Founder and Executive Director
Lillian Lodge Kopenhaver, Ed.D., Dean Emeritus and professor, is a nationally-known authority and researcher on the First Amendment and the student press. She was the 2009 recipient of the Outstanding Woman in Journalism and Mass Communication Education Award. The award, which recognizes a woman who has represented fellow women in the academy through excellence and high standards in journalism education, was given by the Commission of the Status of Women in AEJMC. She is past president of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, College Media Advisers, and the Student Press Law Center, was awarded the Wells Key, the highest honor of the Society of Professional Journalists, the Gold Key of the Columbia Scholastic Press Association and is author of more than 100 scholarly articles, monographs and books. The FIU Alumni Association presented her with its highest honor, the Torch Award, as Outstanding Faculty Member in 2000. She was inducted into the National Hall of Fame of both College Media Advisers and the Community College Journalism Association.
She also received the Distinguished Service Award from CMA and from the Newspaper Division of AEJMC, and the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Rowan University in 2005.
Her area of research and publication revolves around the First Amendment rights of the press, with special emphasis on scholastic and collegiate student media. Other areas of expertise include ethical and legal issues and visual communication design. She has professional experience as Lifestyles Editor and Reporter at the Ocean County Daily Observer (NJ). She served as dean of the school from 2003-2011.
Kopenhaver serves as the executive director of the Lillian Lodge Kopenhaver Center for the Advancement of Women in Communication, which she founded. She was also honored in 2011 by FIU President Mark Rosenberg with the FIU Distinguished University Service Medallion as an “exemplary role model” of the industry and the community and for demonstrating “a vision, initiative and drive that have been instrumental for almost four decades in the development of the university and the school.”