Dan Rather Receives 2013-14 DeWitt Carter Reddick Award, Melody Chatelle Receives Outstanding Alumna Award

AUSTIN, Texas – April 9, 2014 – The Moody College of Communication at The University of Texas at Austin will present veteran journalist Dan Rather with the DeWitt Carter Reddick Award and political communications professional Melody Chatelle with the Outstanding Alumna Award for 2013-2014.

Rather and Chatelle will officially accept their awards at the Moody College of Communication's Honors Day convocation on Sunday, April 13, 2014.

Established in 1974, the DeWitt Carter Reddick Award recognizes excellence in the field of communication. Past Reddick Award recipients include Walter Cronkite, Molly Ivins, Nicholas Lemann, Bill Moyers, William S. Paley, William J. Raspberry, Helen Thomas, Ted Turner and Bill Wittliff, among others.

The Moody College established the Outstanding Alumni Award to recognize alumni of the college who have distinguished themselves in their professional and personal lives. Past recipients of the Outstanding Alumnus Award include Wayne Sellers, Lady Bird Johnson, Liz Carpenter and Bruce Hendricks of Walt Disney Productions.

Dan Rather

Dan Rather began a career in journalism as an Associated Press reporter in Huntsville, Texas, in 1950. While reporting from the Galveston seawall as Hurricane Carla threatened the Texas coast, his style of reporting meteorological data and on-location events instantly changed the face of broadcast television and launched his career to new heights.


As one of the best-known journalists worldwide, Rather has covered everything from the assassination of President John F. Kennedy to the civil rights movement and international conflicts. He has interviewed every U.S. president since Dwight D. Eisenhower, landed two world exclusive interviews with Saddam Hussein and broke the story of prisoner abuse at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison.

During his total 44 years with CBS News, he served as anchor and managing editor of the "CBS Evening News" for 24 years, the longest such tenure in broadcast journalism history. Rather reported for CBS News Radio, the documentary series "CBS Reports," and co-founded and reported for "48 Hours" and "60 Minutes II."

He has received numerous Emmy and Peabody Awards and citations and in 2013, the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences presented him with the prestigious Trustees Award. He has authored or co-authored eight books, five of which have become New York Times bestsellers.

In 2006, Rather founded the company News and Guts and became anchor and managing editor of "Dan Rather Reports" on HDNet, now AXS TV, which specializes in investigative journalism and international reporting. The program has won three Emmys and two Front Page Awards.

A former journalism instructor and Marine, Rather is a member of the Moody College of Communication advisory council and lifetime member of the Littlefield Society at UT Austin.

Melody Chatelle

Melody Chatelle began her career as a legislative aide, gaining 10 years of experience as a staffer in the Texas State Capitol. She then served as director and vice president of government affairs for Mariner Post-Acute Network for 12 years and in 1999, founded Chatelle and Associates, a legislative and communication consulting company.


Her degrees include a Ph.D. in Communication Studies from the Moody College of Communication and a master's of public affairs from the LBJ School of Public Affairs, both from The University of Texas at Austin. She earned her bachelor's in journalism from Stephen F. Austin State University, where she was named Outstanding Female Graduate.

Chatelle is author of "Journeys of Heartache and Grace: Conversations and Life Lessons from Young People with Serious Illnesses." Her book, published in 2008, is a narrative non-fiction piece centered on the topic of end-of-life communication and is based on her dissertation, which was nominated for dissertation of the year at UT Austin.

Chatelle is a volunteer of Hospice Austin and Dell Children's Medical Center, long-serving consultant for United Ways of Texas, board member for My Healing Place, and a former board member for Texas CASA, Court Appointed Special Advocates.

Nationally, she has served as chair of the American Health Care Association's (AHCA) Legislative Subcommittee and was named the 1997 AHCA Outstanding Key Member.

Her work and research interests include healthcare policy, leadership development and interpersonal, organizational and healthcare communication. Through her company and on her own, Chatelle advocates for both profit and non-profit organizations including many groups that are in need of support but lack a strong voice in government or society.

About The University of Texas at Austin Moody College of Communication

One of the nation's foremost institutions for the study of advertising and public relations, communication sciences and disorders, communication studies, journalism and radio-TV-film, The University of Texas at Austin Moody College of Communication is preparing students to thrive in an era of media convergence. Serving more than 4,700 undergraduate and graduate students, Moody College is nationally recognized for its faculty members, research and student media. For more information about the Moody College of Communication, visit http://moody.utexas.edu.


Contacts: Laura Byerley, (512) 471-2182. 

Marc Speir
Senior Content Producer