Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) School of Journalism & Graphic Communication (SJGC) recently welcomed Francine Huff as the Knight Chair for Student Achievement. While at the Wall Street Journal, Huff served as the Spot News Bureau Chief and contributed to the Journal’s Pulitzer Prize winning team coverage of the September 11, 2001 events.
This endowed chair is a five-year appointment, supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, a leading funder of journalism and media innovation. The Knight Foundation works to preserve the best aspects of journalism and support innovation to expand the impact of information in the digital age.
Huff was selected for this prestigious position after a nationwide search. FAMU is the only historically black college or university to house a Knight Chair. Huff is the second professor to occupy the Knight Chair, following Professor Joseph Ritchie.
Commenting on the selection of Huff, President Elmira Mangum, Ph.D. said, “Our ability to renew our Knight Foundation endowed chair highlights the esteemed position that the SJGC holds nationally. And, moreover, the prestige of the school will be even further enhanced by the appointment of a scholar, journalist, and author as well-renowned as Francine Huff.”
“The Knight Chair in Student Achievement will open new opportunities for FAMU ‘s journalism school graduates at a critical time in news history when the need for diversity in newsrooms is urgent,” said Marie Gilot, Knight Foundation Program Officer for Journalism. “The role of the Chair is to help prepare students for the newsrooms of the 21st Century and the experience that Francine Huff brings to the position will help get them there.”
Prior to coming to FAMU, Huff served as adjunct professor at Rutgers University, Kean University, and Fairleigh Dickinson University. She has been an editor for the Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, and Pittsburgh Press; and a reporter for Gannett.
Huff founded SuperSavvy Publishing, LLC, which provided writing and editing services to publications, websites, and other companies, including Booz & Co., the John Templeton Foundation, and the Maynard Institute. Among the publications where her freelance work has appeared are Knowledge@Wharton,On Wall Street, PC Magazine, HomeLife, AOL, and Essence.
Huff is the author of the 25-Day Money Makeover for Women. She has appeared on more than 100 radio and TV shows, including on ABC News, EWTN, Fox, Sheridan Broadcasting Network, News 12, Moody Broadcasting Network, and Crown Financial’s Money Matters. She has been a keynote speaker, panelist and workshop leader for many organizations, including the Coalition of 100 Black Women, Ramapo College, Newswomen’s Club of New York, Northwestern University Alumni Club of New York, South Orange-Maplewood Business Incubator, Go on Girl! Book Club, and Mocha Moms.
Huff has a master of communication and information studies from Rutgers University and a bachelor of science in journalism from Northwestern University.
As a Knight Chair, Huff will teach and coordinate the development and implementation of programs and activities that facilitate students’ fluency in the digital journalism skills in demand in today’s job market. She will partner with newsrooms to establish internships to help students obtain work samples. She will also create opportunities for résumé and interview training and for networking with alumni, journalists, media company recruiters, and journalism groups.
Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University is one of the largest single-campus historically black colleges or universities in the nation. The University blends a strong research focus with a commitment to economic empowerment and community service.
The University was founded in 1887 as the State Normal School for Colored Students. Today, FAMU continues its mission to be a best-in-class, land-grant institution with a global reach that focuses on science, technology, research, agriculture, and mathematics (STREAM).
FAMU contributes to a strong workforce by providing a high-quality, affordable education to students of diverse backgrounds. FAMU is listed by U.S. News & WorldReport as the nation’s top public historically black college or university (HBCU) for 2015, and was recognized among the 2014 U.S. News & World Report “Best National Universities.” It is listed among The Princeton Review’s “Best in the Southeast” colleges.
FAMU is also one of the top institutions for providing a high-quality education at an affordable price in Florida, according to The College Database (2013).
For more information about FAMU, visit http://www.famu.edu.
About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
The Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The Foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more information, visit www.knightfoundation.org