From the Chair

Richard CampbellDear Friends and Alumni,

As we head into winter term and spring semester 2016, MJF remains the largest undergraduate program in the College of Arts & Science. We remain CAS’s most entrepreneurial department as well, offering more summer and winter term courses, more online courses, more internship experiences, and more workshops than other departments.

Among our major accomplishments this year was planning, organizing, and conducting a major conference to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Dayton Peace Accords. As a Daytonian with Croatian heritage, I was honored to serve on Dayton’s steering committee as well. Miami alumnus Kenneth Merten, former U.S. Ambassador to Croatia and Haiti, delivered the keynote address at Miami. Witnesses to the war, journalists, diplomats, documentary filmmakers and others from the U.S., Bosnia, Croatia, Kosovo and Serbia participated in sessions, which drew well over 1,000 attendees and attracted web hits from more than 40 countries. For the conference, MJF’s Patti Newberry and Bill Steiden, senior editor at Cox Media Group, taught a hard-working and committed capstone class titled “Dayton Peace Accords at 20: Telling Stories of War and Peace.” (See their students’ work.)

MJF had many other distinguished guests on campus this fall. Among them were Rick Green, publisher of Enquirer Media in Cincinnati, as well as Enquirer Editor Peter Bhatia and Enquirer visual journalist Carrie Cochran. Reds great Pete Rose participated in a press conference in Williams Hall, along with Enquirer sports columnist Paul Daugherty. The founders of #BlackLivesMatter also gave a press conference. And our own Wil Haygood packed Wilks Theater for a talk about his newest book.

In addition to our successful Washington, New York, LA, and Kosovo workshops, this January our first Chicago workshop, directed by Christe McKittrick, is up and running. And this summer, our first workshop in Cuba launches under the direction of Patti Newberry and Joe Sampson.

Our Writing Scholars program has been so successful that we expanded it and are now partnering with the Department of English. We are now in the midst of recruiting 30 high-ability writing students to Miami from all over the country. In our first two recruiting years, more than 35 writing scholars have now taken first-year classes with Jim Tobin and with scholar-in-residence Wil Haygood, a former Boston Globe and Washington Post reporter and distinguished Miami alumnus.

This year MJF welcomed five new tenure track faculty – Hongmei Li, Katie Day Good, Kit Hughes, Rosemary Pennington, and John Tchernev – substantially upgrading MJF’s scholarly culture and mission. It is good to have them here.

I’d like to wish everyone a successful new year and especially thank our tremendous MJF alumni who do so much for us in support of our scholarships, our workshops and our teaching mission. Our success and rising status in CAS is very much driven by our committed and engaged former students. We are grateful.

Best wishes,

Richard Campbell