Award, an engraved plaque, was presented in
September 2005 at SEJ's 15th annual conference
in Austin to Denny Wilkins, the SEJournal workhorse who has copyedited SEJ material for free, for years.
Photo by Craig Melvin
Denny began helping to publish SEJ's quarterly journal nearly a decade ago, after volunteering his services as a proofreader. He graduated from checking for typos and grammatical errors to helping oversee the journal's overall direction as a member and finally chairman of the editorial board. Denny, associate professor of journalism and communications at St. Bonaventure University in Olean, N.Y., declined offers to be paid for his painstaking but vital work.
Informed of his selection for the 2005 Stolberg Award, Denny replied that he was "shocked, stunned and flattered that you would honor me this way. I'm just an old copy desk hack who likes to run down errant commas. To me, this award represents the service and dedication of current and past editors of the journal, its editorial board and the selfless members who write for the journal."
Created in 1998, the
award is given annually to a member or
members whose service to the Society and
to other members epitomizes the volunteer
spirit of its namesake, David Stolberg,
one of SEJ's founders. Much of SEJ's best
work is accomplished by member-volunteers:
from tour and panel organizers for the
annual conference, contributors to
SEJournal, to freedom-of-information
watchdogs, mentors, leaders in diversity
outreach and more. Volunteers
define the heart and soul of SEJ, and
expand the group's reach in ways that cannot
be easily measured.
The winner is
selected by a panel of three judges drawn
from SEJ's board of directors and staff,
and appointed by SEJ's president.