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129: Lesley Visser - Breaking Barriers

Season 1, Ep. 129

Veteran sports broadcaster Lesley Visser received the 2018 Al Neuharth Award for Excellence in the Media at the University of South Dakota on Monday, Feb. 25.


The Al Neuharth Award for Excellence in the Media is presented by USD and the Freedom Forum Institute, a nonpartisan foundation that champions the First Amendment. The award is named after Allen H. Neuharth, a 1950 graduate of USD and founder of “USA Today,” the Freedom Forum and the Newseum.


Visser got her start covering sports for the “Boston Globe” in 1974. In 1976, she would become the first-ever female beat writer, covering the New England Patriots. In 1992 she became the only female to have handled the Super Bowl trophy presentation. She is also the only sportscaster in history to work on network broadcasts of the Final Four, World Series, NBA Finals, Super Bowl, Olympics, Triple Crown, World Figure Skating Championship and U.S. Open. 


Visser is currently the only woman to be recognized by the Pro Football Hall of Fame. She was awarded the Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award in 2006 and was also a recipient of a Gracie Award from the American Woman in Radio and Television, Inc. that same year. In 2008, she was honored with a Billie Jean King Award for Outstanding Journalists, and in 2009, she was voted the number-one female sportscaster by the American Sportscasters Association.

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VOICES AMPLIFIED | The Nexus of Law & Criminal Justice Reform

Season 4, Ep. 3
The University of South Dakota’s podcast Credit Hour welcomed USD School of Law dean Neil Fulton to discuss the legal dimensions of systemic racism, social justice and criminal justice reform as part of its series “Voices Amplified.” “To address these problems, we have to understand, identify and engage with our differences, and then seek out points of commonality. That requires having difficult conversations in a patient way,” said Fulton. “None of us are really built to do that without working at it. Higher education can help us be prepared to do that.” Fulton discussed the legal aspects of criminal justice reform efforts like removing qualified immunity and defunding the police as well as the ways higher education can address issues like systemic racism. “I think particularly here in South Dakota it’s so important because coming to a college campus may be the first time where a lot of students have a sustained encounter with someone who isn’t like them, that doesn’t look like them, who isn’t of the same race or who doesn’t have the same socioeconomic background,” said Fulton. “This can be one of the first places where we have the sustained opportunity to have those conversations and build up both the skills and inclinations to attack these problems.” Credit Hour is the University of South Dakota’s podcast highlighting the achievement, research and scholarship of its staff, students, alumni and faculty. Follow Credit Hour on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and www.usd.edu/podcast.