Mary I. Benedict · 1986
Mary I. Benedict is retiring as director of the Indiana High School Journalism Institute and associate professor of journalism at Indiana University. Before she took up college teaching in 1972, she was a longtime high school journalism teacher in Indianapolis.
For three years while she was in college at Butler University, Professor Benedict was a control room technician for Indianapolis radio station WIBC. She has both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from Butler.
She worked for the American Red Cross in World War II, serving in the South Pacific on what seems a tour guide of that theatre — Saipan, Guam, Kwajalein, Okinawa, Japan and Korea. She worked in service clubs and ran a radio program. She taught 23 years in high schools, mostly at Washington and Arlington High Schools.
At I.U. Professor Benedict has directed an institute which attracted hundreds of high school students from Indiana and all over the country each summer. She has traveled widely as a speaker at conventions, workshops, and seminars on high school journalism, and has been a popular keynoter to set the tone of these meetings. Her enthusiasm for journalism, teaching, and young people is contagious, and she has inspired others to follow in her footsteps.
Professor Benedict has taught not only the supervision of school publications course at Indiana, but has been the lead teacher several years for the basic writing course. She also has developed the public relations course and has been adviser to student organizations interested in public relations.
She also was adviser to the student chapter of Women in Communications, Inc., and won a national adviser award.
A past president of both the Indianapolis and Bloomington chapters of Women in Communications, Inc., Professor Benedict is a member of the Women’s Press Club of Indiana which gave her the Kate Milner Rabb Award for outstanding contributions in the field of communications.
Other honors have included the Newspaper Fund High School Adviser of the Year Award, Columbia Scholastic Press Association Gold Key Award, Ball State University Award for contributions to scholastic journalism, Journalism Education Association Medal of Merit, and Wabash Valley Press Conference Award. In August she will give the Honor Lecture, the highest honor of the Secondary Education Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications at the national convention in Norman, Oklahoma.
Professor Benedict is on the board of Quill and Scroll, high school honor society. She also is active in civic work, serving on the board of the Girls Club of Monroe County and the local unit of the American Cancer Society.
She has written two books, “Principal’s Guide to High School Journalism,” and “The Computer Connection: Putting Computers to Work in High School Publication Programs.”