So last week I got word that I will receive the Iris Molotsky Award for Excellence in Coverage of Higher Education reporting from the American Association of University Professors.
And it’s seriously a career highlight. Not to brag (OK maybe a little) but past recipients have come from USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, the Chronicle of Higher Education. Me? I come from Doolittle, Mo.
With the flurry of congratulatory phone calls and emails, I paused for the first time since I left the Columbia Daily Tribune to come to Stephens. Did I do the right thing?
The pause didn’t last long.
I loved being a reporter, and working for the Tribune was a dream job. That the AAUP recognized my reporting is seriously amazing.
But Stephens is, too (both a dream job and amazing).
And I’m not the only reporter (or former/future reporter) to recognize it.
Lauren Hill from the Columbia Missourian discovered it when she covered Stephens this past semester.
From her recent entry on the Missourian’s J4450 blog:
“During my reporting this year, I have learned a lot about the Stephens College community. And I have to say, it’s pretty awesome. Their graduation ceremony showed that. The girls had on these crazy high and fabulously decorated shoes. I kind of wanted to do the story about the shoes! They also each decorated their graduation caps with rhinestones and tons of glitter …
I took a lot away from the ceremony. I was able to get a peek into the world of Stephens, and I wanted to show everyone how cool and unique I thought Stephens was. So I wrote a piece that was at least 20 inches. It was ridiculous. And it was cut in half. I had to part with my lovely words.”
She’s right, Stephens is cool and unique (and for so much more than shoes and glittery caps, too!).
The best part of this job? I can go on and on and on about Stephens. Because, believe me friends, it takes more than 20 inches to explain how cool and unique Stephens is.
So maybe I won’t win any more reporting awards in the future, but being part of this amazing, creative and unique environment is reward enough for me. (But don’t get me wrong—I’m still totally excited to go to Washington, D.C., next month and get my AAUP award.)