Shannan Ferry, a junior majoring in broadcast journalism in the Hofstra School of Communication, has won a national award for outstanding interview program or feature from the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation.
Called the Gracie Award, the prize honors the work of women in television, radio, and online media. Shannan won in the student radio market category for her work on a segment called “Female Genital Mutilation: A Victim Speaks Out,” which aired last year on the award-winning, student-run campus station, WRHU 88.7 FM Radio Hofstra University. Shannan has been with the station since her freshman year, and was named station manager in January. Most recently, she was among three WRHU student journalists who were invited to report live from the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida. She also covered the second Presidential debate between President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney, which was held on the Hofstra campus last October.
“It’s a tremendous honor to win this award,” says Shannan, who is from Little Neck, NY and is also minoring in political science. “Many of the nationally recognized journalists that I look up to have won a Gracie Award. To be able to say that I now share that in common with them in very exciting.”
Her winning piece was one of the first projects that she worked on as a producer with WRHU’s women’s issues program, “A League of Our Own.” For the story, she worked with Equality Now, a non-profit that focuses on stopping violence and discrimination against women and girls. Through the group, she was able to interview 21-year-old Jaha Dukurey, who moved to the United States to escape the cultural practice of female genital mutilation in her native Gambia. “I polished my skills as a journalist, and learned just how difficult it can be to interview someone about something so personal and life-changing,” Shannan says.
“Shannan recently was appointed station manager of WRHU, the highest position a student staffer can hold, and raised the standards of programming to new heights,” said Ed Ingles, WRHU’s Professional-in-Residence. “I expect we’ll hear a lot more about Shannan Ferry’s achievements in the years to come.”
The Alliance for Women in Media was founded in 1951 as a successor to the National Association of Broadcasters women’s division.