Callahan got her start in the field as a newspaper and radio reporter in North Carolina. She then embarked on a 30-plus-year journey in higher education. Callahan has molded young minds at Johnson C. Smith University, The Ohio State University, Alabama A&M University and Elizabeth City State University. Since 1996, she has taught a host of classes, including broadcast production, print journalism, and public relations, at N.C. A&T.
A longtime member of NABJ, Callahan was the founding president of affiliate chapters in Charlotte and Columbus, Ohio. In 1997, she became the first journalism educator to serve on the NABJ Board of Directors.
That same year, Callahan founded the regional workshop at N.C. A&T in partnership with the North Carolina Scholastic Media Association (NCSMA). She leads this initiative every year. Other programs throughout the country follow the model she created.
In August 2013, Callahan received a national award for her efforts at the 101st Annual Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) Conference in our nation’s capital. She earned the Robert P. Knight Multicultural Recruitment Award for encouraging and advising under-represented students in journalism for more than three decades at five different universities.
The NABJ Journalism Educator of the Year Award recognizes the service, commitment and academic guidance of an outstanding journalism teacher, professor or educator. The honoree must have helped to increase the number of black journalists in newsrooms.