CNN Producer to Speak at Commencement

HARTSVILLE, S.C. – Apr. 29, 2014 – Christopher Dawson, producer of CNN Special Projects, will present the Coker College spring commencement address on Saturday, May 17, Coker president Robert Wyatt announced today.

“We are honored Mr. Dawson has accepted our invitation,” Wyatt said. “His work with CNN demonstrates a passion for empowering viewers to both stay informed about current events and become involved in disaster response. As a Coker graduate himself, he understands from personal experience how a liberal arts education prepares students to go out in the world and make a positive impact.”

Dawson received the 2013 Award for Excellence in International Reporting from InterAction for his work informing and educating U.S. audiences about international development and humanitarian affairs.

Dawson became the Lead Producer for CNN’s Impact Your World in 2007. Impact Your World aims to share stories of inspirational charities and volunteers, while empowering viewers with specific ways to take action. Over the next four years, he built the project into an award-winning cross-platform initiative for CNN, CNN International, HLN,, CNN Mobile and CNN Radio.

Dawson also expanded Impact Your World to offer an immediate viewer response for breaking news. When natural disasters struck, CNN networks would show graphic banners, charity interviews and correspondents showing viewers how to help. Dawson was directly responsible for each disaster response, culminating in award-winning, extensive coverage on the 2010 Haiti earthquake.

In 2011, Dawson moved on to other work with CNN Special Projects, but he kept viewers’ attention on Haiti’s recovery with articles on the cholera epidemic and charities struggling to rebuild the devastated country. Dawson won the ShelterBox Global Media Award in 2011 for his continued focus on Haiti’s recovery. He has continued to write articles on the many ways viewers can get involved, from disaster relief to online volunteering.

Dawson graduated from Coker College in 1993 with two bachelor’s degrees, one in psychology with a focus in counseling and another in drama with a focus in directing. While at Coker he served as head commissioner on the Coker College Student Government Association and played four years on the men’s soccer team.

Release written by media relations coordinator Elizabeth McCarley.

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Coker College readies undergraduates for personal and professional success through a distinctive four-year program that emphasizes a practical application of the liberal arts as well as hands-on and discussion-based learning within and beyond the classroom. Coker is ranked among the “Best Colleges” in the South by U.S. News & World Report as well as The Princeton Review. Located in Hartsville, S.C., Coker is within two hours of the cultural, financial and recreational resources of Charlotte, Columbia, Charleston and Myrtle Beach.


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