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NABJ Honors Belmont University's Dr. Sybril Bennett as Journalism Educator of the Year

Tuesday, May 26, 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Aprill Turner
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WASHINGTON  (May 27, 2015) --The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) is proud to announce the selection of Dr. Sybril Bennett, Professor of Journalism at Belmont University, as the association's 2015 Journalism Educator of the Year. The award recognizes the service, commitment and academic guidance of an outstanding journalism teacher, professor or educator who has helped increase the number of black journalists in newsrooms.

Also an award-winning journalist, Dr. Bennett, affectionately known as, Dr. Syb, started her tenure at Belmont in 2003 as the Executive Director of the New Century Journalism program and helped to raise more than $200,000 in grant funding. In 2012, she was a finalist for the Virginia Chaney Teaching Award, Belmont’s highest honor recognizing teaching excellence.

"Dr. Syb is a long-time NABJ member who achieved excellence in her career as a broadcast journalist and turned that excellence into helping train the next generation of digital storytellers," said NABJ President Bob Butler. "She was among the vanguard that began spreading the importance of digital journalism back when newsrooms and classrooms were still relying heavily on traditional newsgathering methods. She has taken her unique set of skills and parlayed them into a reputation as one of the early leaders of color in the digital journalism revolution."

Dr. Syb has given numerous presentations on digital journalism, including a TEDx talk tied to her book, “Innovate: Lessons from the Underground Railroad.” The book asserts and explains how the Underground Railroad and the Internet are among America's most effective, innovative and disruptive networks. She is also active on her campus, serving in positions including: the Mobile App Development Committee; the Publishing Faculty Search Committee; and the Journalism Faculty Search Committee.

Dr. Syb was among also the first 1,500 journalists and educators across the country who served as Google Glass Explorers. She incorporated her Google Glass into her Digital Citizenship class, creating mobile apps for the device.

Dr. Syb is celebrating more than 25 years in journalism. She joined NABJ as a senior at Marquette University in 1990 attending her first conference in L.A. Through the years she has served on and organized many panels for NABJ including planning and hosting the 2008 Digital Media Institute in Nashville. She was a founding member of the Digital Journalism Task Force, produced the Gospel Brunch and was National Convention Program Chair in Philadelphia in 2011.  Dr. Syb is also a mentor, friend and adviser to many NABJ members and is often a go-to member when work needs to be done.  She received the NABJ Region 3 Achiever Award in 2014.  She is a proud and active member of the Nashville Association of Black Journalists where she continues to serve the chapter.

Dr. Syb teaches courses in Social Media Reporting, Digital Citizenship, Mass Media & Society and Entrepreneurial Media. Her research focuses on innovation, civility and digital media.

As newsrooms and classrooms continue to change to fit into the new journalism model, Dr. Syb continues to be at the forefront to ensure that journalists of color are trained so that they are prepared to join the revolution. NABJ Congratulates Dr. Syb on this most worthy honor.

She will be honored along with NABJ’s other award winners this summer at NABJ's Annual Convention and Career Fair in Minneapolis.

An advocacy group established in 1975 in Washington, D.C., NABJ is the largest organization for journalists of color in the nation, and provides career development as well as educational and other support
to its members worldwide.

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