“Casey was an enormously talented, endlessly curious and deeply ethical young reporter,” said Elizabeth Stone, a journalism professor at Fordham and faculty advisor to The Observer, the student newspaper at FCLC. “Casey was one of my most promising students. Smart and dogged, whimsical and kind, she was going places…. She knew a good story idea when she saw it, she had her Google alerts in place to make sure she didn’t miss it, and she had the energy and skill to turn a good idea into a publishable article.”
In recognition of Casey, the 2011-2012 editorial board of The Observer voted earlier this spring to rename The Observer office in her memory. The dedication itself took place on April 30, 2012, with many members of the editorial board in attendance. Also attending were Casey’s friends, former editors Brooke Burdge, Kelsey Butler and Craig Calefate. Prof. Brian Rose, the associate chair of Communication and Media Studies, and Prof. Stone were also on hand for the ceremony.
Casey Feldman was a 2006 graduate of Springfield High School and was about to enter her senior year at Fordham when she was struck and killed by a distracted driver in Ocean City, N.J. on July 17, 2009.
The dedication of The Observer office took place to coincide with the Senior Awards Ceremony at FCLC, just prior to the culmination of the spring semester. Also unveiled at the dedication ceremony was a plaque remembering Casey and honoring Observer staff members, including Monique John, who have been awarded scholarship stipends through the Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation.
” I’m delighted to have Casey’s spirit and talent recognized and immortalized in the renaming of The Observer office, now known as the Casey A. Feldman Newsroom”, said Dr. Elizabeth Stone. ” It pleases me that the suggestion for this honor came from Harry Huggins, himself a news editor as Casey was, and now an editor in chief. I’m also pleased, and so grateful to Casey’s parents, Joel Feldman and Dianne Anderson, that through the Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation, a valuable internship experience is made possible for an outstanding major who otherwise would not be free to pursue it. Casey gave a lot to Fordham and to Fordham students and Casey’s parents have continued what she began.”
Casey arrived at Fordham aspiring to become a broadcast journalist and immediately joined The Observer, getting her first news bylines as a freshman, becoming an assistant news editor as a sophomore, and news editor as a junior. Casey was set to continue her position as news editor for her senior year at the time of her death in July 2009 and had recently returned from the annual weekend summer retreat for The Observer staff.
During her time at The Observer, Casey wrote over thirty articles, covering such topics as the increase in mental illness in college students, self injury on college campuses, the increase of HIV in young gay males, the increase in binge drinking among college females, Adderall use among Fordham students for studying, the strength of Fordham’s Catholic identity and Fordham’s apology to an abuse victim after years of evasions, to name but a few. Ashley Wennersherron, who wrote her first article with Casey, said, “I can’t think of anything that she didn’t want to do if she heard of a tough story.” Added Meaghan Dillon, who was news editor when Casey was assistant news editor, “She was never afraid to get a quote from anyone.”
Casey’s news reporting and editing won quite a few awards for The Observer, and she had been individually recognized as well. In June, 2009 she was named a national finalist for the 2009 Chandler Award for Student Writer of the Year in Religion, sponsored by the Religion Newswriters.
Casey poured her energy into writing and journalism while in high school, and continued to do so during her time at Fordham, securing multiple internships while carrying a full semester of courses, volunteering her time in the community and working for The Observer. She earned bylines from AM New York, The News of Delaware County and Philadelphia Style. She also freelanced during college, which included writing for the Bronx tourism bureau. In the fall of 2009, she was to have begun an internship at NY1, a Manhattan-based television station.
Casey’s friends knew that her favorite quote was a line of H.L. Mencken’s—’I know of no human being who has a better time than an eager and energetic young reporter.’ “And I know of no eager and energetic young reporter who took that more to heart than Casey,” said Dr. Elizabeth Stone.
Casey’s best friend, roommate and fellow staff member of The Observer, Kelsey Butler stated, “Given Casey’s passion for journalism and her dedication to The Observer, I can’t think of a more fitting way to carry on her legacy than to name The Observer newsroom in her memory.”
The Observer tribute to Casey, Aug. 2009 (includes memories of Casey’s fellow Observer staff members)
Casey’s AMNewYork bylines
About Casey (Casey’s bio)
Remembering Casey video ( fast forward to 10:24 – 12:21 for some of Casey’s fellow Observer staff members discussing Casey and her news reporting)
Fordham Observer Scholarship Recipients Attend Associated Collegiate Press Conferences (article about Jasper Chang and Harry Huggins)