UNM Communications and Journalism Professor to Receive Distinguished Award: UNM Newsroom


University of New Mexico Assistant Professor of Communication and Journalism, Mohammad Yousuf, receives one of the most prestigious journalism awards in that region, given by the Southwest Education Council for Journalism and Mass Communication (SWECJMC).

He was selected for the 2022 SWECJMC Educator Award, an award designed to “recognize a faculty member from a SWECJMC member institution who has demonstrated outstanding contribution to journalism and mass communication education, innovative practices, excellent student outcomes and/or or class-oriented research”.

Mohamed Youssef

Yousuf was nominated for these achievements. Since joining UNM, he has focused on combining journalism with big data, teaching several undergraduate and graduate courses on data and computation.

It also centers his research in communication on calculation tools like big data analysis, natural language processing (NLP) and artificial intelligence (AI). Yousuf also explores how to use social media for journalistic purposes while maintaining ethics.

“I aspire to embody the combination of experience, expertise, innovation and dedication that a journalism and communications instructor needs in the age of datafication and big data analytics,” a- he declared.

President SWECJMC Alec Tefertiller said the executive committee was impressed with his contributions to UNM as a professor so early in his career.

“Especially noteworthy is his commitment to creating innovative courses that have built bridges across campus departments, as well as his mentorship of students and media professionals,” Tefertiller said.

Yousuf’s students agree. Arif Maryland Tarek Habibsays throughout the courses he took with him, Yousuf provided a wealth of knowledge, dynamic teaching and a commitment to ensuring all students were using critical thinking skills, while stepping in when they were blocked.

I believe Professor Yousuf truly deserves this honor because of his integrity, honesty and responsibility to his teaching profession,” said Tareque Habib. In addition to teaching in class, Professor Yousuf helps me understand many basics of social science research. I pay tribute to him for the work ethic and discipline he showed during my internship with him.”

Yousuf also organized his media and data analysis in innovative educational workshops, and has published research in Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, Journal of Media Ethics and Journalism Practice.

“I think I speak for the rest of the SWECJMC leadership that Dr. Yousuf exemplifies the commitment to mass communication education that we seek to honor with this award,” Tefertiller said.

Director of the Communication and Journalism Department Ilia Rodríguez said that her study programme in digital data tools and computational methods has been essential to the department’s journalism education. She added that it also helps undergraduate majors entering the professional field and research training of graduate students in all disciplines.

“We celebrate this award in recognition of his excellence in teaching and his contributions to the quality of our program,” she said.

Yousuf was invited to the Southwest Symposium at Baylor University on November 4, where he will receive a plaque and a check for $100.


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