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Gardner, Mary A(delaide) 1920-2004

GARDNER, Mary A(delaide) 1920-2004


See index for CA sketch: Born July 19, 1920, in Chillicothe, OH; died of complications from Alzheimer's disease, January 22, 2004, in East Lansing, MI. Journalist, educator, and author. A trailblazer in the field of journalism education, Gardner was a longtime professor at Michigan State University who also had a great influence on the journalism in Mexico. After earning an associate's degree in journalism from Stephens College in 1938, she received a B.A. from Ohio State University and worked briefly as a bacteriologist in Evansville, Indiana. Gardner joined the U.S. Marines with the onset of World War II, reaching the rank of captain before she was discharged in 1946. But she remained in the reserves until 1974, retiring as a full colonel. With the war over, Gardner returned to her studies at Ohio State, receiving a master's degree in 1953 and a Ph.D. in Latin American and International Affairs in 1960; she also was the first woman to earn a doctorate in journalism from the University of Minnesota, which she also completed in 1960. Meanwhile, she was gaining journalism experience as an assistant for the World Affairs Program and copy editor at the Minneapolis Star. In 1961, she joined the faculty at the University of Texas at Austin as an assistant professor, moving on to Michigan State University in 1966. While teaching at Michigan State, Gardner often worked summers as a consultant to El Norte, a newspaper in Monterey, Mexico, where she trained reporters until 1990 and helped the paper become the most respected in the country. She was always very interested in the field as it pertained to Mexico and Latin America as a whole, and this led to her founding of the Hispanics in Journalism Program at Michigan State. For this and other achievements, she was inducted into the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame in 1998 and into the National Association of Hispanics in Journalism Hall of Fame in 2003. Gardner, who was the first tenured woman professor at Michigan State, was also awarded the Distinguished Faculty Award in 1982 and the Woman Achievement Award in 1986, both from Michigan State, and the Mary Gardner Scholars honor society was named in her honor. Retiring from teaching in 1991, Gardner was the author of The Inter-American Press Association: Its Fight for Freedom of the Press (1967) and The Press of Latin America: A Tentative and Selected Bibliography in Spanish and Portuguese (1973).



Detroit News, January 25, 2004.

Lansing State Journal, January 23, 2004.

New York Times, February 2, 2004, p. A23.

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