Ben Sutherly '98 Speaks to Communication Class
Ben Sutherly, a ’98 Denison graduate and presidential medalist, recently spoke to Dr. Suzanne Condray’s 300-level Communicating Law class. Now a reporter for the Columbus Dispatch, he talked about his career in journalism and the ways that Denison helped prepare him for success in that field.
Ben grew up on a dairy farm near Troy, Ohio and decided to pursue a degree in Communication at Denison. During his off-campus study program as an undergraduate, Ben worked at the Newberry Library in Chicago and, with the help of his grandmother, wrote a book entitled A History of Elizabeth Township. This interest led him to pursue senior research when he returned to Denison; with Dr. Condray as one of his primary advisors, he wrote a thesis on “Reconciling Memory and Opportunity in an Ohio Township: Essays in Magazine Journalism.”
After graduation, Ben returned to his hometown for thirteen years, covering agriculture for the Dayton Daily News, then moved to the Dispatch, where he has covered health care for the past year and a half.
Dr. Condray's class attentively listened while Ben talked about the path he took in his pursuit of a career in journalism, how he deals with sources, and how he gains access to public records. Hung Tran, a current junior at Denison, shared his thoughts on the lecture: “Ben's visit to our class clearly demonstrates many things: the great connection between Denison and its alumni, its alumni success, and most importantly, the liberal arts education here at Denison. You can learn anywhere and from anyone, and this time, it's an accomplished alumnus.”
Ben shared with the students short vignettes of stories he has covered, including everything from strip clubs to the Affordable Care Act. Ben is a true example of how enriching college experiences can prepare a person for personal and professional success, which is what Denison and liberal arts education is all about.