Susanne Shaw, who joined Kansas University's William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications in 1971, will receive the Gerald M. Sass Award for Distinguished Service to Journalism and Mass Communication.
The award comes in recognition for her service as executive director of the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications.
"Obviously, I was surprised," she said. "I'm really honored to have received this as an educator."
Shaw said the award, which is often given to foundations and professional journalists, was especially meaningful because she personally knew Sass. Shaw said she couldn't take credit for her work in receiving the award; rather, it was all those within the accrediting council who made her look good.
Shaw has been executive director of the accrediting council since 1986. While at KU, she has served twice as associate dean of the journalism school, as the school's graduate director, and as news adviser and general manager of the University Daily Kansan.
She will receive the award Friday as part of the Association of Education in Journalism and Mass Communication convention in Chicago.
She won't be the only KU journalism professor to receive an award at the ACEJMC convention.
James K. Gentry will receive the Barry Sherman Teaching Award for his work in helping students in journalism and media relations understand business terms, then use that understanding to clearly convey information.
Gentry said it was an important skill that people in the media would need to have if they wanted to be involved in the business sector.
Gentry has been at KU since 1997, and he has previously served as dean of the journalism school.
Ann Brill, journalism school dean, said although she already knew her faculty was talented, she appreciated the national recognition of their work.
"It's always nice to see the excellence of our faculty confirmed," she said.