NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The advisor for the TSU student newspaper, The Meter, has won the 2014-2015 Journalism Educator of the Year, an honor presented by the Southeast Journalism Conference. Harriet Vaughan-Wallace, an adjunct teaching in the Department of Communications, received the award during the conference Friday, Feb. 27, held at Georgia State University in Atlanta.
“Winning, is never about the person who won, but about how they touched others with their work,” said Vaughan-Wallace. “I am beyond humbled and thankful for this honor. A lot of work goes in to teaching our students and overseeing the newspaper. I dedicate and sacrifice a lot to do so. The fact that my students thought enough of me to nominate me, means absolutely everything to me.
”My mother, Dr. Verla Vaughan, a former tenured professor at Tennessee State University in the nursing department, always tried to get me to leave journalism for teaching. I fought it for many years. She taught me how to teach. She always had a laptop with her and was always meeting with her students. I guess mother knows best,” she said.
Vaughan-Wallace joined TSU in January 2012 as advisor to The Meter while teaching several classes including Print/Online 1, Print/Online II, Multimedia Reporting and Feature Writing. An award-winning, multimedia journalist, Vaughan-Wallace worked for various television stations and newspapers throughout the country and provided special event reporting for FOX and CBS network news. She now manages WTNTribune Radio where she is the lead host of the popular radio show, Pumps & Politics.
Anastasia Williams, senior Mass Communication student and Meter Managing Editor, said Vaughan-Wallace has changed her life in several of ways, and is a leader she can look up to and follow in her footsteps.
“Being a member of her class has allowed me to experience real-life situations,” said Williams. “My classmates and I have experienced the opportunity of a lifetime from being in her class.”
Senior mass communication student, Chantell Copeland, also praised Vaughan-Wallace, saying “this woman has taken educating students to another level.”
“Instead of just giving us assignments and readings to try to teach us the material, she takes on a hands-on approach,” said Copeland. “By doing this, it prepares us for what is to come, and what will be expected of us once we graduate. She cuts us no slack and turns our average classroom into an actual newsroom.”
According to Dr. Terry Likes, Chair of the Department of Communications, Vaughan-Wallace has done a “terrific” job changing the culture of the Meter. “She has changed The Meter into an uplifting place to work, creating the best product seen in several years,” added Likes. “She is following industry best practices by producing news content across multiple media platforms and turning all of this into an award-winning product.”
The Southeast Journalism Conference is a vibrant learning community of journalists honing their craft through professional development and the Best of the South Collegiate Journalism Competition. An organization comprised of more than 45 member colleges and universities in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee, SEJC was created to encourage greater interest in student journalism and to form closer ties among journalism schools in the Southeast United States.
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