From the series President's Awards for Excellence 2015

Excellence in Human Relations (Unclassified)

Jim Hannah

Jim Hannah

Jim Hannah

“To think creatively, we must be able to look afresh at what we normally take for granted,” said George Kneller, author from the early 1900s.

Stepping into the world around him is like putting on a new set of glasses for Jim Hannah, assistant director of public relations, who sees the world a little differently than most of us.

“All of Wright State truly benefits from Jim’s gift as a master storyteller,” said Seth Bauguess, director of communications. “Though his excellence is prevalent in all aspects of his performance, it is his interest in all kinds of stories that makes his excellence so impactful.”

Hannah carefully chooses his stories with a keen eye for a reader’s interest and a unique perspective.

“He discovers, uncovers and learns about them largely on his own, with little direction. Most of them are in fact the fruit of strong relationships with colleagues and contacts from colleges, departments and units across campus,” said Bauguess.

Hannah’s stories post to the Wright State Newsroom, which populates every college webpage, nearly every departmental webpage and many unit and office webpages. They are also shared though Wright State’s social media channels and with the local media.

He wrote 146 stories in 2014, more than 75 stories so far in 2015 and a total of at least 512 stories since he joined Wright State in 2010.

“He is a machine. A machine that shines a bright and engaging light on everything and everyone at Wright State for all to see,” Bauguess said.

With the sound of typing keys and a voice recorder playing his interviews, Hannah crafts his stories in a way that lures readers of all ages and interests across campus and the community. Hannah has written numerous stories about minorities and underrepresented populations on campus.

“Jim is an excellent writer who is able to communicate nuances of discipline specific issues and jargon in plain English,” said LaPearl Logan Winfrey, interim dean and professor of the School of Professional Psychology. “Jim’s interaction with and stories about a SOPP alum who consulted in Ferguson, Missouri … demonstrated his ability to convey compassion and balance with difficult dialogue material and context. His manner is genuine and attentive.”

“Jim is on the hunt for the best story, and does not care where it comes from or who it centers on,” said Bauguess. “The result is a portfolio of Wright State stories that shows there’s not a single part of campus immune to his deft ability to share invaluable information in an interesting way. Time and time again his stories reinforce all the great things and great people of Wright State.”

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