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TSU Alumna, NPR Producer Succumbs to Cancer

Teshima Walker
Teshima Walker

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Award-winning journalist and producer Teshima Walker died August 16 after a two-year struggle with colon cancer. Walker, a graduate of Tennessee State University, is best known as the producer of Michel Martin’s popular news roundup show, Tell Me More.

Walker, a longtime NPR staffer, climbed the ranks of the news organization. In 2000 she joined the outlet as a journalism fellow for the program All Things Considered, and later became a producer for The Tavis Smiley Show and News and Notes. She joined Tell Me More in 2007 as a senior supervising producer and became the show’s executive producer in 2011. A Chicago native, Walker first came to NPR by way of WBEZ, where she was a senior producer for morning newsmagazine Eight Forty-Eight.

Walker’s NPR colleagues knew her as a “Southside Chicago girl to the core,” with an infectious laugh, and as someone who put herself aside for everyone.

“Teshima was a terrific journalist who worked tirelessly to bring new and diverse voices to air,” said Ellen McDonnell, executive editor for NPR News Programming. “She was a phenomenal advocate for the show, the staff and the audience. Tell Me More – and everyone who was lucky enough to work with Teshima – thrived under her leadership.”

“Teshima made us all want to dig a little deeper, think harder, and be better,” shared Tell Me More host Michel Martin. “She was everything you could want in a manager and friend: kind and open-hearted when you needed her to be, and tough, but fair, when you needed her to be. We are all very grateful for the time we had with her, and thank her husband, parents and sister for sharing these precious last days with us.”

Walker graduated from Tennessee State University with a degree in Communications. She was a lifetime member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. Walker received her Master of Public Administration degree from the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Walker was 44. She is survived by her husband, writer Jimi Izrael, her parents, William and Vonceal Walker, and her sister, Eureva Walker.

Department of Media Relations

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About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university and is a comprehensive, urban, coeducational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top Universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912 Tennessee State University celebrates 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu