By Nathan Hurst
MU News Bureau
Columbia, Mo. (April 1, 2015) — University of Missouri Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin and Commerce Bank Chairman Jim Schatz today awarded one of the 2015 William T. Kemper Fellowships for Teaching Excellence to Berkley Hudson, an associate professor of magazine journalism in the Missouri School of Journalism.
Loftin, Schatz and a group of professors, administrators and staff surprised Hudson by honoring him with the Fellowship, which includes a $10,000 check. Kemper Fellowships are awarded to five outstanding teachers at the University of Missouri each year. This year is the 25th anniversary of the first William T. Kemper Fellowships for Teaching Excellence.
The William T. Kemper Fellowships for Teaching Excellence were established in 1991 with a $500,000 gift. Kemper, a 1926 MU graduate, was a well-known civic leader in Kansas City until his death in 1989. His 52-year career in banking included top positions at banks in Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma. Commerce Bank manages the trust fund.
Berkley Hudson’s students and peers consistently describe him as a dedicated, innovative and compassionate teacher who places a high priority on finding out who his students are as learners.
“Berkley Hudson is a rare breed,” said John Fennell, an associate professor and the Meredith Chair in Service Journalism. “One of his mentors described him as a hothouse orchid – an apt image for a professor who constantly shows his students how beautiful journalism can be. His goal is to inspire confidence in students, to get into their minds and souls, where real, lasting learning happens. He wants to place his indelible mark on students who pass through our corridors so when they leave here they remember what inspired them to be here in the first place: to tell stories that matter and to bring meaning to our world. The scores of students who follow him years after graduating are a testament to his exceptional skills and to his humanity.”
Hudson teaches intermediate and advanced magazine-writing courses and has served as a writing coach to students for Vox Magazine. He is known for his ability to captivate the attention of his students with unconventional methods and engaging stories. In the classroom, he uses props such as musical instruments, connecting the composing of unforgettable melodies to the writing of well-developed stories.
“I’ve only known Berkley for a semester, but already he has impressed me as an extraordinarily creative and energetic teacher with much to offer his students,” said Paige Williams, associate professor of magazine journalism and contributing writer for the New Yorker. “Berkley’s methods, which include drums, weird hats and field trips to exotic caves, have achieved legendary status for good reason: Students exit his classes with minds zapped awake to the possibilities of writing. His lessons cannot help but leave a lasting, meaningful impression.”
Hudson is a magnetic teacher who builds long-lasting relationships with his students. His students have gone on to write for media outlets including Men’s Health and ESPN. He works hard to discover what makes each student special and helps his students take full advantage of those qualities in work and in life.
“Being a teacher isn’t something that Berkley Hudson just does; it’s something he is,” says Heather Lamb, assistant professor and Vox editorial director. “I have watched Berkley hold the rapt attention of an entire room of students, teaching assistants and faculty as he shared his vision for a magazine piece or his knowledge and passion on a topic. He pushes all those with whom he comes into contact to think more, care more, try differently – and he helps students become the best versions of themselves.”
Hudson has taught at the University of Rhode Island and California State University’s Fullerton and Los Angeles campuses. He is an experienced reporter and editor who has worked for the Los Angeles Times and the Providence Journal. He currently serves as editor-in-chief of Visual Communication Quarterly, an international peer-reviewed journal.