2015 Dr. Lewis B. O'Donnell Media Summit

Save the date! The 2015 Media Summit will take place Wednesday, October 21 in Sheldon Ballroom.Coming Soon!

2015 Media Summit

Planning is underway for the 2015 Media Summit, we look forward to announcing this year's guests very soon. In the meantime, watch for updates on Twitter and on Facebook. We look forward to seeing you on October 21! 


The Media Summit team is excited to announce our speakers and panelists for the next annual summit. Check back in the fall to learn all about whose coming to the SUNY Oswego campus in October, 2015!

The following are the panelists from the 2014 Dr. Lewis B. O'Donnell Media Summit:

Ken Auletta (@kenauletta)

Ken AulettaA 1963 SUNY Oswego graduate, Auletta has written "Annals of Communication" for The New Yorker since 1992. He is the author of 10 books, four of them national bestsellers, most recently "Googled: The End of the World As We Know It." In ranking him America's premier media critic, the Columbia Journalism Review concluded, "No other reporter has covered the new communications revolution as thoroughly as has Auletta."

He has written for various newspapers and magazines and appeared regularly as a television interviewer and analyst. He started writing for The New Yorkerin 1977. Auletta was among the first to popularize the so-called information superhighway with his February 1993 profile of Barry Diller's search for something new.

He has profiled the leading figures and companies of the Information Age, including Bill Gates, Rupert Murdoch, AOL Time Warner, John Malone, Harvey Weinstein, and the New York Times.

He grew up on Coney Island and now lives in New York City with his wife and daughter. The State University of New York awarded him an honorary doctor of humane letters degree in 1990, and in 1998, he gave an address at the inauguration of Deborah F. Stanley as president of SUNY Oswego.

Al Roker (@alroker)

Al RokerAs weatherman and a host of NBC's "Today" show, Al Roker greets more than 30 million viewers each week as America prepares for work.

A 10-time Emmy Award winner, Roker conducts celebrity interviews, cooking segments, technology updates, and a continuing series for "Today" called "Today's Dad," featuring parenting tips for fathers. Host of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, the Rose Bowl Parade, and the Christmas Tree Lighting at Rockefeller Center, he has also presided over his own talk show on CNBC, "Al Roker," and hosted MSNBC's information quiz show, "Remember This?," which earned Roker a 1997 Daytime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Game Show Host.

The 1976 Oswego broadcasting graduate began his professional career while still in college by landing a job as a weekend weatherman at WTVH-TV in Syracuse. In addition to his network duties, Roker has carved out a successful career as an entrepreneur. His thriving multimedia company Al Roker Productions Inc. is involved in the development and production of network, cable, home video and public television projects. Two of the most successful projects include the critically acclaimed special on PBS about severe weather, "Savage Skies," and a highly rated travel series called "Going Places." Other projects include "Roker on the Road" for the Food Network and a series of specials. Al Roker Productions has also partnered with Lifetime, Court TV and Fine Living for projects.

He is the best-selling author of books including "Don't Make Me Stop This Car: Adventures in Fatherhood," "Al Roker's Big Bad Book of Barbecue" and "Al Roker's Hassle-Free Holiday Cookbook."

He stays in close touch with his audience through another popular undertaking — his website, AlRoker.com — which features thoughts on a variety of subjects, daily cartoons, brain-busting trivia and merchandise personally designed by Roker.

Charlie Rose (@charlierose)

Charlie RoseMedia icon Charlie Rose of CBS-TV's "This Morning" and the "Charlie Rose" show on PBS will be awarded an honorary doctor of humane letters degree by the State University of New York on Thursday, Oct. 16, in conjunction with the 10th annual Dr. Lewis B. O'Donnell Media Summit at SUNY Oswego. Rose is a world-renowned journalist and media personality who has interviewed such dignitaries as international statesmen Nelson Mandela and Mikhail Gorbachev, Nobel laureates Toni Morrison and Seamus Heaney, and pop icons Julia Roberts and Bruce Springsteen.

Rose is anchor and executive editor of "Charlie Rose," the nightly one-hour program that engages in one-on-one, in-depth conversations and roundtable discussions, and the newly launched "Charlie Rose: The Week," chronicling the best stories and interviews of the past seven days. He also co-anchors CBS-TV's "This Morning" and is a contributing correspondent to "60 Minutes."

"Charlie Rose" appears nightly on PBS and in primetime on Bloomberg Television in the United States and around the world. Its round oak table and simple black backdrop provide an intimate atmosphere for intelligent conversation. Since 1991, Rose has aired countless hours with Nobel laureates, and extraordinary men and women of science, politics, art, business, sports, technology, literature and entertainment. These conversations have made the broadcast a cultural and intellectual archive of our time.

Each weeknight, Rose creates programs that introduce new people, explore fresh ideas and illuminate difficult issues. Special series on science, education and Islam have probed even deeper. He is the recipient of the Legion d'honneur, numerous awards from the scientific and journalism communities, and many honorary degrees. Rose won the 2013 Peabody Prize for his interview with Syria's President Bashar al-Assad and was recently named among the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine.

The native of Henderson, North Carolina, is a frequent moderator at global forums around the world. He lives in New York City and Bellport, Long Island.

Connie Schultz (@connieschultz)

Connie SchultzColumnist Connie Schultz won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for commentary for what the judges called her "pungent columns that provided a voice for the underdog and the underprivileged." It is a common theme in the work of this columnist for Creators Syndicate and regular essayist for Parade magazine.

In addition to the Pulitzer, Schultz won the Scripps Howard National Journalism Award for commentary and the National Headliner Award for commentary. She was also elected to the Cleveland Journalism Hall of Fame.

She was a 2003 Pulitzer Prize finalist in feature writing for her series "The Burden of Innocence," which chronicled the ordeal of Michael Green, who was imprisoned for 13 years for a rape he did not commit. The week after her series ran, the real rapist turned himself in after reading her stories. He is currently serving a five-year prison sentence.

Her series won numerous honors, including the Robert F. Kennedy Award for Social Justice Reporting, the National Headliner Award's Best of Show and journalism awards from both Harvard College and Columbia University.

In 2004, Schultz won the Batten Medal, which honors "a body of journalistic work that reflects compassion, courage, humanity and a deep concern for the underdog. "Schultz's first book, "Life Happens — And Other Unavoidable Truths," was published by Random House in April 2006. Her second book, "... And His Lovely Wife," is a memoir about her husband's race for the Senate. It was released by Random House in 2007.

Schultz is married to U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown. They have four children.

Dennis Thatcher

Dennis ThatcherDennis Thatcher has been president and treasurer of Mission Broadcasting Inc. since 2011. He received his bachelor's degree in psychology in 1975 from Cleveland State University, then spent the first 20 years of his broadcast career in his hometown of Cleveland. One of his first jobs was in the sales department of the CBS television affiliate, WJW, where he learned from some of the best in the business. More than a dozen people on that staff became general managers and heads of groups. From there, Dennis went to work for Malrite Communications Group as the local sales manager of their country/talk station, WHK. In the early '80s, he became the general sales manager of a UHF independent television station that carried a local broadcast service from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and an over-the-air subscription movie service each evening and overnight.

In 1985, he was recruited to become general manager of a new Malrite television station, WOIO, which quickly grew from being the "new indie" to a Fox (and later CBS) affiliate. In 1994, Malrite purchased the assets of another legendary independent, WUAB, creating what was at that time the largest duopoly in the country. The combined stations controlled rights to Cleveland's three major sports franchises -- the Cavs, the Indians and all of the Browns pre-season games and ancillary sports programming. After stops in Chicago and Texas, Dennis returned to Cleveland in 2004, joining Mission Broadcasting as EVP and Chief Operating Officer.

He enjoys outdoor cycling in the summer and spinning in the winter. He has two daughters and three granddaughters.

Media Summit student site

Career Connectors

Career Connectors are recent SUNY Oswego graduates that come to the Dr. Lewis B. O'Donnell Media Summit to share their real world experiences with students. Stay tuned to find out who will be coming in October 2015!

The following are the 2014 Dr. Lewis B. O'Donnell Media Summit Career Connectors:

Stephanie Sweeney '11

Stephanie Sweeney '11

Public Relations Coordinator at Copper Mountain Resort, Denver, Colorado.

Derek Dunning

Derek Dunning '09

Director of Sports Information at Norwich University, Northfield, Vermont.
Jeanne Yacono

Jeanne Yacono '11

Marketing and Communications Manager at Young Entrepreneurs Academy, Rochester, New York.
Jeremy Donovan

Jeremy Donovan '10

Sports Director at WICZ-TV FOX 40, Binghamton, New York.
Kate Wilcox

Kate Wilcox '11

Corporate Account Executive at Butler/ Till Media and Communications Agency, Rochester, New York.
Shea O'Connell

Shea O'Connell '12

Executive Assistant/ Production Associate at VH1's Production Managment, Events Department.

Samantha Shelton

Cameron Jones '09

Operations Coordinator at ABC News, Good Morning America, New York, New York.

Media Summit student site


Louis A Borelli Jr.

SUNY Oswego launched its annual Media Summit in 2005, thanks to the generosity of 1977 graduate Louis A. Borrelli Jr. (left). Borrelli saw it as a way to give back to his alma mater and help future graduates get in touch with top executives and experts in the field discussing the issues of the day. A pioneer in cable television, online media and broadcast production services, Borrelli has been driving innovation in operations, marketing, business development and new product creation for more than 30 years.

Al RokerIn 2007, fellow broadcasting alumnus Al Roker, weatherman and host of NBC's "Today" show, joined as a major sponsor of the annual summit. Future editions of the event will be known as the Dr. Lewis B. O'Donnell Media Summit in memory of the longtime Oswego professor influential to both sponsors' careers. A 1976 graduate, Roker earned his first professional job while still in college as a weekend weatherman at WTVH-TV in Syracuse.

Media Summit student site


Louis A. Borelli Jr.The Media Summit was founded in 2005 through the generosity of Louis A. Borrelli Jr. '77 (left), Chief Marketing Officer & Investor, nimbleTV. In 2007, Al Roker '76, weatherman and host of NBC's "Today" show, provided additional funding to rename the summit in memory of longtime professor Dr. Lewis B. O'Donnell, a seminal figure in the college experiences of Borrelli and Roker.  

Dr. Lewis B. O'Donnell

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Media Summit student site