ABC political commentator to receive award for dedication to journalism

By Gianna Shikitino
January 29, 2009

Called a “living legend” for her dedication to journalism and hard work, Cokie Roberts will be receiving the Ivy Young Willis Award for 2009 at Cabrini College on Feb. 5.

Roberts is a political commentator for ABC News. ABC had a weekly interview program titled “This Week” which Roberts and friend Sam Donaldson co-anchored weekly from 1996-2002. She also contributes to National Public Radio, serving as a senior news analyst.

“I love listening to her political analysis on National Public Radio,” Cathy Yungmann, associate professor of communication, said. “Years ago when she was one of the only women to appear regularly on the influential Sunday morning television talk shows, she pressed the pundits with reality checks, but always did it in a most gracious way.”

Throughout the 40-plus years working in broadcasting, Roberts has won numerous awards including three Emmy awards.

She was cited by the American Women in Radio and Television as, “one of the greatest women in the history of broadcasting.” Along with that achievement, Roberts has been inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame.

Roberts and her husband, Steven V. Roberts, write weekly columns together for United Media. The Roberts also wrote a book together titled, “From This Day Forward” which gives an overview of their marriage as well as other marriages throughout American history. “From This Day Forward” was on the New York Times bestsellers list, along with one of her solo pieces entitled “We Are Our Mother’s Daughters.”

Roberts wrote two other books on the bestseller list: “Founding Mothers” and “Ladies of Liberty.”

Roberts also has a strong understanding of politics. Growing up as a child, both of Roberts’ parents were senators from Louisiana.

Roberts dedicates time to serve on the boards of several non-profit organizations and is a part of the President’s Commission on Service and Civic Participation.

“I’ve been a fan of Cokie Roberts for years with her inside knowledge of the workings of politics,” Yungmann said. “She’s able to cut through political maneuvers and pronouncements to pinpoint motivations and effects.”

The history and political science department sponsors the Ivy Young Willis Award.

“It’s a yearly award that’s been given since 1992, with prestigious award winners,” Dr. James Hedtke, history and political science professor, said. “There is a long history of important women who have won this award.”

The Ivy Young Willis Award acknowledges women who have been an inspiration and contributed exceptional pieces of work to the field of public affairs. Last year’s recipient for 2008 was Lisa Nutter, president of Philadelphia Academies, Inc.

The history and political science department nominates a recipient each year and informs the Willis family to finalize the decision. The purpose of this gracious award is for students to be exposed to women in our society who have made a difference in public relations.

Roberts will receive the Ivy Young Willis Award on Feb. 5 at 3:30 p.m. in Grace Hall Atrium. The event is free and open to the public.

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Gianna Shikitino

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