The Arkansas Press Association (APA) has named its 2020 Journalism Educator of the Year.
University of Arkansas School of Mass Communication associate professor Sonny Rhodes has been selected to receive the APA’S 2020 award. He was presented the award during APA’s annual convention on Sept. 24.
Before becoming a college professor, Rhodes served as a newspaper and reporter at numerous Arkansas publications. He had stints at the Arkansas Democrat, Arkansas Gazette, Log Cabin Democrat and Pine Bluff Commercial. Rhodes is also a former freelancer for AY Media Group.
“Having been a reporter and editor for a long time gives me some credit with the students,” Rhodes said in a statement. “If they are in a reporting class, I know some of the challenges they are facing, and I can relate to them and help them overcome some challenges by relating some of the real-world experiences I had.”
Jay Friedlander, who formerly served as the head of UA Little Rock’s journalism department, asked Rhodes to fill a nine-month teaching position in 1990. A full-time position opened up nine years later.
A Pine Bluff native, Rhodes is a member of the Arkansas Pro Chapter of the Society Professional Journalists.