The Annenberg School for Communication announces the establishment of the Phyllis C. Kaniss Award, which will be presented to a member of the graduating undergraduate communication class each spring. The award is given in memory of Phyllis C. Kaniss, former Assistant Dean and Adjunct Faculty Member of the Annenberg School for Communication. It will be presented to a graduating communication major who has demonstrated a commitment to civic participation. The criteria for civic participation includes meaningful involvement in actions designed to identify and address issues of public concern. Involvement can include participation as an individual or as part of an organized community. Organizational involvement can include cultural, charitable, political, or government groups. Preference will be given to those participating in student government or working for student-run media such as The Daily Pennsylvanian.
Dr. Kaniss is the author of Making Local News (University of Chicago Press, 1991) and The Media and the Mayor’s Race: The Failure of Urban Political Reporting (Indiana University Press, 1995), which won the 1995 Bart Richards Award for media criticism. In 1999, she created the Student Voices Project, a youth civic engagement initiative of the Annenberg Public Policy Center that worked with school systems in cities throughout the country. Dr. Kaniss received a B.A. degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a doctoral degree in Regional Science from Cornell University. You can read tributes left in Dr. Kaniss’ memory on the Annenberg web page.