LAWRENCE — Barbara Barnett, University of Kansas professor of journalism at the William Allen White School of Journalism & Mass Communications, has been named the inaugural Lee F. Young Professor of Journalism.
Diane Gray Quinn, 1971 journalism school graduate, provided the gift through KU Endowment to the establish the professorship to honor Professor Lee Young, who founded the magazine sequence at the school. Before his retirement in 1989, Young had served as associate dean, acting dean and head of the advertising sequence. His magazine classes also produced the school’s Jayhawk Journalist publication.
Barnett teaches courses in reporting, research methods, media and diversity, media and popular culture, and media and the military. She helps coordinate KU’s Media and the Military Project, funded by the McCormick Foundation. Her research focuses on media coverage of women who are victims and perpetrators of violence. She also has conducted research on women’s health and on gender and sports.
“In the 14 years I’ve been at KU, I have heard nothing but high praise for Lee Young,” Barnett said. “Faculty, students and staff told me that he was a person who is dedicated to journalism and that he helped make the journalism school here one of the most prominent in the country. I am honored to be named the inaugural Lee Young Professor. I hope I will exemplify the integrity and passion that made him a mentor to so many students.”
Quinn said that Young’s expertise in the industry, engaging personality and sense of humor were an inspiration to students. She and her husband, Tom, created the fellowship to ensure that the school maintains the high quality of educators, especially those who can enrich the focus on journalism in the digital age.
Like Young, Barnett is a highly regarded member of the journalism school faculty who excels in not only the instruction of students but also is an expert in media research, said Ann Brill, dean of the journalism school.
“Professor Barnett is a beloved teacher to so many students,” Brill said. “She exemplifies the same qualities that made Lee Young such an incredible asset to the school.”