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Professor Altheide nets two honors

May 17, 2007

School of Justice & Social Inquiry's Regent's Professor David Altheide has earned two new honors to add to his distinguished career. One recognizes his outstanding mentorship skills, while another acknowledges his most recent book.


Altheide, a member of ASU's faculty since 1974, has been named the recipient of the 2007 Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction (SSSI) Mentor Excellence Award. The honor is given annually in recognition of outstanding teachers and mentors.


SSSI is an international social science professional organization of scholars interested in qualitative, and especially interactionist, research.


Altheide will receive his award at the August SSSI national meeting in New York .


“This award is particularly gratifying because I work hard at teaching, and have always believed that research can promote good teaching,” Altheide says. “I am indebted to my students who have given me some wonderful opportunities to teach.”


In addition to the Mentor Excellence Award, Altheide's recent book, “Terrorism and the Politics of Fear” (2006) was selected by Choice (American Library Association) as one of its “Outstanding Academic Titles for 2006.”


Books are selected on a number of criteria, including:


• The basis of overall excellence in presentation and scholarship.


• Importance relative to other literature in the field.


• Distinction as a first treatment of a given subject in a book or electronic form.


• Originality or uniqueness of treatment.


• Value to undergraduate students and importance in building undergraduate library collections.


Books are selected from about 7,000 reviewed annually.


The ideas in the book were featured, as was Altheide, in a documentary film by a Montreal filmmaker, Louise Lemelin, “Fear Itself” (the English translation). The film will air soon in Canada and Europe . It includes footage featuring an interview with Altheide shot on ASU's Tempe campus in fall 2005.


The two honors add to a list of accomplishments for the ASU professor. In 2005, he was the recipient of the George Herbert Mead Award for career contributions. He also won the Charles Horton Cooley Award in 1986 for his book, “Media Power,” and in 2004 for his book, “Creating Fear,” becoming the first author to twice win the prize.


Altheide was named a Regent's Professor in 1990, among the highest honors for faculty excellence. The title is reserved for faculty members with exceptional achievement who have brought them national or international distinction.