- Presidents Circle Laurel Pin (2022)
- Bicentennial Medal (2020)
- The Media School Distinguished Alumni Award (2016)
Brownlee, BA'72, MA'75, joined the faculty of the former School of Journalism in 1981 and received her doctorate from the University of Wisconsin in 1983. She served as associate professor and associate dean of undergraduate studies for the school, and taught magazine editing, grammar and mechanics, and international reporting, among others.
For The Media School, Brownlee has worked on many committees, including the one that is devising the curriculum. She was named IU Journalism chair July 1, 2014.
In addition to ongoing Media School development, Brownlee led the journalism program's national accreditation process this spring, ensuring that the program maintains its nearly half century of accreditation from the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications. Brownlee has participated in journalism's accreditation process in past years and has served as a member of ACEJMC teams that conduct site visits and analysis of other schools seeking accreditation.
At IU, Brownlee has been active on faculty and other committees, including the Council of Independent College's Academic Leadership Program.
"I've enjoyed those positions a lot in the sense of being able to work with faculty and students to try to make this a better place and to help people resolve issues that are important to them," she said.
Outside IU, Brownlee has served as a consultant for various communications and rural development projects in Central and South America, and her research focuses on international communications. She twice led the journalism class that visited Chile as part of the study of South American media.
"My strongest legacy has to do with the stewardship of the journalism program in an administrative role," Brownlee said. "I have taught a lot over the years, but I think this last period of time is most important for this program. I was grateful to be here and to be able to steer us through our reaccreditation this last year and the transition this year into the new Media School."
Bonnie Brownlee received the Bicentennial Medal for her distinguished contributions to Indiana University.