CC’s Corey Hutchins Named Educator of the Year by Journalism Society

The Colorado chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has named Colorado College’s Corey Hutchins as the 2023 Educator of the Year. 

Hutchins has been serving as co-director of the Colorado College Journalism Institute since the fall. Prior to that he was interim director, a visiting instructor, and the institute’s journalist in residence. He has been teaching at the college since 2017. 

This year, Hutchins is advising roughly two dozen journalism minors, overseeing their projects, internships, capstones, and practicums. 

“Corey is tireless in his devotion to the craft of journalism,” said Steve Hayward, professor of English, who nominated Hutchins for the honor. “And more so when it comes to teaching it to our students.”

Earlier this month, the Journalism Institute was featured as a case study in higher education by the Center for Community News at the University of Vermont. Last week, CC journalism student Chloe Brooks-Kistler won the top journalism award from the Denver Press Club — the second time a CC student has won the top award since Colorado College became eligible for the scholarship in 2019. 

Esteban Candelaria, a staff writer at the Albuquerque Journal newspaper who graduated from CC as a journalism minor in 2021, presented the award Saturday, April 22, at the 2023 Top of the Rockies Excellence in Journalism Contest in Denver. 

“My journey in journalism began my junior year of college,” Candelaria said in his introduction. As a philosophy major looking to try something new for a half block, he said he narrowed his choices down to an LSAT prep course and a “Journalism Boot Camp.”

“For some reason, I went with the latter,” Candelaria said. “I walked into that class still a little leery. But the passion of a certain professor I met that day lured me in and took a hold of me that exists today even now, years later. Throughout those short years, and even though I'm no longer his student, I've always been able to count on that professor for advice, moral support, and, most importantly, job references. So tonight, I'm honored to present the SPJ Colorado Educator of the Year Award to my mentor — and friend — Corey Hutchins.”

This past year, Hutchins was instrumental in the creation of the Colorado News Mapping Project, a groundbreaking effort that seeks to identify where Coloradans are getting their local news and information in all 64 counties. He is currently working with Colorado Media Project on initiatives involving media literacy and equitable internships. 

“There may be others out there who know more about Colorado media than Corey,” Hayward puts it. “But I doubt it.”

As a reporter, Hutchins was twice named Journalist of the Year by the South Carolina Press Association, and was the Colorado Press Association’s 2019 winner for public service journalism. For nearly a decade he has written about the U.S. local news scene for Columbia Journalism Review and has reported for The Washington Post, Slate, The Nation, The Center for Public Integrity, and others. 

During CC’s 2020 honors convocation, students presented Hutchins with the Ruth Barton Award that recognizes someone who contributes “significant time and effort to student journalism at Colorado College.” Last year, he authored the chapter on media for the once-every-10-years book “American Decades” published by Gale, and wrote the entry on public funding for the second edition of SAGE’s “Encyclopedia of Journalism.”

Each week, he publishes a widely read newsletter on Substack called “Inside the News in Colorado” that connects local developments in journalism to what’s happening nationally and explores what makes Colorado’s local news scene unique.

“I know that this says educator of the year, but I want to share this award in spirit with the students who educate me every day,” Hutchins said Saturday in his acceptance speech.

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