11th Annual Media Summit Explores Diversity and Inclusion

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Hundreds gathered Oct. 21 in the Sheldon Hall Ballroom and nearly 600 people tuned in for the live webcast
of A Mile in My Shoes: Reflections on Equality & Diversity in the Media during the 11th Annual Dr. Lewis B. O’Donnell Media Summit.

The event featured a panel of media professionals, most of whom are alumni and all of whom represent a diverse voice:

Michelle Garcia ’06, identities editor at Mic.com in New York City and former managing editor of The Advocate, a bi-monthly magazine and website that focuses on news, politics, opinion and entertainment of interest to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.

Kendis Gibson ’94, ABC News national correspondent who reports for all programs and platforms, including Good Morning America, World News Tonight with David Muir, Nightline and 20/20.

Dave Longley ’94, chief meteorologist on NewsChannel 9 WSYR-TV who told his viewers in 2011 that he had been living with multiple sclerosis for five years after the disease started to affect his speech.

Jennifer Sanders, anchor and reporter of The Morning News and The Noon News at NewsChannel 9 WSYR-TV in Syracuse.

The college also broke some glass ceilings of its own this year in its organization of the event. For the first-time ever, then Student Association president, Christopher Collins-McNeil ’16, moderated the panel and a female student, Lauren Toscano ’16, directed the WTOP10-TV live broadcast of the Media Summit.

The Media Summit is almost entirely organized, marketed and executed by a team of student volunteers, under the leadership of event coordinators Kalie Hudson ’17 and Victoria Love ’16. Rob Hackford ’16 and Rob Pagan ’16 were the Red Carpet Show Producers. Professor Michael Riecke served as the faculty advisor.

The Media Summit was founded in 2005 through the generosity of Louis A. Borrelli Jr. ’77. In 2007, Al Roker ’76, weatherman and host of NBC’s Today show, provided additional funding to rename the summit in memory of longtime professor Dr. Lewis B. O’Donnell, a seminal figure in the college experiences of Borrelli and Roker.

—Margaret Spillett

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