Robin Roberts to receive 2014 Cronkite Award

June 4, 2014

Robin Roberts, the award-winning anchor of “Good Morning America” on ABC News, will be the 2014 recipient of the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism, Arizona State University announced today.

Roberts will accept the 31st annual award, given by the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, at a luncheon ceremony Oct. 6 at the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel. Robin Roberts, the award-winning anchor of “Good Morning America” on ABC News Download Full Image

“I’m truly humbled to join the list of remarkable journalists who have received the Walter Cronkite Award,” said Roberts. “I'm honored to be selected and look forward to spending time with the students at Arizona State University. I know we're all in great hands with this next generation of journalists.”

Roberts was named co-anchor of “Good Morning America” in 2005, leading the broadcast to the top of the morning show ratings and three consecutive Emmy Awards for Outstanding Morning Program. With more than 20 years of broadcasting experience, she has conducted interviews with newsmakers that include President Barack Obama, Academy Award-winning actor Sidney Poitier and basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

From 1990-2005, Roberts was a contributor to ESPN, serving as one of the network’s most versatile commentators. Her assignments included anchoring “SportsCenter” and contributing to “NFL Primetime.” She also served as a contributor to “Good Morning America” while working at ESPN.

Recently, Roberts faced public battles with a rare bone marrow disorder called myelodysplastic syndrome in 2012 and breast cancer in 2007. For her courageous spirit, she has been recognized with awards and honors, including the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the Congressional Families Cancer Prevention Program, ESPN’s Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPYS and the prestigious Peabody Award for “Robin’s Journey” in 2013.

Roberts has reported on news around the globe, including a trip to Africa with former President Bill Clinton for a first-hand look at the AIDS crisis. She also played an important role in the coverage of the 2008 presidential election and Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

A native of the Mississippi Gulf Coast, Roberts graduated with a communications degree from Southeastern Louisiana University in 1983. She was a standout performer on the women’s basketball team, ending her career as the school’s all-time leading scorer and rebounder.

Roberts started her broadcasting career in college at WHMD/WFPR radio in Hammond, Louisiana, where she was the sports director. From there, she worked in sports broadcasting for television stations in Mississippi, Nashville, Tennessee and Atlanta before joining ESPN.

She is the recipient of numerous broadcast awards and is the author of two books, “Everybody's Got Something” and “From the Heart: Eight Rules to Live By.”

“Robin Roberts’ outstanding contributions to our profession and the great personal courage she has demonstrated make her the perfect recipient for this year’s Cronkite Award,” said Cronkite School Dean Christopher Callahan. “We are excited for our students, alumni, supporters and friends to hear her inspirational story and celebrate her career.”

Other Cronkite Award recipients include TV anchors Diane Sawyer, Brian Williams and Tom Brokaw; newspaper journalists Ben Bradlee, Helen Thomas and Bob Woodward; and media executives Katharine Graham, Al Neuharth and Bill Paley. Cronkite personally presented the award during its first quarter-century. The CBS News anchor died in 2009.

The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, named in Cronkite’s honor in 1984, prepares the next generation of journalists in both the time-honored fundamentals embraced by Cronkite and the multimedia skills necessary to thrive as journalists in the digital age.

Housed in a $71 million state-of-the-art media complex in downtown Phoenix, the school has been featured in both The New York Times and The Times of London as a leader in 21st-century journalism education. It is the home of the Carnegie-Knight News 21 initiative, the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism, Cronkite News Service, Cronkite NewsWatch, the New Media Innovation Lab, the Cronkite Public Relations Lab, Cronkite Sports and the Public Insight Network Bureau.

Reporter , ASU News


Students showcase writing, photography talent in latest ASU 'Downtown' journal

June 4, 2014

With a vibe as fresh and eclectic as ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus, the eighth annual issue of the journal “Write On, Downtown” celebrates the city, student life and exemplary writing and photography by students on the urban campus.

The cover art – a nighttime shot taken outside Phoenix’s Welcome Diner – puts readers in the downtown scene, settling them into the warm neon glow of a favorite neighborhood hangout. Rachel Rime, Rosemarie Dombrowski, Desiree Pharias Download Full Image

Between the covers, 36 pieces of writing and 26 photos – selected from 250 submissions – showcase the talents of ASU students completing degrees in everything from kinesiology, creative writing and English education to political science, journalism and pre-professional health sciences.

The 2014 issue of "Write On, Downtown" is now available online. Printed copies of the student-produced journal were distributed at a “launch luncheon” on May 2, where the 2014 editors and contributors were recognized by their peers, family members and ASU Downtown Phoenix campus faculty and staff. Some contributors and editors shared comments about their experience with the journal or read from their work.

“Fearless, persuasive, passionate and brilliant” are a few of the adjectives Barbara Lafford, faculty head of Languages and Cultures in the School of Letters and Sciences, used in describing this year’s featured writers and artists as she introduced the event. “They shine light on truth with a wisdom far beyond what might be expected at their age.”

“For a number of our writers and photographers, this is the first time they’ve had their work published,” notes faculty editor-in-chief Rosemarie Dombrowski, English lecturer in the School of Letters and Sciences. “Being recognized for their work helps develop their identities as writers, artists and scholars, and many sign on with the editorial team for future issues.”

“We want them to take the success they’ve experienced with this project and carry it into their lives beyond college,” adds English instructor Catherine Rezza, co-editor-in-chief for the 2014 issue.

“Write On, Downtown” has matured considerably since it launched in 2007 as a small pamphlet highlighting some of the best student writing in English classes at the Downtown Phoenix campus.

In 2009, Women and Philanthropy awarded a $4,500 grant to the project to defray publication costs and initiate editorial internships.

In spring 2014, 18 students – many of them featured as contributors in prior issues – took advantage of the editorial internship opportunities with “Write On, Downtown,” enrolling in a weekly ENG 484 course led by Dombrowski and Rezza.

“Interns manage the call for papers, conceive a theme for the issue and oversee the full editorial process,” Dombrowski says. “They also plan and promote the luncheon event and maintain the e-zine.”

This year’s editors rolled out a 148-page, perfect-bound edition featuring diverse genres, including ethnographic pieces, personal essays, gothic fiction and various forms of contemporary poetry.

ASU graphic designer Deanna Johnson Mullican, manager of creative services in the School of Letters and Sciences, partners each year with the editorial team on the design and oversees production.

The 2014 launch event was supported by donor Mary Ehret.

“As a freshman, I didn’t expect I could have this kind of experience at all,” reflected Cronkite School of Journalism first-year student Kaitlin Kroum about having her ethnography of the culture of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” selected for the 2014 issue.

“I remember when we were told in class that we would be writing an ethnography, my first reaction was ‘A what?’” laughed Kroum.

Students interested in the “Write On, Downtown” editing internship should submit a brief statement of qualifications/interest to

Submissions may be any piece of exemplary, timely and/or evocative writing done for any Downtown Phoenix course or photographs taken by a student attending the Downtown Phoenix campus that capture the Downtown aesthetic, campus community and greater Downtown Phoenix community. Email submissions to with the genre or course name in the subject line, and your name and instructor’s name in the e-mail body.

Maureen Roen

Director of Communications, College of Integrative Sciences and Arts