Central Michigan University’s journalism department will honor the achievements of four alumni and one faculty member whose work has made a difference in their communities while upholding CMU’s values.
John Barnes, Fred Heumann, Sheila Reinecke and John Hartman will be inducted Nov. 3 into the
CMU Journalism Hall of Fame and Randi Shaffer will be honored as the 2018 Young Journalist of the Year.
Journalism’s ‘John of all trades’
After graduating from CMU in 1981 with a degree in
journalism, Barnes began his career with The Grand Rapids Press in Grand Rapids, Michigan, first as an intern, then a reporter, editor and projects coordinator.
“John believes unapologetically in the power of journalism to inform and move people,” said Kelley Root Guthrie, assistant managing editor of The Detroit News. “He takes seriously the watchdog role of the media.”
Since retiring in 2015, Barnes works as a freelance journalist in the Grand Rapids area. His clients have included The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and The Detroit News.
A respected sportscaster
Heumann graduated from CMU in 1980 with a double major in
broadcast and cinematic arts and journalism. He has worked as a sportscaster for 30 years in the Lansing, Flint, and Detroit markets and currently serves as the sports director at WLNS-TV in Lansing, Michigan.
“This is a man who knows his business,” said Detroit News sportswriter Tom Gage. “He has gained the respect of colleagues in all corners of journalism — from sports to news, from radio and television to print, and now to social media.”
Heumann’s dedication to his community has extended outside his career, most prominently through his support of nonprofit organizations such as the YMCA of Lansing, the Boys and Girls Club of Flint, and his service work with a local reading program for elementary students.
An alum’s contributions
Reinecke’s dedication to CMU has not wavered since her graduation in 1983. Her fundraising efforts have led to endowment of the
Ken Stevens Memorial Photojournalism Student Scholarship within CMU’s
College of the Arts and Media, and she was 2015 journalism Alumnus of the Year.
“What sets Sheila apart from many in her role is her passion for her news organizations and her commitment to the core principles of journalism: objectivity, fairness, truth, accountability and trust,” said Kathleen Simon, assistant director of student media. “Sheila is a successful advertising professional who demonstrates high standards of integrity at all times.”
Currently, Reinecke is a major account executive for MLive Media Group and the national account director for Advance Newspapers. During her career in Michigan, she also has worked with The Grand Rapids Press, The Muskegon Chronicle and their parent companies.
The rookie rock star
Shaffer is a two-time alum of CMU, completing her undergraduate degree in 2012 and her graduate degree in 2015. She currently serves as the digital news editor at the Chicago Tribune. Her passion for community service and her devotion to journalism inspired her nomination for 2018 Young Journalist of the Year at CMU.
“She’s always moving, always helping people, always getting involved with whatever she’s passionate about,” said Brian Manzullo, social, search and audience editor at the Detroit Free Press. “She won’t stop even after she changes the world for the better.”
A dedicated professor
Hartman served as a professor of journalism at CMU from 1984 to 2015. Known for his advocacy and mentorship, he dedicated his time to empowering students to create their greatest possible work.
“Hartman performed his work passionately, with a steadfast belief in the power and importance of journalism and a boundless interest in the people called to pursue it,” said Troy Reimink, columnist for the Traverse City Record-Eagle in Traverse City, Michigan, and arts correspondent for the Detroit Free Press.
Many former students say Hartman’s leadership was instrumental to their success during their time at the university and in their careers. Hartman is the author of “The USA Today Way” books, which examine the first two decades of the newspaper’s publications. He currently works as a columnist for The Columbus Free Press of Columbus, Ohio, and is an adjunct instructor for Kent State University-Stark in North Canton, Ohio.
Written by Olivia Tubaro, University Communications intern