Buskin At Stony Brook

Outstanding Campus Journalism


The Buskin Mentor Group

You certainly can go it alone - a lot of people do - but that's not the smartest or most effective way to expand your knowledge, opportunities and experience. It is to your advantage to seek out those who have gone before you and who are willing to help you and others understand the way the world works.

It's called networking.

Networking has become a must for those wishing to get into, and succeed, in almost any field. By networking, you will meet people who can help you decipher the codes of whatever career you choose. Your contacts can help you understand industry trends and be important resources when it comes to internships and job opportunities.

There are hundreds of professional journalists out there whose careers started at the desks you now occupy. The result is a well of experience at your disposal.

Remarkably, even though there is no major here, Stony Brook has managed to simulate a major with top-notch journalism courses coupled with a wide variety of student news organizations, where so many students have gotten valuable practical experience and turned that experience into careers.

Below are some of them. The following pros, most of them Stony Brook alums, have volunteered to share their experience with campus journalists.

No strings. The motivation is simple: These pros received help from their predecessors while they were in school, and they want to return the favor.

This is an informal group that will offer its services individually, or collectively among the media, as the subject or situation warrant and to the extent that student editors welcome this advice. These topics could include distribution, technology, photography, access to information, staffing and other timely matters.

This does not have to be a formal process. They are a phone call or e-mail away. Even if you don't end up using their advice, at least you have another intelligent viewpoint to help you make day-to-day and long-term decisions.

The Mentors

FRED BRUNING retired in 2004 from Newsday, where he was a reporter in Newsday's Part 2 feature section. He graduated from the University of Missouri with a bachelor of journalism degree in January, 1964 and was awarded an MFA in creative writing by Warren Wilson College, Swannanoa, N. C., in 1978. He has worked for six daily newspapers and Newsweek magazine. He also taught at Stony Brook for many years.

Contact: Bruning@optonline.net

JOE CAPONI (class of 1987) is editor of the ChannelWeb network of Web sites (channelweb.com) that provide news, analysis and tools for technology solution providers. Prior to that, he held a number of Internet and print publication positions at CMP Media properties, including at VARBusiness, Network Computing and InformationWeek magazines. He's produced publications at locations from San Diego to Germany, but most fondly remembers his years in the basement of Old Bio (then Central Hall, now the Student Activities Center), putting out The Stony Brook Press. He was executive editor from 1983 to 1985, launching the paper's summer edition, as well as publishing (he believes) the largest number of Press issues in one school year.

Contact: 516-562-7609, jcaponi@cmp.com

ERROL COCKFIELD (class of 1994) oversees Newsday's state capitol bureau, where he supervises coverage of politics and government, including Republican Governor George Pataki.

Before state politics Cockfield wrote about economic development and real estate for Newsday's business desk. He chronicled the rebuilding of the World Trade Center in the aftermath of the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and a controversial plan to build a taxpayer-financed stadium for the Jets football team in Manhattan.

Cockfield now sits on the board of the National Association of Black Journalists, is treasurer of the state Legislative Correspondents Association, and served as president of the New York Association of Black Journalists from 2001 to 2004. He also appears frequently on television and radio as a commentator on state political trends.

Cockfield is a 1994 graduate of the State University of New York at Stony Brook, where he earned a bachelor's degree in English along with a minor in Journalism. After graduation, Cockfield joined the Los Angeles Times after he was chosen for Tribune Company's prestigious Minority Editorial Training Program. He has also written for the Hartford Courant, Connecticut's largest daily newspaper, and his freelance work has appeared in the Source, Vibe and Upscale magazines.

At the Los Angeles Times Cockfield wrote about random skinhead attacks on blacks, prompting the county's Commission on Human Relations to study and address the disturbing trend. In New York, he was the first reporter to document how a lack of state monitoring of assisted living facilities had led to patient injuries, and later deaths. He has written about reform of New York's stringent sentencing rules under its Rockefeller-era drug laws, and efforts to reinstate the death penalty. Cockfield's writing has also taken him into the living rooms of hip-hop artists and to the peak of Japan's Mt. Fuji.

Contact: Office: 518-465-2311, Errol.Cockfield@Newsday.com

CARL CORRY (class of 1996) is editor of the weekly business journal Long Island Business News. He is Region 1 Director of the Society of Professional Journalists, overseeing SPJ activities throughout the Northeast. Corry previously served as LIBN's managing editor and as a reporter covering a variety of beats before that. He also worked for financial news site Marketwatch.com as a spot news and Internet reporter and freelanced for the New York Post and Newsday. A former president of Press Club of Long Island, Corry is a Stony Brook University graduate and has won several PCLI Media Awards for deadline writing, business journalism and editorial writing. In 2005, he was awarded PCLI's Phil Spahn Award for service to the club.

Contact: 631/913-4222, carl.corry@libn.com

ZACHARY R. DOWDY (class of 1989; Buskin Award winner, 1988) is a criminal justice reporter at Newsday who also covers legal issues and international affairs from the United Nations and abroad. He was editor-in-chief of Blackworld for two years and decided to become a journalist after his first internship, at The Syracuse Newspapers. He also worked as a researcher at the Freedom Forum Media Studies Center. He holds master's degrees in English and journalism from Harvard and Columbia universities, respectively. Dowdy has worked as a reporter at The Boston Herald and The Boston Globe, where he served as a general assignment reporter covering local issues including urban affairs and corrections. Dowdy is currently vice president-print for the New York Association of Black Journalists and a former president of the Boston Association of Black Journalists.

Contact: 631-843-2294, zrdowdy@yahoo.com

CATHRINE DUFFY (class of 1993) is news editor at Newsday. During school, she was a reporting intern on Newsday's Long Island desk.

Contact: 631-843-2850, cathrine.duffy@newsday.com

DAVID M. EWALT (class of 1998; Buskin Award winner, 1997) is a reporter for Forbes.com, where he writes and edits special projects on a wide variety of topics. He previously served as an editor at InformationWeek, where he won a number of awards for his coverage of the technology industry, and at Newsday, where he worked with the investigations department.

Contact: 212-366-8806, dewalt@forbes.net

TISCHELLE GEORGE (class of 1999) teaches life skills and college prep courses to New York City high school students through the non-profit organization Directions For Our Youth. Prior to switching careers, George wrote about IT hiring, job training, online recruiting and teens & technology issues for InformationWeek, a business and technology magazine. Along with reporting for the magazine, George was the site manager of the InformationWeek Workplace & Career site and was responsible for updating the section, aggregating news content and developing interactive tools.

Contact: tischellegeorge@yahoo.com

PATRICIA HUANG (class of 1993; Buskin Award winner, 1993) reporter, writes about international corporate and political affairs for Forbes. Ms. Huang specializes in economic developments in Asia, with particular expertise in Japanese business news, as well as emerging markets. Her recent coverage includes a cover story on Vietnam's apparel industry. She is a member of the Asian-American Journalists Association, and was recently sponsored by the United Nations in a pan-Asia fact-finding mission. In addition, she circumnavigated the globe by sea in 2000, visiting 18 nations, on a scholarship with Peace Boat, a UNESCO-affiliated Japanese humanitarian group. Previously, Ms. Huang lived in Tokyo and reported for The Yomiuri Shimbun and The Japan Times. In the U.S., she has also written for The Newark Star-Ledger (New Jersey), The Virginian Pilot and Newsday. Ms. Huang earned a bachelor's degree in English Literature, with a minor in journalism, from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

Contact: (212) 367-2647, phuang@forbes.com

DAVID JOACHIM (class of 1993; Buskin Award winner, 1992; chairman, Buskin Committee) is weekend editor for business at The New York Times, and he writes for several sections of the paper. He spent a decade in the technology press, most recently as group editor for six magazines published by CMP Media. He was also a staff writer at Newsday. He is national membership chairman for the Society of Professional Journalists and immediate past president fo the society's New York City chapter, the Deadline Club. In college he was editor in chief of the Statesman newspaper, a Newsday intern and a New York Times stringer. More information and links to his articles are at www.davidjoachim.com.

Contact: 212-556-1584, joachim@nytimes.com

ROBERT F. KEELER is an editorial writer for Newsday, focusing primarily on Suffolk County politics and government, the environment and regional transportation. He won a Pulitzer Prize in 1996 for beat reporting, for a series of stories about St. Brigid's, a Catholic parish in Westbury.

Contact: bob.keeler@newsday.com

LAURA LO (class of 1998) is an assistant editor on Newsday's copy desk. She spent three years as a reporter and editor at The Stony Brook Statesman and is a former Newsday copy-editing intern. After she graduated from Stony Brook, she worked as coordinator of alumni affairs at Suffolk County Community College.

Contact: llo@newsday.com

NORM PRUSSLIN (class of 1969) is director of the Media Minor/Living Learning Center for Media Programs at Stony Brook University. He serves as assistant director, Student Union and Activities at SBU where he manages WUSB 90.1FM and advises the Student Media Council. He serves as president of the Intercollegiate Broadcasting System, the nation's oldest and largest college radio station membership organization. Norm is also an active member of many other media industry associations including the Society of Professional Journalists (board member, Press Club of Long Island chapter), College Media Advisers, Broadcast Education Association and the Radio/TV News Directors Association.

Contact: 631-632-6823, nprusslin@notes.cc.sunysb.edu

PAUL SCHREIBER was a reporter, editor and business columnist at Newsday for 33 years. He graduated from the University of Miami with a degree in journalism and began his career as a reporter and bureau chief for The Miami Herald. He is director of the Journalism Minor at Stony Brook, where he teaches JRN 288, Feature Writing, and JRN 388, Advanced Feature Writing and Magazine Writing. He was named "Outstanding Long Island Journalist" in 2002 by The Press Club of Long Island.

Contact: paulschr@optonline.net

BARBARA SELVIN has been teaching news reporting and writing courses at Stony Brook since January 2000. In 2005, she won the President's Award for Excellence in Teaching as Part-Time Faculty. She directs the Baruch College Now Summer Journalism Workshop for New York City high school students. Selvin covered real estate, economic development and health care for Newsday from 1985 to 1993. She previously worked for The Advocate of Stamford, Conn., and has freelanced for both newspapers and magazines. She got her start in journalism working at weekly Long Island papers after graduating from SUNY-Binghamton with a degree in English, and then attended the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where she won a Pulitzer Traveling Fellowship.

Contact: 516-883-3460, bselvin@gmail.com

OTTO STRONG (class of 1992; Buskin Award winner, 1991) is Newsday's Sunday sports editor. Has previously worked as a reporter, night city editor and sports copy desk editor. He was also a staff writer at the Los Angeles Times. In college, he founded the USB Weekly newspaper and was a writer, editor and columnist for the Statesman.

Contact: 631-843-4825, otto.strong@newsday.com

ALAN J. WAX (class of 1971) is president of WaxWords Inc., a public relations firm based in Melville, NY. He also is a freelance wine writer for Long Island Business News and Long Island magazine. He spent 23 years at Newsday before leaving in January, 2004 and previously worked for the New York Post, Commodity News Services, Financial World magazine and the Commercial & Financial Chronicle. Before graduating, he was a news editor and business manager at Statesman, a campus stringer for Newsday and a Newsday summer intern in 1970 and 1971.

Contact: 631-574-4433, alanjwax@waxwordsinc.com

PAT WIEDENKELLER is a deputy Part 2 features editor at Newsday. While at Stony Brook, she worked for two weekly newspapers and had two internships at Newsday. She joined Newsday full-time in 1991.

Contact: 631-843-4637, wiedenke@newsday.com