Theresa Walsh Giarrusso is a journalist of 26 years and former associate journalism professor at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism. She was the parenting blogger for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution for nine years. She has been an editor and writer for magazines, newspapers, digital media and social media.
She has experience working with students of all ages (elementary through college). At her first newspaper job in State College, Pa., she worked for two years with five high schools to produce a weekly teen-written section for the town’s newspaper. As a features section editor for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, she worked for three years with a team of elementary and middle school students to produce a weekly kids’ section of the newspaper that was distributed across the state and into schools. Giarrusso and her team boiled down the important news of the day for elementary and middle schools students. She visited schools to teach about the newspaper production, writing and current events.
For three years, she taught digital media and intro to journalism at Arizona State University. Some of the media literacy workshop is adapted from principles and skills she taught at ASU.
In 2018, Giarrusso created a media literacy program called “A Journalist’s Toolbox to Fight Fake News” to help educators and students learn: the history of fake news, why it’s a phenomenon now, the hallmarks of legitimate news, how to identify and evaluate reliable sources online, how to fact check stories and sources, how to identify and evaluate media bias, and how to trace photos and information back to the original sources.
Giarrusso has taught in Montclair, North Arlington and South Plainfield districts. She was awarded multiple grants from the Montclair Fund for Educational Excellence to teach these skills to about 300 students in 7th to 10th grade during the 2019-2020 school year. The four high school classes taught completely online during the pandemic went from a D average to a high B average for a 32 percent improvement.
Giarrusso also has been hired by the Montclair Library System to lecture about media literacy for senior citizens.
In 2019, she was voted onto the Board of Directors for The Red and Black, the 126-year-old independent student newspaper at the University of Georgia, where she served twice in college as editor in chief.
Currently, Giarrusso is writing, editing and running production for a business-to-business website and newsletters.
Giarrusso was one of the first “mommy bloggers” at a major metro newspaper in 2005 and spent nine years writing a parenting blog and running an active online parenting community. She was the parenting columnist in the Sunday newspaper for three years.
Giarrusso is passionate about teaching and has a unique ability to engage students. She is especially conscious of presenting material in multiple formats for varying learning styles and works well with students with learning disabilities. She worked with a socioeconomically diverse student body at ASU, as well as tutored reading and writing in a poor, diverse Atlanta public school and in East Harlem.
Learn more about Giarrusso’s career on LinkedIn.