February 1, 2023
Ithaca, NY | 22°F


CNBC anchor to visit college as distinguished lecturer

Students will have something to tweet about when Carl Quintanilla, CNBC news correspondent who narrated the documentary “#TwitterRevolution,” pays a visit to campus April 10.

The Emmy Award–winning reporter will visit Ithaca College for the 22nd annual Jessica Savitch Distinguished Journalism Lecture Series, sponsored by the Roy H. Park School of Communications. Quintanilla will give a presentation about his career path as a broadcast reporter at 8 p.m. in Emerson Suites, followed by a Q&A session.

Quintanilla, co-anchor on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street,” had previously reported for the Wall Street Journal and now broadcasts live from the New York Stock Exchange.

Melissa Gattine, marketing communications manager in the Park School, said Quintanilla will discuss with the audience how technology has transformed the way journalists have covered the Stock Exchange over time.

Quintanilla’s presentation will run in conjunction with the Park School mini-course called Media for Social Responsibility: The Financial Market to the Twitter Revolution, held from 8–10:30 p.m. April 10, 4–6:30 p.m. April 11 and 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. April 13. With 35 seats left, the course is open to up to 75 students from all majors.

Since 2010, Gattine said, the topic of the Media for Social Responsibility mini-course has rotated, and the Park School chose this year’s topic, the financial market and the Twitter revolution, based on Quintanilla’s area of expertise.

“Carl had a piece on the Twitter revolution, and he also talked about the financial market,” she said. “So we kind of pieced those together and made it the course name, as well as his talk.”

She said while the Park School has linked the course content to that of the Savitch lecture for the past few years, the speaker series has been in existence since long before then.

Since 1992, the Park School has invited accomplished professionals to participate in the Jessica Savitch Distinguished Journalism Lecture Series, which honors the late college alumna and reporter Jessica Savitch ’68 who died in a car accident in 1983. Savitch was an Emmy Award–winning news anchor and correspondent for NBC. Her family established the series with an endowment in her memory, which has also allowed the Park School to offer scholarships.

Gattine said she met with the Savitch family and Roberta Spring, Savitch’s close friend and NBC colleague, over the summer to plan this year’s event. Through a discussion about current issues in the news, Gattine said, Spring recommended Quintanilla to be this year’s distinguished lecturer because he is a reputable broadcast journalist with expertise in the Stock Exchange, an issue they were discussing while they met.

This year’s Media for Social Responsibility mini-course addresses global socio-political issues such as pollution, illiteracy, obesity, deforestation and financial crises, and focuses on the growing influence of social media and the entertainment industry in shaping traditional media outlets’ coverage of these issues.

Assistant Professor Anthony Adornato, who will teach the mini-course, said it will give students across all disciplines the chance to discuss how media shape these key issues.

“It is fairly new to give students an idea to dig deeper into the issues they discuss,” he said. “It’s an exciting opportunity for students because we’re tackling relevant issues.”

Steph Khoury, junior documentary studies and production major, said she is excited to attend the lecture because she often watches CNBC documentaries.

“I’m really excited to be able to hear his story off the screen,” she said. “I’m also excited because I often watch a lot of the documentaries that play on CNBC, with one of my favorites being the ‘#TwitterRevolution.’”

Peter Johanns, associate professor and television-radio program director, said any student is welcome to attend the Jessica Savitch Distinguished Journalism Lecture Series.

“It’s not just for journalism students, it’s not just for Park students,” he said. “What is always talked about within these various lecture series is really applicable to all students throughout Ithaca College.”

Because there is both media content and business content, Gattine said, the Park School also promotes the event to the School of Business, but the event is not limited to these audiences.

Jessica’s sister, Stephanie Savitch, owner of Stephanie Savitch Counseling, a private grief support business in West Virginia, comes to the lecture series each year to honor her sister. She said the Park School was important to Jessica, as it taught her the skills and gave her the ability to pursue a career in broadcast journalism.

“It was at Ithaca that Jessica learned the skills and gained the confidence she needed to launch her broadcast journalism career,” she said. “Jessica needed to break through many barriers to become one of the first female broadcast journalists on a national level.”

Savitch said she hopes all those who have attended the lecture series over the years become motivated and inspired by the guest speakers who are keeping alive her sister’s legacy.

“It is hoped that the attendees to the Distinguished Lecture Series gain insight and motivation from the speakers as they begin their own career paths,” she said. “The Savitch scholars carry Jessica’s legacy of excellence into the future.”

Gattine said the Savitch family wanted to establish the series to highlight successful broadcast journalists like Jessica Savitch and provide a platform for these guest speakers to share career and life stories applicable to students of any discipline.

“I think those real-life stories about how you can be successful, but also kind of learn on the job and adjust, is really great to all areas, especially media,” Gattine said. “Those kind of conversations of how they navigated their life, I think, is really important and crosses all majors.”

Sara Kim can be reached at skim8@ithaca.edu or via Twitter: @sara_Y_kim