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When it comes to real-world experience, Charles Fair had plenty to draw from while he was an 11-year faculty member in the Department of Communication. Having served in editorial and reporting capacities for many newspapers and news organizations, he could apply many personal lessons in journalism to his work with UCM students.
The professor emeritus of communication divided his time between teaching and advising UCM’s student newspaper, the “Muleskinner,” after joining the department in 2000. Looking for opportunities to teach students how to work in a modern daily news operation, he also acquired “Digitalburg.com” for the “Muleskinner,” and assumed advisement, publishing and co-editing responsibilities for the online publication.
Under Fair’s mentorship, the “Muleskinner” won more than 100 awards from the Missouri College Media Association and the Society of Professional Journalists. It was twice named Best Overall Newspaper among Missouri universities with more than 10,000 students, and many of the news and feature stories that were winning entries in competitions came from students in Fair’s classes. The “Muleskinner” also was twice awarded the Gold Medallion Certificate of the Columbia Scholastic Press Association of the Columbia University School of Journalism, under his mentorship.
In addition to his work with UCM students, Fair was adviser for the Missouri College Media Association for two one-year terms, which included responsibility for planning and organizing the group’s annual conference.
Before coming to UCM, Fair combined his news experience with work in higher education, serving as chair of the Department of Mass Media at Marietta College in Ohio, and teaching at Florida International University, Kansas State University, Sam Houston State University, Virginia Commonwealth University, University of Toledo, and The Ohio State University. His education includes a bachelor’s degree from Bowling Green State University, master’s degree from Ohio State, and doctorate from Ohio University.