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Award-Winning Editor Named Assistant Dean at Cronkite School

October 18, 2006

Kristin Gilger, an award-winning journalist who was a top editor at The Arizona Republic before directing student media at Arizona State University, will join the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication as assistant dean in charge of professional programs.

In the newly created position, Gilger will recruit, develop and lead the school’s 30-plus part-time faculty members, oversee the school’s growing professional programs, work closely with the school’s Career Services Office to help place students in jobs and internships and serve as a key liaison to the news industry.

Gilger has been director of ASU’s Student Media since 2002, directing The State Press student newspaper, the Web Devil news Internet site and a closed-circuit cable television station. Student Media, which is operated by ASU but is separate from the Cronkite School, has 12 professional employees, about 100 student workers and a $1.6 million budget.

Under her leadership, Student Media has won top national awards, including the Hearst intercollegiate journalism competition, the Payne Award for Ethics in Journalism, Columbia Scholastic Press Association’s Gold and Silver Crown awards, the Society of Professional Journalists’ Mark of Excellence and the EPpy Awards competition for the Best College Newspaper Internet Service.

Gilger also served as a part-time faculty member at the Cronkite School, teaching in-depth reporting to advanced journalism students and supervising the school’s print journalism internship program. She also conducts training sessions on newspaper management, news writing and journalism ethics around the world. She has led sessions for the Associated Press Managing Editors, American Association of Sunday and Features Editors, National Writers Workshop and the U.S. State Department.

“Kristin is a nationally recognized news leader who has been an enormous asset to the Cronkite School for the past four years through her teaching and her work with Student Media,” said Cronkite Dean Christopher Callahan. “I’m delighted that she will be joining the Cronkite team in a top-level leadership role as we move quickly to grow the school’s professional programs and improve the school’s already outstanding curriculum.”

Before joining ASU, Gilger served as the deputy managing editor for news at The Arizona Republic, where she led a team of more than 100 reporters and editors at the nation’s 15th largest daily newspaper.

After receiving a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Nebraska-Omaha, Gilger started her newspaper career in 1980 as the farm reporter for the St. Cloud (Minn.) Daily Times. She later became a regional editor at the paper and earned her master’s degree in journalism from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She joined the New Orleans Times Picayune in 1983 as a suburban bureau chief and later the editor in charge of the newspaper’s six suburban bureaus.

In 1993, she became managing editor of The Statesman Journal in Salem, Ore., in charge of the entire news operation. She left for the Republic in 1999.

Gilger won the National Headliner Award for Public Service in Journalism in 1993 for editing a year-long project on race relations in New Orleans. She also has won awards from Gannett newspapers, the Associated Press, Best of the West and the Society of Professional Journalists.

In 1998, she received the Most Distinguished Alumnae Award from the journalism faculty of the University of Nebraska-Omaha.

“The Cronkite School already has some of the best students and best programs in the country, but it’s just the beginning,” Gilger said. “I can’t think of anywhere else I’d rather be.”

A national search will be conducted for a new Student Media director.