Dr. August E. (“Augie”) Grant, J Rion McKissick Professor of Journalism, School of Journalism and Mass Communications, University of South Carolina, has been named the 2020 Broadcast Education Association’s Distinguished Education Service Award (DESA) winner.
According to Vic Costello, BEA’s Vice President for Academic Relations and chair of the 2020 DESA selection committee, Augie Grant spent much of his 35 year career as a broadcast educator creating opportunities for others in the academy—”encouraging media scholars to collaborate on research and creative works and to come together to share and learn from one another.” As editor of more than 20 books on journalism and technology, he created publishing opportunities for more than 100 faculty authors. Over the past 20 years, he has led boot camps to train colleagues in convergent journalism, research methods, AMBER Alert procedures, and virtual reality. He has chaired more than 20 academic conferences, including the popular Convergence series which he hosted for many years. He also envisioned and pioneered the annual BEA On-Location Super Regional conferences, which began in 2016 at the University of South Carolina. As Costello noted, “Dr. Grant’s leadership and service on behalf of electronic media education is truly exemplary and highly distinguished in terms of its national scope and influence.”
As a member of the BEA Board of Directors for eight years and President of BEA during 2016-17, Grant led efforts to raise more than $200,000 for scholarships and awards, inauguration of the annual “OnLocation” BEA conference, and extension of BEA efforts to recognize research and creative works that contribute to diversity and inclusion. Grant has also mentored dozens of junior faculty and graduate students, including advising more than two dozen dissertations and theses. As a BEA member, he participated in the creation of the Production, Aesthetics, and Criticism division, the Interactive Technology division, and the Religion and Media division.
In addition to spending more than 20 years on the University of South Carolina faculty, Grant spent nine years at the University of Texas at Austin, with shorter stays at Sam Houston State University, Benedict College, and the University of Georgia. He served multiple terms as president and secretary/treasurer of the Texas Association of Broadcast Educators, where he was best known for securing a donation of 800 music libraries for distribution to broadcast educators nationwide.
Dr. Grant is best known as Editor of Communication Technology Update and Fundamentals, a semi-annual review of the latest developments in consumer electronics, telephony, electronic mass media, and satellite technology. The Update, currently in its 17th edition, is produced in cooperation with Austin-based Technology Futures, Inc. He was also co-editor of the two-volume set, Religion Online: How Digital Technology is Changing the Way we Worship and Pray, published in 2019 by Praeger.
Grant is also one of the most prominent academics working in the field of convergent journalism. He was coeditor of Understanding Media Convergence: The State of the Field and co-author of Principles of Convergent
Journalism, both published by Oxford University Press. Grant’s teaching and research combine the study of traditional and emerging media, with emphases on media management, organizational structure, integrated communication and consumer behavior.
Dr. Grant has also been published in almost every major academic journal in the communication field, including Journal of Communication, Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, Journal of Media Economics, and Communication Research. The major theme of his research studies is the application of theory to understand practical problems and emerging phenomena in the communication industries. Dr. Grant is also a frequent speaker on consumer behavior and market opportunities for emerging technologies.
The DESA is awarded to an individual who has made a significant and lasting contribution to the American system of electronic media education. The award will be presented to Dr. Grant at BEA’s 2020 annual convention ceremony in Las Vegas on Sunday, April 19, 2020. For a list of previous recipients and information on the DESA visit BEA’s website.