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CMU Journalism Hall of Fame names inductees

Ceremony scheduled Nov. 15

Contact: CMU News

​A public relations expert who helps drive General Motors’ message, the “voice” of the University of Michigan and the man who revitalized one of Detroit’s most influential creative services firms are among the media professionals being welcomed into Central Michigan University’s Journalism Hall of Fame this fall.

On Saturday, Nov. 15, in the Powers Hall Ballroom, the Hall of Fame will induct:

  • Kelly Kolhagen Crawford, 1981 graduate, senior vice president, MSL Group;
  • Rick Fitzgerald, 1975 graduate, director of public affairs and internal communications, the University of Michigan;
  • Tim Smith, 1986 graduate, owner and CEO, Skidmore Studio in Detroit; and
  • Guy T. Meiss, retired CMU journalism department chair and professor.

The 12th annual event also will recognize CMU’s “Young Journalist of the Year” Sean Proctor, photographer at the Midland Daily News. Central Michigan Life, the university’s student newspaper, is celebrating its 95th anniversary and honoring its 1984-85 staff.

The 2013 CM Life staff also will be honored for winning a Pacemaker Award and being named “College Newspaper of the Year” by the College Media Business and Advertising Managers.

You can purchase tickets for the Nov. 15 induction dinner online by visiting

For more information about the Hall of Fame, contact Director of Student Publications Dave Clark at 989-774-1678 or


Kelly Kolhagen Crawford, a 1981 graduate, spent more than 20 years as an award-winning journalist. During her tenure at the Detroit News she worked her way up from the copy desk to assistant managing editor for features. Her work has been recognized by the Poynter Institute and the American Copy Editors Society. In 1998, she was named one of the nation’s “Most Influential Media Elite.”

If you’ve read anything about General Motors during the last decade, chances are you’ve read her words. Kolhagen Crawford leads a team of professionals who provide counsel, writing, research and support for GM Global Communications.

She also volunteers her time to CMU as a member of the alumni advisory board and as a member of the selection committee for the Lem Tucker Scholarship, and she supports the Clarkston Library.

Rick Fitzgerald, a 1975 graduate, has spent his career blending advocacy and community journalism. His co-workers and peers say that philosophy also made him a committed mentor. He wants work to be done the right way, and he isn’t afraid to show he cares.

Fitzgerald served as metro editor of the Muskegon Chronicle and the Ann Arbor News, and led the staff of the Livingston Community News.  He joined the University of Michigan public affairs team in 2009, and recently was promoted to director of public affairs and internal communications.

As a community leader, he helped found the Muskegon Chronicle-sponsored Seaway Run in 1981. The event now attracts more than 1,000 runners and is considered to be one of the premier 5K/15K races in Michigan. He recently completed riding in the Wish-A-Mile Bicycle Tour that helps raise funds for Make-A-Wish Michigan. Fitzgerald also has been a key member of CMU’s Journalism Hall of Fame committee since the event’s inception.

Tim Smith, a 1986 graduate, purchased the controlling ownership of Skidmore Studio in 2010. Under Smith’s leadership, the design firm has expanded its client base, hired additional employees and grown its revenue by 200 percent. A Detroit business staple, Skidmore Studio excels at helping companies develop branding strategies.

Smith also has invested in the future of his city. Smith volunteers his time to Reading Works, an organization that promotes adult literacy, and is a board member of the Detroit Creative Corridor and the Detroit Regional Chamber. He helped launch the annual Design Festival in Detroit and started a program called Free Art Fridays to promote both the creative community and downtown Detroit.

Guy Meiss joined the faculty of Central Michigan University in 1977 and ended his career as chair of the journalism department. A Chicago native who served his country as a U.S. Marine, Meiss held several public relations positions, including customer relations for Liberty Mutual Insurance and Ryerson Steel.

He also served as a group manager for training and development for Marketing Management Inc., supervising offices in Chicago, San Francisco, Toronto and Dallas, and serving clients such as Frito-Lay, Sherwin-Williams, Lipton and Chase Manhattan Bank.

At CMU, he served on dozens of committees, boards and task forces and acted as Faculty Association president, Academic Senate chair, College of Arts and Sciences faculty chair, faculty development workshop coordinator and coordinator/evaluator/chair of the prior learning assessment team for Global Campus.

Meiss was selected as a Gannett Teaching Fellow at the School of Journalism, Indiana University, and wrote and spoke extensively on journalism education.  He also is co-editor with Alice Tait of a well-received three-volume series, “Ethnic Media in America.”

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