ISU's Greenlee School of Journalism names editor as 2004 Schwartz Award winner

AMES, Iowa - Karol DeWulf Nickell, vice president and editor-in-chief of Better Homes and Gardens magazine, will receive the 2004 James W. Schwartz Award for Distinguished Service to Journalism and Communication.

The Schwartz Award is the highest honor conferred by Iowa State University's Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication. Members of the school's advisory council and faculty nominate candidates in a pool from which finalists are drawn. The faculty selects a winner from those finalists. The announcement was made this week at the Greenlee School's annual retreat in Ames.

Upon being notified, Nickell wrote in an e-mail:

  • "I am deeply honored and moved to be the recipient of this important award. When I was a student at ISU, I was always aware of the Schwartz Award winners and their amazing accomplishments. But, to be truthful, I didn't see myself ever rising to their league."

Nickell graduated from Iowa State in 1979 with specializations in interior design and magazine journalism. She will be presented the award at the Greenlee School's annual alumni homecoming reception Oct. 9.

"Karol Nickell exemplifies as a role model everything our students aspire to become," said Michael Bugeja, director of ISU's Greenlee School. "Her continuing accomplishments in magazine journalism have elevated her to the top ranks of editors in the world."

In 2001, Nickell was named editor of Better Homes and Gardens, the flagship publication of Meredith Corporation (NYSE: MDP) and the nation's third-largest paid circulation magazine with a monthly readership of 36 million.

Nickell, a native of Durant, Iowa, began her publishing career at Better Homes and Gardens in 1979 and later became the founding editor-in-chief of both Traditional Home and Renovation Style magazines. She also authored Traditional Home SIGNATURE STYLE: Creating Beautiful Interiors, published by Meredith Books in 1999.

She lives in Des Moines with her husband, Don, and two children, Lauren and Alexander.

James Schwartz was chair of Iowa State University's journalism department from 1965 to 1977. The Schwartz Award has been presented since 1978 to leaders in journalism and related fields. They include four Pulitzer Prize winners, distinguished broadcast journalists, authors, advertising and public relations executives, newspaper and magazine publishers, and leading writers in a variety of specialty areas.

Nickell is the latest of 29 Schwartz Award recipients. Previous winners include Hugh Sidey, former TIME magazine White House correspondent; Roy Reiman, founder of Reiman Publications; Terry Anderson, former Associated Press Middle East bureau chief; Kevin and Mollie Cooney, KCCI-TV anchors and reporters; Herb Plambeck, America's first full-time farm broadcaster; Chris Adams, investigative reporter for Knight Ridder's Washington bureau; and Bill Monroe, executive director of the Iowa Newspaper Association.