Springfield AWC Chapter Announces Professional Communicator Award
Debbie Landis, a Springfield freelance journalist with 20 years as a correspondent for the State Journal-Register, has been recognized with this year’s Professional Communicator Award from the Association of Women in Communications Springfield chapter.
The award recognizes a Springfield area communications professional who has made an impact as a communications leader, innovator and/or mentor, especially during the past year.
In recognizing Landis, AWC president Melissa Hahn said Landis has written many stories, but this year she tackled what was probably her most difficult story as a journalist. Just a few weeks after the untimely death in January of her husband Tim Landis, business editor for the State Journal-Register, Debbie Landis wrote about her own personal experience. Her unflinching piece in the paper about Tim’s death was written so others might learn about undiagnosed and untreated hypertension. Titled “Awareness of the new normal for hypertension could save live,” the piece ran February 13, 2018. She wrote that she told Tim’s story “to help raise awareness of hypertension and the new normal, as well as the fact many people who have heart attacks had no prior symptoms, such as chest pain or shortness of breath. Tim didn’t.”
Other comments from the nomination included “What an incredible public service Debbie has performed, using her talent as a journalist, moving past her grief so lives might be saved. The impact Debbie has made in this community with just this one story will probably never be measured. But her courage in doing so must be recognized with our gratitude.”
Debbie Chandler Landis also worked 23 years as the student publications advisor at the University of Illinois Springfield, retiring in 2017. She began her career as a reporter for the Southeast Missourian in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. She earned her master’s degree in journalism at Southern Illinois University Carbondale and her bachelor’s in journalism at Iowa State University.
The AWC Springfield chapter has been celebrating its 40th anniversary of its founding this year. It is part of a national professional group for women and men in journalism and communications. awcspringfield.org