Dr. Senat has taught media law at OSU since joining the faculty in fall 1998. Among the other journalism courses he has taught are public affairs reporting, media style & structure, basic reporting, censorship, editing and the graduate-level ethics class.
Students have won national, regional and statewide recognition for their reporting in his public affairs reporting course and as independent studies with him. Among the awards are four top-14 placements in the Hearst Journalism Awards Program, which is often described as the collegiate Pulitzer Prizes. Included was a third-place and $1,000 in the in-depth writing category.
The same student’s work also was recognized as among the best in investigative reporting by college journalists nationwide when it was honored as one of four finalists in the student division of the Investigative Reporters and Editors Awards.
Senat is the author of “Mass Communication Law in Oklahoma.” This book identifies and analyzes all the state and federal statutes, federal and state judicial decisions, and state attorney general opinions shaping Oklahoma’s media law. No other scholar has connected the dots between these primary sources to explain the state’s mass communication law.
Senat also writes an open government blog for FOI Oklahoma Inc. The blog was selected as one of the Top Ten Best New Blogs in Oklahoma for 2009. The blog has been read by more than 14,000 unique visitors from all 50 states and 82 countries/territories.
Senat is quoted frequently by national and statewide news outlets on open government and media law issues. His model letter for public records requests is widely used.
He has spoken on freedom of information, First Amendment and journalism education issues at a number of professional and academic conferences, including the IRE National Conference, IRE Better Watchdog Workshops, AEJMC National Conference, Edward R. Murrow Program for International Journalists, and SPJ Region 8 conferences.
He served as the 2007 president of FOI Oklahoma Inc., a nonprofit representing a statewide coalition of open government advocates.
Senat received the 2007 Marian Opala First Amendment Award and the Society of Professional Journalists’ 2005 Award for Distinguished Service to the First Amendment in Oklahoma.
Students selected him as the Outstanding Professor in the School of Journalism & Broadcasting for 2008-09, a Golden Torch Award winner for the College of Arts & Sciences in 2004-05, and as the Outstanding Professor in the college for 1999-2000.
Prior to becoming a college professor, Senat was a reporter for The Commercial Appeal in Memphis, Tenn., and the Tulsa (Okla.) World.
A complete vita can be found here.