WHM Profile: Hannah Gordon


Gordon-Mugshot 2017Hannah Gordon isn’t a name most Emerging Civil War readers are familiar with, but over the past year, she’s become integral to our behind-the-scenes operations with the Emerging Civil War Series and the upcoming Emerging Revolutionary War Series. In this month’s newsletter, due out in just a few days, we’ll direct our “10 Questions” to Hannah, so ECW readers will have the chance to get to know her better and get a look at some of the stuff she’s been up to.

In the meantime, we’re pleased to share the news that Hannah, a graduate student at St. Bonaventure University in western New York, was recently honored as the 2017 recipient of the university’s Dr. Mary A. Hamilton Woman of Promise award.

(And yes, St. Bonaventure is the home to ECW’s editor-in-chief, Chris Mackowski, so you can probably already imagine how Hannah, a writer and editor, got roped into this Civil War thing….)

According to St. Bonaventure’s Office of University Relations: 

The award is named in honor of Dr. Mary Hamilton, ’59, retired associate professor and professor emerita with the Jandoli School of Communication. The Woman of Promise Award recognizes a female student from the Jandoli School who has excelled both in and out of the classroom, set an example for peers, and demonstrated great promise for success in future endeavors.

Gordon, who is from Lackawanna, New York, graduated a semester early from St. Bonaventure with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communication and is pursuing a graduate degree in integrated marketing communications at the university. While she earned her bachelor’s degree, Gordon was heavily involved on campus. She worked at The Bona Venture student newspaper from the first day of her freshman year until she graduated, earning her position as editor-in-chief during her junior year. She was involved with advocacy groups Spectrum (LGBTQ+ Alliance) and SBU for Equality.

Gordon-Woman of Promise Award
Hannah addresses the audience at the Woman of Promise Award presentation at St. Bonaventure University, March 16, 2017, as Dean Pauline Hoffmann and dignitaries look on. (photo courtesy of Liam McGurl)

School of Communication Dean Dr. Pauline Hoffmann was impressed with Gordon’s curiosity and poise the first time she met her.

“One of the first things Hannah did on campus was introduce herself to me. Not every student, let alone a freshman, is willing to walk into the dean’s office to say hello and to tell me what her goals are,” Hoffmann said. “I find that especially refreshing and impressive for a young woman. She maintains a curiosity about the world and a compassion for people—skills that have served her well as a young journalist and will continue to serve her well.”

“I’m so thankful for the faculty of the J-school,” Gordon said. “They’ve given me amazing opportunities. Dean Hoffmann includes me in the NYS Women Inc. dinners where I can network with Western New York businesswomen. Carole McNall always has her office door open for a chat and Kimberly DeSimone has become a mentor and a friend to me; she encourages me follow my passions and invites me to speak to her classes so I can get teaching experience. Chris Mackowski brought me on as a designer for the Emerging Civil War books, which led to him offering me the position as editor of the Emerging Revolutionary War book series.”

Gordon has honed her skills in a number of internships, including The Buffalo News and USA Today College. During her sophomore year, she studied in Prague, Czech Republic, and she plans to study at Oxford University this summer.

In January 2016, Hannah drew national attention in the communications industry for a piece she wrote that offered a personal glimpse into The New York Times. Nationally reknowned media critic Jim Romenesko took issue with Hannah’s piece, igniting an online frenzy, and AdWeek picked up the story soon thereafter. AdWeek did a pair of follow-ups with Hannah, too (here and here).

Mackowski added his testimonial for the award ceremony, held on Thursday, March 16. “We spend so much time preparing our students for the ‘real world,’ confident in their abilities to get good jobs, but I was so confident in Hannah that I hired her myself,” he said:

I first had her do some writing last year for Emerging Civil War, and then some design work, and then some editing. She has become an increasingly valuable member of ECW’s editorial team–not because she knows the Civil War but because she knows language so well. She appreciates the nuances of grammar and punctuation and vocabulary and the effects they can create when used well. She knows how to craft a well-told story.

Because she has continued to prove herself over and over, our publisher, Savas Beatie, LLC, has entrusted her with the launch of a new books series, Emerging Revolutionary War. Hannah serves as the series editor–an extraordinary feat for a woman of Hannah‘s age to have her own nationally distributed book series published by one of the most respected independent publishers of history books in the country.

I’m proud to call Hannah not just a former student but a friend and a trusted and valued colleague.


“When I stop to think about the opportunities afforded to me in the Jandoli School and the wonderful faculty I’ve been so lucky to get to know, I feel infinitely blessed,” Hannah told the University Relations Office. “Where else could I walk into the dean’s office just to say hi? This place is special.”

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