Marcy McGinnis, former Associate Dean of the School of Journalism at Stony Brook University, was appointed senior vice-president of news gathering at Al Jazeera America, which is a cable news channel that launched on Aug. 20.

In her new role, McGinnis is in charge of Al Jazeera America’s domestic and international news coverage. AJAM recently opened 12 bureaus throughout the United States and has plans to open four additional bureaus. Al Jazeera America also has access to news coverage from over 70 of Al Jazeera’s international bureaus.

“I am looking forward to being part of an organization that is going to cover the news in a more in-depth way,” McGinnis said. “I am eager to be part of this new venture that will hopefully give Americans another outlet to go to for really strong journalism.”

In her previous role as Associate Dean of Stony Brook University’s School of Journalism, McGinnis assisted in developing the school since its foundation in 2006.  She supervised the design, construction and development of the newsroom and TV studio.

“Marcy was instrumental in building the journalism school from the ground up,” Howard Schneider, founding dean of the School of Journalism, said.  “The school never would have come so far so fast without her.”

Before joining the journalism school in 2006, McGinnis spent more than 30 years working for CBS News.  She served as Senior Vice President of News Coverage from 2001-2005 and was the Vice President of News Coverage from 1997-2001.

While at CBS, McGinnis was at the center of coverage for many breaking news events including 9/11, the war in Afghanistan and Hurricane Katrina.

“She served as an inspirational role model to scores of students, especially young women interested in television careers,” Dean Schneider said.  “As a result of Marcy’s mentoring, nine of our graduates are now working at some level for CBS News.”

As for her future at Al Jazeera, McGinnis explained that she is excited to be involved in the creation of a new outlet to provide what she hopes will be “in-depth journalism.”

McGinnis explained that the 24-hour network will air a combination of daily news broadcasts, single topic broadcasts including financial show “Real Money,” interactive broadcasts, interview shows and long form stories and documentaries.

Even though students and faculty at the journalism school are sad to see McGinnis leave, she has received an overwhelming amount of well wishes from current students, alumni and faculty through email, calls and social networks.  Many of them have thanked McGinnis for all that she did for them, including serving as a mentor.

“It makes me feel so good that those students cared enough to write to me and congratulate me,” McGinnis said.

Although she will be engaged in her role at Al Jazeera, McGinnis plans on continuing her connection with Stony Brook and says she will come back a few times a year to talk to the students.

“I don’t want to lose touch with Stony Brook because it was a big part of my life for the last seven years,” McGinnis said. “Stony Brook will remain a huge part of my heart.”