A college professor who is a Muskogee native, the long-time Capital Bureau chief of the Tulsa World, and the managing editor of the Johnston County Sentinel will be honored by the Oklahoma Professional Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists during its annual awards banquet, the organization announced.

Oklahoma SPJ Chapter President Lenzy Krehbiel-Burton said the group would recognize the work of Dana Eversole, a professor of Media Studies at Northeastern State University, Tulsa World reporter Barbara Hoberock and John Small, publisher of the Johnston County Sentinel.

The trio will receive their award at the SPJ Awards Banquet, May 18 at the Reed Center in Midwest City. Pulitzer Prize winning editor and University of Central Oklahoma Professor Joe Hight will deliver the keynote address. The event begins at 6 p.m.

Krehbiel-Burton said the annual event spotlights the state’s best journalists and communications professionals.

“These three individuals represent the best in Oklahoma journalism,” Krehbiel-Burton said. “Their work sets a standard for others to follow.”

Eversole, a Muskogee native, will receive SPJ’s Educator of the Year award. In addition to teaching, she serves as coordinator of the Communication and Media Studies department. She received her bachelor's in journalism education from Northeastern State University, a master's in communication from Pittsburg State University and her doctorate from Oklahoma State University. She is an award-winning writer with specialties in print media, public relations and crisis communication.

Eversole received the Lois A. Thomas Award of Distinguished Merit in Teaching from the Oklahoma Interscholastic Press Association, the Young Oklahoman Award from the Tulsa Jaycees, was honored as The Circle of Excellence in Service and was named an original Centurion.

Small will receive the Carter Bradley First Amendment Award. An Oklahoma native, he began his newspaper career in the seventh grade as a paperboy, delivering the Kankakee Daily Journal. After graduating from high school in 1981 served a short stint in the U.S. Air Force and at the Kankakee Daily Journal as a sports and entertainment correspondent, covering high school and college athletics and writing movie reviews.

In 1991, he began working for the Johnston County Capital-Democrat, and later the Durant Daily Democrat. In 1997, he returned to the Capital-Democrat as News Editor, a position he held until January 2018 when he left to help establish the Johnston County Sentinel. Small serves as managing editor of the paper.

Hoberock will receive the Frank Greer Lifetime Achievement Award. The award, SPJ Oklahoma’s highest honor, was renamed this year to honor the late Frank Hilton Greer, publisher of the Oklahoma Daily State Capital newspaper, the first daily newspaper published in the state.

Hoberock, a graduate of Oklahoma State University, worked at the OSU student newspaper, The Daily O’Collegian as a reporter and opinion editor. After her graduation, she worked at the Claremore Daily Progress for 11 months before joining the Tulsa World in 1990.

Hoberock was named to the World’s Capital Bureau in 1994, where she covered the statehouse. She was part of a team of reporters covering the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building and trials of Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols.

She continues to write about the Oklahoma Legislature, appellate courts, state agencies and elections. Hoberock has the longest consecutive service for reporters covering the statehouse and is dean of the state capitol press corps. In 2018, she was inducted into the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame. She has previously served on the boards of SPJ and FOI Oklahoma.

In addition to the awards for Small, Eversole and Hoberock, Oklahoma SPJ will honor the work done by hundreds of journalists and communications professionals in 2018.

Tickets for the May 18 banquet are $50. For tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/spj-oklahoma-awards-banquet-tickets-60572579215?utm-medium=discovery&utm-campaign=social&utm-content=attendeeshare&aff=escb&utm-source=cp&utm-term=listing 

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