Larry L. Burriss, professor of journalism, is widely known for his journalistic acumen, contemporary commentary across multiple media platforms, and as a writer and producer of news. He received his B.A. in Broadcast Journalism and M.A. in Journalism from Ohio State University, his M.A. in Human Relations from the University of Oklahoma, his Ph.D. in Communication from Ohio State University and his J.D. from Concord Law School. The consummate professional in the academy, his distinguished career has sought to bring his commitment to be informed and to inform to the public at large, to the academy and, importantly, to his students. He has practiced his journalistic craft while all the time championing inclusive and reasoned debate about the issues of the day—and always challenging his students to do likewise. Dr. Burriss drew inspiration for this lasting commitment from his early days as a reporter and anchor for WATH/WXTQ in Athens, Ohio and as a Public Affairs Officer for Andersen Air Force Base in Guam during his military service.
Dr. Burriss' research is wide-ranging and speaks to the breadth of his intellect. He has conducted in-depth studies of presidential press conferences, NASA photography, radio news, legal issues related to adolescent use of social networking sites, legal research, and Middle Earth among others. Dr. Burriss has published extensively in both academic and popular publications. He authored the textbook, Newscraft (1982), and co-authored, with Rich Barnet, Controversies in the Music Industry (2001). He has numerous articles published in the Journalism Quarterly and Journalism Educator as well as articles in the Journal of Visual Literacy, Visual Communication Quarterly, Journal of Research in Childhood Education, Multicultural Education and Popular Culture Review. Dr. Burriss has book chapters in a broad range of books including Research Methods inCommunication (2011), Adolescent Online Social Communication and Behavior: Relationship Formation on the Internet (2009), It's Elementary; Special Topics in Elementary Education (2002), Visual Journalism: A Guide for New Media Professionals (2002), The Multi-cultural Agenda: Striving for Equity and Justice (2001), and Implications for Teacher Education: Cross-Ethnic and Cross-Racial Dynamics of Instruction( 2000). He was a contributing author to the Dictionary of Political Communication and he is author of several articles in the soon to be published Encyclopedia of the Fourth Amendment. Most recently, he has demonstrated his intellectual range with authoring a paper entitled, "The Bard as the Bar: William Shakespeare and the U.S. Supreme Court" which has been accepted to this Fall's 36th annual Ohio Valley Shakespeare Conference and publishing with Dr. Kathleen G. Burriss, his spouse, an article entitled "Fearful People: Parental Perceptions and Children's Outdoor Activity" in the Delta Journal of Education.
Sought after for his contemporary commentary in print and broadcast forums, Dr. Burriss has authored hundreds of news articles for the print media and has broadcast his commentary in venues from Albany, New York to Nevada City, Nevada. He can be seen frequently on local WTVF-TV's "Open Line", "Morning Line", and "Inside this Week". As a journalist, Dr. Burris currently researches, writes and produces weekly media commentaries for both WMOT-FM and WGNS-AM. In addition, he writes a weekly media column for the Murfreesboro Post. His commentaries are considered to be lucid, timely, and always factually beyond reproach. He also makes numerous public service presentations to audiences locally and regionally.
Dr. Burriss is the epitome of the "master teacher" and is recognized by his students and colleagues alike for his outstanding teaching in journalism. His colleagues are impressed by his passion for his students, his students are inspired and captivated by his knowledge of the subject matter, and both enjoy his quit wit and lively sense of humor. As a professor of journalism, he teaches undergraduate courses in introductory and media law and at the graduate level he teaches quantitative research methods and media law. A curriculum innovator, he developed and taught the first MTSU online course: Media Law. As a member of the journalism faculty, he developed courses in Advanced Radio News, Television News, and Mass Media and Society and he also directed the development of the masters' degree in media management. Most recently he has developed an interdisciplinary and timely course in journalism and electronic media communication: Mass Media and National Security.
Dr. Burriss is the recipient of the MTSU Distinguished Educator in Distance Learning Award (2001), the Tennessee Board of Regents Innovation Award (2000), MTSU Outstanding Achievement in Instructional Technology Award (1998), and was recognized by the National Conference on College Teaching and Learning with its prestigious Innovative Excellence in Teaching, Learning and Technology Award (1996). He is a nine-time first –place recipient of the Tennessee Associated Press Radio Contest.
Dr. Burriss has had a significant impact on the journalism program and the College of Mass Communication at MTSU, having served in a leadership role at every administrative level at both the department and college levels. He has served as, Chair of the Department of Journalism, the Interim Director of the School of Journalism, Director of Mass Communication Graduate Studies and Interim Dean of the College of Mass Communication. This past year he served as Interim Director of the College's Masters of Mass Communication program. Always willing to devote time and energy to the best interests of MTSU, Dr. Burriss has established a record of extraordinary University service. He is a member of the University Honors Council and the Graduate Council and he has further demonstrated his professional commitment through his work on department, college and university committees. He has also demonstrated leadership in the academy. Dr. Burriss has served at a MTSU Faculty Senate President and was appointed by Governor Phil Bredesen to serve as the faculty member of the Tennessee Board of Regents representing the higher education faculty in the Regents system.
Dr. Larry L. Burriss has distinguished himself as master teacher, journalist, commentator, curriculum and program innovator, and professional service leader and is a most worthy recipient of the MTSU 2011 Career Achievement Award.