When professor Beth Wood died in November 2009 from complications of treatment for lung cancer, she left many legacies. One legacy is the hundreds of public relations students who loved her energetic teaching style. Another legacy is the Beth Wood Award, which supports an international study experience for a journalism major.
Twelve years ago, Wood set up the award as an estate gift to support students with financial need and a record of academic excellence.
“The award gives us the ability to support students who might not otherwise be able to go abroad,” said Dean Brad Hamm.
Wood, 58, taught public relations at the graduate and undergraduate levels and was a leader in service-learning classes in the School of Journalism that assisted many area nonprofits. She was a two-time winner of the Trustees Teaching Award in the School of Journalism. Wood was a 1973 graduate of the IU Journalism and earned her law degree from the IU School of Law in Indianapolis in 1977. She joined the School of Journalism faculty in 2002.
Gifts such as Wood’s can change the life of a young person, particularly someone who has never had the opportunity to be immersed in another culture, Hamm said.
“When we connect our students to the larger world, we allow them to learn about journalism and culture, about history and politics, about global and local issues” he said. “And we hope it will change their lives.”