ASU Launches Cronkite Nation at Inaugural Cronkite Day Celebration

Oct. 31, 2012

Arizona State University is launching Cronkite Nation, an interactive online network for graduates of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Cronkite Nation, which was unveiled last Friday at Cronkite Day, the school’s alumni celebration, is designed to connect Cronkite graduates across the years and features a searchable map that displays alumni around the globe. It enables graduates to create and update profiles that aggregate their online content and social media accounts. Users also can send private messages to other Cronkite alumni.

More than 1,100 Cronkite graduates in 48 states and 19 countries on six continents currently have profiles on the site.

Liz Smith, Cronkite’s outreach director, said the site will allow Cronkite alumni to reconnect with others from their class cohort and help each other advance in their careers. It also enables employers to search for graduates by name, location and skill set.

“This platform allows Cronkite alums to leverage the school’s powerful worldwide alumni network, Cronkite Nation, to their advantage, helping employers find them and allowing them to follow classmates’ careers,” Smith said.

Cronkite Nation was developed by a team of students in the school’s New Media Innovation Lab, a full-immersion professional program in which students create new digital media products for companies and nonprofit organizations. The student team was led by project managers David Ryan and David Sydiongco and included Andrew Gilstrap, Chelsey Heath and Donyelle Kesler. The project was overseen by Lab Director Retha Hill and Web Developer Micah Jamison.

ASU journalism alumni spanning seven decades attended Cronkite Day, the school’s first-ever large-scale alumni celebration, along with current and prospective students, faculty, staff and other guests. The event, which was held at the Cronkite building on ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus, was conceived and planned by the Cronkite National Board of Advisors, a group of 10 alumni that advises the dean.

The day featured a series of showcase panels, with alumni discussing topics that included international journalism, coverage of the 2012 elections, public relations in the digital age and the state of local TV news. In addition, the broadcast team from ESPN’s “Monday Night Football,” including Cronkite alumnus Chip Dean, the show’s coordinating director, participated in a panel about the award-winning show.

Guests also had the opportunity to talk with current Cronkite students and see their work in state-of-the-art newsrooms, TV studios, digital classrooms and innovation laboratories around the building. Other activities included behind-the-scenes tours of the award-winning, LEED-certified Cronkite building and one-on-one professional development sessions with top Cronkite faculty and alumni.

“Thanks to the support and contributions of our alumni, the National Board of Advisors and the Cronkite School, our inaugural Cronkite Day celebration was an unqualified success,” said Craig A. Newman, chairman of the National Board of Advisors. “Alumni spanning seven decades reconnected with the Cronkite School, and the event provided a unique forum to discuss some of the most important and challenging issues facing journalism and mass communication today.”