JTC Department Hall of Fame
Journalism | January 12, 2011
CSU Media Hall of Fame
The JTC Department in 2011 named 10 CSU graduates to the CSU Media Hall of Fame for distinguished accomplishments. Criteria for induction included holding a degree from CSU; significant state, regional, national or international recognition for distinguished work in professional media; and contributions to the continuing educational efforts of the university. The department continues to accept nominations for induction, and will periodically review nominations.
Fred Brown, ’61, was one of CSU’s first journalism graduates. He worked 39 years at The Denver Post, mostly covering politics. He still writes, serves as a television analyst, and teaches media ethics at the University of Denver. Brown also has served as national president of the Society of Professional Journalists.
Mike Stratton, ’77, is a prominent Colorado-based political consultant and business leader. His business specializes in international and domestic communications. He has played a leading role in six presidential campaigns and numerous congressional, gubernatorial and mayoral elections. He is a close advisor to former Governor Roy Romer, led Ken Salazar’s successful U.S. Senate Campaign, and served in the Administrations of both President Carter and President Clinton.
Elizabeth “Liz” Spayd, ’82, is the first woman managing editor in the history of the Washington Post. She joined paper in 1988. Since then she has worked as social policy editor, national editor, and as editor of washingtonpost.com. She has supervised coverage of many major events including national elections, the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and Hurricane Katrina.
Jim Sheeler, ’90, is an Endowed Professor of Journalism and Media Writing at Case Western Reserve University. He earned a Pulitzer Prize for feature reporting in 2006 while with the Rocky Mountain News. His series, Final Salute, followed a military officer who notified family members after soldiers were killed in action. Sheeler’s subsequent book, Final Salute, was a finalist for national book of the year in 2008.
Bill Hitchcock, ‘79, is a freelance television photojournalist working primarily for CBS 60 Minutes and CBS 48 Hours. He is the winner of numerous honors, including a Peabody Award, four national Emmy Awards and three regional Emmys. Hitchcock started his career at KGTV in San Diego, California, and also worked at KMGH-TV in Denver.
Kelly Kennedy, ’97, is USA Today’s Health Policy Reporter and author of They Fought for Each Other, about one of the most devastated military units in the Iraq war. She is the winner of numerous national awards and has been a Ochberg fellow and a Rossalyn Carter Mental Health Journalism fellow. She was a communications specialist for the U.S. Army and served in the Persian Gulf War before earning her bachelor’s degree at CSU.
Charles D’Agata, ’90, is a CBS television correspondent based in London who also has worked as CBS’ international radio correspondent. He was the first American journalist in Baghdad 10 months before the U.S. – led invasion, and has covered has covered every major news story in Iraq. His work has helped CBS win numerous honors, including five Edward R. Murrow Awards.
Gary McCormick, ’77, is Director of Partnership Development for Home and Garden Television, (HGTV). He is the immediate past Chair of the 22,000-member Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and also has served as President of the PRSA Foundation, both top leadership roles for the U.S. public relations industry.
Jim Benemann, ’78, is lead news anchor for KCNC-TV in Denver and one of the most respected news personalities in Colorado. Benemann began his TV career in Iowa, then worked in Washington, D.C., in Portland at KGW-TV and at KUSA-TV in Denver before moving to KCNC-TV. Benemann has covered news in Cuba, Korea, South America and Europe, earning dozens of local and national awards.
Todd Shimoda, B.A ., ’77; M.S. ’91 is a novelist, website designer and publisher. In addition to his CSU degrees, he holds a doctorate from UC Berkeley. Shimoda has earned a number of awards for his three novels: The Fourth Treasure, 365 Views of Mt. Fuji, and Oh! A mystery of “mono no aware’, which was a National Public Radio recommended pick for 2011.