Promotion Cover Letter

HU Logo

Cathy Hughes School of Communications

Department of Media, Journalism and Film

525 Bryant St. NW, 230

Washington, DC 20059



August 14, 2018


Dear Dean Lawson-Borders and APT Committee Members,

I am truly honored to apply for promotion to full professor. I cannot imagine a more rewarding way to expand my contributions to academia, digital media and the legacy of Howard University. I am especially excited about continuing to contribute to the development of the Department of Media, Journalism and Film.

My online application and digital portfolio includes evidence of how my teaching, research/creative activities, service and professional accomplishments meet and exceed the qualifications for promotion to full professor. They can be reviewed at

The APT requirements are set forth in Recommendation 306-2015 and the departmental Guidelines for Creative Achievement in Appendix A. Taken together, these documents offer examples of scholarly and creative activities that have been deemed “exemplary” and “high” as determined by the faculty, peer institutions and best practices of the discipline.

The journalism section on page 7 of Appendix A also notes the following:

While length may be a consideration, it should not be the overriding consideration in evaluating a piece of work. What is more important is the quality of the work and its impact on public debate and to what degree it speaks for the voiceless in underserved communities. A series of short pieces that are timely can make as valuable a contribution as a book, which can take months or years before it reaches the public.

On promotion from tenured associate professor to full professor, Recommendation 306-2015 states the following in Sections VII.D.1-3 (page 15) and X.B.1-5. (page 19):

Section VII.D.1: Degree Requirements

The candidate shall possess … a master’s degree and professional distinction at the national or international level.

  • I earned a Master of Business Administration from Howard University in 2005, and I am in my second year of the Doctoral Program in Medical Sociology.
  • I assert my “professional distinction at the national level”based on 38 years of extensive experience and exemplary achievements in academia and at top-tier journalism organizations. I have a national reputation and respect as an educator and a journalist who has integrity, high standards and a track record of excellence. This includes positions at leading publications, ranging from the New York Timesto Essence. I am also one of the few African-Americans to serve as editor-in-chief of one or more national magazines, such as BET Weekendand Heart & Soul, where I was also served as vice president, associate publisher and editorial director. As chair of the Department of Media, Journalism and Film, I represent one of the leading communication programs in the country — one of only three accredited in the Washington area. I have collaborated with faculty and leveraged my network to enhance visibility and opportunities for our audio, television, film and journalism programs. In my discipline, I have been a leader in ensuring that the journalism program continues to rank in the top 20 nationally by USA Todayand College Factual.
  • I have been invited to speak at keynote lectures and forums, interviewed for international television and featured in The History Makers, now part of the Library of Congress.
  • I have also received national awards and fellowships from organizations ranging from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (AEJMC) to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), respectively. In my hometown, Project GRAD honored me with the Distinguished Service to Humanity Award as well as state and national proclamations.

Section VII.D.2: Teaching

The candidate shall have at least one and one half (1-1/2) years of satisfactory teaching experience.

  • I have had 17 years of consistently strong teaching evaluations since joining Howard in 2001. My annual teaching evaluations by the school-wide and departmental APT committees, chairs and deans have been consistently rated as outstanding or exemplaryMy peer evaluations by faculty members have been in the 90th percentile. 
  • My cumulative student evaluations average 4 (Effective) on a scale of 5 (Very Effective), which is above the mid-point of 3 for Satisfactory or Moderately Effective.
  • In addition to my international teaching award, my students have won top honors for work under my supervision, including recognition from AEJMC, the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), the Hearst Foundation, the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) and the National HBCU Student News Media Awards from the Black College Communication Association (BCCA).
  • Some of the national organizations above have invited me to speak about my teaching techniques, curriculum enhancements, best practices in experiential learning, making the transition from the newsroom the classroom, and effectively reaching millennials and Generation Z.

Section VII.D.3:  Research and Creative Activities

Within the last six (6) years, the candidate shall have:

  • One peer-reviewed book


  • Media productions (as described in Appendix A.)


  • Published or accepted for publication some combination of the following, which must total five (5) quality publications:
    • Book chapter(s)
    • Refereed articles in legitimate journals

I have exceeded this requirement by submitting 29 research/creative activities, including peer-reviewed media productions, book chapters and articles that have been published or accepted for publication over the last six years in accordance with Recommendation 306-2015 and Appendix A.

Section X.B.4: Service

The candidate shall have provided significant departmental, School or University and/or related community service as determined by the department forwarding the recommendation. 

  • My overall service evaluations by the school-wide and departmental APT committees, chairs and deans have consistently been rated as outstanding or exemplary.
  • My service activities include serving as chair and interim assistant chair of the Department of Media, Journalism and Film; co-chair of the Reaccreditation Committee; School of Communications representative on the University’s Budget Advisory Council; Faculty Senate alternate; Journalism Sequence Coordinator; adviser of 101 Magazine, and; speaker at annual Career Day programs for public schools throughout the region; volunteer at soup kitchens to feed the homeless; and judge for the National Magazine Awards, the White House Correspondents Association awards competitions, the National Association of Black Journalists’ Salute to Excellence and the National Newspaper Publishers Association Merit Awards.

Teaching at Howard fulfills a lifelong dream. The sound guidance of key professors and mentors has been instrumental in my accomplishments. I’ve always tried to do the same for others, and I’ve taken that commitment to an even higher level at Howard. I look forward to making an even stronger contribution in the future.

Thanks for your time and consideration.


Yanick Rice Lamb

Chair and Associate Professor