Since January, Sutton taught a business journalism class at Grambling as part of the Reynolds Center’s Visiting Professor Program, which pairs veteran journalists with academic institutions to encourage stronger financial training. Sutton, whose career included leading award-winning teams at various media outlets, was one of four visiting professors funded by a $1.67 million grant from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation.
In his new role, Sutton will handle Grambling’s public relations and communications. He will also advise journalism students as they embark on professional careers.
“None of this would be possible without the wonderful visiting professor opportunity provided by the Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism and the opportunity to share business and business journalism knowledge with students at Grambling State University,” Sutton said in an e-mail. “This job gives me the chance to have a broad impact on the university while still working with students.”
While teaching at Grambling, Sutton founded a professional development program for journalists and also pushed for diversity on the business beat. This spring, his 11-point plan for adding diversity to business journalism ranks prompted a vibrant online discussion and eventually action. After reading Sutton’s challenge, Jill Jorden Spitz, president of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers, vowed to explore bring business journalism training to five high schools. She also said the organization will strive to award five minority students scholarships to the 2013 SABEW Annual Conference in Washington D.C.
“We have enjoyed having Will on campus as a visiting professor, and we’re thrilled that he’s agreed to stay and help us communicate all the good news about our wonderful university,” President Frank D. Pogue said in a press release. “We know someone of his caliber will automatically have respect from his media peers and our academic community, and we know he can help us.”