Columbia, Mo. (Jan. 29, 2021) — Missouri School of Journalism Associate Professor Sara Shipley Hiles was named by Crain NewsPro a 2021 Noteworthy Journalism Educator. Based on recommendations from university colleagues and news industry sources, NewsPro identified 10 of the notable higher-education professionals who “found innovative ways to teach journalism skills within the new safety and distancing protocols.”
Environmental journalist Sara Shipley Hiles has been an educator for 13 years, teaching feature writing, digital editing and investigative reporting. According to the article, Hiles says her “greatest pleasure” is teaching science, health and environmental reporting. “No topic could be more important for our world right now as we face the twin threats of climate change and COVID-19,” she says.
Since the pandemic started, I have offered all my classes in hy-flex style, that is, taught in-person, simultaneously streamed on Zoom and recorded for anyone who might miss it,” Hiles said. I want students to know I will be there for them in whatever format, whatever their needs are right now.”
Hiles specializes in collaborative projects with real-world impact. For example, she and her students conducted tests for lead in drinking water. Her students have won numerous awards, including best website for VoxMagazine.com. The Mark of Excellence award was bestowed by the Society of Professional Journalists.
“Sara is a dedicated teacher whose leadership and mentoring of students in science, health and environmental journalism helps tell stories translating complex scientific topics with clarity and accuracy,” said Journalism Dean David Kurpius. “This is a well-deserved honor for Sara for her commitment to our students, our School and our university.”
During her career as a professional journalist, Hiles covered the environmental beat for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and The Statesman-Journal in Salem, Oregon. As the faculty adviser to the student group Science, Health and Environmental Journalism @ Mizzou, she helps develop the next generation of journalists to report stories on science, health and the environment.
Hiles also oversees the School’s Smith/Patterson Science Journalism Fellowship and Lecture Series, a joint initiative of the Pulitzer Center Campus Consortium and the Missouri School of Journalism.
“I’m honored by this recognition, but I don’t feel any more deserving than my colleagues,” Hiles said. “All teachers are heroes right now in my book.”
Updated: January 29, 2021