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David Vergobbi receives teaching award

David James Vergobbi, associate professor of communication, is the recipient of the 2019 Award for Excellence in Teaching from the American Journalism Historians Association. The award is given annually to a college or university teacher who excels at teaching in areas of journalism and mass communication history.

“Receiving this award from AJHA is a capstone point in my career,” said Vergobbi, who has been on faculty at the U since 1992. “Getting the award never occurred to me. This unexpected pleasure is due to the efforts of Erika Pribanic-Smith of UT-Arlington, who did the work of nomination, and my Utah colleagues Kim Mangun and Glen Feighery, who supported the nomination process.”

AJHA’s education committee members noted Vergobbi’s sustained excellence in all areas of teaching as well as a commitment to involvement and interaction as cornerstones of the courses he’s taught.

“After teaching for years, I came across a proverb scribbled on the wall of my daughter's pre-school room that captured, and continues to guide, my pedagogy: ‘Tell me, I'll forget. Show me, I might remember. Involve me, I'll understand,’” Vergobbi said. “Involvement, interaction, passionate expertise, high expectations, authenticity and fun can even overcome digital temptations. And if that doesn't work, sing.”

Vergobbi will be officially recognized during the 38th annual AJHA convention, Oct. 3-5 in Dallas, TX.

Founded in 1981, the American Journalism Historians Association seeks to advance education and research in mass communication history. Members work to raise historical standards and ensure that all scholars and students recognize the vast importance of media history and apply this knowledge to the advancement of society. For more information on AJHA, visit

Last Updated: 8/19/21