Communication professor honored for teaching, research, service

July 15, 2010

by Chris Barncard

Dietram Scheufele, professor of life sciences communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is the winner of the 2010 Krieghbaum Under-40 Award from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.

The award, named for former New York University professor Hillier Krieghbaum, goes to young association members for achievement in teaching, research and public service, which Scheufele considers a tidy description of the Wisconsin Idea.

"Service to society at large is important to us at Wisconsin and important to my work, which actually often cites Krieghbaum," Scheufele says. "Krieghbaum was dealing with some of the same issues we're dealing with today. How to we build bridges between society and the science we're doing at universities today?"

In 2004, Scheufele was tapped for the Young Scholar Award from the International Communications Association. Joining the Krieghbaum list makes him just the second to pick up both of the two major early career honors for communications scholars, joining UW-Madison graduate and Ohio State University professor William "Chip" Eveland.

Scheufele, who will accept the award in August at the association's annual conference, was pleased to see the attention paid to research on communicating science to under-reached audiences.

"We're seeing increasingly that science is moving to the forefront of pressing issues — like the oil spill, health care and technology," Scheufele says. "The more complex those issues become, the more important it is to have a complete discussion and to make sure we reach everybody with sound advice on how the science should be understood."