San Diego State University College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts

School of JMS Founder Establishes Endowed Graduate Fellowship

Diane L. Borden established an endowed graduate fellowship to support studying the role of the Fourth Estate

School of JMS Founder Establishes Endowed Graduate Fellowship

Attending the February 7 luncheon at Riverwalk Golf Course to announce the first Borden graduate fellowship award are, left to right: Mary Darling, Barbara Hartung, Betty Broom, Cathie Atkins, John Eger, David Dozier, Diane Borden, Noah Arceneaux, J.W. August, recipient Kelly Doran, and Lanie Lockwood.

by PSFA News Team

May 4, 2020

May 4, 2020

Diane L. Borden, Ph.D., director emerita of the School of Journalism & Media Studies at San Diego State University, has established an endowed fellowship for graduate students in the School of JMS. The first recipient of the award was announced in February.

Dr. Borden joined the faculty at SDSU as an associate professor in 1998 and was promoted to full professor three years later. From 2001 to 2004, she served as the executive assistant to SDSU President Stephen L. Weber. In 2007, she was named the founding director of the School of Journalism & Media Studies, a position she held until her retirement in 2013.

“As a former newspaper journalist and a scholar in media law and history, I have always believed that the role of the Fourth Estate in society is profoundly important,” Dr. Borden said. “Never has that been more true than now.”

“My hope is that this endowed graduate fellowship will give its recipients the opportunity to examine the centrality of a free press to a healthy democracy – whether the platform is print, broadcast, or digital,” she added.

Kelly Doran, the first recipient of the Borden fellowship, said she was very happy to have been chosen for the stipend. Her master’s thesis project explores digital and social media uses in political campaigns.

“The financial support from this fellowship reduced my stress while pursuing my master’s degree and allowed me to take on less student debt,” Doran said. “I’ll have fewer financial obligations and more freedom once I graduate because of that reduced debt burden. Once I have my degree, I hope to work in digital communications or social media marketing. I am honored to be the first recipient of the award.”

During her tenure at SDSU, Dr. Borden taught mass communication law and theory, as well as courses in journalism at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. She holds a B.A. in technical journalism from Colorado State University, an M.A. in communication from Stanford University, and a Ph.D. in communications from the University of Washington in Seattle.

She came to academe after a lengthy career in professional journalism, including a 10-year tenure with Gannett Co. Inc., during which time she worked as an editor and publisher in a variety of media markets. Dr. Borden’s research specialty focuses on freedom of speech and freedom of the press, in particular as they intersect with gender.

As the founding director of the School of Journalism and Media Studies, Dr. Borden led the new School’s central focus to develop curriculum and research projects focused on the growing importance of digital and social media, a focus the School retains to this day.

She also oversaw the School’s successful effort to become accredited in 2009 by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (ACEJMC), a distinction that puts the School in the top 25 percent of such programs nationwide. In addition, she oversaw the creation of the Center for Science and Media and helped to establish the Glen M. Broom Center for Professional Development in Public Relations (a Center that she also supports philanthropically).

“This fellowship will provide invaluable support for generations of graduate students who want to study mass media and who are interested in careers in all media fields,” said Peggy Shannon, dean of the College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts. “The College is very appreciative of Dr. Borden’s commitment and dedication to higher education and to the University.”

To contribute to this fellowship or learn more about giving through payroll deduction, please contact Aura Despres at (619) 594-3423 or Information about ways to give at SDSU are available online.

The content within this article has been edited by Lizbeth Persons.

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