Lindenwood - Your Alumni Connection - Fall 2017

Monica Flippin Wynn, Ph.D. MONICA FLIPPIN WYNN SERVES AS NEH FELLOW OVER SUMMER by CHRIS DUGGAN 5 CAMPUS NEWS ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT FACULTY SPOTLIGHT LINDENWOOD SPORTS ALUMNI EVENTS AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS ALUMNI NEWS & NOTES LINDENWOOD Fall 2017 Dr. Monica Flippin Wynn, director of the Undergraduate Communications Department in the School of Accelerated Degree Programs, spent a large portion of her summer in a fellowship with the National Endowment for the Humanities, specifically at the Fannie Lou Hamer National Institute on Citizenship and Democracy. The institute was in session June 11-30 at Jackson State University in Mississippi, where Flippin Wynn served as a tenured communications professor for six years before coming to Lindenwood in 2016. She said she applied for the fellowship in January, which was followed by an interview process, and was notified in March that she was among the 25 people selected. “It was not a vacation, by any means,” she said. “I read 27 books to prepare, 19 of them completely. “We had a full agenda, homework, and a final presentation.” Fanny Lou Hamer was a civil rights activist from Mississippi who advocated for a number of issues throughout the South, such as voting rights. The focus of the institute was civil rights and the role of different communities. Presenters from all over the country came to speak daily to the group, including the curator of the new African American Civil Rights Museum in Washington, D.C. With a background in communications, Flippin Wynn said her focus was on the news media and its role in the civil rights movement. “The idea is that we take that back and incorporate it into our courses—different ways to look at activism—and incorporate that into the critical thinking process with our students,” she said. “They want us to branch out and find programs that make us better teachers and administrators.” Among the 25 fellows were faculty members and some administrators from Denver, Boston, Texas, Florida, Tennessee, and Mississippi, among others. “When you bring together an eclectic and diverse group of scholars, it affects the dialog,” Flippin Wynn said. “We got lots of different perspectives from all kinds of institutions, along with great speakers. It can be nothing but positive for Lindenwood. I’ve already had a student doing a three-hour independent study on the history of journalistic coverage of civil rights in Missouri, with whom I was able to use what we talked about.” She credits Gina Ganahl, dean of the School of Accelerated Degree Programs, and Vice President and Provost Marilyn Abbott, along with other administrators, for supporting her efforts to attend the institute. She also said the university’s library was invaluable in helping assemble all the reading material. Ganahl said Flippin Wynn’s fellowship experience will ultimately lead to improvements in the Accelerated Degree Programs’ B.A. in communications program. “She plans to incorporate what she learned about the influence of communications on social reform to reshape the communications curriculum in ways that engage students in constructive strategies for positive activism and civic participation,” Ganahl said. While this was her first experience with the NEH, Flippin Wynn previously served as a fellow with the National Institutes of Health in a two-year program in which she focused on obesity in children, specifically as it correlates to the amount of time spent in front of TV, computers, and electronic devices. She said research continues toward putting those findings into a paper. “My hope is to do my own NEH institute here at Lindenwood,” Flippin Wynn said. “I was thinking about focusing on women journalists. It would be in 2019 at the soonest.” We got lots of different perspectives from all kinds of institutions, along with great speakers.” Dr. Monica Flippin Wynn “ Lindenwood University FACULTY SPOTLIGHT