“I want to give back to the great minds of the next generation,” said Dan Barkin when asked why he joined the faculty at Saint Augustine’s University.
The Massachusetts native spent more than 40 years in journalism before retiring in May of 2018 as managing of the Raleigh News and Observer, the second highest-ranking position in the newspaper’s newsroom. He started as an adjunct at SAU in May.
Mr. Barkin, like many others, had no idea what he wanted to do when he first went to college. at the University of Virginia. He joined the college newspaper, and discovered that he enjoyed journalism.
“I often skipped class to get my hands on a good story,” he recalled.
A business major at Old Dominion University, he decided to join the school’s student newspaper. He became a reporter and immediately loved it. “I often skipped class to get my hands on a good story,” he recalled. He soon dropped out of to pursue journalism full time. He began in 1975 as a reporter at the Martinsville Bulletin, covering local government.
He soon dropped out of school to pursue journalism full time. He began in 1975 as a reporter at the Martinsville Bulletin, covering local government.
Mr. Barkin still pursued his degree, however, taking night classes. Eventually, he graduated from Old Dominion University in 1987 with a degree in business administration.
He already was working for the Virginian Pilot, and he began to advance in his career, becoming assistant managing editor of that newspaper in 1988. The following year he moved to the Carroll County Times in Maryland, where he was publisher, the newspaper’s top job.
But Mr. Barkin realized that he needed more than just a bachelor’s degree. “Education is everything,” he explained. In 1995, he earned his master’s from the University of Maryland. While pursuing his masters, Mr. Barkin first became involved in teaching — he taught a class on news reporting and writing at the University of Maryland.
In 1996, he came to Raleigh as business editor of the News & Observer.
Along the way, Mr. Barkin had spent time as a teaching assistant and when he retired, he wanted to return to teaching part-time. He knew Dan Holly, the chair of Saint Augustine’s University’s Media & Communications Department, who also had been an editor at the News & Observer. “He was the first person I called,” Mr. Barkin said.
It was an easy decision to hire him, Mr. Holly said. “To have someone with Mr. Barkin’s experience on staff is a major coup for the university,” he said.
Teaching and writing a column for a local publication appear to be the only complicated activities in Mr. Barkin’s life these days. He also enjoys fishing and other outdoorsy activities, reading and spending time with his grandchildren.
“I enjoy the simple things in life,” he said.
— Elyscia Vaughn Brown