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A Tribute to a Grand Pioneer of Media Literacy Education: Marieli Rowe




Inspired, brilliant, empathetic, and classy are all words that describe my friend, mentor, and confidant — Marieli Rowe. She was at times for me the voice of reason and the one who supported many of my ideas and reflections on media literacy education…and much more.


We met at Appalachian State University what seems like a lifetime ago. However, even before then, her name and The Journal of Media Literacy was introduced to me via the Canadian media literacy educator Barry Duncan. The work of the journal was incredibly important to the direction and growth of media literacy in the United States. It was in many ways Marieli’s voice, vision, and her strong spirit that allowed for the journal to continue and reach so many people worldwide. She was a force to be reckoned with in the most positive way. Her connections and work with George Gerbner, Jean Pierre-Goulet, Len Masterman, and so many of the greats in this field is a tribute to who she represented in this work.


Marieli’s kindness to people was evident in every meeting. She is an example of how this field should exist and co-exist. In her own words, Marieli saw media literacy as a circle of friends working together for the greater good. The National Telemedia Council and The Journal of Media Literacy was the bridge for completing that task. For her, it was the work of supporting, educating, and growing media literacy that needed to stand out so that it would be recognized nationally and internationally — not the individual. Yet, as an individual, she was remarkable. Her obituary, included here, tells us so much more about this truly astonishing human being.


Till the very end, she still had so many ideas and so much more she wanted to do. It will be our job as a community to continue her legacy. I will miss her more than the words expressed here, and will aspire to continue her work.