote nominator Dr. Lara Martin Lengel, a professor and chair of the Department of Communication who has worked alongside Cassara on the projects. “I can confirm that she works tirelessly to achieve the mission of our university for increased partnerships, institutional diplomacy and sustainable environmental efforts that benefit communities both locally and globally.”

Cassara joined the BGSU faculty in 1992. She received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia and master’s and doctoral degrees from Michigan State University.

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(Posted March 24, 2011 )