Chàvez named chairman of USD journalism

Ch�vez named chairman of USD journalism The University of South Dakota has announced the appointment of Ram�n Ch�vez as professor and chairman of the Department of Contemporary Media and Journalism, effective July 1.

During the past year, Ch�vez has been working for The Freedom Forum, an organization that operates the Allen H. Neuharth Center for Excellence in Journalism at USD. Ch�vez will be relocating from Arvada, CO, a northern suburb of Denver.

USD President James W. Abbott noted the quality of experience and diversity Ch�vez will bring to the University.

"Ch�vez is well qualified to fill the position of chair and professor of the Contemporary Media and Journalism Department," Abbott said. "With his experience across the country as a journalist and educator, he will make USD's program one of the finest in the nation."

A native of El Paso, TX, Ch�vez has previously been associate professor of journalism at the University of Colorado at Boulder and assistant professor of journalism at the University of Texas at El Paso and San Jose (CA) State University. He also served as the director of the office of student diversity at the University of Colorado's school of journalism and mass communication.

An authority on journalism history, media ethics and diversity in the newsroom, Ch�vez holds a master's degree in communications from the University of Washington at Seattle and a bachelor's degree in journalism from Texas Tech University at Lubbock.

An experienced journalist and educator, Ch�vez is presently a diversity fellow at The Freedom Forum, a nonpartisan international foundation dedicated to free press, free speech and free spirit for all people. As a fellow, Ch�vez visits journalism and mass communications programs at colleges and universities across the country to encourage students of color to consider journalism as a career.

He recently was development director for the Five Points Media Center in Denver, a private non-profit organization that provided media training for economically disadvantaged residents of that area.

The Freedom Forum gave USD $2 million last year to help fund a refurbished facility on campus which eventually will house the Department of Contemporary Media and Journalism, Freedom Forum offices, student media and South Dakota Public Broadcasting. The building will be renamed the Al Neuharth Media Center in honor of Allen H. Neuharth, a 1950 USD graduate who is the founder of USA Today and The Freedom Forum.

"I think the future of the university and the department looks very promising with The Freedom Forum and the new Al Neuharth Media Center," said Ch�vez. "This is a rare opportunity to be able to chair and provide a new direction for the department, in an area I'm familiar with."

Ch�vez has served as an assistant city editor and city editor at the El Paso Herald-Post, assistant city editor at the Albuquerque Tribune, and as a reporter at the Miami Herald, the Herald-Republic in Yakima, WA, and the Seattle Times. He is the recipient of numerous awards for promoting diversity and excellence in teaching, including the 1996 Journalism Educator of the Year award presented by the Colorado Society for Professional Journalists.

Ch�vez is a founding member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, a member of the Native American Journalists Association and the Colorado Association of Black Journalists. He also serves as a member of the board of directors of the Colorado Hispanic Media Association.

Ch�vez has been a diversity recruiter for several universities, and has served on the accrediting teams for journalism and mass communications programs at four major universities.

Ch�vez is already familiar with southeastern South Dakota. His wife Deborah, is a native of Sioux Falls and Ch�vez has been a writing coach for the Sioux Falls Argus Leader in the past. Ch�vez has three grown sons, Shane Larson, Matthew Larson and Michael Ch�vez.

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