Yvette Walker

Edith Kinney Gaylord Journalism Ethics Endowed Chair at University of Central Oklahoma

Degree(s): MA '10

Whereabouts: Oklahoma, Edmond, United States

What do you do?
I am the Edith Kinney Gaylord Journalism Ethics Endowed Chair at the University of Central Oklahoma. I teach media ethics and develop courses and events in our program. Also, I am night news director at The Oklahoman, the daily newspaper of Oklahoma City. I supervise breaking news at night and oversee production and design of the paper, especially Page One.

How did you get your job?
I’ve worked for several newspapers, so I’ve moved around a lot. I came to The Oklahoman from The Kansas City Star. I also have a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University. Because of my great education (two stellar schools) and my experience, I’ve been fortunate to find good jobs.

What is the best professional lesson you learned at the J-School?
Research! Using databases, online research and other tools is very important to today’s journalist. Also, patience. It took me a while to get my degree because I worked full-time.

What advice do you have for current students?
I graduated from the online degree program, so online education works if you work hard. You have to push yourself to engage with the class. But when you do, you learn a lot: about technology (content management systems), about working independently and also about communicating ideas through the written word. You have very little face time, so you have to get your point across through your writing, which is what we do in journalism anyway!

What is your favorite J-School memory?
Driving to graduation, and later, walking across the stage! I never thought graduation would come because I was a part-time student. I had purchased my cap and gown six months before graduation. I looked at it every day. It kept me going!

Updated: November 15, 2011