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Cronkite Dean to Chair Hearst Awards Steering Committee

June 15, 2014

Christopher Callahan, dean of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University, will be the new chair of the Hearst Journalism Awards Steering Committee.

Known as the Pulitzer Prizes of collegiate journalism, the Hearst Journalism Awards Program provides support, encouragement and assistance to journalism education at the college and university level. The program’s steering committee offers guidance and counsel, keeping the organization abreast of changes in journalism education.

Callahan will succeed Douglas A. Anderson, who is retiring at the end of June as dean of Penn State’s College of Communications. Anderson, the former director of the Cronkite School, was named chair of the steering committee in 2005 following Richard Cole, the former dean of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

“We are delighted that Chris has been nominated as chair of the Hearst Steering Committee,” said Jan Watten, program director of the Hearst Journalism Awards. “He has been a wonderful contributor to the meetings during his tenure; his school enters the competitions fully each year, and performs extraordinarily well. He not only has full knowledge of the contest rules, he has the energy to lead the committee for many years. I am looking forward to working with him.”

Callahan has led the dramatic transformation of the Cronkite School into one of the nation’s top and most innovative professional journalism schools. Under his leadership, the school has finished in the top 10 nationally for the past nine years in the Hearst Journalism Awards, including two first-place finishes and six top-five finishes.

“For more than 50 years, the Hearst Foundations have been making journalism better by setting the highest standards for what has become the world’s premier intercollegiate journalism competition,” said Callahan, who has served on the steering committee since 2008. “It’s an honor to help the Hearst Foundations continue to improve journalism through the Hearst Awards, and it is truly humbling to follow one of journalism education’s great leaders in Doug Anderson.”

Callahan also is vice chair of the Accrediting Committee of the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications, serves on the National Advisory Board of the Poynter Institute and was the first dean to serve on the Board of Directors of the American Society of News Editors.

Located on ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus, the Cronkite School’s 1,600 students are guided by award-winning professional journalists and world-class media scholars in a state-of-the-art media complex. The school continues to lead the field of journalism education with full-immersion professional programs that give students the opportunity to practice what they’ve learned in a real-world setting under the guidance of professionals.

Founded in 1960, the Hearst Journalism Awards Program provides scholarships to students for outstanding performance in college-level journalism, which includes matching grants to the students’ schools. Participation is open to undergraduate journalism students enrolled at domestic universities accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications.

The William Randolph Hearst Foundation was established by its namesake in 1948 under California non-profit laws, exclusively for educational and charitable purposes. Since then, The Hearst Foundations have contributed more than $925 million in the areas of education, health care, social services and the arts in every state.