July 12, 2012

Grambling Appoints New Communications Chief

Grambling Appoints New Communications Chief
  Prominent educator, journalist assumes
 public relations, communications role

GRAMBLING, La. –  Will Sutton, a Louisiana native who studied communications and journalism in high school and college then went on to a successful career as a newspaper reporter and editor has joined Grambling State University as acting Director of Public Relations and Communications, effective immediately.

“We have enjoyed having Will on campus as a visiting professor, and we’re thrilled that he’s agreed to stay and help us communicate all the good news about our wonderful university,” President Frank D. Pogue said. “We know someone of his caliber will automatically have respect from his media peers and our academic community, and we know he can help us.”

Sutton joined Grambling on January 1 as the Reynolds Visiting Professor of Business Journalism in the Department of Mass Communication with a grant from the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism. He has brought real-world journalism experience to the classroom and started a much-heralded, strictly optional professional development program that challenges mass communication majors with high expectations and standards.

“As a native of New Orleans, I’ve known about Grambling for a long, long time,” said Sutton, 57, a graduate of Hampton Institute (University) and former president of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), 1999-2001. “To be a part of GramFam means a lot, and I look forward to helping the university, and the media, as I benefit from an association with Grambling.”

Sutton, a graduate of Hampton Institute (University), is a Nieman Fellow, attending Harvard University in 1987-88. He has been a street reporter and led award-winning journalism teams.  He has held several senior management positions at daily newspapers, including Gannett, Knight Ridder and McClatchy newspapers such as the Philadelphia Inquirer, the News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C., and the Post-Tribune in Indiana. He started his newspaper career as a summer intern at the Times-Picayune in New Orleans. He has been active in journalism and media circles for years, helping to judge numerous contests, including the Pulitzer Prize. He was the Scripps Howard Endowed Professor at Hampton University’s Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications, where he founded and directed a widely-heralded writing program, the Academy of Writing Excellence (AWE). AWE students went on to internships with NBC, MSNBC, The New York Times, the Washington Post, the Daily Press in Newport News, Va., the United Way and elsewhere. He started a similar program at Grambling.

In addition to his public relations and communications duties, Sutton will advise students, helping them gain the knowledge and skills needed to be successful interns and professional journalists and media professionals. Sutton is an Eagle Scout, and he’s been active as a Boy Scout leader since before the birth of his son.

A second-generation, lifetime member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., Sutton is married to Cheryl Franey Sutton and they have one son, Tre, 17. He is a lifetime member of NABJ and a member of several professional organizations, including the Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW). Learn more about Sutton at http://www.linkedin.com/in/willsutton.

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Will Sutton


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