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Alumna Spotlight: Robin Toner

Robin Toner was, quite simply, a force to be reckoned with. After graduating summa cum laude from SU and working in journalism, she went on to become the first woman to be a national political correspondent for The New York Times. She passed away in 2008 at 54, and newspaper professor Charlotte Grimes created the Toner Prize this year to honor excellence in political reporting.

Toner was the lead reporter on Bill Clinton’s campaign and covered  nearly every domestic issue, from political campaigns to taxes to health care. After she passed away, Masachusetts Senator and former presidential candidate John Kerry said: “Robin was a reporter’s reporter who deeply cared about the people and the issues she covered. There was rarely a day during our health care debates that I didn’t open the paper to read Robin’s story and learn how what we were doing impacted people.”

A quick Google search of Toner’s name reveals scores of stories, not only her own but also other people’s fond recollections of her as a person and a reporter and tales of all the lives she impacted with her work. Toner is an alumna of which every Newhouse student and every SU student should be immensely proud. She shattered barriers in the journalism industry, setting a precedent for young women thirsting for top correspondence positions at major publications. Toner was not afraid to dig and search until she found the truth behind the story. AIt is up to us as the female students at her alma mater to continue her legacy, shatter boundaries and fight injustice.

Elora likes pina coladas and getting caught in the rain...but only warm rain, and especially rain that's packaged in summer thunderstorms! The sophomore magazine journalism and English major is an assistant feature copy editor for SU's independent student newspaper, the Daily Orange, and is a contributing writer for GALA Magazine. She is also a brother in the community service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega. Elora has country music on her iTunes for every possible mood and she will never turn down a Dave Matthews Band concert, a trip to Panera Bread or a pickup soccer game. Although she's not sure exactly what she wants to do after graduation, she hopes to use writing to make a difference in someone's world.
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