Former Miss Cass County to address SMC graduation class

Published 12:18 am Thursday, April 10, 2003

By Staff
DOWAGIAC -- Southwestern Michigan College announced that Emmy Award winning television journalist, Mary Parks, a 1980 graduate of Edwardsburg High School and a 1982 graduate of Southwestern Michigan College will speak at the Saturday, May 3 graduation ceremonies.
Parks, who is also a former Miss Edwardsburg and former Miss Cass County, transferred to Western Michigan University after receiving her degree from SMC and graduated in 1984.
Parks began her journalism career in radio, working at WKZO in Kalamazoo, WCMR/WRFN in Elkhart, Ind. and WAOR/WNIL in Niles.
She made the move to television news when she joined WSJV in Elkhart. From there Parks joined WFLA, WCPX and CBS NewsNet in Florida, covering shuttle launches at Cape Canaveral, the William Kennedy-Smith trial, Desert Storm assignments and the search, capture and trial of America's first female serial killer.
Parks is currently the Bureau Chief and Reporter for NBC4 in California, overseeing all news gathering and live reporting for Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.
She is the recipient of various awards including golden mics, Emmys, Associated Press and Los Angeles Press Club honors.
Former California Governor Pete Wilson appointed Parks an advocate for the developmentally disabled and she has coached Special Olympics in several states.
She is active with the Loma Linda Children's Hospital Guild, Riverside Rape Crisis Center and Option House, California's first battered women's shelter in San Bernardino.
Parks is also a board member of the Inland Empire Burn Institute, a non-profit funding research and treatment for burn survivors.