North Carolina A&T State University professor Gail Wiggins

Professor at N.C. A&T Selected as NABJ Educator of the Year

For 20 years North Carolina A&T State University professor Gail Wiggins has been one of the driving forces and coordinators of the university’s annual National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) Multimedia Short Course. Her continuous effort to make sure her students are exceptionally prepared to work in the field of Journalism is one of the many reasons why she has been selected as the NABJ 2016 Educator of the Year.  

“I am just deeply honored and more importantly I’m extremely grateful for the recognition,” said Wiggins. “I tell my students that I’m proud of them every day and since the announcement I’ve been getting a lot of words of kindness from students, alumni, faculty, family and friends. When you hear it from your students it makes you feel good on the inside. To know I make them proud too, just means the world to me.”

The prestigious honor recognizes the service, commitment and academic guidance of an outstanding journalism educator who teaches or advises students in the field of journalism at a high school or accredited four-year college or university and has also shown a commitment to diversifying the nation’s newsrooms through their academic work.

"Given the tremendous challenges faced by journalists on a daily basis, one must be expertly prepared to enter our chosen profession," said NABJ president Sarah Glover. "Professor Gail Wiggins has certainly done her part to ensure that students enter the work world grounded in reality and aware of the importance of hard work and operating with integrity. We thank Professor Wiggins for the hands-on instruction and wise counsel she has provided to scores of students over the years."

Wiggins has spent more than 30 years teaching college-level journalism and mass communication studies courses as well as advising and guiding students. Often times she is the first individual new majors come in contact with as freshmen and transfer students, following them through their curriculum into their senior year.

She continues to advocate for the annual NABJ Short Course and encourages students to participate because she strongly believes in the associations vital “expertise, knowledge and training that is necessary for students to be competitive in the industry, and it opens up many doors of opportunity for them to get a real taste of what news producing is all about.”

The official NABJ 2016 Educator of the Year award will be presented to Wiggins on Aug. 3, during the opening ceremony of the association’s national conference in Washington, D.C.

The NABJ is the largest organization for journalists of color in the nation. The association provides career development as well as educational and other support to members worldwide.