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Home > SPJ News > Richard Hendrickson honored with 2010 Distinguished Teaching in Journalism Award

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Richard Hendrickson honored with 2010 Distinguished Teaching in Journalism Award



For Immediate Release:

Lauren Rochester, SPJ Awards Coordinator, (317) 927-8000 ext. 210,
Andrew M. Scott, SPJ Communications Coordinator, (317) 927-8000 ext. 215,

INDIANAPOLIS – The Society of Professional Journalists is pleased to honor university professor Richard Hendrickson with the Distinguished Teaching in Journalism Award.

After nearly 40 years as a reporter and editor, Hendrickson became an associate professor and journalism instructor in the Tim Russert Department of Communication and Theatre Arts at John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio.

Hendrickson will be recognized Oct. 4 during a luncheon at the 2010 SPJ Convention & National Journalism Conference in Las Vegas. Click here for a list of previous honorees.

“His passion for teaching and reporting is contagious, and much of my desire to enter into the media can be attributed to him,” NBC News “Meet The Press” Fellow Andrew Rafferty wrote in his nomination letter. “He calls journalism a ‘helping profession’ and stresses to students how it can change a community, the country or the world.”

Rafferty was most impressed with the lengths Hendrickson goes to help his students, citing a personal case when Hendrickson pleaded with a scholarship committee to accept the former student’s late application. With the help of Hendrickson’s efforts and recommendation letter, Rafferty won the $2,000 scholarship.

Hendrickson has taught Investigative Reporting; Ethics & the Media; Communications and the First Amendment; Politics, Policy & the Press; International Journalism; Literary Journalism; Editing and Design; and Convergent Electronic Journalism. After taking a one-year leave and moving to Los Angeles, he is now teaching journalism courses online at JCU this fall.

Before his tenure at the university, Hendrickson was editorial page editor and special projects director the last nine of his 35 years at the The Morning Journal in Lorain, Ohio. He served at various times as Sunday editor, city editor, news editor, state editor, wire editor, business editor, reporter and bureau chief.

He began his career in the U.S. Navy and later was a reporter for his hometown newspaper, The Syracuse Post Standard, and a news reporter for The Associated Press in Buffalo, N.Y.

Hendrickson is board member of the Los Angeles chapter of SPJ, past president of the Cleveland chapter and former adviser to the campus chapter at JCU. He is a communications consultant and a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Cleveland and Inside Business magazines. He is associate editor of Writer’s Week, the newsletter of the Cleveland SPJ chapter. In 2008, Hendrickson was awarded SPJ’s Howard S. Dubin Outstanding Pro Member Award.

Hendrickson earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism, master’s degree in political science and Ph.D. in communication studies from Bowling Green State University. He has been an adjunct instructor in journalism at BGSU, Firelands College, Bluffton College and JCU.

SPJ’s Distinguished Teaching in Journalism Award honors an outstanding journalism educator who has made a significant contribution to the profession and/or journalism education. Students, former students, alumni, colleagues and professionals may submit nominations. All journalism educators are eligible, regardless of SPJ membership. Click here for more information.

Founded in 1909 as Sigma Delta Chi, SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to a well informed citizenry; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and protects First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. For more information about SPJ, please visit


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Eugene S. Pulliam National Journalism Center
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