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Andrew Cassel named 2015 Reynolds Visiting Professor

We are pleased to announce that Andrew Cassel is the 2015 Reynolds Visiting Professor. Here is the press release issued by Penn State University earlier this month.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — A respected journalist has been selected to serve as a visiting journalism professor at Penn State during the spring 2015 semester through a program funded by the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation at Arizona State University.

Andy Cassel has been named the 2015 Reynolds Visiting Professor at Penn State,

Andy Cassel has been named the 2015 Reynolds Visiting Professor at Penn State,

Andrew Cassel will help jump start a business journalism focus in the College of Communications as he teaches a business journalism course, co-teaches a sports business course, collaborates with faculty across campus and works to establish partnerships with regional media. In addition, Cassel will contribute to the BusinessJournalism.org website.

“It’s an exciting opportunity. The Reynolds Foundation provides a wonderful model and the fact that the position is at Penn State is an added bonus,” said Cassel, who serves as an editor for a website focused on macroeconomic data and analysis for Moody’s Analytics. From 1984 to 2007, he worked as columnist, business editor and reporter for the Miami Herald and The Philadelphia Inquirer. 

“Business journalism has always been important, but it’s never been as important as it is now,” Cassel said. “You cannot talk intelligently about anything journalists cover without an understanding of how people make their money and how economies function. It’s just critical. Whether its lifestyle news, politics or sports, it matters. You can tell when journalists do not have that context. It shows in their reporting.”

This is the fourth year the Reynolds Foundation has funded business journalism professors at universities to encourage development of stronger business journalism education. The $1.67 million grant is administered through the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism at ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

As a participant in the program, Penn State provides space, technical and administrative support for the visiting professor. It also commits to continue teaching business journalism after the initial grant ends. 

“Andy Cassel provides the perfect combination of expertise, energy and experience to help us launch our efforts around business journalism and data-driven reporting,” said Dean Marie Hardin of the College of Communications. “We’re excited about learning from him and building on his work.”

Cassel, who earned his bachelor’s degree at Dartmouth College, has already visited Penn State and knows several faculty members in the Department of Journalism. In addition, he has already started formulating his classroom approach and potential campus collaborations.

“It’s not a basic reporting class, so we’ll have the flexibility to challenge students,” he said. “We can talk about balance, context and major issues. It’s about dealing with numbers, about conveying economic and statistical information in an accurate manner. And, it’s about doing that in a manner that’s useful.”

The journalism program at Penn State has earned three consecutive national championships in the William Randolph Hearst Foundation’s Journalism Awards Program, often called “the Pulitzers of college journalism.” Those results are based on samples submitted by students through monthly contests. In addition, the journalism program was ranked as the second best in the country by CollegeMagazine.com in 2014.

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The five-year Reynolds Visiting Professor program, which ends in 2016,  will ultimately create 11 visiting professorships at 11 different schools. In previous years, visiting professors have taught at California State-Fullerton, Central Michigan, Colorado State, Elon, Grambling State, Louisiana State, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas Christian.

Like the Reynolds Center, the program is funded by the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, a national philanthropic organization founded in 1954 by the late media entrepreneur for whom it is named.

Schools and prospective professors: apply for the 2016 program.