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The MDC Journalism Speaker Series Returns with a New Roster of Award-winning Journalists to Inspire Students

Fred Grimm and David Ovalle

Miami Herald journalists Fred Grimm and David Ovalle

Miami, January 28, 2009 - Miami Herald journalists Fred Grimm and David Ovalle will kick-off the 2009 Miami Dade College (MDC) Journalism Speaker Series, an initiative to bring students face-to-face with working journalists. Grimm, a local columnist with 40 years of journalism experience, and Ovalle, who has covered the police beat and currently covers criminal courts, will speak to students Thursday, Jan. 29, at 11: 15 a.m. at MDC’s North Campus, 11380 N.W. 27 Avenue, Room 2147.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for Miami Dade College students. It is an innovative and interactive learning experience that brings our students face-to-face with industry professionals,” said MDC North Campus President Dr. José A. Vicente. “We are pleased to be able to expose our students to such a diverse and stellar line-up of media personalities again.”

The Series, with five additional programs scheduled this year, was launched in February of 2008 to create an exchange and learning opportunity for students interested in pursuing a career in journalism.

“The Journalism Speaker Series gives students an insight into what being a newspaper or television reporter is all about,” said Laura C. Morel, editor-in-chief of The Falcon Times, the student newspaper at MDC’s North Campus.

Other journalists set to participate this year include Pulitzer Prize-winning author and former Miami Herald police-beat reporter Edna Buchanan, WPLG Local 10’s Neki Mohan, Associated Press chief of bureau in New Orleans Mike McQueen, Clarion Ledger (Jackson, Mississippi) managing editor Don Hudson, radio journalist Dan Grech (Market Place, National Public Radio), and CBS 4’s Natalia Zea.

The Series is the brainchild of Manolo Barco, the media adviser to the student newspapers at MDC’s North Campus (The Falcon Times) and the Wolfson Campus (the Metropolis) and Cindy Irizarry, TV producer for MDC In Focus. 

 “This is an invaluable resource for students to learn directly from individuals involved in the media, and what employment in that industry entails,” said Sam DeFreze, editor-in-chief of the Metropolis, the student newspaper at MDC’s Wolfson Campus.

Each program includes a presentation by the journalists and a 15-minute question and answer session. The series runs through June 24. All programs are free and open to the public. 

Below is the full schedule of speakers.

Journalism Speaker Series schedule:

Thursday, Jan. 29, at 11:15 a.m. 
North Campus, 11380 N.W. 27 Ave., Room 2147

Fred Grimm-Columnist, The Miami Herald.
David Ovalle- Criminal courthouse reporter, The Miami Herald

Tuesday, Feb. 24, at 11:15 a.m.
Wolfson Campus, 300 N.E. Second Ave., Room 7128

Don Husdon: Managing editor, The Clarion Ledger (Jackson, Mississippi).
Dan Grech:  Radio journalist Marketplace (National Public Radio).

Thursday, Mar. 26, at 9:50 a.m.
North Campus, 11380 N.W. 27 Ave., Room 4207

Edna Buchanan: Pulitzer Prize- winning author and a former police-beat reporter at The Miami Herald. 

Tuesday, Apr. 28, at 11:15 a.m.
Wolfson Campus, 300 N.E. Second Ave., Room 7128

Natalia Zea: Reporter/anchor, CBS 4.
Amara Sohn: Reporter, NBC 6.

Thursday, May 28, at 11:15 a.m.
North Campus, 11380 N.W. 27 Ave., Room 4207

Neki Mohan: Reporter/anchor, WPLG Local 10.
Mike McQueen: Associated Press chief of bureau in New Orleans.

Wednesday, June 24, at 1 p.m.
Wolfson Campus, 300 N.E. Second Ave., Room 7128

Ira Winderman: Miami Heat beat writer, South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
Monica Hatcher: Business reporter, The Miami Herald.
Daniel Shoer Roth: Columnist, El Nuevo Herald.

For more information about the speaker series, please contact Manolo Barco at 305-237-1255 or 305-237-3477.

Media-only contacts:
Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611,, MDC communications director
Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710,, media specialist

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