Robin Roberts, the anchor of ABC’s Good Morning America, joined five School of Communications and Theater alumni in the spotlight Oct. 21 at the 10th Lew Klein Alumni in the Media Awards.
The annual event celebrates the success of the school and its alumni and honors one media professional with the Excellence in the Media Award. Proceeds from the event support approximately two dozen student scholarships each year, allowing SCT students to study abroad or complete independent study projects.
The 2010 Alumni in the Media honorees represent the varied professions for which the School of Communications and Theater prepares its students. This year’s class includes: Tamron Hall, JOUR ’93, MSNBC anchor; Alan Ross Kosher, THEA ’69, company manager, Disney’s The Lion King; J Russell Peltz, JOUR ’68, boxing promoter; Harvey Pollack, JOUR ’43, director of statistical information, Philadelphia 76ers; and Mike Strug, JOUR ’64, retired reporter, NBC10.
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After the Mitten Hall celebration, Roberts joined SCT students in Annenberg Hall’s Joe First Media Center for a question and answer session. There, aspiring media professionals quizzed her on the obstacles she’s faced, her favorite assignments (the World Cup in South Africa) and much more.
Roberts began her television career as a sports reporter, including 15 years at ESPN. She spoke about the challenges she faced as a minority female trying to enter a field dominated by men. But instead of focusing on the career roadblocks that were thrown her way, she stayed positive, with the support of her mother, and instead focused her energy on her goals and her talents.
“When you’re just your authentic self, things tend to work out,” she says.
Roberts identified with the students well, telling stories of her quest to break into the television industry. She said she never set out to become a celebrity or make a lot of money and several times took a pay cut to land a job in a larger market.
Her career advice? “Writing, writing, writing, writing. That will get you hired.”
She suggested to the students that they write a story about that night’s Philadelphia Phillies game and compare it to the one in the newspaper the next morning.
Roberts told the students that the Temple SCT program provides them a lot of advantages that others don’t have. But even with this assistance, she said passion and drive are key. “Proximity is power,” she said. “You have to make it for yourself.”
The Lew Klein Alumni in the Media and Excellence in the Media Awards were established through the generosity of H.F. (Gerry) and Marguerite Lenfest and Walter and Leonore Annenberg through the Annenberg Foundation.
photos by Joseph V. Labolito/Temple University
Click here to view photos from the previous night’s reception.