Professor Garrett O’Keefe Earns Prestigious Award
Journalism | May 13, 2010
JTC Professor Garrett O’Keefe is the latest recipient of the Nelson Award for distinguished contributions to journalism education from the University of Wisconsin School of Journalism and Mass Communication. It is the highest academic honor given to a Wisconsin Ph.D. alumnus. Criteria for the award include exceptional contributions to journalism teaching, research and service. O’Keefe is the 15th winner of the award.
O’Keefe received his Ph.D. at Wisconsin. He later returned there as a professor and department chair of life sciences communication and environmental studies in1988. He left Wisconsin to become department chair of JTC at CSU. He also was department chair at the University of Denver in the early 1980s.
“Obviously, the opportunities CSU has afforded me over the years have greatly contributed to whatever success I’ve enjoyed,” O’Keefe said. “I’ve moved around a fair amount, but CSU is a touchstone. It’s where I want to be.” O’Keefe was previously on the CSU faculty from 1984 to 1988.
Harold L. Nelson, after whom the award was named, was director of the School of Journalism at Wisconsin from 1966 to 1975.
“I was fortunate to have known him in graduate school and he was tremendously supportive,” O’Keefe said. Wisconsin has awarded more Ph.D.s in the field than any other university.
O’Keefe’s teaching areas include environmental and health communication, science and technical writing, and communication theory and research. His research has focused on environmental and public health information programs. He has co-written three books, and authored or co-authored over 150 journal articles, book chapters, symposia, and conference presentations.
O’Keefe has served as primary investigator on over 15 federally funded grants totaling nearly $4 million, and as co-investigator on several others. Sponsoring agencies have included the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, Environmental Protection Agency, and the National Institute of Justice. He has consulted for numerous federal, state, and local government agencies, and not-for-profit and corporate organizations.