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Brandt Chair Earns Krieghbaum Under-40 Award

The Brandt Chair in the College of Communication Arts and Sciences (CAS) is one of only a few endowed chairs in the world dedicated specifically to the field of public relations.

John Besley

In August 2013, the Ellis N. Brandt Chair in Public Relations, John Besley, became the first MSU faculty member to earn the Krieghbaum Under-40 Award. The award honors young mass communication faculty who are outstanding in their teaching, research and public service.

The Brandt Chair in the College of Communication Arts and Sciences (CAS) is one of only a few endowed chairs in the world dedicated specifically to the field of public relations, says CAS Dean Pamela Whitten.

The Gerstacker Foundation recently made a $500K gift to increase support for the Brandt Chair, which they previously funded with a gift of the same size in 2005. The chair is named after Ellis N. Brandt (BA '43 Journalism), a vice president of the foundation and recipient of the college's Outstanding Alumni Award.

Besley works with the American Association for the Advancement of Science to find ways to help scientists communicate more effectively. And he has a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture aimed at understanding how the public thinks about genetically modified food.

His research explores the relationships between media use, public engagement, and health and environmental-risk perceptions. One of his current roles includes serving as the primary author on behalf of the National Science Board for a chapter on "Science and Technology: Public Attitudes and Public Understanding" for its 2014 edition of Science and Engineering Indicators.

For more information on making a gift to the College of Communication Arts and Sciences, contact Senior Director of Development Meredith Jagutis at jagutism@msu.edu; 517-432-5672.