Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Pulitzer Prize winning journalist joins FAMU’s faculty as new Knight Chair

The FAMU School of Journalism & Graphic Communication (SJGC) recently welcomed Francine Huff as the Knight Chair for Student Achievement.

While at the Wall Street Journal, Huff served as the Spot News Bureau Chief and contributed to the Journal’s Pulitzer Prize winning team coverage of the September 11, 2001 events.

This endowed chair is a five-year appointment. The goal of the Knight Foundation is to preserve the best aspects of journalism and use innovation to expand the impact of information in the digital age. It focuses on funding journalistic excellence and supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism and advance media innovation, as well as engage communities, and foster the arts.

Huff was selected for this prestigious position after a nationwide search. FAMU is the only historically black college or university to house a Knight Chair. Huff is the second professor to occupy the Knight Chair, following Professor Joseph Ritchie.

Commenting on the selection of Huff, FAMU President Elmira Mangum said, “Our ability to renew our Knight Foundation endowed chair highlights the esteemed position that the SJGC holds nationally. And, moreover, the prestige of the school will be even further enhanced by the appointment of a scholar, journalist, and author as well-renowned as Francine Huff.”

Prior to coming to FAMU, Huff served as adjunct professor at Rutgers University, Kean University, and Fairleigh Dickinson University. She has been an editor for the Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, and Pittsburgh Press; and a reporter for Gannett.

Huff founded Super Savvy Publishing, LLC, which provided writing and editing services to publications, websites, and other companies, including Booz & Co., the John Templeton Foundation, and the Maynard Institute. Among the publications where her freelance work has appeared are Knowledge@Wharton, On Wall Street, PC Magazine, HomeLife, AOL, and Essence.

Huff is the author of the 25-Day Money Makeover for Women. She has appeared on more than 100 radio and TV shows, including on ABC News, EWTN, Fox, Sheridan Broadcasting Network, News 12, Moody Broadcasting Network, and Crown Financial’s Money Matters.

She has been a keynote speaker, panelist and workshop leader for many organizations, including the Coalition of 100 Black Women, Ramapo College, Newswomen’s Club of New York, Northwestern University Alumni Club of New York, South Orange-Maplewood Business Incubator, Go on Girl! Book Club, and Mocha Moms. Huff has a master of communication and information studies from Rutgers University and a bachelor of science in journalism from Northwestern University.

As a Knight Chair, Huff will teach and coordinate the development and implementation of programs and activities that facilitate students’ fluency in the digital journalism skills in demand in today’s job market. She will partner with newsrooms to establish internships to help students obtain work samples. She will also create opportunities for résumé and interview training and for networking with alumni, journalists, media company recruiters, and journalism groups.

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