category: Recognition

Dr. Kortni Alston

Assoc. Prof of Journalism & Communications & Chair of the Dept. of Communication Art, & Design

Chair of the Department of Communication, Art and Design and Associate Professor of Journalism and Communication Dr. Kortni Alston Lemon has represented and highlighted her work at Gardner-Webb University this year on a global and national scale. As a happiness researcher and scholar, she presented her research to various prestigious organizations, such as the American Press Institute, Radio Television Digital News Association and National Association of Science Writers. She also and guided journalists and news leaders on applying positive psychology to enhance workplace well-being.

In July 2024, she will participate in the American Press Institute’s summit designed to help news leaders focus on belonging at work. Her role will help build morale and foster positive work cultures through positive psychology. In August 2024, at the NABJ’s convention in Chicago, she will interview Chanté Griffin at the NABJ Authors Showcase. Lemon advised Griffin, who is an outgoing Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Journalism Fellow. Griffin’s book, “Loving Your Black Neighbor as Yourself,” published by Penguin Random House, significantly contributes to the dialogue on racial healing.

Previous Recognition

June 2024

On June 13, 2024, Lemon will address news leaders on prioritizing mental health at the RTDNA’s exclusive news leadership retreat in Milwaukee, Wis. Her session, “Prioritize Your Mental Health and Transform Your Newsroom into Workplace Well-being Warriors,” will take place at the historic Pfister Hotel. On June 25, 2024, she will lead a 90-minute self-care workshop for journalists at the inaugural National Summit to End Stigma around Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders in Salt Lake City, Utah.

She’s earned two significant certifications: Mental Health First Aid from the National Council for Mental Wellbeing and the Question, Persuade, and Refer (QPR) Gatekeeper Training from the QPR Institute. 

May 2024

Her husband, Ken, is the 23rd national president of the NABJ. In her role as chair of the Department of Communication, Art, and Design and as a professor of journalism and communication at Gardner-Webb, she’s encouraged to see both students and faculty actively joining this influential organization. In May 2024, she played a pivotal role in the NABJ membership drive, further expanding the organization’s reach. 

On May 22, she participated in the Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Journalism panel titled “Mental Health Matters Too: How to Practice Self-Care When Reporting on World Events and Dealing with Social Media Feedback.” Mrs. Carter appointed Lemon as an advisory board member for the Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Journalism Fellowship.

April 2024

In April 2024, she participated at the Broadcast Education Association (BEA) convention in Las Vegas by organizing and moderating a panel discussing the importance of human and social capital by incorporating industry professionals into the classroom. This convention is a unique combination of academic and industry, with BEA offering more than 250 sessions, events, and workshops, attracting over 1,200 attendees. BEA registrants also have access to the National Association of Broadcasters show, which draws more than 100,000 industry leaders in broadcasting. Her panel included representatives from WBTV and WSOC-TV in Charlotte, N.C., to share their experiences and insights into the Gardner-Webb Department of Communication, Art, and Design Professional Takeover Day. This initiative allows industry professionals to offer real-world perspectives to students.

March 2024

In March 2024, the executive board of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) established a new task force dedicated to community wellness, and Lemon serves as co-chair. The task force is dedicated to promoting physical and mental health among members. This prestigious role of developing a task force continues to elevate NABJ’s position as the world’s largest organization for journalists of color.

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