Readership Survey results
Thank you for taking the time to mail back your readership survey. Last October we mailed 2,000 surveys, and almost 400 of you responded by our November deadline, giving Bradley Hilltopics an impressive 20 percent return rate. Your overall positive responses assured us that we are doing our best to continually strengthen the ties between you and your alma mater.
For example, your opinion of our editorial content and magazine design was gratifying. Ninety-five percent of you rated the quality of writing, credibility of content, right mix of content, overall readability, and relevance of information as excellent/good. Also, the design and layout of the magazine was rated highly by more than nine out of 10 respondents. Bradley Hilltopics makes 94 percent of you proud to be associated with the University.
Not surprisingly, ClassNotes continues to be the most-read department, with 72 percent reading it regularly, followed by InMemory with 66 percent.
As the company tabulating our results is seeing in its research of professional and alumni magazines, the print version of Bradley Hilltopics continues to be the preferred format for 61 percent of our readers, rising to 70 percent for those over 65. We will continue to offer you both print and online options, and encourage you to access our website to view Hilltopics Online, featuring value-added articles, photo galleries, and videos. Building our digital presence and continuing to drive traffic to bradley.edu/hilltopics is also in the best interest of our magazine.
Karen Crowley Metzinger, MA ’97
Editor, Bradley Hilltopics
I was thrilled to see Bradley Hilltopics address the topic of aging, and done so well! All three authors had excellent information on healthy aging. I am a gerontologist in California. My husband AARON BRONSON ’80 is a Bradley alum, which is why I read the magazine.
I love the fact that Marjorie Getz’s classes are intergenerational; there is so much that students from both ends of the spectrum can learn from each other. I also love the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) programs. I manage the older adults program in the continuing education department of North Orange County Community College District. We are doing our best to develop a curriculum that teaches healthy aging. Unfortunately, the state of California does not fund physical fitness classes, or even balance and mobility classes. But, I would love to use your table of age-related physical changes in some of our health classes. You did a great job of organizing a lot of information into one table.
One of our Council on Aging board members shared with us your article, “Facing Aging.” I read it with great interest and appreciate Marjorie Getz’s research and teaching work.
The table provided a nice visual presentation of the physical changes of aging. The general population doesn’t realize that aging is a lifelong process — not one that starts at age 65.
I am a licensed physical therapist working with a variety of clients that span the age spectrum. As you might expect, my evaluation and treatment varies with appreciation to age for my clients. Thank you [Dr. MELISSA PETERSON ’95] for sharing your work.
I have been employed in an acute care hospital, providing physical therapy at the bedside to help people maximize their health and function. Although I didn’t attend Bradley for my post-baccalaureate education, Bradley provided me the foundation for professionalism, integrity, and knowledge to succeed in my graduate education and career.
TAMARA HART ’03, DPT
Oklahoma City, Okla.
The articles on aging caught my eye as very pertinent and “on target.” The fact is that doing many things that were automatic all of your life (driving, eating and sleeping well, and walking without worrying about balance) become day-to-day problems.
I decided that our Council on Aging friends board, which I lead, needed to have copies of your articles to give them a broad understanding of the basics of seniors’ problems and what we are trying to accomplish with our fundraising goals. I am particularly impressed, as expressed in the third article [by Dr. G. Kevin Randall], about how important it is for seniors to keep in close touch with old friends and make attempts at new relationships because it is so easy to pull away
and invite loneliness and depression.
Consequently, our board is attempting to help set up a new program which would concentrate on offering a senior club or leisure activities.
PEG FLYNN SACUTO ’52
Dr. Paul Snider’s legacy
I was a poor local boy working my way through Bradley, beginning with Dr. Paul Snider’s third class of journalism students in 1957. He cut me no slack because of that, but steered me to paid internships, one at the Peoria Journal Star where I later began my career. Snider was a prodder, mentor, counselor,
Snider’s journalism education ranked with the best. I know, because I made a career in journalism in Washington, D.C. So did MIKE CONLON ’62, another Peoria native a year behind me. We competed successfully against graduates of the highly touted journalism schools of the University of Missouri and Northwestern.
One of Snider’s aphorisms that stood us in good stead was, “Say it and get out.” He gave us, and later my brother DAVID FIELDS ’73, excellent training as wire service correspondents restricted to no more than 400 words for the biggest story of the day, even if we had gathered enough information to fill a book.
Print journalists are still the key to knowledge of current events and what future historians will learn about the past. To us, facts remain holy, a legacy of Dr. Snider’s “fact error” stamp that meant an automatic F.
HOWARD FIELDS ’61
The recent passing of Dr. Paul Snider sparked a wave of emotions for me. Dr. Snider instilled in me principles and qualities that still enable me to have a successful professional and personal life. I learned from him the importance and value of being inquisitive, accurate, fair, and detailed.
I will always remember the lessons of the first and only “Fe” I received. I labored long and hard in writing that assignment. I felt it would earn me at least a B, if not an A.
Imagine my shock, embarrassment, and frustration when I saw my grade — “Fe”! In the headline of my article about a prominent Peoria company, I misspelled the firm’s name. Dr. Snider explained that, as a reporter, if I committed an error in fact that most readers, listeners, or viewers could spot, how could I expect them to believe the rest of the information in the story?
Fortunately, I learned that lesson early and went on to enjoy a successful career in news and public relations. Thank you, Dr. Snider.
WAYNE KAPLAN ’66
Paul Snider was my journalism professor at BU and the professional inspiration in my career and life. After I returned from Vietnam, where I’d been an Army press officer, Paul invited me to talk with his students.
When I retired as VP of corporate communications for McDonald’s in 2000, I met with him. When I briefly taught undergraduate journalism in Chicago, Paul sent me outlines and ideas for my class, and I used them. When I guest lecture to journalism and PR students at various colleges and universities today, including Bradley, I often cite the appreciation I gained from Paul for solid journalistic writing.
He was an inspiration, and always will be, for those who aspire to excellence in the art of communications.
CHUCK EBELING ’66
Last October, a former colleague and I celebrated Paul Snider’s 92nd birthday with Paul and his wife June. We’d enjoyed such celebrations for more years than I can remember. Not only was Paul Snider my journalism professor at Bradley, and topnotch at that, but he was my friend.
Since his death four weeks after our lunch, I have been thinking about what he represented — professional excellence, to be sure, and academic rigor, but also a personal commitment to his students.
In that sense, Paul personified Bradley — big enough to offer a top-flight journalism education, and the expertise that requires, yet small enough to enable faculty-student relationships to flourish. Our relationship lasted 47 years. I doubt such a story could be told at many universities.
BARB PROCTOR DRAKE ’67 MLS ’82
As I waited to pay my respects to Dr. Paul Snider’s family, I flashed back to the mid ’70s, when the mere mention of his already seemingly legendary name conjured up many anxious emotions as I finalized my journalism associate degree at Illinois Central College and prepared to transfer to Bradley. I knew “Dr. Paul” was a stickler for what mattered most to J-school graduates of that era (or should have mattered): unwavering ethics and day-to-day reporting accuracy and velocity.
By the time I graduated, Dr. Paul not only understood my “hopes, dreams, and aspirations,” but most importantly, he helped me channel them into my first journalism job and a multifaceted career that continues to this day. The fundamentals that he taught, role-modeled, and unequivocally stood for are the legacy that has stayed with me across an active work life that has spanned at least five significantly different “career paths.”
In his poem that was distributed, Dr. Paul had written: “… What guides and sustains our journey? Instinct? Reasoning? Desire? … Faith.” Dr. Paul’s faith in so many of his students launched them on journeys that have left and continue to leave lasting legacies.
KEITH BUTTERFIELD ’77
Regrettably, I missed news of Dr. Paul Snider's death. Paul was not only a great man for his idealism but also taught journalism ethics in a way that just isn't done today. He told us the story of how he chose not to win the Pulitzer Prize.
He was covering a breaking news story of a child, hit by a car and killed in front of the family's home. Arriving on the scene, he saw the child's lifeless body lying in the street, covered with a blanket. A lone child's shoe was seen askew on the pavement. Every photographer had those pictures. Paul walked around the house and through an open rear window, he saw the distraught father, head in hands at the kitchen table, deep in grief. He raised his 4x5 Speed Graphic for his moment ... then slowly lowered it and walked away. He told us, his class that this was not his moment. Photographers and newspeople have no right to an individual's personal grief. That is theirs alone.
What a teacher he was. What a man he remained. Heartfelt sympathies to June and his family.
JERRY CONSTANTINO '62
West End, N.C.
I wanted to add my thoughts on the recent passing of Dr. Paul Snider. It’s been nearly 45 years since my days at Bradley, but to this day I view newscasts and newspapers in the critical way advanced by Dr. Snider. I cringe every time I spot a fact error or see a misspelling on screen or in print. I can just imagine Dr. Snider’s editing pencil (not to mention the dreaded “Fe” stamp) at work!
Although my career in journalism was short, the principles of good writing and accuracy stressed by Dr. Snider were instrumental in my success as a municipal manager. The governing bodies that employed me always praised my ability to find the right words and express myself clearly and concisely. I am eternally indebted to Dr. Snider for instilling in me the importance of using the written word in the right way.
BOB DiTOMASSO '66
2010 was a sad one for Bradley University with the passing of two of its icons, Dr. Martin Abegg and Dr. Paul Snider.
Dr. Abegg will be sorely missed and fondly remembered by students and staff alike for his long service to the University, including those (like myself) who knew of him only in an official capacity.
Having Dr. Snider as a teacher was a privilege I’m not sure I should have had. There were a few incidents that I can remember that especially stand out now.
My academic career at BU wasn’t the greatest, and Dr. Snider’s classes were no different. I was running a C in both of his news writing classes and for good reason, which left me more than a little discouraged during my junior year.
I was a staff writer for The Scout, and I had interviewed Dr. Snider for the paper the previous semester about winning the Putnam Award, so I asked him what he thought of that. He said it was a good story, in some ways better than my class work. I’ve always appreciated that bit of encouragement, even though my story was lacking in several ways.
The next year, I was in Dr. Snider’s public affairs reporting class, intimidated by everything (as usual) and more than a little scared of what lay ahead (as usual).
One of Dr. Snider’s former students, BOB JAMIESON ’66, the longtime Washington correspondent for NBC and ABC, came to campus, and journalism students had the opportunity to meet him and have an informal discussion regarding his work as a White House correspondent for NBC. I rattled off a few questions about President Carter’s re-election plans. A few days later, after a somewhat frustrating discussion over an assignment, Dr. Snider complimented me on the questions I asked Jamieson.
Dr. Snider, thank you for your years of service. RIP and my sympathies to your family and my fellow ex-students.
STEVE JOOS '78