Sean Kirst, ’81, to headline SUNY Fredonia journalism conference

Sean Kirst, an award-winning columnist with The (Syracuse) Post-Standard and 1981 graduate of SUNY Fredonia, will deliver the keynote address at the Society of Professional Journalists Annual Confer-ence on Saturday at SUNY Fredonia.

Leading news professionals from Western New York will conduct individual break-out sessions at 11 a.m. and noon at Jewett Hall. They include:

Bruce Andriatch, assistant managing editor/feat-ures at The Buffalo News;

Julia Burke, associate editor, Buffalo Spree Maga-zine;

Steve Cichon, news director, WBEN-AM radio;

Fredonia alumnus Matt Gould, ’95, television director, Buffalo Sabres; and

Fredonia alumnus Jeff Woodard, ’95, news director at WGRZ-TV, Buffalo.

Kirst, who majored in English at Fredonia while working part-time at the OBSERVER, will discuss the importance of storytelling in journalism in his address at 1 p.m. at 105 Fenton Hall.

A Dunkirk native, Kirst won the 2009 Scripps Howard Foundation National Journalism Award, one of the most prestigious prizes in journalism. His collection of columns focusing on stories of ordinary people in Upstate New York whose life experiences defined a challenge or a moment in time earned the Ernie Pyle Award for human interest writing.

The conference is co-sponsored by the SUNY Fredonia chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and the Communications Department.

Admission is free for students and $5 for the general public.

To learn more, contact Journalism Professor Elmer Ploetz at 984-7503 or