Emeriti Professors

Former professor Carol Van ValkenburgCAROL VAN VALKENBURG: Carol Van Valkenburg worked at the J-School for almost 30 years and retired in December 2011. Carol earned her B.A. In journalism from UM and worked 10 years at the Missoulian as a reporter, copy editor and editorial writer. Her master’s degree is in interdisciplinary studies, concentrating in history and political science. While studying for her master’s she became interested in the detention of Japanese and Italian aliens at Fort Missoula during World War II, a subject that she turned into a book, “An Alien Place.”
Carol taught various reporting classes, including the Native News Honors Project in which teams of reporters and photographers cover in-depth stories from Montana’s seven Indian reservations. Students in the class have won dozens of national writing awards for their Native News stories, including the Robert F. Kennedy Award in 2005 and the SPJ National Mark of Excellence Award in 2006 for online in-depth journalism. In 2010 a student in the class won a national first place award in the Hearst Journalism Awards in-depth reporting competition. Carol also served as adviser to the Montana Kaimin, the student daily. It was her favorite assignment, though one that gave her the majority of her gray hairs.
In 2000 the Freedom Forum honored her with a national teaching award. She has spent several summers on the features or the foreign/national copy desks at the Philadelphia Inquirer. Outside the classroom, her favorite pastime is fishing on one of Montana’s many splendid trout streams.
She’s married to Fred Van Valkenburg, the Missoula County attorney. Their son Kevin, a UM J-School grad, worked for 11 years at the Baltimore Sun, then became senior writer for ESPN The Magazine and ESPN.com. He is now the 2015 Pollner Professor at the UM School of Journalism. Their daughter, Kristin, is senior planner for Adams County, CO. Carol's greatest delight is their five grandchildren.

Contact Carol at carol.vanvalkenburg@umontana.edu.

Former professor Clem WorkCLEM WORK: Clem Work came to UM in 1990 from U.S. News & World Report, where he was a senior editor. Before that, he was deputy director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press in Washington, D.C. He began his journalism career working for daily newspapers in 1967 in Southern California and then in Denver. He obtained a law degree and was admitted to the California bar in 1975.

At UM, Clem taught media law, reporting, editing, senior and graduate seminars, headed the graduate program from 1996 to 2006 and edited the Montana Journalism Review from 1996 through 2011. He and his family lived in Kumamoto, Japan, in 1994-95 on a faculty exchange. In the summer of 2000, he rode his trusty 24-year-old bicycle coast to coast in seven weeks, filing a story every night. Clem's book, "Darkest Before Dawn: Sedition and Free Speech in the American West," was published by University of New Mexico Press in August 2005 and is now in paperback edition. The book led to a gubernatorial pardon in May 2006 for all World War I sedition prisoners in Montana. He is co-producer of a one-hour documentary film titled "Jailed for Their Words: When Free Speech Died in Wartime America," released in August 2008.

Clem has been trying to expand the school's international outreach, making several trips to Nepal and Bhutan between 2008 and 2011 to arrange exchanges, internships and collaboration with local journalists and educators. He was the lead trainer in a three-week local reporting clinic that brought eight Burmese journalists to UM in August 2011. In January 2014, he and Denise Dowling led 23 students on an environmental reporting trip to India. Clem and his wife Lucia live in Pattee Canyon. Daughter Cecily is an occupational therapist living in Pasadena, Calif., and has two beautiful daughters. Daughter Alyssa is a criminal defense lawyer in the Bronx. Son Brendan practiced journalism in Palestine and now teaches Arabic in the Missoula County high schools.

Contact Clem at clem.work@umontana.edu

Former professor Bill KnowlesWILLIAM L. KNOWLES: William (Bill) Knowles joined the faculty of The University of Montana School of Journalism in 1986 following a 22-year career as a television news writer, producer and executive for ABC News. He managed bureaus in Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and Atlanta, was a Washington producer throughout Watergate, and covered numerous historic events including the impeachment and resignation of President Nixon and President Ford's trip to China, and the boatlift to Costa Rica and Florida of refugees fleeing Cuba.

At UM he taught courses across the broadcast news curriculum, including television reporting, performance and production. He co-founded the UM Student Documentary Unit whose programs, all broadcast on Montana Public Television, have won major awards. From 1991 to 1997, Knowles was halftime host and sideline reporter for Grizzly Sports Network football and basketball radio broadcasts. He served as chair of UM's Radio-Television department from 2000 to 2003 and chaired the Faculty Senate in 2003-04. He's well known for his mentoring of students, including career counseling of alumni.

Knowles retired with emeritus rank at the end of 2006 and immediately won a year-long assignment as a Fulbright Scholar in Jordan for 2007-08. He taught television journalism writing and production at the University of Jordan and Petra University in Amman. On his return home, Bill resumed work on a still untitled book about Montana's pioneer broadcasters, which he has been researching and writing for two decades.

Bill is a native of Los Angeles. He is a huge baseball fan and amateur jazz historian. He is married to one of Montana's best-known music teachers, Sharon Weaver-Knowles. They live in Missoula with their dogs Tipper and Jacques.

Former professor Greg MacDonaldGREGORY MACDONALD: Gregory MacDonald joined the Journalism faculty in 1974 and retired in 2000. He earned both a B.A. and M.A. from the University of Michigan and worked at radio and television stations in Detroit and Chicago and the Central Educational Network, the precursor to PBS, before being recruited into academia. During his tenure at UM he taught across the broad spectrum of classes in the school but specialized in broadcast writing, production and news.

During his career at UM he chaired the Radio-Television Department off and on, and managed KUFM-FM, the NPR Affiliated station during its first big period of growth. He also established the first regularly scheduled television programs produced at the university and was a regular freelance contributor to CBS News, NBC News, ABC News, CNN, NPR and PBS. MacDonald also consulted with several German universities on journalism education.

Following his retirement from UM, MacDonald was hired as the President and CEO of the Montana Broadcasters Association where he represented free over-the-air broadcasters before the state legislature, Congress and the Federal Communications Commission for more than 13 years before his “final” retirement.

MacDonald remains most proud of his many students who have gone on to become successful as local and network producers, reporters, anchors, directors and managers as well as educators, production company owners, lawyers, banking executives and yes, even a veterinarian.

Former professor Jerry BrownJERRY E. BROWN: Jerry Brown came to the University of Montana in 1999 from Auburn University, where he had been a faculty member for 20 years and department head for the last seven. At UM, he was School of Journalism dean until 2007, when he stepped down from that role to join the faculty.

He received his B.A. in Journalism from Auburn in 1967, an M.A. in creative writing from Hollins College in 1968 and a Ph. D. in English from Vanderbilt University in 1974. He spent a postdoctoral year studying American autobiography at Dartmouth College. From 1976-79, he edited a weekly newspaper near Roanoke, Virginia, an experience he describes as "the perfect preparation for teaching real-world journalism in an academic setting." He wrote a critical biography of the Southern humorist Roy Blount, Jr. in 1990 and was co-author of an award-winning book, "The Federal Road through Georgia, the Creek Nation and Alabama" in 1989.

The youngest of 14 children, he was raised on a farm in Clarke County, Alabama. He and his wife, Libby, a retired high school librarian, have two adult daughters, Brooks and Lindsay. He retired from the j-school in 2009 and lives in North Carolina. He also published a book, Alabama's Mitcham Wars, in 2011.

Former professor Sharon BarrettSHARON BARRETT: Sharon Barrett joined the journalism faculty in September 1981, the first woman in the school’s then 67-year history. During her tenure at UM, Barrett had two Fulbright lectureships in journalism: one at the University of Lima, Peru, in fall 1987, and one at the University ORT of Montevideo, Uruguay, in spring 2003. In summer 1996, she returned to Peru to work with Peruvian journalists, and in the fall of the following year lectured and consulted in Colombia. In addition to her Fulbright work, during a leave from UM, she worked for El Norte, a Spanish language daily in Monterrey, Mexico.

Before coming to UM, Barrett worked as a reporter, city editor, columnist and opinion page editor for the Missoulian. While teaching at UM, she worked summers as an assistant editor on the foreign desk of the Washington Post, wrote book reviews for the Chicago Daily News and later the Chicago Sun-Times, and published freelance magazine articles. Such work added to her credentials as a teacher of opinion writing, copy editing, and freelance magazine writing. She also taught reporting courses and the popular Literature of Journalism. For many years she was director of the school’s internship program.

Barrett received three merits during her tenure, and in 2002, received The University of Montana’s Distinguished Teacher Award. Barrett has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and English from Indiana University, Bloomington, and a master’s in English literature from University of Wisconsin, Madison. She retired from teaching in 2007. 

Contact Sharon at sharon.barrett@umontana.edu.