Who We Are

Our Team

The JMC Innovation Project was conceived and directed by Professor Allan Richards of Florida International University in Miami and Professor Kathy Fitzpatrick of American University in Washington, D.C. Professor Daniel Evans of Florida International University served as digital editor and website designer. Research support was provided by William Harder, research lab manager of the Center for Teaching, Research & Learning at American University, and Anthony McAuliffe, graduate student in political communication at American University. Technology support was provided by Wayde Klipper, IT manager, and Joshua Shear, multimedia producer, in the School of Communication+Journalism at Florida International University.

Allan Richards (B.A., Queens College, City University of New York; M.A., English, Florida International University) is an associate professor of journalism and media in the School of Communication+Journalism at Florida International University (FIU) in Miami. He formerly served as associate dean of the school and chair of the journalism and broadcasting department and was co-founder and executive editor of the South Florida News Service.

Richards developed the school’s digital journalism curriculum, its digital language skills teaching and testing program, and served as an editor of the New York Times Student Journalism Institute at FIU. His pioneering work in digital media and journalism included raising more than a million dollars to fund innovative ventures. Richards received the Scripps Howard Foundation/AEJMC Teacher of the Year Award in 2017 for his innovative work in teaching and program development. richarda@fiu.edu


Kathy Fitzpatrick (B.S. and M.S., Journalism, West Virginia University; J.D., Southern Methodist University) is a professor and former senior associate dean for academic affairs in the School of Communication at American University (AU) in Washington, D.C. She formerly served as associate dean of graduate programs and research in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Florida International University, where she directed the development of the school’s first fully online graduate program.

She also was a member of the faculties and directed graduate and undergraduate programs at Quinnipiac University, DePaul University, the University of Florida and Southern Methodist University. She is an internationally recognized scholar in public relations and strategic communication and a faculty fellow in the Center on Public Diplomacy at the University of Southern California. Fitzpatrick serves on the editorial boards of top journals in communication and diplomacy and as co-editor of the Palgrave MacMillan book series in global public diplomacy. kfitzpat@american.edu

Daniel Evans (B.A., University of California, Berkeley; M.S., Journalism, Columbia University in the City of New York) is an associate professor of journalism in the School of Communication+Journalism at Florida International University (FIU) in Miami. He also serves as news director for the South Florida News Service, an on-campus internship that provides student produced articles, videos, audio pieces and interactives to professional South Florida news outlets. A complete redesign of the site SFNS.online in 2016 led to a 10-fold increase in web traffic and social media metrics.

Prior to coming to FIU, he worked at the Los Angeles Times as its community news editor from 2009-15. During his tenure, his publications received more than 80 local, state and national awards, including an EPPY from Editor and Publisher in 2012. In addition, he was honored as a Distinguished Journalist by the Society of Professional Journalists/Greater Los Angeles Chapter in 2013, and has received numerous awards for his column writing. daevans@fiu.edu

Finally, he took the photo that appears on the site’s homepage. It is of an abandoned parking lot in downtown Los Angeles.


We thank the deans and directors for their time and willingness to be part of this initiative. The enthusiasm with which these JMC leaders embraced the idea behind the Project demonstrated its timeliness, as well as the importance of celebrating the innovations underway in JMC programs – many of which have gone unrecognized – and identifying gaps and challenges that need attention.

We also thank Dean Jeffrey Rutenbeck of American University’s School of Communication and Dean Brian Schriner of Florida International University’s College of Communication, Architecture+The Arts for their input and support. We also want to acknowledge Dean Maryanne Reed of West Virginia University’s Reed College of Media and former president of ASJMC for giving us the opportunity to present preliminary findings at the ASJMC winter meeting. Finally, we are grateful to a number of colleagues across the country for their ideas and suggestions.