University works to connect experts, media

News sources around the country are looking for experts to discuss topics prevalent in the news at that specific time.

In the Cleveland area, Baldwin Wallace University is a well-known name on the contact lists of TV, radio, and newspapers who are looking for specialists that are experts in their field to discuss the topic.

Shawn Salamone, director of public information, acts as the first point of contact for news sources that are looking for experts to be featured on their shows. Many weeks she spends a great amount of time juggling news outlets that are all looking for BW faculty to tell their stories or give their input on a topic.

Because of the work that BW students and faculty are involved in, news sources are interested in hearing about more than just the current topic of news. BW, as well as other area universities, are commonly heard speaking about their groundbreaking discoveries.

“Some of the inquiries I get are connected to issues in the news,” said Salamone. “Many times, they will try to take research that professors have done and package it for a different audience.”

Dr. Tom Sutton, professor of political science, is frequently seen on TV and heard over the radio for all in the Cleveland area. Sutton currently works as a Political Analyst for WEWS Channel 5 News in Cleveland, Ohio.

He began this position in 2007 because of his passion for the political environment in the US, not for the extra pocket change. In fact, he doesn’t receive any compensation from his work on TV, radio, or print. Even so, he had no shortage of reasons why he enjoys doing the work.

“To me, this all has had a great impact on how I teach,” said Sutton. “The experiences I’ve gone through and dealt with provide stories for the students on how things work out in the real world.”

Other faculty like Associate Professor of Biology Dr. Kathryn Flinn, and Assistant Professor of Journalism Dr. Brandon Szuminsky, are two of the names that also stood out to Salamone.

Both BW faculty members were recently featured on “Ideastream”, a part of Cleveland’s local NPR station, WCPN. Szuminsky spoke on “The Sound of Ideas” just days after the shooting in Pittsburgh, PA, discussing the impacts of how hate speech and misinformation are spread online.

Flinn had the opportunity to present research done by herself along with a BW student, regarding the changing landscape and tree populations in Cuyahoga County.

Salamone said the benefits of having faculty speak on their expertise goes beyond informing the public while building real life experiences that they can share with their students; Salamone sees this as an important marketing tool to help get BW out into the public.

“It’s good for the entire University because it helps raise our profile and showcase our faculty and their expertise on any given topic,” Salamone said. “It’s reputation building.”

Sutton had similar views on why he feels his work in the news has a direct and indirect impact on BW.

“It’s more than just advertising by mentioning the university’s name,” Sutton said. “It’s showing that we have faculty that are reliable and experts in our respective fields.”