Elaine Houston ‘09 recently was featured on the cover of HERLIFE, a magazine dedicated to reporting the stories of inspirational women.
A newscaster on WNYT/NewsChannel 13, Houston’s media career includes experience in radio and television. She joined WNYT in January 1990 as an education reporter and has covered events including tornadoes in Oklahoma and the Elian Gonzalez controversy in Cuba.
Equally as important as her professional career is her work on documentaries about women. Her first was “Touch a Woman, Touch a Rock” about women in three countries in Africa.
Houston’s work in the community has included volunteering for the New York State Mentoring Program, developing a communications program at the Arbor Hill Community Center in Albany, creating the “Cookie House,” an after-school tutorial program for kids, and organizing a weekend trip to Space Camp in Canada for 30 educators.
In May 2004, the College of St. Rose bestowed an honorary doctorate degree upon her for her work in the community as well as her stories on teachers and her commitment to education. That same month the Women’s Press Club selected Houston as the Media Person of the Year for her accomplishments in the community and her work at WNYT.
Houston’s first book was published in March 2004. "The Friendships Between Women" is a compilation of letters from women on tragedy and triumph. The proceeds from the book go to women in a village in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
In February 2004, she received the Journalist of the Year award from Urban Voices newspaper for her positive stories on people of color. That same month she also received a community service award from the Chocolate Thunder Marching Band for her stories chronicling the trials and triumphs of this award-winning marching band.
In January 2004, Houston was awarded the NYS PTA life member award for her series “Education Spotlight,” “Educator of the Week” and other work celebrating teachers and students.
Previously, in February 2003, she was awarded the governor's African Americans of Distinction Award for her contributions to her profession and the community. In 2001, she received the Governor’s Women of Courage and Vision Award for her contributions to her community and her profession and the Colonie Chamber of Commerce Women in Professions Award for her professional and community achievements.
In 1996 she received an award for her community service from the Twin Rivers Council of Boy Scouts of America and the State University of New York’s Black Student Alliance.
Houston serves as host, mistress of ceremonies and moderator of numerous community events and activities throughout the Capital Region, including the New York State Black History celebration.
A native of St. Louis, Missouri, in addition to her Master of Arts in Liberal Studies from Empire State College, she earned a degree in broadcasting from the Broadcast Center in St. Louis and a B.S. in journalism from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale.
About SUNY Empire State College
SUNY Empire State College was established in 1971 to offer adult learners the opportunity to earn associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the State University of New York.
In addition to awarding credit for prior college-level learning, the college pairs each student with a faculty mentor who supports that student throughout her or his college career. Students engage in guided independent study and course work onsite, online or a combination of both, which provides the flexibility for students to learn at the time, place and pace they choose.
The college serves more than 20,000 students worldwide at more than 35 locations in New York state and online. Its 63,000 alumni are active in their communities as entrepreneurs, politicians, business professionals, artists, nonprofit agency employees, teachers, veterans and active military, union members and more.
Additional information about the college is available here.