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Alison Burns

Alison Burns

Alison Burns


Broadcast journalist Alison Burns is a lecturer and Ph.D. student in the Philip Merrill College of Journalism.

Burns is the director of Merrill's College Park Scholars Media, Self and Society living and learning community, and served as a Merrill adjunct, teaching a variety of courses -- all while working on her Ph.D. in Journalism Studies.

In her first year directing the Merrill Scholars program, Burns was recognized with Scholars' Ken Joseph Outstanding Mentor Award after being nominated by her students.

Burns, who received her undergraduate degree from UMD in 1993, has worked in news since, mostly as a Washington correspondent and producer for Cox Media Group’s nationwide network of TV and radio stations. As a Washington correspondent, she produced and reported multiple live reports a day from the U.S. Capitol, the White House and the Pentagon. She also covered major breaking news and investigative stories.

She continues to freelance as a producer, while teaching broadcast news writing and reporting, and other courses at the college.

Burns is also researching ways to improve and expand journalism education. She created a “FACTS about Fake News” media literacy workshop with the goal of empowering high school students and others to recognize the value of journalism and make the fight against “fake news” their own. The project received a 2019 Best Practices in Teaching Award from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.

She was selected as a 2017-2019 UMD Do Good Faculty Fellow to develop service-learning programs that help students improve community engagement on campus. She also received a Making a Difference Award from the UMD Office of Community Engagement for creating a class that partnered college journalism students with Prince George’s County middle school students. 

Burns and her Ph.D. adviser, Dr. Linda Steiner, won a $10,000 faculty-student research award for the 2021-22 academic year to study faculty perspectives on innovations in journalism education.

B.A., University of Maryland

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