Iowa State University
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News Service

News Service:

Annette Hacker, director,
(515) 294-3720

Office: (515) 294-4777

07-02-07

Contacts:

Richard Doak, Schwartz Award recipient, ddoak@desmoine.gannett.com

Michael Bugeja, Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication, (515) 294-0481, bugeja@iastate.edu

Dave Gieseke, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, (515) 294-7742, dgieseke@iastate.edu

Mike Ferlazzo, News Service, (515) 294-8986, ferlazzo@iastate.edu

Richard Doak to receive 2007 Greenlee School Schwartz Award

AMES, Iowa -- Richard Doak, a long-time columnist and editorial page editor of The Des Moines Register, will receive the 2007 James W. Schwartz Award for Distinguished Service to Journalism and Communication at Iowa State University. Doak will be presented the award during the Greenlee School's annual alumni homecoming activities on Saturday, Oct. 20.

The Schwartz Award is the highest honor conferred by Iowa State's Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication. The school's advisory council and faculty nominate candidates, and faculty members select a winner from those finalists.

"It is the best of all honors to be recognized by one's alma mater," said Doak. "That's doubly true in this case because Jim Schwartz was one of my favorite professors at Iowa State. To receive an award bearing his name is special indeed."

Doak will join the Greenlee School faculty this fall as a lecturer.

"Dick Doak is a model for student journalists," said Michael Bugeja, director of ISU's Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication. "His writing is clear, his opinion is informed and his love for Iowa State -- and the state of Iowa, for that matter -- deep and abiding. We are delighted that he has been named our 2007 recipient. And we put him to work, too, fresh from retirement. Dick has been named a lecturer for the coming 2007-08 year, teaching science writing and other print courses."

Doak retired from The Des Moines Register earlier this year. His previous assignments in 42 years with the newspaper included a wide variety of news beats -- from city hall to education to a decade covering the Iowa Legislature. He also served as business editor and deputy editorial-page editor.

His professional honors include the Society of Professional Journalists/Sigma Delta Chi distinguished service award, the Gerald Loeb award for distinguished business and financial journalism, the Education Writers Association best in the nation award, the American Political Science Association award for outstanding reporting of public affairs, and the Women in Communication's Claris Award. He led a staff project that was a finalist for the 1995 Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing.

"Richard Doak built a remarkable four-decade-plus career at the Register, as a reporter, editor and columnist," said Carol Hunter, editorial page editor for the Des Moines Register. "His greatest legacy, though, came through his work on the opinion staff in persistently pushing Iowa to consider quality of life as the foundation of economic-development efforts. Dick realized long before other big thinkers, a pet tongue-in-cheek phrase of his, that instead of throwing money at companies to move here, Iowa should concentrate on making the state a great place to live. Then the workers and jobs will come. Being a great place includes great schools and universities, of course. But look around the state, and you'll also see Dick's approach taking shape in the form of water-cleanup efforts, bicycle trails and new recreational and cultural centers. Our children and grandchildren will live in a better place because of Dick's work."

Doak is a past president of the Iowa Freedom of Information Council and serves on the advisory council for the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication.

The Newton native is a graduate of Iowa State University in technical journalism with a master's degree in economic history. He was editor-in-chief of the Iowa State Daily and elected to Cardinal Key while he was an ISU student.

He and his wife Mary Lou live in Johnston and are the parents of four grown daughters. They have 11 grandchildren.

"This quiet, unassuming person (Doak) distinguished himself during his 42-year career with Iowa's leading newspaper by putting his extraordinary journalistic talents to work as editor of the editorial page toward a long-term vision of making Iowa a better place to love for future generations -- a lofty goal that is now bearing fruit," said Louis Thompson, Jr., chair of the Greenlee Advisory Council and 2001 Schwartz Award winner.

Other Schwartz Award winners include Hugh Sidey, former TIME magazine White House correspondent; Roy Reiman, founder of Reiman Publications; Terry Anderson, former Associated Press Middle East bureau chief; Kevin and Mollie Cooney, KCCI-TV anchors and reporters; Herb Plambeck, America's first full-time farm broadcaster; Chris Adams, investigative reporter for Knight Ridder's Washington bureau; Bill Monroe, executive director of the Iowa Newspaper Association, Des Moines; and Patricia Dean, associate director of the School of Journalism, Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California.

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Doak

Richard Doak

Quick look

Richard Doak, a long-time columnist and editorial page editor of The Des Moines Register, will receive the 2007 James W. Schwartz Award for Distinguished Service to Journalism and Communication at Iowa State. The award is the highest honor conferred by ISU's Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication and will be presented during homecoming on Saturday, Oct. 20.

Quote

"Dick Doak is a model for student journalists. His writing is clear, his opinion is informed and his love for Iowa State -- and the state of Iowa, for that matter -- deep and abiding. We are delighted that he has been named our 2007 recipient. And we put him to work, too, fresh from retirement. Dick has been named a lecturer for the coming 2007-08 year, teaching science writing and other print courses."

Michael Bugeja