Amy Burton

February, 2023

Blog, Gracies Leadership Award

Alex Dusky’s Experience at the 2022 Gracies Leadership Award

I will never forget receiving the email that I was one of seven students chosen to receive the Mattel Fellowship this year. This is such a huge honor not only for myself, but for my University, as no Oklahoma State University student has received such recognition. At the awards ceremony, I was welcomed by none other than Valerie Blackburn, who truly embodies a woman leader in media. Her pure joy to be at the event and kindness towards me was enough to show that many more wonders were in store for me the rest of the afternoon.

I was surrounded by so many wonderful women, both executives in the industry, as well as my peers. It was great to be able to speak with both the other Mattel Fellows and Google News Initiative Fellows. Learning what other females my age are doing at their individual universities was empowering in itself, but little did I know what awaited me from the eight honorees. All of these women had such powerful, yet humble speeches, and each one made sure to appreciate everyone who helped shape them to be the leader they are today. 

This was an amazing opportunity to network and talk one-on-one with those in my industry, specifically Marie Donoghue. She gave a wonderful speech focusing on women in sports and sports media and seeing how she has made it to the top further encourages me to continue to strive for success. 

Thank you to Mattel for making the opportunity for me to attend such an event possible and to the Alliance for Women in Media for hosting the wonderful Gracies Leadership Awards. Continually recognizing and honoring women leaders is how we encourage young women in the industry, and I for one am confident we as a society are heading in the right direction. 

Alex Dusky is a recipient of the 2022 Mattel Student Fellowship. She is currently a student at Oklahoma State University, and we look forward to seeing how she continues to shape the world of media in the future.