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Connie Mitchell Ford ’77 Delivers Fall Commencement Address

Connie Ford delivers her commencement address to Merrill College fall, 2016 graduates.mmencement speech

Visiting Professor Constance Mitchell Ford delivers her commencement address to Merrill College graduates, their families and friends.

Updated from the original Dec. 9, 2016 post.

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (Dec. 231) – Visiting Professor Constance (Connie) Mitchell Ford ’77 delivered Merrill College’s commencement address today.

A native of Washington, D.C., Ford talked to Merrill’s graduates about her view that, “journalism, despite the rapid changes and constant turmoil, remains a fantastic career.”

“It’s not easy, but it’s still exciting,” she said. “I’ve traveled all over the world and discovered some fascinating things about this country and other countries; talked to people I never would have had the privilege to interview–both big wigs and small fry–had I not represented a major media organization.”

A Journalist’s Career

Before coming to Merrill, Ford was a financial journalist who spent 35 years covering economics, banking, investing and real estate. Most of those years were spent at The Wall Street Journal in New York, where she started as a bond-market reporter and advanced to become a Bureau Chief managing economics and real-estate reporting teams. She has written about the U.S. government’s addiction to debt, South Africa’s economy after apartheid, the boom town that is Beijing, the rise and fall of the subprime mortgage market and financial engineering on Wall Street, among many other things.

Ford said she ended up in business journalism because there were so many questions to answer: “I always wanted to know why some people were rich and some poor, why some countries are rich and some poor, how much money does a family need to live comfortably and why in the world do banks lend money to people when they aren’t really sure those people will pay it back.”

She received an undergraduate degree in Journalism from the University of Maryland in 1977 and a Master’s degree in Economics from the State University of New York at Stony Brook in 1979.

 

Also see: Senior Dymond Green named student commencement speaker.

Main Commencement information.

Merrill College Commencement information.

Eaton Foundation Funding Promotes Fearless Journalism

CNS reporter does a live shot in the Eaton news room.

CNS reporters routinely do live shots from the Eaton newsroom during Maryland Newsline programs.

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (Nov. 4) – A generous grant from the Richard Eaton Foundation is making it possible for journalism students to use the latest technologies in Merrill College’s Richard Eaton Broadcast Center.

The funding made possible two TriCaster video switchers, new studio cameras, a digital router, and other equipment.

In addition to the upgrades to the Eaton Broadcast Center, the following is just a sampling of new technology recently purchased by Merrill College for hands-on learning:

  • 360-degree video cameras – both “prosumer” and “professional” models are being used throughout Knight Hall.  Merrill students will be able to learn a new form of storytelling thanks to this technology.
  • 30 new field cameras were purchased this past year for Merrill College student use.
  • The Merrill College has purchased two Sony FS5 XDCam Super 35 cinema cameras that can be used for producing longer form documentaries or other projects. The camera offers built-in WiFi capability for live streaming to PCs, tablets or smart phones. Lecturer Josh Davidsburg’s JOUR38K Video Innovation class recently did a “VLOG” or Video Blog – about the cameras:

  • Two newly equipped podcast studios are now available for class and faculty use and to conduct remote radio interviews.
  • Updated equipment in Knight Hall’s Studio C includes new cameras, a TriCaster Mini and other professional TV gear. The studio will be used for a number of purposes, including CNS Broadcast live or taped remotes, student productions and even Facebook Live or remote broadcast interviews.
Eaton funds have helped allowed Merrill College to purchase everything from 360 video gear to updated television equipment for UMTV.

New technology for hands-on learning includes everything from 360 video gear to updated television equipment and field gear.

Merrill College & Diamondback Shine at Mark of Excellence Regionals

Merrill College SPJ Award Winners! Region 2.

Note: Information from a Society of Professional Journalists news release was used for this release.

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – It was a time to shine for students from the Philip Merrill College of Journalism as well as the Diamondback student newspaper. During its Region 2 Mark of Excellence (MOE) Conference in Richmond, Va. April 9, SPJ – The Society of Professional Journalists – handed out major awards to UMD students across a wide range of journalism categories.  SPJ’s Region 2 comprises Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia and Washington, D.C. The conference was hosted by the Virginia Press Association.

First-place winners will move on to the national MOE competition among category winners from the 12 SPJ regions. National winners are notified in the late spring and recognized at Excellence in Journalism 2016 Sept. 18-20 in New Orleans.

There were:

  • Two dozen+ Merrill College associated awards;
  • Nine Diamondback awards;
  • One for the Left Bench (Hannah Yasharoff);
  • One Merrill student/work submitted from internship (Michelle Chavez/VOA video).

ONLINE NEWS REPORTING

WINNER:
CNS Staff: Where’s the Pope?

FINALIST:
Seven things we learned from Barbara Mikulski’s email exchanges with Hillary Clinton by Molly Podlesny.

ONLINE IN-DEPTH REPORTING

FINALIST:
Staff Capital News Service: The Brothel Next Door: Human Trafficking in Maryland.

ONLINE SPORTS REPORTING

WINNER:
Max Simpson: Flagged Down:  NFL penalties on the rise.

FINALIST:
Sissi Cao: Can Under Armour win the world?

BEST AFFILIATED WEBSITE

WINNER:

CNS Staff: CNSMaryland.org/Capital News Service.

BEST INDEPENDENT ONLINE STUDENT PUBLICATION

WINNER:
CNSMaryland.org/Capital News Service.

BEST DIGITAL-ONLY STUDENT PUBLICATION

WINNER:
CNS Staff: CNSMaryland.org/Capital News Service.

BEST USE OF MULTIMEDIA

FINALISTS:
Joe Zimmerman, Joey Trull & Madeleine Derason: StarWarsDate.com.
Brittany Cheng: ViewFinder – Beyond the Sidelines.

IN-DEPTH REPORTING (Large 10.000+ students)

WINNER:
Capital News Service: The Brothel Next Door: Human Trafficking in Maryland.

FINALISTS:
Julie Gallagher: Low-income Alzheimer’s patients battle more than the disease.
Deidre McPhillips: DNA evidence brings hope, truth but only if tested; Some Maryland jurisdictions slow to report.

GENERAL NEWS REPORTING (Large 10,000+ students)

WINNER:
Grace Toohey: Transgender Marylanders hope legislation will align birth certificates with true identities.

FINALISTS:
Jacob Bell: Questions loom over effects of state’s oyster recovery efforts as watermen’s bottom lines.
Grace Toohey: Paratransit riders frustrated, MTA under scrutiny.

TELEVISION FEATURE REPORTING

WINNER:
Michelle Chavez (VOA): Baltimore’s miniature libraries will try to “create unlimited possibilities.”

FINALISTS:
Gabe Katzman (CNS-TV): Great shakeout.

Hayley Fixler  (CNS-TV): Veterans Kayaking.

TELEVISION IN-DEPTH REPORTING

WINNER:
ViewFinder Fall 2015: Second Chances.

FINALIST:
Karen Ye (CNS-TV): Up In Smoke:  What happened Maryland’s billions of tobacco settlement money.

TELEVISION NEWS & FEATURE PHOTOGRAPHY

WINNER:
Karen Tang: ViewFinder: Ballet for disabled children.

FINALISTS:
Ricky Lasser & Karen Tang: ViewFinder: Troops deploy game ball.
Ricky Lasser: ViewFinder: Trailer park.

TELEVISION SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY

WINNER:
Ricky Lasser & Karen Tang: ViewFinder: Troops deploy game ball.

FINALISTS:
Mike Tart (CNS-TV): Washington Nationals youth baseball academy.

TELEVISION SPORTS REPORTING

FINALISTS:
Hayley Fixler (CNS-TV): Veterans Kayaking.
Giovanni Insignares (CNS-TV): Cosmic Golf.

BEST ALL-AROUND TELEVISION NEWSCAST

FINALIST:
CNS-TV Staff & Volunteers: Maryland Newsline.


Diamondback Student Newspaper Awards

Editorial Writing

FINALIST:
Selected editorials by The Diamondback editorial board..

Feature Writing (Large) 10,000+ Students

WINNER:
Maryland’s hidden epidemic by Jon Banister.

General Column Writing (Large) 10,000+ Students

WINNER:
For the love of God, there was Satan, Letter from an Op-editor, The perfect human can’t be designed by Yi “Patrick An.

FINALIST:
Transgressive art is desecration of beauty; Not everything intended as art is art; Gun control by Andrew Adeola.

Sports Column Writing

WINNER:
Selected columns by Ryan Baillargeon Daniel Popper.

Sports Writing (Large) 10,000+ Students

WINNER:
Fastest to 500 by Callie Caplan.

Online News Reporting

FINALIST:
University of Maryland expels record number of students for sexual assault by Ellie Silverman Darcy Costello.

Online Opinion & Commentary

WINNER:
Not everything intended as art is art; Holistic perspective improve healthcare; Biden should have run by Andrew Adeola.

Online Sports Reporting

FINALIST:
The miss by Josh Needelman.

Left Bench

Online Opinion & Commentary

FINALIST:
Ethics in the world of sports by Hannah Yasharoff.


 

About the Mark of Excellence Awards

The MOE Awards honor the best of collegiate journalism from a calendar year.

Entries are judged by professionals with at least three years of journalism experience. The awards honor the best in student journalism. As such, judges were directed to choose only those entries they felt were outstanding work worthy of such an honor. If the judges determined that none of the entries rose to the level of excellence, no award was given. Any category not listed has no winner.

School divisions are based on student enrollment, which includes both graduate and undergraduate enrollment: Large schools have at least 10,000 students and small schools have 9,999 or fewer students.

UMTV Broadcast and Streaming Information for Commencement

UMTV commencement production.

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland and UMTV have announced broadcast and streaming times for this weekends Winter Commencement exercises:

Saturday: Main Commencement: 7 p.m. – XFinity Center

  • UMTV will carry the event live. The Merrill College cable station is on campus channel 38 or 78. Comcast customers can watch on Channel 73 in Prince George’s County and on Channel 2 in Montgomery County. On Verizon, UMTV is on channel 40 in both counties.

Sunday: Merrill College Commencement: 3:30 p.m. Colony Ballroom, Stamp Student Union.

  • UMTV will be recording the event for playback later on the cable station.
  • Merrill College will provide a live stream of the event. (URL: umlive.umd.edu)

UMTVstream

300 Maryland High School Journalism Students Set for J-Day Events at UMD

Merrill and MDCSPA Logos.

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The Philip Merrill College of Journalism and the Maryland-DC Scholastic Press Association will welcome some 300 Maryland high school students and their advisers to campus Friday, Nov. 6 for J-Day. The day-long journalism program will take place primarily in Knight Hall and UMTV next door in Tawes Hall, but will also hold sessions in the Grand Ballroom of the Stamp Student Union as well as well as Jull Hall (Mathematics).

The day will start at the Stamp Student Union with a panel of four recent Merrill College graduates who now work in journalism: Dana Amihere ’12 M.J., interactive editor, Dallas Morning News; Morgan Gilliam ’13 M.A., producer of Capital Insider, NewsChannel 8; Jin Kim ’15 B.A., web producer, Baltimore Sun; and Jonas Shaffer ’12 B.A., general editor, sports department, Baltimore Sun. Moderator: Chris Harvey ’80, director of assessments and lecturer, Philip Merrill College of Journalism

Three concurrent sessions led by professional journalists and educators will follow with sessions on yearbook, print, online and social media journalism, and more.

Students and advisers will also be able to take tours of Merrill College, the Diamondback student newspaper and WMUC student radio station, or the Capital News Service broadcast facility (at UMTV/Tawes Hall). Advisers will have a chance to meet to network and discuss press freedom in Maryland and D.C. with Student Press Law Center Executive Director Frank LoMonte during one of the concurrent sessions.

Merrill College students will be part of panel discussions looking at what goes on behind the scenes of a college journalism major and sports journalism:

  • What’s it like to make the jump from high school to college reporting and multi-platform journalism? Panelists include: Maggie Gottlieb ’17, broadcast major; Brittany Cheng ‘17, multiplatform major; Alicia McElhaney ‘15, multiplatform major; and Jessie Karangu ‘16, broadcast major. Moderator: Sue Kopen-Katcef, broadcast bureau director at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism.
  • Four Merrill students describe their experiences covering sports in the Washington, D.C. region:  Michael Stern ‘17, co-founder of The Left Bench and business director, WMUC Sports; Andy Dunn ‘18, editor of The Left Bench, college soccer reporter for SBS, basketball reporter for DC Sports Box and video assistant for Maryland Athletics; Samantha Waldenberg ‘18, intern at Redskins.com, social media manager for TLB and broadcaster for WMUC Sports; and Marissa Morris ‘16, news director, WMUC Sports and staff member, Big Ten Network. Moderator: Beth Mechum, coordinator, The Shirley Povich Center for Sports Journalism, University of Maryland.

Knight Hall, Philip Merrill College of Journalism.Faculty presenters and moderators from the Philip Merrill College of Journalism include Professor Chris Hanson, CNS Broadcast Bureau Director and lecturer Sue Kopen Katcef, Adjunct Lecturer Sharon O’Malley, lecturer Josh Davidsburg, Director of Assessments and Lecturer Chris Harvey, Povich Center Coordinator Beth Mecham, Lecturer Bethany Swain, Ph.D. student April Newton, Ph.D. student and Adjunct Lecturer Rob Wells, and Associate Professor Ron Yaros.

Other sessions will include speakers from across the University of Maryland Campus, as well as from The Baltimore Sun,  Hyattsville Life and Times, Terp Magazine, The Student Press Law Center, Education Week, McClatchy Company, New Jersey Advance Media and Newark Star-Ledger, and The Annapolis Capital.

J-Day Program (PDF)


About the Philip Merrill College of Journalism

The Philip Merrill College of Journalism is one of the world’s leading journalism schools, with a distinguished faculty dedicated to enhancing the news industry and training the next generation of journalists in a state-of-the-art facility near the nation’s capital.

Merrill College educates students at the undergraduate, master’s and doctoral levels within a liberal arts context, preparing them for careers in journalism, media, research, teaching and related fields.  Merrill’s curriculum is one of the few in the nation focused solely on journalism – both broadcast and multiplatform – and its world-class faculty members have won numerous Pulitzer prizes and Emmy awards and conducted important media research.

About the Maryland-DC Scholastic Press Association

The Maryland-D.C. Scholastic Press Association is a non-profit organization that offers opportunities for advisers and students who wish to continue the tradition of journalistic excellence in Maryland and the Washington, D.C. area schools.

MDCSPA has a strong interest in scholastic free press issues, in supporting the rejuvenation of defunct journalism programs, in encouraging the creation of new programs, and in strengthening existing programs at area middle and high schools. Membership is free and available to all teachers and student staffs.

Through sponsorship and co-sponsorship, the Association works to provide professional development and training opportunities for students and media/journalism advisers, including conventions, contests, and summer programs. The Association works to develop and delivers opportunities in media/journalism education throughout the District of Columbia and Maryland while encouraging  schools from outside its region to participate as well.