Earlier this year, 86-year-old Grand Forks food critic Marilyn Hagerty and her hammer Margo stole our hearts after a review of her local Olive Garden went massively viral. Then came a whirlwind NYC trip, a book deal via Anthony Bourdain, and more meditating with her hammer. Now, Hagerty has been awarded the 2012 Al Neuharth Excellence in Media Award—which means that Marilyn Hagerty is now on par with past winners such as Walter Cronkite, Tom Brokaw, Garrison Keillor, and Katie Couric.

It turns out that Al Neuharth, the founder of USA Today, is a friend of Hagerty's—she was his editor at the University of South Dakota in the 1940s. He had this to say about her in a statement:

Marilyn, my classmate back in the ’40s and editor of the student paper, took a chance on me as rookie reporter, hired me for my first newspaper job and taught me vital lessons about the roles and responsibilities of professional journalists. Those same high principles that Marilyn preached as a young college editor 65 years ago define and distinguish her extraordinary and enduring career.

As for what Hagerty has been up to, she recently reviewed the local Applebee’s, and was quite happy with the Oriental Chicken Salad. She was a little put off by their familiarity however: "I was somewhat startled — wondering if I was forgetting something. Then she grinned and explained that is just the Applebee’s way of ushering customers out. 'See you tomorrow,' is what they use as a promotion."