Solutions Journalism Educators Academy

The Solutions Journalism Educators Academy is a two-day training on teaching solutions journalism at the collegiate level. The Academy covers teaching the four qualities; framing, sourcing and finding solutions stories; advocacy, rigor and impostors; community engagement and interviewing; story structure; creating learning goals and objectives; and refining assignments and instructional activities. The Academy is an initiative of the Catalyst Journalism Project and is made possible with a grant from the Solutions Journalism Network, with funding from the Enlight Foundation.

Meet the 20 participants selected to participate in the 2019 Academy

Ruby Bailey, Missouri Community Newspaper Management Chair,
School of Journalism, University of Missouri
Sharon Bloyd-Peshkin, Associate Professor,
Communication Department, Columbia College Chicago
Amanda Bright, Journalism Academic Professional,
Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Georgia
Simone Byrd, Chair and Associate Professor,
Department of Communications, Alabama State University
Jennifer Cox, Associate Professor,
Communication Arts Department, Salisbury University
Deborah Douglas, Pulliam Distinguished Visiting Professor,
DePauw University
Christopher Etheridge, Assistant Professor,
School of Mass Communication, University of Arkansas at Little Rock
Dan Evans, Associate Professor,
Communication + Journalism, Florida International University
Nan Fairley, Associate Professor, School of Communication and Journalism, Auburn University
Calvin Hall, Department Chair & Associate Professor,
Department of Mass Communication, North Carolina Central University
Lisa Heyamoto, Senior Instructor,
School of Journalism and Communication, University of Oregon
Kyser Lough, Assistant Professor,
Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Georgia
Karen McIntyre, Assistant Professor,
Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture, Virginia Commonwealth University
Jennifer Midberry, Assistant Professor,
The Media School, Indiana University Bloomington
Serena Miller, Associate Professor,
School of Journalism, Michigan State University
Laura Moorhead, Assistant Professor,
Department of Journalism, San Francisco State University
Betsy O’Donovan, Assistant Professor,
Department of Journalism, Western Washington University
Newly Paul, Assistant Professor,
Mayborn School of Journalism, University of North Texas
Barbara Selvin, Associate Professor,
School of Journalism, Stony Brook University
Lisa Waananen Jones, Clinical Assistant Professor,
Edward R. Murrow College of Communication, Washington State University

Meet the nine journalism faculty members who participated in the 2018 Solutions Journalism Educators Academy.

2019 Solutions Journalism Educators Academy (Call for Applications)
July 25-26, 2019 at the Agora Journalism Center at the University of Oregon in the historic White Stag Building in Portland, Oregon.

In partnership with the Solutions Journalism Network, the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication is delighted to announce the second Solutions Journalism Educators Academy. This academy is an initiative of The Catalyst Journalism Project at the University of Oregon.

Solutions journalism is a rigorous and fact-driven approach to reporting credible responses to societal problems. The Academy is designed for university journalism faculty members interested in learning how to teach solutions journalism at the collegiate level.

You will learn

  • How solutions journalism can engage students and audiences
  • How to teach student to frame, source, interview for and structure solutions stories for print and multimedia
  • How to develop class lectures, discussion, exercises and assignments for SoJo courses or SoJo modules within existing journalism courses

The Academy will be led by University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication instructor Kathryn Thier. Faculty members Nicole Dahmen and Brent Walth will assist with the Academy. A representative of the Solutions Journalism Network team will also participate in the Academy.

  • Kathryn Thier, a journalism instructor and former reporter, is a graduate of Columbia University School of Journalism. She has published peer-reviewed research on solutions journalism education and she is a nationally-recognized leader in teaching solutions journalism. She was recently named one of the top 20 innovative j-school educators by MediaShift.
  • Nicole Dahmen, Ph.D., an associate professor, is a visual communication scholar with a focus on solutions journalism and multimedia reporting and teaching. She is becoming a leading scholar on the theory and practice of solutions journalism and other contextual reporting forms.
  • Brent Walth, an assistant professor and Pulitzer-prize winning investigative reporter, has 34 years of experience writing, reporting, and editing. He is a self-described “solutions journalism convert,” who brings an investigative lens to the practice and teaching of solutions journalism.

To learn more about the Academy, visit:

Testimonials from previous participants

“[Kathryn’s] thoughtfulness, critical mind, and commitment to pedagogy made this a profound few days of learning for me.”

“I was blown away by [Kathryn] and the participants. Thanks so much for an inspiring few days, rich with activities that we can replicate. I’m grateful to have been included.”

“Thank you again for a great experience. I know how much effort [Kathryn] put into the training and everything that went into planning it, and it paid off!”

“Such great energy and so much insight.”

“I look forward to further implementing the lessons learned into my classes in the academic year ahead. Thanks again for all your heartfelt efforts dedicated to this event!”

To apply

Please submit as one PDF file:

  • a cover letter discussing your interest in solutions journalism and in the Educators Academy,
  • a current curriculum vitae,
  • a short letter of support for Academy attendance from your dean/director/department head; and
  • the names with contact information for three academic references.

Complete applications should be emailed to Dr. Nicole Dahmen at by 5 p.m. PST on Friday, February 15, 2019. Selected participants will be notified by the end of March 2019.


How much do I need to know about solutions journalism ahead of time?
General knowledge of the practice is preferred, but detailed knowledge is not required. To learn more about solutions journalism, visit the Learning Lab on the Solutions Journalism Network website:

What expenses are covered by the Academy?
A grant from the Solutions Journalism Network, with funding from the Enlight Foundation, supports the Academy. The Academy covers these expenses for participants: airfare or mileage up to $650; hotel for July 24, 25, and 26; and most meals on July 25 and 26. Any other expenses must be paid for by participants.

Do I have to have a professional journalism background?
No, but you do have to be a full-time faculty member of a recognized journalism program at the collegiate level.

What else do I need?
A good attitude and a desire to innovate and collaborate.

When should I arrive and depart?
Participants should plan to fly in and out of PDX, arriving on Wednesday, July 24 and departing on Saturday, July 27. Selected participants will be given contact information for UO travel agents to assist with and book flights.

Where will I stay?
Participants will stay at Hotel Modera, a boutique hotel in downtown Portland. The hotel is walking distance from the White Stag Building, as well as coffee shops, restaurants, and shopping. Visit the hotel website at

What will I eat?
The Academy provides most meals on July 24 and 25. Breakfast and lunch will be catered each day at the White Stag Building. Dinner on July 24 will be at a restaurant in the downtown area.

Other questions?
Please contact Dr. Nicole Dahmen at or at 541-346-2588.