Sharon Bramlett-Solomon wins 2022 Barrow Award for Distinguished Achievement in Diversity Research and Education


A researcher, teacher and longtime industry “connector,” Arizona State’s Sharon Bramlett-Solomon is the 2022 recipient of the Lionel C. Barrow Jr. Award for Distinguished Achievement in Diversity Research and Education. The award is presented annually by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication and supported by the Minorities and Communication (MAC) Division and the Commission on the Status of Minorities (CSMN). Dr. Bramlett-Solomon will be honored at the MAC Awards and Social on Aug. 4 during the 2022 AEJMC Conference in Detroit.

The award, first given in 2009, is named for Dr. Lionel C. Barrow Jr. (1926-2009), a former advertising executive-turned-academic who was a driving force in diversifying what is now known as AEJMC. The Barrow Award recognizes outstanding individual accomplishment and leadership in diversity efforts for underrepresented groups in journalism and mass communication.

Dr. Bramlett-Solomon, an associate professor at Arizona State’s Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, said the award was “all the more special” because she had been “so blessed” to work with Dr. Barrow when she was MAC chair in the mid-90s.

“He was an amazing Jedi leader before that term even existed,” she said. “He was a gentle spirit but radical in that we remain unyielding in pursuing DEI journalism education, in the industry and in society as a whole.”

Representation in journalism has long been the focus of Dr. Bramlett-Solomon’s academic career. In the 1990s, she created the ground-breaking Arizona State course Race, Gender & Media, which became a model for many journalism and communication teachers. She is the author, with 2020 Barrow winner Meta Carstarphen, of the widely used textbook "Race, Gender, Class & Media: Studying Mass Communication and Multiculturalism," now in its third edition. In the 1990s, she began researching the workplace perceptions and job satisfaction of Black journalists by surveying them at National Association of Black Journalists’ conferences, work she continues today through online logistics.

She is proud that she actively participates at AEJMC. “I’ve never missed an AEJMC conference since I started teaching journalism education,” she said. “I’m always doing something — presenting a paper, chairing a division or serving on a panel or committee.” She is a past chair of both MAC and CSMN, two diversity-focused organizations within AEJMC.

Two past MAC chairs, Dr. Mia Moody-Ramirez (a 2018 Barrow winner) and Dr. George Daniels, wrote in their recommendation letter that Dr. Bramlett-Solomon was an “ideal recipient” because “she exceeds the requirements in her teaching, research and service and continues Dr. Barrow’s work,” especially in connecting academia to industry. Dr. Daniels recalled that Dr. Bramlett-Solomon had praised Dr. Barrow in a 2016 oral history interview of AEJMC Trailblazers of Diversity.

Dr. Bramlett-Solomon has a long list of recognitions, including a NewsPro Top-10 U.S. Journalism Professor; recipient of the Barry Bingham Award from the National Conference of Editorial Writers Foundation; and recipient of AEJMC’s Dorothy Bowles Public Service Award Winner, an award honoring academics who build bridges with industry.

The Barrow honor, she said, was special. When she was notified, she recalled, “I felt as if I’d won the lottery and the Grammy.”


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