Cronkite professor receives NAACP 2013 Educator Award

The Maricopa County Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has recognized Sharon Bramlett-Solomon, an associate professor at ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, for outstanding teaching and exemplary community leadership service.

Bramlett-Solomon is the 2013 recipient of the organization’s Educator Award, given to an educator whose “teaching and scholarship accomplishments have made a noted and indelible mark in the community and on the profession,” according to the NAACP.

Bramlett-Solomon has taught at the Cronkite School since 1986 and also is a Lincoln Center of Applied Ethics Professor of Media & Culture. The Lincoln Center is a research unit located in the ASU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences that supports innovative, collaborative and multidisciplinary research on contemporary issues ranging from biomedical research and warfare to emerging technologies.

“Professor Bramlett-Solomon has been a leading voice on a wide array of journalism diversity issues for many years, not just here at the Cronkite School, but nationally,” said Christopher Callahan, dean of the Cronkite School. “We're delighted that the NAACP is recognizing her great contributions to our field.”

Bramlett-Solomon said she is both honored and humbled by the award selection. “It is with inexpressible elation and heart-felt appreciation that I humbly accept the NAACP’s top educator recognition. Please know that because of the organization’s long-time legacy as a stalwart of grassroots community involvement, activism and advancement, this honor is especially close to my heart,” Solomon-Bramlett said in accepting the award. “Moreover, as a Cronkite School and Lincoln Center professor, a great deal of my scholarship, teaching and professional service addresses social justice and applied media ethics issues, all of which makes the NAACP’s acknowledgement all the more personally gratifying and cherished.”

Bramlett-Solomon’s career includes seven years in newspaper reporting, public relations and radio advertising sales. She worked as a reporter for the Memphis Commercial Appeal and Louisville Courier-Journal newspapers, served as public information director for the Memphis Urban League and worked as an account executive at WDIA radio station in Memphis.

Her research focuses on audience effects of race representation in the United States, and she has published studies on aging and online news diffusion. She has presented and published more than 100 scholarly papers in scholarly journals that include Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, Newspaper Research Journal, Southwestern Journal of Communication, the Howard Journal of Communication and the Journal of Children and Media. A second edition of Bramlett-Solomon’s book, “Race, Gender & Class in Media,” which is used in college classrooms across the country, will be published in 2014. She also is writing a book on “Colorism in Mass Media and American Culture.”

Her work also has appeared in magazines and newspapers, including The Arizona Republic, the East Valley Tribune, the Arizona Informant, Focus, Essence and Today’s Arizona Woman.

At the Cronkite School, Bramlett-Solomon has taught news writing and reporting; advanced reporting; ethics and diversity; media and society; mass communications history; race, gender and media; and graduate courses in media theories. She is the recipient of local and national awards for her teaching, scholarship and service, including the Barry Bingham Award from the National Conference of Editorial Writers Foundation, the Professor of the Year Award from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, and the Top Educator award from the Black Women’s Task Force. She also has received a number of teaching, research and service awards at ASU, where she has mentored hundreds and taught thousands of future journalists and communications professionals.