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Richard Lee Colvin named director of the Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media


Richard Lee Colvin Named Director of the Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media

Richard Lee Colvin

Richard Lee Colvin, an award-winning education writer with the Los Angeles Times, is the new director of the Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media at Teachers College.

Colvin joined the Institute last summer as deputy director. He succeeds Gene I. Maeroff, the institute's founding director, who will remain with the Institute as a senior fellow. Colvin assumed his new responsibilities on May 1st.

Maeroff, the author, editor or co-editor of 11 books, will continue to work on Hechinger, but stepping down from day-to-day responsibility for the Institute will allow him to spend more time on outside writing projects.

The Institute organizes seminars for journalists that feature top policy makers and researchers on timely issues in education. The seminars are tailored to the interests of different groups of journalists, including editorial writers who write about education, education editors, reporters who specialize in higher education issues, and reporters new to the beat. The institute also commissions books and reports that give background information to journalists on key education topics.

Colvin, 49, said he is honored and grateful for the opportunity to lead Hechinger. Over the past eight years under Maeroff, Hechinger has become highly valued by writers and their editors and supervisors. Many journalists make a trip to a Hechinger seminar as an annual tradition. "Gene has created a precious asset and I intend to do everything I can to make sure it continues to serve my colleagues well," Colvin said.

Colvin said his priorities include expanding the Institute's involvement with broadcast journalists, helping journalists handle the often conflicting and confusing claims of education research, and continuing to assist journalists in their coverage of the federal No Child Left Behind act. Colvin also said the Institute has received a $485,000 grant from The Wallace Foundation to help journalists explore the role of principals and superintendents in boosting academic achievement. That work will be carried out over the next three years.

Colvin said that since joining the Institute he has continued working as a journalist, writing commentaries, magazine articles and a chapter for an upcoming book, and will continue to do so.

Before joining the Times in 1989 Colvin covered education for the Oakland Tribune and the Hayward Daily Review, in Hayward, California. He wrote about housing, gangs and development issues until 1994 when he joined the education team to cover statewide issues. He has been writing about national education issues since 1997.

Colvin was a Michigan Journalism Fellow during the 1999-2000 academic year. He also has been a Media Fellow at the Hoover Institute, Stanford University and has won numerous state and national education writing awards, including two in 1995 from the Education Writers Association. An article by Colvin published in the Los Angeles Times last summer about the struggles of a large, troubled California high school was honored in April with a first prize for feature writing by the Education Writers Association in its annual award program.

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