Stewart leaves legacy of journalism excellence

Pradyot Sharma

Section Editor

Steve Stewart, an assistant professor of journalism, will be stepping down from his role as adviser to the Tropolitan newspaper and Palladium yearbook at the end of December 2018 and will retire from Troy at the end of the Spring 2019 semester.

Stewart, who came to Troy in August 2009, is a former president of the Alabama Press Association and has served as editor and publisher of the Monroe Journal. 

“I remember when Steve was first hired; I really welcomed him to come in because I thought this guy was going to be good,” said Dr. Jeff Spurlock, the director of the Hall School of Journalism and Communication. “He’s been a delight to work with, a great faculty member and wonderful journalist.”

Both current and former students who were part of the Tropolitan have fond memories of working with Stewart. 

“He’s been my teacher, adviser, mentor, friend, but most importantly coach, and no words will ever express my appreciation for all he has done for me and my fellow students,” said Zach Henson, a senior multimedia journalism major and editor-in-chief for the Tropolitan. 

Henson recalled when Emma Daniel, the Tropolitan news editor, posted a picture of herself with NBC Nightly news anchor Lester Holt and Stewart simply commented, “Who’s the guy talking to a famous journalist?”

According to Henson, Stewart’s comment, although meant in jest, highlights his view of his students as professionals. 

“He sees us not as fledglings, but full-feathered professionals,” Henson said. “He holds us to a high standard but helps us grow.”

Tori Bedsole, a Troy alumna and former editor-in-chief of the Tropolitan, credits Stewart for drawing her to journalism. 

“His encouragement and dedication to the Trop were the foundation for my love of journalism and the reason I am now in graduate school for journalism,” said Bedsole, who is currently pursuing her graduate degree at the University of Alabama. “I am grateful and pleased with my experience working under a man, who not only cares about the content of the story, but also about the student writing it,”said Sable Riley, a former troy student and former Tropolitan editor-in-chief. 

Riley believes that Stewart’s patience set the tone for the Tropolitan staff and made the newspaper better as a whole. 

“Professor Stewart has been an amazing mentor and helped me a lot,”said Katelyn Dewrell, a senior multimedia journalism major from Delta and editor-in-chief of the Palladium yearbook. 

“He helped me a lot with writing and communicating with faculty and administration,” Dewrell added. 

Stewart’s mentorship at the Tropolitan was instrumental in bringing awards and recognition to the student publications, according to Spurlock. 

“Before Stewart came in, on the print side, we didn’t have many awards coming in to Troy through South Eastern Journalism Conference (SEJC),” Spurlock said. “Then Steve Stewart came in and revamped the newspaper, just made sure that everything was good, everything was well edited, the writing was great.”

The Tropolitan placed fourth at the SEJC awards in 2017 which, according to Spurlock, was the highest rank they have achieved. 

Spurlock said Stewart will be missed deeply by the journalism school as he retires from Troy at the end of the academic year. 

“When we have faculty meetings, Steve always has something to say on everything, and it’s always good,” Spurlock said. “If I’m looking for an answer, I can count on him.”

Robbyn Taylor, a lecturer of journalism and communication studies, will take over as faculty adviser to for the Tropolitan and the Palladium effective Jan. 1, 2019.

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