Jay Hartwell, student media advisor at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, has been awarded the Reid H. Montgomery Distinguished Service Award for 2012 for his extraordinary contribution to journalism and student media advising.
Hartwell’s supporters wrote letter after letter about his service to journalism and to journalism education. He coordinates a Journalism Day each fall at UH Mānoa to provide training for high school journalism students and organizes the High School Newspaper Awards program each year.
A high school journalism teacher wrote, “Jay’s support of high school advisers has been both far-reaching and strategic; he understands that in a place as small as Hawaiʻi, all journalists must work together to foster improved programs at every level.”
Hartwell is a third generation journalist. His grandfather edited the Austin Statesmen newspaper in Texas. His mother was a correspondent during World War II and later ran a weekly newspaper in Arizona with his father. When the family moved to Hawaiʻi, Hartwell started writing for the Kailua High Surfrider. He went on to edit the Colorado College newspaper and attend graduate school in journalism at Columbia University. He spent two summers working for the Honolulu Star-Bulletin before The Honolulu Advertiser hired him to be a reporter.
Hartwell left the newspaper after seven years to write what would become an award-winning nonfiction book on modern Hawaiians called Na Mamo: Hawaiian People Today. Fifteen years ago, the University asked him to be the faculty advisor to student media programs, including Ka Leo O Hawaiʻi, the campus newspaper and for eight years he also advised the university’s student-run radio station KTUH.