By Kimie Bunyasaranand
AWSM Intern / Sports Illustrated
CHICAGO—The Association for Women in Sports Media honored veteran sports editor Sandy Rosenbush with the Mary Garber Pioneer Award at the annual convention Thursday in Chicago.
The award is AWSM’s highest honor and recognizes individuals not just for their outstanding accomplishments in sports media, but also for serving as role models and mentors for young journalists.
Rosenbush, currently an event news editor at ESPN, has worked for the Washington Post, the International Herald Tribune, the New York Times and Sports Illustrated. She began her sports writing career at the Clearwater Sun after she correctly answered two sports questions from an editor looking to add a woman to the sports department.It was an unconventional start to a remarkable career.
Rosenbush became the first female president of APSE in 1992. That year, she and fellow sports editor Leon Carter, who was then serving as president of the National Association of Black Journalists, founded the Sports Journalism Institute to help diversify America’s newsrooms.
SJI, a rigorous training program designed to increase the number of women and minorities in the industry, recently graduated its 20th class of aspiring sports journalists.“She changed the way we see ourselves as journalists, and she changed the way we see ourselves as people,” said Nicole Vargas, an SJI graduate and former ASWM board member who introduced Rosenbush at Thursday’s award luncheon.
Rosenbush deferred much credit to the work of the SJI, which has graduated nearly 300 students from its program. Rosenbush said her time each year with the students at SJI is re-energizing.
“When you’re able to say a student has been president of the NABJ and started an internship program at San Diego State, I guess you’re old enough to be a pioneer,” Rosenbush said.