Adams State Haynie Media Center dedication honors former professor

(11-13-2008)

"There is no better way to learn journalism than by doing, and that path will start for many students in this media center," said special guest Nelson Garcia at the dedication of Adams State’s new Haynie Center for Mass Communications, Nov. 10. Garcia is the education reporter for 9News KUSA-TV in Denver.

The Haynie Center was developed and named in memory of Dr. Brooks Haynie, associate professor of journalism at Adams State from 1998 until his death in 2006 from complications of diabetes. Haynie was adviser to the student radio station, KASF, and taught courses in writing, broadcasting, film, and media theory and history. He earned a Ph.D. from the University of Southern California, an M.A. from Miami University, and a B.A. from the University of La Verne.

"As sad as we were at Brooks' death, we are profoundly happy we could make something good of it," said Haynie's friend and colleague Dr. David Mazel, professor of English.

He explained the media center resulted from Haynie's vision for raising the profile of student media on campus. Located in the Student Union Building, the center houses KASF radio, The South Coloradan student newspaper, and the SandHill Review literary and arts magazine. KASF 90.9 FM studios were relocated from the corner of First and Richardson Ave. and equipped with a new state-of-the art mixing board and broadcasting software. Print-production facilities were also streamlined. A lounge area will enable all students to explore journalism by providing a meeting space and access to newspapers, magazines, and television.

"The glass entry and broadcast booth expose other students to their peers actually doing journalism," Mazel noted. "We think this will help the campus as a whole with student recruitment. A lot of high school students wind up in this building, and the media center will signal there are cool things to do here."

The Haynie Center was created at a cost of roughly $45,000 from the Communications Board budget, which is student-funded through AS&F (student government), according to Armando Valdez, chair of the board. The Department of English, Communications, and Theatre is exploring ways to expand the mass communications program to include video production.

While on the Adams State campus, Nelson guest-taught a class in Basic Media Writing and met with the communications faculty and student media managers.

"This is the beginning of a new chapter at Adams State. This center will be a gateway to a new life, new experiences, and new responsibilities for all students who come here," Nelson said. He discussed the trend of consolidation in journalism and changes brought by the Internet and other technology. "Instead of newsrooms, we will have 'information centers,' from which we will deliver information on a number of different platforms."

Referring to Adams State's tagline, Great Stories Begin Here, Nelson said great stories lead to great journalism. "To create a great journalist, you need to have great people. If you want to be a great person, you must do great things. To do great things, you must not be afraid to fail or takes risks in the search for the truth.

"At the core of journalism is the truth, and the story wraps around the truth like a blanket. A journalist's job is to find and tell the story."

Nelson continued: "The key to any great story is a great character. Perhaps that why it is so appropriate for this media center to be named in the honor of the late Brooks Haynie. I never had the privilege of meeting the man, but I've read that he was a damn fine human being, there is no memory of him that doesn't include laughter. He made everyone think and treated everyone fairly. This sounds like a character that represented what is best about a journalist and of journalism. This place is the best tribute to a man who inspired others, who motivated students to succeed, to launch to people into a life after college."

Members of the Haynie family traveled from Amarillo, Texas, for the event. Joining a small crowd of Haynie's colleagues, students, and friends at the dedication were Brooks' parents, Thomas and Marjorie Haynie; his sister, Lisa Matteson and niece, Jaclyn; his brother Blair; and his stepson, Tylor, who is an Adams State student. Blair Haynie expressed the family's appreciation to Brooks' friends and everyone who participated in creating the Haynie Center.

By Julie Waechter