Missouri School of Journalism professor, Shelly Rodgers, was awarded the first 2018 Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence, an honor that recognizes five outstanding professors at the University of Missouri each year.

Rodgers, an MU faculty member since 2003, teaches courses for all four levels of the Journalism program, including undergraduate, on-campus MA, online MA, and PhD. She also teaches a course for the dual MA/MPH degree in Journalism/Public Health. Each of these different levels or areas has a different focus and goal, says Rodgers, and teaching them requires different teaching styles and techniques.

Shelly Rodgers Shelly Rodgers
Professor of Strategic Communication
Missouri School of Journalism

“It keeps me on my toes,” she said. “I am always thinking of innovative ways to teach online students, to help them succeed and stand out.” Rodgers uses video chats, phone calls, and online discussion boards to help distance students overcome the lack of physical space; in fact, she believes that her online students get as much one-on-one time with her as on-campus students.

Advances in technology have allowed online education to become more accessible to more students, which is exciting for Rodgers, who states that she has been “teaching online since the beginning of online time” and has seen the industry go through many changes.

Despite the changes, one thing remains the same: “Online master’s students are some of the most impressive students ever,” said Rodgers.

University of Missouri Chancellor Alexander Cartwright, Commerce Bank Chairman and CEO Teresa Maledy, and a group of MU staff members surprised Rodgers with the fellowship, which comes with a $10,000 check, this week.

The William T. Kemper Fellowships for Teaching Excellence is celebrating 28 years of recognizing exceptional professors; the fellowship was established in 1991 with a $500,000 gift.

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Are you interested in advancing your journalism career? Mizzou offers master’s degree programs in four journalism emphasis areas—Interactive media, health communication, media management, and strategic communication.

Learn more about our online journalism degrees and how to apply.