“It’s exciting to see the editors and writers grow and to see the development of the newspaper into the best college newspaper on Long Island.”
If an organization’s success is determined by the success of its mentor, the recent rise for The Delphian should be no surprise. Advised by 11-year senior adjunct professor Liza Burby, the newspaper was recently named the best college paper on Long Island by the Press Club of Long Island (PCLI).
Since Burby’s advisement of the paper began about two and a half years ago, Adelphi’s student publication has risen to new heights. That’s no coincidence, considering the heights she has attained in her own 30-year career.
Besides having authored more than 35 nonfiction books for children and written articles for 50-plus newspapers, magazines and websites, she is remembered by Long Islanders as the former columnist for Newsday’s Parents and Children section for a decade. Then, Burby, as publisher-editor, opened her own magazine, Long Island Parent, which she sold to her competitors last year. The St. John’s University alum still continues to write about parenting as she plans to start a new magazine welcoming families and new home owners.
Her readers aren’t the only people Burby has helped. In addition to advising The Delphian, she teaches Adelphi courses on Feature Writing, Magazine Writing and Magazine Editing and Production. In the latter class, students even have the chance to work with peers on a magazine that’s published at the end of the semester—serving as an excellent work sample for these students.
“I really hope I’m preparing students to get internships and jobs,” she said. “I feel like I have an obligation to share what I know.”
Added to the hours of class time and grading papers are the 12 hours she devotes to editing and laying out The Delphian during deadline weeks. She has gone far beyond her duties in the position by making sure that writers of the paper submitted work to the PCLI awards. She said she didn’t want anyone to miss out on an opportunity. As a result, five of her students earned either scholarships or awards at the ceremony in June and Adelphi took home first prize for best college publication.
“My favorite part of the experience is everyone’s enthusiasm,” she said. “It’s exciting to see the editors and writers grow and to see the development of the newspaper into the best college [newspaper] on Long Island.”
A published writer since age 17, Burby is speaking from experience when she gives her students advice for a career in journalism: “Get as much hands-on experience [as possible] because you’ll be expected to hit the ground running. It’s a competitive market, but the ones who have experience are the ones to get the jobs. There are plenty of internship opportunities and there’s always a chance to get experience before graduating.”
Although The Delphian gets the occasional letter from a professor or student objecting to a particular article, Burby said, “The University has been very supportive of the newspaper.” That, she said, is “in large part due to the students’ efforts in terms of responsibly assigning and editing articles.”
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