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AZ Republic Executive Editor Tells Cronkite Grads to Be ‘Dreamers Who Do’

December 23, 2012

The executive editor of The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com told the newest graduates of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication that though the journalism industry is changing rapidly, they can look forward to a bright future.

“Change is hard, but there has never been a more exciting time to be in journalism,” Nicole Carroll told the 132 graduates and more than 1,000 guests at Grady Gammage Memorial Auditorium on the Tempe campus of Arizona State University Friday at the Cronkite School's fall convocation ceremony.

Carroll urged the new graduates to be “dreamers who do.”

“I hope you suggest that wild idea,” she said. “I hope you are fearless. I hope you make your editors, news directors and managers just a little bit nervous.”

Cronkite School Fall 2012 Convocation
Arizona Republic Executive Editor Nicole Carroll speaks at the Cronkite School's fall 2012 convocation ceremony. Photo by Molly J. Smith.

Carroll, who graduated from the Cronkite School in 1991 and is a member of the Cronkite Alumni Hall of Fame, told the graduates they had received “an extraordinary education” from the Cronkite School.

“The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication (is) truly the best journalism school in the nation,” she said.

Student speaker Jack Highberger, of Rye, Colo., encouraged his fellow graduates to “look a little deeper and reflect a little longer” as they celebrated their accomplishments.

“Do successful careers begin with an award or a diploma, or do they begin with a moment of passion, a realization that all the things society uses to recognize success will come if we can just do what we love and do it well?” he asked.

In the fall class of graduates, 17 students achieved summa cum laude status (with a grade point average of at least 3.8); another 20 graduated magna cum laude (3.6 to 3.79 GPA); and 19 graduated with cum laude honors (3.4 to 3.59 GPA).

In addition, 13 students were inducted into Kappa Tau Alpha, a national college honor society that recognizes academic excellence and promotes scholarship in journalism. The top 10 percent of the graduating class is inducted into the society each semester.

Cronkite Dean Christopher Callahan told the graduates that they are Walter Cronkite’s greatest legacy.

“It has been a privilege to have you as Cronkite School students, and it will be an honor to call you Cronkite School alumni,” he said.

STUDENT AWARD WINNERS

Outstanding Graduate Student
Corbin Carson

Outstanding Undergraduate Students
Jessica Abercrombie
Uriel Garcia
Elizabeth Kotalik
Taylor McArthur

Highest Grade Point Average (Graduate)
Amber Harding

Highest Grade Point Average (Undergraduate)
Kyle Newman
Mugo Odigwe

Kappa Tau Alpha Honor Society
Students have GPAs that put them in the top 10 percent of the graduating class.
Kristen Barrett
Nicholas Gnat
Rachel Hancock
Amber Harding
Chelsey Heath
Joseph Henke
Kevin Keller
Kyle Newman
Mugo Odigwe
Kara Philp
Caroline Porter
Amanda Roberts
Haley Shore

Student Speaker
Jack Highberger