W. Wat Hopkins, a professor of communication at Virginia Tech, has been named the Roy H. Park Distinguished Visiting Professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of North Carolina (UNC) for the spring semester of 2010.

Hopkins will teach a course in communication law, work with graduate students and present his research during a colloquium series. The Triad Foundation of Ithaca, N.Y., funds the professorship.

Hopkins, who teaches communication law and journalism courses in the Department of Communication, has published three books and a number of articles on free speech topics. In addition, he is editor and co-author of a communication law textbook that is revised annually, and is editor of a law journal.

Hopkins is also a founding member of the Virginia Freedom of Information Advisory Council and is a member of the board of directors and past president of the Virginia Coalition for Open Government.

The Park Professorship is a one-semester appointment. Past Park Distinguished Visiting Professors include John Merrill of the University of Missouri, Jay Black of the University of South Florida, and David Weaver of Indiana University.

Hopkins, who received both his master’s and Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina and his bachelor’s degree from Western Carolina University, will be at North Carolina from January through May 2010.

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