2022 James L. Baughman Senior Achievement Award winners

James L. Baughman Senior Achievement Award

Each year, the School of Journalism and Mass Communication recognizes five outstanding graduating seniors for their academic, professional and community service achievements. The award honors long-time J-School faculty member James L. Baughman who devoted much of his career to serving and mentoring undergraduate students.

About the Award

To be considered for a James L. Baughman Senior Achievement Award, you must be graduating in the upcoming spring or summer term, and you must complete an application to be considered.

Senior Achievement Award winners receive a $500 scholarship and are invited to the annual Alumni Awards Banquet in April.

Applications for the annual Senior Achievement Awards are available February 26, 2024, and the deadline to apply is March 8, 2024. Recipients will be announced in late March.

Submit your application


Email the Scholarship Committee at info@journalism.wisc.edu

James L. Baughman

James Baughman, professor and department chair of Journalism and Mass Communication, posing with a 1953 Sylvania, foreground, and 1958 RCA television sets in the Wisconsin Historical Society's warehouse.

Established by the Evjue Foundation, this scholarship award honors the memory and legacy of Fetzer Bascom Professor of Journalism and Mass Communication, James L. Baughman. Baughman joined the J-School faculty in 1979 and revived and regularly taught the course History of Mass Communication as well as a variety of reporting classes. A popular instructor, Baughman won the Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 2003.

In addition to teaching, Baughman served two terms as director of the J-School. He oversaw the School’s successful centennial celebration in 2005 and helped to establish the Center for Journalism Ethics several years later. As director, he gave many public service talks and was the first recipient of the Ken and Linda Ciriacks Alumni Excellence Award in 2005, sponsored by the Wisconsin Alumni Association.

Baughman developed a national reputation for his work on the history of 20th century American journalism and broadcast news. He was the author of four books, including “Same Time, Same Station: Creating American Television, 1948-1961.” Baughman served on the Wisconsin Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights from 1985 to 1992, the last two as chair of the committee.

At the time of his death, Baughman was chair of the advisory committee of UW-Madison’s Center for the History of Print and Digital Culture. Friends and former students remember Baughman’s humor and skill at mimicry. No UW faculty member did a better imitation of Eleanor Roosevelt or Bill Clinton. Less fondly, those who knew him recall his lifelong and often inexplicable devotion to the Cleveland Indians baseball team.


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What are the James L. Baughman Achievement Awards?

SJMC recognizes distinguished seniors through the James L. Baughman Senior Achievement Award program. Up to five graduating undergraduate senior students each May receive a $500 scholarship and are recognized for their achievements by the department.

What are the award criteria?

The scholarship committee reviews all applications and selects recipients based on their efforts and contributions, along with their total GPA. The committee recommends the final candidates to the faculty, who ultimately vote to approve the recipients.

Who was James L. Baughman?

Professor James L. Baughman was a long-time faculty member of SJMC. He tirelessly devoted much of his career to serving undergraduates. Our senior achievement awards were named after him to honor his service to our students.

Who is eligible to receive a Senior Achievement Award?

Only seniors graduating in the upcoming spring or summer term of each year are eligible. To be considered, seniors must fill out the undergraduate scholarship application as noted earlier. Unfortunately, December or August graduates are not eligible for a Senior Achievement award.

What are the key dates for the Senior Achievement Awards?

The dates are the same as for the SJMC scholarship program. Applications for Senior Achievement open on March 1 at 12:01 a.m. and close on March 15 at 11:59 p.m. Students will be notified in early April. Recipients will be recognized at our Alumni Awards Banquet in late April.