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Assistant Professor of Communication and Journalism Receives Fulbright Award

RELEASED: March 14, 2008

Dr. Mike Dorsher
Dr. Mike Dorsher

EAU CLAIRE — Dr. Mike Dorsher, assistant professor of communication and journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, has been named a Fulbright Scholar for 2008-09.

"I'm absolutely thrilled," Dorsher said of the $25,000 Fulbright research grant. "My work as a Fulbright Scholar will provide me with many opportunities that will enhance my research and teaching skills, which will greatly benefit my students when I return to the UW-Eau Claire campus in fall 2009."

As a Fulbright Scholar, Dorsher will be the McGill University Research Chair in Health, Indigenous Populations, Media and Education. He will be based in Canada, working from McGill University, a leading English-speaking university in Montreal.

The title of Dorsher's research project is, "Wal-Mart in the Media of Canada and the United States: from the Blogs of Arkansas to the Pages of La Presse."

With collaboration from colleagues at McGill University and Brandon University in Manitoba, Dorsher will conduct the first comprehensive, systematic study of how new media and traditional media organizations in Canada have covered Wal-Mart, North America's largest employer, in contrast to the U.S. media. He also will examine how Wal-Mart has responded to the media in both countries.

"The Fulbright program accepts only the 'best of the best,' so it's a real tribute to Dr. Dorsher to be among those selected," said UW-Eau Claire Provost Steve Tallant. "Like most faculty at UW-Eau Claire, Dr. Dorsher excels in his scholarly work as well as in his teaching. His work as a Fulbright Scholar will make him an even better teacher and researcher."

The highly competitive and prestigious Fulbright Scholar Program sends 800 U.S. faculty and professionals abroad each year to lecture and conduct research. The Fulbright Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. Established in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late Sen. J. William Fulbright, the program aims to build mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries.

A member of the UW-Eau Claire faculty since 2000, Dorsher has taught mass media ethics and a number of journalism classes including public affairs reporting, news reporting and writing, advanced reporting and women and the mass media. He also has served as the adviser to The Spectator, the university's award-winning student newspaper.

Prior to entering the field of higher education, Dorsher worked for several media organizations in Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Washington, D.C. He was the founding editor on the home page and news digest of washingtonpost.com.

Dorsher is the third UW-Eau Claire faculty member to be named a Fulbright Scholar in the past year. Dr. Kate Reynolds, of the foreign languages and curriculum and instructions departments, and Dr. Michael Penkava, of the mathematics department, also received Fulbright Awards in the last year.

"The number of UW-Eau Claire faculty — and alumni — who are selected for the Fulbright program is very impressive," Tallant said. "Having multiple award winners from one campus is a powerful reminder that our faculty, students and alumni are truly exceptional."

The day Dorsher learned of his Fulbright Award, he also learned he was accepted as a writer of four articles for the prestigious Sage Publications Encyclopedia of Journalism.

"It was definitely my lucky day," Dorsher said. "Researching and writing these articles also will provide me with experiences that I will use in my teaching."

Dorsher earned a journalism degree from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn.; a master's of public administration from the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks; and a Ph.D. in mass communication from the University of Maryland in College Park.

Dorsher is teaching students from UW-Eau Claire and other universities this semester at Harlaxton College in England but can be reached via e-mail at mdorsher@uwec.edu.

-30-

JB

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