Transformational Research

An abstract painting.

The Moses Shumow Transformational Research Award recognizes research from early-career academics who represent the aims and interests of dedicated scholar-activists across the field of Communication. The award is issued by the Social Justice + Media Symposium (SJMS). Doctoral students and Ph.D. graduates within five years of graduation may apply. 

How to Apply

Nominations should include:

 1. a single academic research or scholarly publication or work-in-progress (up to 8,000 words) published (or under acceptance) since 2020, and 

 2. a one-page letter indicating the scholar’s interpretation of how the work advances community transformation and social justice.

Nominations from the works’ authors or others will be accepted until March 21, 2022. Email applications to Dr. Robert Gutsche, Jr. at [email protected]. The award will be selected by members of the Social Justice + Media Symposium Planning Committee, and the awardee will be notified by March 28, 2022. 

Early career researcher (including doctoral student) applications from and/or related to the Global South and from applicants that are from or relate to diverse backgrounds across the globe are encouraged to apply. 


For consideration, applicants’ work-in-progress or published (or accepted) peer-reviewed articles could align with one or more of the following or related themes:


  • Narrations of transnationalism, identity, policy, and mobility in media messaging
  • Influences of language and identity in communicating social justice aims and approaches
  • Discussions on and with immigrant communities about social justice, advocacy, and inclusivity
  • Forms of participatory research to engage citizens into building scholarly awareness of social issues
  • Diaspora and its representations in storytelling on identity, inequality, and agency
  • Intersectional feminism and the narration of geographies 
  • Using digital technologies and infrastructures to challenge power structures
  • Journalism and its (potential) role(s) in representations of power, agency, and restorative justice
  • Critical race and Cultural Studies approaches to teaching engaged practice
  • Pedagogies that apply critical digital media literacy approaches in diverse environments



For more information about the inaugural Moses Shumow Transformational Research Award, contact award chairs, Dr. Robert E. Gutsche, Jr. [email protected] or Dr. Sallie Hughes [email protected]

Winners will receive


a certificate and a monetary award


an invitation to present their work (virtually) at the Symposium and how it connects to community transformation through social inequalities 


an invitation to be featured in a bonus episode of “The J Word: A Podcast by Journalism Practice

Past Recipients

Past Awardees



Tumi Mampane  University of the Free State, South Africa

For their work titled, "This Field I call Home: Black Feminist (Auto) Ethnography in Alexandra Township, South Africa"

In Recognition of Exemplary Merit:

Felipe Navarro Nicoletti National University of Córdoba, Argentina For their work titled, "Community, Popular and Alternative Radio Stations in Bariloche: Sociopolitical Role, Identity Configuration and Citizenship"

Mildred F. Perreault  East Tennessee State University, USA For their work titled, “Journalists on COVID-19 Journalism: Communication Ecology of Pandemic Reporting”

Pablo Martínez-Zárate La Universidad Iberoamericana Mexico, Mexico For their work titled, “Radical Interventions: Archaeology, Forensics and Montage”

Social Justice + Media Symposium Partners

Engagement Lab logo