If you’re lucky, your life is transformed by an influential teacher. For me, that was Richard “Dick” Yoakam, legendary professor of broadcast journalism at Indiana University. He pioneered the curriculum, designed the TV studio, foresaw the evolution of broadcasting, and taught us to strive to be thoughtful, well-rounded, ethical journalists and leaders. I’m so grateful.
Yoakam’s leadership example, along with my involvement in the School of Business and other student leadership groups, led to the second photo, which was me being named IU’s Top Female Student Leader back in the day. (That’s Jim Meyer beside me, named Top Male Student Leader, then regrettably named “Mr. and Ms. IU.” )
As a result, I was fortunate to launch my broadcasting career with a fellowship at ABC Nightly News in New York. These were exhilarating experiences for a small town girl. I had no financial advantages in life, but I didn’t need them—I was fueled by a sense of purpose instilled by a legend of a man.
Since graduating, I’ve been an adjunct professor at IU’s Kelley School of Business MBA program and enjoyed many trips back to the Memorial Union with my family.
Today is IU Day— a 24-hour period of service and giving. I’m donating to the TV station that Professor Yoakam pioneered, WTIU, in his memory. Professor Yoakam’s legacy stands tall for launching curriculums, careers, and leadership mindsets.