Dr. Lee Becker, director of the James M. Cox Jr. Center for International Mass Communication Training and Research and a journalism professor at the University of Georgia's Grady College, was awarded a Doctor Honoris Causa by the Senate of the National School of Political Studies and Public Administration (NSPSPA) in Bucharest, Romania.
The NSPSA awarded the title to Becker for his career in journalism and media research, specifically his interest in audiences' uses of mass media and the effects of media messages on society. Becker also has helped build a tradition of study regarding journalism and mass communication education, according to the NSPSPA award letter.
The university gave particular thanks to Becker for his constant support and cooperation to NSPSPA's communication and public relations program.
Becker joins a distinguished list of other Doctor Honoris Causa degree holders, all which are recognized by NSPSPA and its faculties as prominent personalities whose achievements in their fields have made them models for future generations, including Peter Schieder, president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Dr. Jamie Shea, deputy assistant secretary of NATO, and British sociologist Anthony Giddens.
Becker received the award in ceremonies at the NSPSPA campus in downtown Bucharest on Nov. 4. Dr. Remus Pricopie, rector of the University, presided at the event of approximately 100 faculty and students.
Dr. Tudor Vlad, associate director of the Cox International Center, gave one of testimonials before the awarding of the degree. Dr. Nicoleta Corbu, dean of the College of Communication and Public Relations and a Fulbright Scholar in the Cox Center in 2008, also spoke on Dr. Becker's behalf.
NSPSPA was founded in January of 1990, following the fall of the communist regime in Romania. The Doctor Honoris Causa given to Becker was the twenty-third awarded by the university since its founding.
The university attempts to balance its awards between public and academic figures, reflecting the nature of the institution. Becker's award was the first given to a communication scholar.