John Gillis, who recently began his 29th year with the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), was named to a four-year term on the University of South Dakota (USD) Media & Journalism Department Advisory Council.
The purpose of the council is the advancement and strengthening of the department in its promotion of academically excellent student programs and activities, as well as to strengthen ties between the students and alumni. The meetings are held in the Al Neuharth Media Center. Neuharth, who was a 1950 graduate of the then-USD Department of Journalism, founded the Gannett Company and USA Today.
Gillis, who earned both his bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in mass communication at USD, administers the NFHS’ National High School Spirit of Sport Award and National High School Heart of the Arts Award programs; is writer/producer/host of the “NFHS Now” Internet streaming program, as well as the “NFHS Today,” “AD Conference Today” and “NSLS Today” closed-circuit television programs, and is writer/producer of numerous NFHS videos.
In 1998, Gillis received the “Outstanding Alumni Graduate Degree Award” from the department, and in 2001, he was the featured alumnus in the department’s annual alumni newsletter. In addition, Gillis was the featured USD alumnus in the fall 2008 issue of “The South Dakotan” (USD’s alumni publication), and in 2012, he was the featured alumnus of the USD Department of Contemporary Media and Journalism’s online alumni publication.
While at USD, Gillis served for three semesters as sports editor of the student newspaper “The Volante,” and for three semesters as sports director of USD’s student television station “KYOT-Television.”