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Lewis named recipient of 2021 Adviser Award


WARRENSBURG — Julie Lewis, assistant instructor of digital media production and faculty adviser for the University of Central Missouri’s student-led newspaper, the Muleskinner, is being recognized as one of the College Media Association's 2021 Best Media Advisers in the nation.

Lewis was one of three Honor Roll Advisers recognized from four-year institutions. 

Honor Roll Adviser Awards are reserved for professionals who have advised for five or fewer years. 

The College Media Association is a collegiate media organization that strives to support student journalists and their advisers. 

Since 1954, the association has served its nationwide member base with educational sessions, annual conventions, networking opportunities and more.

“As the managing editor, Julie and I work closely together and my experience with her has been amazing,” Bethany Spitzmiller said. “Her passion for journalism and empowering students is so refreshing.”

Spitzmiller is the managing editor for the Muleskinner.

“She has students lead everything and make all the decisions and she empowers them to do that, which is amazing,” Spitzmiller. 

The Muleskinner publishes monthly issues with ongoing online coverage published during regular academic weeks. 

Lewis, who took over the role of adviser for the publication last year, works with student writers, editors and designers to provide content covering the wider campus community.

“I can attest to Dr. Lewis' efforts to revitalize the college student newspaper, the Muleskinner over the past one-plus years,” Wendy Geiger, chair of School of Communication, History and Interdisciplinary Studies, said. “Under her leadership, the paper is now being published digitally at www.muleskinnernews.com where stories are published daily. In addition, the Muleskinner is published in a paper format one time per month. They were awarded several Missouri College Media Association awards for reporting, including Best 4-Year Institution Publication in Missouri. There are multiple students involved in the newspaper from across campus. Her accomplishments have been extraordinary, especially given that she was able to accomplish this during the pandemic, which negatively impacted nearly every college in terms of engagement of students. I cannot express how impressed I have been with Dr. Lewis since she took over the Muleskinner Adviser role.”

Lewis has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia, a Master of Arts in Teaching and Master of Arts in Communication from UCM and a Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis, focusing on Editorial Leadership in Journalism Education at MU. 

“Her passion for what she does is second to none and I have been blessed to have her as a mentor and as a teacher,” Zayin Barnes, features editor for the Muleskinner, said. “Just the way she leads is impeccable and how she uses her own aura and her own past experience to build up the people that she is trying to help mentor is really just amazing to witness. I couldn’t ask for anyone better to help me do what I do.”

Lewis was awarded as the Missouri College Media Association 2020 Adviser of the Year. 

Lewis was a recipient of the UCM Advisor of the Year Award in 2020.

Lewis and other Adviser Award recipients will be honored during an awards ceremony at the 2021 ACP/CMA Fall National College Media Convention Oct. 14-17. 

For more information about the Muleskinner or the College Media Association Honor Roll Adviser Award, contact Lewis at jlewis@ucmo.edu, or visit muleskinnernews.com. 

“I am very proud of Dr. Lewis for receiving this award, I feel that it is very well deserved,” Matthew Goldsmith, news editor for the Muleskinner said. “The thing that really sticks out to me about Dr. Lewis is how committed she is to her students and just talking to her you can feel a great passion she has for what she does. This award was very well deserved and I know that I personally have grown a lot working together and getting to know Dr. Lewis.” 


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