By Elizabeth Benson, Central Michigan Life
Brian Manzullo is the only Central Michigan Life Editor in Chief to win two national Pacemaker Awards in the same year.
The twin wins from the Associated Collegiate Press for pint and online excellence occurred in 2009-10.
Three years later Manzullo, Sports Web Editor at the Detroit Free Press, is being accorded another honor: the 2012 "Young Journalist of the Year" award by the CMU Journalism Hall of Fame organizing committee.
"When I got the call from Neil (Hopp, CM Life adviser), I was pleasantly surprised," Manzullo said. "I've been going to (Journalism Hall of Fame) banquets at CMU for about four years now, and have always seen the recipients of the Hall of Fame, but also the Young Journalists, and to me they're the most intriguing for what they're going to accomplish in their fields. To be in the same line as people like Mark W. Smith, who is the former colleague of mine, is a real honor, it's humbling."
Manzullo, a 2010 CMU graduate, worked for CM Life as a reporter, senior football writer and Online Editor before being named Editor in Chief for the 2009-10 academic year.
He began writing during his sophomore and junior years of high school and quickly found out if was something he was good at, he said.
"I looked at my options and decided journalism was a good career. I think it combines the writing with the curiosity, because reporting is all about asking questions and learning more about something, and that was a good way for me to express that," he said.
Manzullo got involved with CM Life during his freshman year at CMU, though he originally had other plans.
"I wanted to take my freshman year to get acquainted with everything, and doing well in my classes and such," he said. "But then I attended a journalism seminar at the Bovee University Center, and I talked to a couple of people from CM Life and told them my plan, and tey basically said 'you should apply now and start working there this year.' So I went and filled out an application and expressed interest and started (at the paper)."
Manzullo had internships with the Saginaw News and the Grand Rapids Press during his college years, and was immediately hired at the Arizona Republic as an online sports content producer after graduation.
In his recommendation letter, Hopp said "that success led him to be wooed away by the Detroit Free Press in April 2012 for their sports web editor post."
"Not only has he excelled in the work place, he deeps coming back to CMU to talk to journalism classes and spend time mentoring the current journalists on the CM Life staff," Hopp said.
Maria B. Marron, professor and chairperson of CMU's Department of Journalism, said this about Manzullo:
"Brian is a hard-working and dedicated journalist. He takes responsibility seriously, and his success in his college coursework, combined with his stellar career at CM Life, testifies to that."
During his years at CM Life, Manzullo spent countless hours redesigning the newspaper's website, cm-life.com. He was editor during the multi-media project "24 hours in Mount Pleasant," which placed 16th in the Hearst National Collegiate Competition.
Today he authors BrianManzullo.com, which is, in his own words, "A multimedia journalist's blog and online portfolio on journalism, new media, sports and more."