Had the pleasure of attending The Livingston Awards for Young Journalists at the Yale Club today. I was invited as a former Knight-Wallace Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan (Class of 1996-97).

I love attending this each year because it is a chance to be among journalists, see what up-and-comers are doing and mingle with fascinating people. For example, sitting on each side of me were a former Daily News editor and a current New York Times editor who told wonderful stories over lunch, stories dating back to the Lyndon Johnson administration. Sitting at the next table over were Al and Tipper Gore, who were there to support Christof Putzel, the winner of the International Reporting Award for his piece “From Russia With Hate” for Gore’s Emmy-winning Current TV.

A certain highlight for me was seeing Newsweek columnist Anna Quindlen win the Richard M. Clurman Award for her on-the-job mentoring. Quindlen was such an inspiration to me early in my journalism career and, in fact, I interviewed her for a piece in the Books section of The Trenton Times in the early 1990s. Her op-ed columns in The New York Times took a human interest approach that helped me to hone my own writing style.

I love my profession.