Arkansas Press Women members recently honored a former scholarship recipient and ace reporter who has transformed into a top-notch educator teaching the next generation of journalists at the University of Central Arkansas.

APW President Kristin Netterstrom Higgins presented a certificate of recognition to Dr. David Keith, journalism lecturer and advisor of The Echo, the student newspaper, during APW’s conference on Nov. 12 at UCA. Also at the conference, several of Keith’s journalism students spoke about some of their notable stories from The Echo.

“We wanted to recognize David Keith’s passion for journalism while meeting at his university,” Higgins said. “Carol would be proud of him, and how he fosters the next generation of journalists.” 

Keith was honored for the completion of his Ph.D. in communication from the University of Southern Mississippi in 2021 and his continuing work to develop the next generation of professional communicators.

“As the recipient of APW’s Carol M. Griffee Memorial Scholarship in 2014, given to assist in the completion of a graduate degree in journalism, Dr. Keith continues to embody the personal qualities for which Carol Griffee was widely known and respected: integrity, commitment to accuracy and excellence, and unwavering support of the First Amendment and the Freedom of Information Act,” the certificate said. “We honor his academic achievement and look forward to celebrating his future accomplishments.”

Keith said that he was “absolutely floored” by receiving the honor.

“It was completely unexpected and I would say unwarranted, but I am very appreciative of it and thankful for the recognition,” he said. “When it happened, it made me think a lot about what I have done over the past eight years since I got the scholarship, about Carol, and how I have grown as a journalist, student, and professor since then. I appreciate Arkansas Press Women for thinking of me this way.”

Keith graduated with a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Arkansas State University in 1981 before beginning a 25-year career in journalism. He started his career as a reporter at The Jonesboro Sun, where he met his now wife, Tammy, also an APW member. He later worked as a reporter, city editor, and managing editor of the Log Cabin Democrat in Conway for 15 years.