Congratulations to Sandy Bailey Rosenbush, AWSM’s 2012 Mary Garber Pioneer Award winner.
“I’m overwhelmed by this honor,” Rosenbush said. “AWSM has been such an important force in helping to diversify the sports media, and in showing that women belong not just in this industry but also in leadership roles in it.
“In truth, we still have a long way to go. But thanks in no small part to AWSM, we are well on our way, and growing stronger every day.”
Rosenbush has been an editor and writer for some of the world’s most prominent news outlets — The Washington Post, the International Herald Tribune, the New York Times, Sports Illustrated and currently ESPN, where she has been an event news editor since 2008.
But her passion for teaching has not only made Rosenbush unique among past winners, but has enriched the lives of other journalists along with those just starting out in the profession.
“It is a pleasure to award Sandy this honor,” said Amy Moritz, AWSM president. “In every step of her career she has been a pioneer, helping to set an example that so many women have admired and strived to emulate. Sandy has not just done her job well, however. She has actively worked to create more opportunities for women and minorities in the sports media industry and to train them to shine in their roles.”
While serving as the first woman president of the Associated Press Sports Editors, in 1993 she and Leon Carter, then-chair of the National Association of Black Journalists Sports Task Force, founded the Sports Journalism Institute, designed to add to the ranks of women and minorities in the industry.
With financial backing from the Freedom Forum at its inception, SJI continues to partner with APSE and NABJ, along with AWSM and the Asian American Journalists Association. In June, SJI will welcome its 20th class to journalism “boot camp” at the University of Missouri School of Journalism.
“The award is well-deserved,” said Carter, executive editor of ESPN-New York and SJI co-director. “Sandy is a terrific leader and role model. She has devoted countless hours to the Sports Journalism Institute over the past 20 years to help improve diversity numbers in sports departments. SJI is still alive today because of her. She participates on every level of SJI — planning, scheduling, teaching, fund-raising, etc. Many women and African Americans owe a lot to her, including me. We are all better for the work she has done. “
Just a couple years removed from editing the student newspaper at her alma mater, the University of South Florida, Rosenbush was hired by the Washington Post’s George Solomon to work on the sports copy desk.
In her 10-year tenure there, Rosenbush advanced to deputy sports editor, working on a staff that included prominent writers Christine Brennan (2004 Pioneer winner), Sally Jenkins and Jane Leavy. She then left for the Paris-based International Herald Tribune, writing and editing sports for two years before being hired as the deputy sports editor at the New York Times.
In 1993, Rosenbush moved to Sports Illustrated as a senior editor. Over a 13-year career, she rose to assistant managing editor, making her mark as the Olympics editor and the editor in charge of SI Presents, producing special and commemorative publications. Rosenbush was also the startup editor for the groundbreaking and now-defunct SI for Women.
Rosenbush left Sports Illustrated in 2006 to become a New York City Teaching Fellow, teaching fulltime for two years in the city’s public school system, before returning to sports at ESPN, where she works with event crews covering mostly college football, basketball and pro tennis.
Rosenbush, who has lived in Brooklyn for nearly 20 years, is married to Rich Rosenbush, editor of the Daily Racing Form. They have three children, Katy, Kyle and Emma.
The Mary Garber Pioneer Award, AWSM’s highest honor, recognizes those who have paved the way and serve as role models for women in sports media. The award has been given annually since 1999 to those who have distinguished themselves in the field while reflecting and advancing the values and mission of AWSM.
It was renamed the Mary Garber Pioneer Award in 2006 to honor one of the industry’s original pioneers. Rosenbush will be honored during the Mary Garber Pioneer Award winner lunch at AWSM’s national convention. The 2012 Convention, held in conjunction with APSE, will be held from June 20-23 in Chicago.
Past Mary Garber Pioneer Award winners:
- 1999: Lesley Visser
- 2000: Claire Smith
- 2001: Michele Himmelberg
- 2002: Tracy Dodds
- 2003: Melissa Ludtke
- 2004: Christine Brennan
- 2005: Cathy Henkel
- 2006: Kristin Huckshorn
- 2007: Julie Ward
- 2008: Mary Schmitt Boyer
- 2009: Linda Robertson
- 2010: Julie Cart
- 2011: Rosa Gatti