Dr. Sybril Bennett
Award-winning professor and journalist, Dr. Sybril Bennett is a Professor of Journalism. She started her tenure at Belmont in 2003 as the Executive Director of the New Century Journalism program and helped to raise more than $200,000 in grant funding. In 2012, she was a finalist for the Virginia Chaney Teaching Award, Belmont’s highest honor recognizing teaching excellence.
Bennett, affectionately known as “Dr. Syb,” is the author of “Innovate: Lessons from the Underground Railroad”. In it, she explains how the Underground Railroad is among the most effective, disruptive and innovative networks in American history, and compares it to the Internet by establishing how the past and the present virtually collide to create the future in real time.
“When you think about the ingenuity that went into creating such an organized network of movement and communication during the time of the Underground Railroad and you compare that same concept to how individuals move and share information through the Internet, the comparisons are too obvious to ignore,” Bennett said. “This book reveals how both platforms serve as avenues for expression of freedom, justice and equality whether networking through portals and links to branding and ownership.”
In 2013, she’s a featured speaker who took the international stage at the Web Summit in Dublin, Ireland. The Web Summit is the premier global conference gathering the world’s leading thinkers and doers in technology.
Bennett earned her Ph. D. in Higher Education Administration from Vanderbilt University, her M.Ed. in College Student Personnel from Loyola University of Chicago and her B.A. in Broadcast and Electronic Communication from Marquette University. She is a two-time Emmy award-winning journalist with professional experience in the traditional and social media fields spanning more than 25 years. She began her career working behind the scenes at ABC in Milwaukee and CBS in Chicago, and is a former general assignment report at the CBS affiliate in Nashville. Bennett’s many accomplishments and honors, include being named recipient of the International Association of Business Communicator’s “EXCEL Award,” which recognizes individuals who exhibit leadership in fostering excellence in communication and she is the 2014 National Association of Black Journalists Achiever Award recipient.
Dr. Syb teaches Social Media Reporting, Digital Citizenship, Mass Media & Society and Entrepreneurial Media. Her research focuses on innovation, civility and digital media.