The award is given to advisers yearly in recognition for their contributions to their campus media outlets.
Colin Donohue ’05, director of student media and instructor in Elon University’s School of Communications, was named a 2017 Distinguished 4-Year Newspaper Adviser by the College Media Association. Donohue is being recognized primarily for his work as adviser to The Pendulum, a role he held from 2007 through 2016.
The award, according to the CMA website, is for “excellence in college or university advising or for an outstanding contribution to the collegiate media.” During Donohue’s tenure as adviser, The Pendulum won hundreds of national, regional and state awards, underwent two major redesigns, extended its coverage into the surrounding community, and deepened its reporting of campus issues.
“I’m surprised and humbled to receive this award from CMA,” Donohue said. “I know the only reason I was considered for this honor is because of the fantastic students I’ve had the pleasure to work with during the past decade. Their thoughtfulness, dedication to covering the news, and tireless drive is why The Pendulum has continued to grow and improve. Being adviser to The Pendulum was an exciting, anxious, wonderful and thrilling experience, and I loved every minute of it.”
As student media director, Donohue provides support and leadership to Elon’s student news organization, radio station, literary magazine, television station, yearbook and record label. In conjunction with other faculty and students, he also oversaw the merging of The Pendulum and “Elon Local News” into Elon News Network, which launched in fall 2016.
As an instructor, Donohue has taught both “Media Writing” and “Multimedia Journalism,” in addition to independent studies centering on journalism topics and Elon 101. Donohue also helped plan, organize and execute two Society of Professional Journalists Region 2 conferences and two North Carolina College Media conferences held on Elon’s campus. His work on the 2017 SPJ regional gathering earned him the SPJ Member of the Month honors for May.
He’s a founding member of NCCMA, for which he chairs the awards committee and serves on the steering committee. Previously, he served two years as co-chair of CMA’s then-new media committee and was honored with the organization’s Honor Roll Four-Year Newspaper Adviser Award in 2010 (for advisers with five or fewer years of experience). Donohue remains active in the North Carolina Scholastic Media Association, judging in the state’s high school journalism competitions and delivering presentations on careful editing, writing deeply, social media and leadership.
“His ability to work with a range of constituents—students, alumni, parents, faculty, staff and community members—makes him an ideal student media adviser,” said Brooke Barnett, associate provost of academic and inclusive excellence and chair of Elon’s Student Communications Media Board. “Colin is seen as a fair, kind and generous leader. The students trust his insight and know that he will help guide them to a better finished project. I am impressed with how many students Colin knows and the depth to which he knows them.”
Donohue, who serves as faculty director in the Danieley Center Neighborhood, will receive his award at the Associated Collegiate Press/College Media Association Fall National College Media Convention Oct. 26 in Dallas.