June 08, 2012

International association honors Lemish

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- An expert on the media’s role in children’s lives from Southern Illinois University Carbondale earned honors recently from the International Communication Association (ICA).

Dafna Lemish, chair of the Department of Radio-Television, received the organization’s inaugural “Senior Scholar Award” during the ICA’s annual conference last month in Phoenix, Ariz.  The award recognizes Lemish’s research and scholarly work throughout her career, and also points to her establishing the “Journal of Children and Media.”  The committee nominating Lemish for the award noted Lemish’s work as “bettering the lives of young people across the globe” and also praised her dedication to mentoring.

Lemish will become interim dean of the College of Mass Communication and Media Arts (MCMA) on July 1.

“I believe Dafna Lemish is the quintessential Children, Adolescents, and Media Senior Scholar,” wrote Amy Jordan, director of the Media and the Developing Child Area of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania.  “She is inspired and inspiring, productive while also committed to mentoring, and genuinely committed to making the world a better place for children to live and learn.”

Lemish said she is “extremely honored to be selected by my peers to receive the award, given that there are so many other deserving senior scholars around the world.”

“More than anything else, it demonstrates that our academic community sees the value of my research and engagement in media for children on the international level, which is a very satisfying feeling,” she said.

Lemish said she is also proud to receive the award as a member of the MCMA faculty.  Her work “has always combined research with applied implications for the production of quality media for children, and our college, with WSIU within it, exemplifies the integration of scholarship and high-quality professionalism,” she said.

“The award suggests to us that what we are doing here is appreciated in the wider academic community,” Lemish said.

The college is “extremely proud” that Lemish received the inaugural award, Dean Gary P. Kolb said.

“It confirms what we all know so well -- that she is an internationally recognized scholar, a person committed to children’s issues in media, and a mentor to many in the field.  I can think of no one more deserving of this recognition,” he said.

Lemish has been the radio-television department chair since coming to SIU Carbondale in July 2010.  Prior to that, she was a professor in the Department of Communication at Tel Aviv University, and from 2008 to 2010 was a visiting scholar at The Center on Media and Child Health (CMCH) at Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston.  She is now a CMCH Scholar at Children’s Hospital in Boston.

Lemish is editor of the “Journal of Children and Media,” a quarterly international multi-disciplinary and multi-method academic journal she founded in 2006.  She is also the author or co-author of several books, including “Screening Gender in Children’s TV:  The Views of Producers Around the World.”

In 2011 she received a grant to study the implementation of “Shalom Sesame” DVDs in Jewish homes, and recently earned a research grant to sponsor two College of Mass Communication and Media Arts students’ participation and research during the upcoming Prix Jeunesse International Festival of Quality Television for Children this month in Munich, Germany.