Salutations and academic credentials on KentWired.com

On May 7, KentWired tweeted that President Todd Diacon appointed Lamar Hylton as the vice president for student affairs and Amoaba Gooden as the interim vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion. 

Several of our Twitter followers complained that we neglected to refer to either Gooden or Hylton as “Dr.” in the tweet. Since both Hylton and Gooden are Ph.D.s, we were also questioned as to why we didn’t note their degrees. 

To explain, KentWired follows AP (Associated Press) style, which helps news organizations write with consistency and clarity, much the way APA or MLA style helps with academic papers. 

The title “Dr.” is only used in AP Style to refer to medical doctors. We also refrained from including the notation of “Ph.D” at the end of their names, which in AP Style is generally avoided as an abbreviation. We could have included more about their academic credentials, but given the abbreviated nature of a tweet, we were attempting to get the basic facts of the new appointments out. 

Leaving out the “Dr.” and “Ph.D.” notations in the tweet was not meant to slight either person—it was our continued effort to remain consistent with AP style throughout all of our content.

We should have addressed this issue sooner, but we are transitioning from our spring to summer staff and it took us a few days to catch up with this and respond.

We look forward to covering Kent State’s new vice presidents and hope to report in the near future about their accomplishments and how they’ll approach their jobs, both in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic and in the future.  

We value your readership and feedback—thank you for following KentWired. 

Contact Maria McGinnis, KentWired summer editor, at [email protected]