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A huge ASPA thank you to the following people Dean Loy Singleton and the C&IS Dean’s Office Dr. Jennifer Greer, Journalism Department Chair Cecilia Hammond, Crechale Stevens and the Department of Journalism Department of Advertising and Public Relations Department of Telecommunication and Film Department of Communication Studies Diane Shaddix and the C&IS Graduate Program Terri Brewer and WVUA-TV Felicia Mason and the Alabama Press Association John Stevenson with The Randolph Leader Thomas C. Wilson, Associate Dean for Library Technology Chip Brantley, Bob Cummings, Carol Cummings, Dr. George Daniels, Doris Flora, Greg Goldstein, Taylor Holland, Sean Kelley, Angela Martin, John McWilliams, Haley Namie, Laura Owens, Alicia Perez, Dr. Chris Roberts, Lynn Strause, Breanna Thackerson, Morgan Upton, Paul Wright

PATRONS Balfour Taylor Publishing Company, Mike Dunn, Jay Elmore, Jimmy Elmore, Chris Nail, Jim Robbins, Joe Robbins Jostens Yearbook Keith Lail, Tyler Melton, Clyde Yelverton, Chris Creswell, Chris Coleman, Rebecca Kilday Walsworth Yearbooks Kane Belew, Tyler Craig

Our ASPA Board Members: President Erin Coggins; Past President Katy Burnside; Vice President Holly Michaels; Secretary Neena Davis; Director Emeritus Marie Parsons; Director Meredith Cummings Bowman; Graduate Assistant Pamela Harris


Feb. 25-26, 2011

ASPA State Convention

Schedule of events

Welcome to the annual ASPA State Convention at The University of Alabama. There is a lot going on, so be sure to check out everything! Don’t forget to drop in pennies to represent your school at our firstever Penny Drop to benefit the Student Press Law Center! (We take other kinds of money too!)

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Friday, Feb. 25, at Ferguson Center

8 a.m. Registration at Ferguson Theater 8:30 a.m. Kickoff and Welcome 9 a.m. Session 1 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. On-site competitions 10 a.m. Session 2 11 a.m. Session 3 Noon Lunch on your own 1 p.m. Session 4 2 p.m. Session 5 3 p.m. Session 6 4 p.m. Session 7 5 p.m. Keynote, Lars Anderson, Sports Illustrated reporter, Closing Awards Ceremony Saturday, Feb. 26, at Reese Phifer Hall 7:30 a.m. 8:30 a.m.

Stop by the ASPA lobby for a light breakfast.

Welcome, carry-in awards, Room 216

(Session times vary depending on the duration of the class. See Saturday’s schedule for details.) 9 a.m. Session 1 10 a.m. Session 2 11 a.m. Session 3 noon Lunch on your own 1 p.m. Tours: UA campus tour, The Crimson White newsroom tour and WVUA station tour


Feb. 25-26, 2011

ASPA State Convention

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Keynote speaker: SI’s Lars Anderson

Keynote speaker Lars Anderson, Sport Illustrated motorsports and college football reporter, said he enjoys talking to young people to get them excited about pursuing careers in journalism. “With all the bleak news about the demise of newspapers and magazines being so prevalent, I want young people to know that there are still very rewarding, exciting, enriching careers in journalism that aren’t going away anytime soon,” he said. Anderson said it is important for journalism to remain in the high school and middle school curriculum, even though some schools cut the media classes first in tough economic times. “It’s takes a long time to hone writing and reporting sensibilities, and the sooner you start the sooner you’ll be able to make an impact in your community with your work,”

Anderson said. “I still believe journalism is one of the most important – and noble – professions today.” Anderson did not work at his high school newspaper at Lincoln Southeast in Lincoln, Neb., because he wanted to be a lawyer at that time. “I’m glad I changed my mind and went into writing,” he said During his senior year at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn., Anderson was the sports editor of the Manitou Messenger. That experience helped him get into the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University. Of the hundreds of stories he has covered, Anderson lists a recent feature he wrote on Cam Newton, the Auburn starting quarterback, as one of his favorites. “I also once went wild hog hunting in Texas with a few NFL

Submitted photo Lars Anderson chats with Jimmie Johnson about three hours after he won his fifth straight NASCAR championship at Homestead in November.

players that turned into a really fun, light piece,” he said. “A piece on the Tulane women’s soccer team in the days after Hurricane Katrina I found very moving.”

Mark your calendar for ASPA’s summer camps! June 17-19: The Long Weekend summer camp June 17-26: Multicultural Journalism Workshop

and other events ...

April 1: Multicultural Journalism Workshop application deadline September 12-16: Fall Regional Workshops Sept. 12: Mobile Sept. 13: Montgomery Sept. 15: Tuscaloosa Sept. 16: Huntsville December 15: Deadline for all media for competition and critiques. January 27, 2012: Senior award deadlines: Bragg, Thomson, Stevenson and Journalist of the Year awards; Administrator and Adviser of the Year awards. For information check the ASPA Web site at aspa.ua.edu.


Feb. 25-26, 2011

ASPA State Convention

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Advisers: Adviser sessions begin at 10 a.m. The 9-10 a.m. period will allow you to help your students locate their sessions. Coffee, drinks and snacks are available in the Advisers Hospitality Room.

Friday Sessions 9 a.m.

Session 1

Basics of Newswriting (Beginning Newspaper) Let’s start at the very beginning! Every great newspaper starts with great writing. Come and learn how to make your newspaper writing pop off the page. Brad Fisher, Anderson Society Room 313 Design a Better Front Page (Advanced Newspaper) Good design is crucial to grabbing readers’ attention. Don’t bore your reader. Learn to design attentiongetting pages that pop and zing! Shweta Gamble, 301B Poetry Writing (Literary Magazine) How to improve your own poems, come up with ideas and take your writing to the next level. Farren Stanley, Room 301A How to Get Good Video and Good Sound (Broadcast) The best story ideas turn bad when not accompanied by great video and sound. This session will walk you through the best ways to get what you want. Chandra Clark, Forum Room 360 The Well-Rounded Yearbooker (Yearbook) A little humorous look at six personality traits that can make staffers/advisers more successful. Mary Kay Downes, Mortar Board Room 300 Marketing Your Yearbook in the Age of Social Media (Yearbook) Make your school yearbook project both an accessible and interactive process and a desirable year-end product by keeping your community interested, informed and engaged all year long with social media. Tyler Craig and Kane Belew, Room 312 10 a.m. Sessions

Session 2

ASPA Board meeting and officer elections (Advisers) The business meeting of ASPA will elect new officers

and update advisers on what’s new with the organization. Erin Coggins and Meredith Cummings, Anderson Room 302 Photography for Newspapers (Newspaper) Capture your school’s events and personalities with style for the newspaper. Dan Meissner, Anderson Society Room 313 The A’s, B’s and Three C’s of Broadcast Writing (Broadcast) This session will teach you how to make your scripts zing with clear, concise and conversational writing. Through examples and hands-on exercises, you’ll learn how to make your copy come alive. Dr. Jennifer Greer, 301B Getting Off The Ground And On The Air (Broadcast) Take your broadcast from morning announcements to the next level. Chandra Clark, Forum Room 360 Writing Copy (Yearbook) Write yearbook copy that will be read. Samples provided. Mary Kay Downes, Mortar Board Room 300 Poetry, Part 2 (Literary Magazine) Build on the first poetry-writing workshop, a roundtable discussion on poetry for lit mags, as well as critique of work. Farren Stanley, Room 301A Building Better Graphics and Illustrations (Newspaper) Make your graphics and illustrations pop with advice from The Tuscaloosa News graphics editor. Anthony Bratina, Room 305 11 a.m.

Session 3

Better Interviews (Broadcast, Newspaper, Online) Tips on interviews that will result in more than “yes” and “no” answers. Also, how to talk to practically anyone about practically anything. Martin Swant, Anderson Society Room 313


Feb. 25-26, 2011

ASPA State Convention

Advisers’ Roundtable (Advisers) Come share the challenges and triumphs of your school’s media program and get tips from others, as well as let ASPA know how it can better serve you. Erin Coggins and Meredith Cummings Anderson Room 302 10 Ways to do it Right and 10 Ways to do it Better (Yearbook) Yearbook standards that make books more successful such as photography, use of white space and reader aids. Mary Kay Downes, Mortar Board Room 300 Quality Control Before Posting Your Broadcast to the Web (Broadcast) Make sure your broadcast is web ready. Avoid embarrassing blunders by practicing good quality control before the whole world sees your work. Chandra Clark, Forum Room 360 Fiction writing (Literary Magazine) How to write fiction and take your writing from blah to outstanding. Laura Hunter, Room 301A Noon

Lunch on Your Own

1 p.m.

Session 4

Telling Someone’s Story: Feature Writing (Newspaper) Think outside the box and draw the reader in. Transport the reader into a story and keep them there. Carla Jean Whitley, Anderson Society Room 313 Lights, Camera, Now What? (Advisers) How do I keep everyone on task when I don’t have the right equipment? How do I find time to teach? How can I grade when everyone does something different? This session is for teachers looking to manage their classroom and maximize production as well as instruction. Susan Newell, Anderson Room 302 Writing an Outstanding Review (All Media) Your publication can review a wide range of entertainment. How do you juggle the options, judge quality and write about it? Richard LeComte, Room 301A

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What I Wish I Knew in High School (All Media) UA College students (Bob Jones High School graduates and former ASPA State Convention participants) dish about everything from experiences in media to roommates and shower shoes. Spencer Riley, Kirsten Fiscus, Stephanie Hammond Forum Room 360 Confessions of a Font Fanatic (Yearbook, Literary Magazine) A seven-step program to end type abuse. Mary Kay Downes, Mortar Board Room 300 2 p.m.

Session 5

Finding Story Ideas (All Media) We’ve all been there, staring at the blank page. Learn how to think creatively when it comes to new story ideas and where to look for them. Suzanne Dowling and Scott Barnes, Anderson Society Room 313 Breaking the Monotony: Designing the Literary Magazine (Literary Magazine) Literary magazine design requires attention to detail and tons of creativity. Learn how to up your game by making students at your school unable to pass your magazine by! Laura Lineberry, Room 301A Solving the Money Problem (Advisers) How to make the most with what you have, and how to get more from your principal, as well as places to find grants and other volunteer help. Jo Ann Hagood, Anderson Room 302 What I Wish I Knew in High School (All Media) UA College students (Bob Jones High School graduates and former ASPA State Convention participants) dish about everything from experiences in media to roommates and shower shoes. This is the same as the previous 1 p.m. session. Please don’t attend twice. Spencer Riley, Kirsten Fiscus, Stephanie Hammond, Forum Room 360 Contemporary Coverage (Yearbook) Coverage/copy alternatives/modular design/umbrella coverage. Mary Kay Downes, Mortar Board Room 300


Feb. 25-26, 2011 3 p.m.

ASPA State Convention Session 6

Outside the Loop. Working with Administrators and Parents (Advisers) What is the extent of the principal’s power over student media? Indulge in some problem solving to ease your situation. Share your successes with other advisers. The moderator is a middle-school principal who learned the ropes as an adviser of media and now continues to support journalism in his school. Larry Haynes, Rebecca Mantooth and Jo Ann Hagood, Anderson Room 302 Editing a Literary Magazine (Literary Magazine) Learn how to weed out the bad poems, art and stories, as well as how to express your critiques and thoughts in standard terms and vocabulary to give the staff and adviser a common language. Tina Harris, Room 301A Photography Tips and Tricks (All Media) Learn some camera-handling basics to help you improve your skills with any camera. In addition, learn some simple compositional techniques that will get you on the way to more engaging and understandable images. Dan Meissner, Room 301B How Video and Sound Help to Tell the Story (Multimedia/Broadcast) This session will help students learn how to use a variety of shots, how to frame interview subjects, how to frame the on-camera reporter or anchor and how to gather natural sound. Dr. George Daniels, Forum Room 360 You Lost Me at Hello: Covering a speech (Newspaper) Speeches often begin with “Hello, my name is ...” and end with applause. But your story should do neither of those things. In this session, learn to write a speech story that emphasizes the most interesting or important things the speaker said. Even if the speech is boring, your story doesn’t have to be! Paul Isom, Anderson Society Room 313 Find Your Voice (Yearbook) How to use type, color and design style to create a unified and consistent yearbook voice. Mary Kay Downes, Mortar Board Room 300

4 p.m.

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Think Like An Editor (Newspaper and Yearbook) Come learn how to better edit your publication and how to have fun while you’re doing it. This session is aimed at editors and section editors of newspapers and yearbooks. Dr. Chris Roberts, Room 312 Careers in Journalism (All Media) Find out how to set your own path to a career in journalism. Tips and tricks for getting your foot in the door, and what you can do now to help your career. Dennis Pillion, Room 301B Show Off Your Show (Beginning and Advanced Broadcast) Has your broadcast reached its peak? If you think so, then it’s time to climb higher and take it to the next level. Bring a short sample of your work and share it with the group for a constructive critique. Dr. George Daniels, Forum Room 360 It’s just my opinion, but … (Newspaper, Online, Broadcast) It’s one thing to have an opinion. It’s something altogether different to sell it. In this session, learn seven steps to strong opinion writing. Plus, we’ll discuss the elements of a strong opinion page. There’s more to it than just emptying your brain into the computer or spilling your guts onto paper. Paul Isom, Anderson Society Room 313 Theme: What a Concept (Yearbook) Theme/concept development/must-have theme elements. Mary Kay Downes, Mortar Board Room 300 Planning ASPA’s 75th Anniversary (Advisers) Calling all advisers! Help us plan ASPA’s 75th anniversary celebration. We want your input. Marie Parsons, ASPA Director Emeritus, Anderson Room 302 Lit Mag Management (Literary Magazine) This session will help you learn to edit a literary magazine. Learn how to weed the good entries from the bad, as well as how to express your critiques and thoughts in terms and vocabulary to give the staff and adviser a common language. Tina Harris, Room 301A


Feb. 25-26, 2011

5 p.m.

ASPA State Convention

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Keynote speaker and awards ceremony

Keynote speaker Lars Anderson, Sports Illustrated reporter Ferguson Theater Awards from on-site competitions, individual competitions, overall publication awards, Administrator of the Year, Adviser of the Year and ASPA Senior Awards will be presented following keynote speaker Anderson.

Anderson

Saturday, Feb. 26 Sessions, Reese Phifer Hall All Day Please stop by the ASPA lobby on the third floor to say hello and see your home office. 9 a.m.

Session 1

Cutlines: Making the best use of prime real estate (Newspaper, Yearbook, Online) We want our cutlines to be as good as our photos, as good as our stories and as good as our headlines. Are they? This session will show how giving focus and attention to this often-neglected element will make your paper better. Paul Isom, Reese Phifer Room 346 9 to 10:30 a.m. InDesign hands-on session for newspaper staffs (Newspaper) Group and individual attention will be provided for advisers and students at their level of learning for their particular publication. Marlin Caddell, Reese Phifer, Room 341 Basic Design for Yearbooks (Yearbook) Working with basic columns, eyelines, dominance and common design mistakes made by beginners. Mary Kay Downes, Reese Phifer Room 338 Final Cut Pro Lab (Broadcast) Hands-on training using the Apple video editing program Final Cut Pro. Learn to cut and edit videos. Andrew Richardson, Reese Phifer Room 130

Hands-on Photography (Meet in ASPA lobby then end up in Room 301) This class is limited to eight students. Sign up at registration Friday morning. Photography tips and tricks, as well as one-on-one feedback. Students will go with instructor to take photos and come back to Reese Phifer for feedback. Scott Bowman, ASPA lobby 10 a.m.

Session 2

Consistent, informative headline writing: A guide (Newspaper, Online) The first thing that pops into your head doesn’t usually make the best headline. Headline writing is a craft that involves thought and skill. In this session, you’ll learn tips, with examples good and bad, to make your headlines crisp, clear and factual. Paul Isom, Reese Phifer Room 346 10:30 to noon What Judges Look For (Yearbook) Learn how to polish your work and know what judges look for when they critique a book. This session is based on ASPA judging guidelines. Mary Kay Downes, Reese Phifer Room 338 Photoshop (Newspaper, Yearbook, Literary Magazine) Hands-on training for students and advisers to use Photoshop to make publications really pop. Robin Lunceford, Reese Phifer Room 341


Feb. 25-26, 2011

ASPA State Convention

iMovie: How to Produce Video Clips in 15 Minutes or Less (Online, Broadcast) If you have a Macintosh computer, you can add video to your text news story using the iMovie application. We’ll show you how to use iLife’s video application to do BASIC video editing. No documentaries! No news packages! This hands-on session is for those who don’t want to spend a lot of time editing video, but still want the benefits of the moving-picture medium to add a dimension to their story. Scott Barnes, Reese Phifer Room 301 Podcasting (All media) Podcasts consist of audio and video material that is distributed online for use on iPods and other media players. In this hands-on session, you’ll prepare your own podcast. Please bring your own headphones. Andrew Richardson, Reese Phifer Rom 130 Hands-on Photography (Meet in ASPA lobby then end up in Room 301) This class is limited to eight students. Sign up at registration Friday morning. Photography tips and tricks, as well as one-on-one feedback. Students will go with instructor to take photos and come back to Reese Phifer for feedback. Scott Bowman, ASPA lobby 11 a.m.

Session 3

Twitter, Facebook and Zynga, Oh My! (All Media) Learn how to use social media outlets to promote high

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school media and create a greater presence on the Web for your publication or broadcast. Marlin Caddell, Reese Phifer Room 346 1 p.m.

Session 4, Tours (All Media)

UA Campus Tour (Meet at front steps of Reese Phifer Hall) This tour will take students on a walk through campus guided by a representative from the Capstone Men and Women. Capstone Men and Women WVUA Tour (Meet in the Reese Phifer rotunda) Students will tour the television station located in the basement of Reese Phifer, the University’s own WVUA, which signed on the air as News Channel 49 in January 1998. The operation became the first television station in Tuscaloosa since 1996, when Tuscaloosa’s local television stations left the city. Question and answer session to follow. Getting Involved in College Media (Meet in the ASPA lobby) Students will check out the Student Media building that houses The Crimson White (newspaper); The Corolla (yearbook); and Marr’s Field Journal (literary magazine). Students will also hear about how to get involved in college media at any college. Question and answer session to follow. Brandt Garrison

Follow ASPA on Twitter and Facebook! Twitter: @AlaSPA Facebook fan page: Alabama Scholastic Press Association


Feb. 25-26, 2011

ASPA State Convention

Session leaders

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Kane Belew While at The University of Alabama studying advertising, Belew got his first taste of sales at The Crimson White Newspaper. He realized that he had the skill of helping customers navigate weekly deadlines, while verbalizing to designers the message the advertisements needed to tell. After graduation, Kane jumped into sales, and landed an opportunity in financial planning before a stint with Yellowbook where he flexed his creative muscles. Belew then found a home with Walsworth Yearbooks. He is committed to helping advisers produce a high quality yearbook that is on time and fits within their budget. Chip Brantley is a lecturer in emerging media in the Department of Journalism at The University of Alabama. A co-founder of Cookthink.com, Brantley has worked as a features writer for the Albany Times Union and other newspapers, as an editorial producer for Movieline.com and as the head cheese maker at Westfield Farm. As an independent writer, he has contributed to Slate, the Oxford American, Gourmet and many other publications. Brantley’s book about the pluot, “The Perfect Fruit,” was published by Bloomsbury USA in July 2009. He lives in Birmingham, where he’s working on his second book, “The Pistachio Wars.” Anthony Bratina has been the Graphics Editor at The Tuscaloosa News for more than nine years. His responsibilities at The News are to create graphics and illustrations for newspaper articles, magazine articles and online publications. He attended the University of Alabama at Birmingham where he majored in art studio. As well as producing work for the mewspaper, he has created numerous illustrations and layouts for marketing agencies in and around the Birmingham area, and continues to produce oil paintings and sculptures. Scott Barnes is a Digital Media Specialist in Gorgas Library. His job is to provide instruction and support to the students of the campus involving an array of digital production software and hardware, including Final Cut Studio and the Adobe Creative Suite. He graduated from the University of Alabama with a bachelor’s degree in telecommunication and film with a focus in production. When he has the time, Barnes likes to participate in local festivals like the Sidewalk Scrambles or other projects he can sink his teeth into. Hobbies include photography, dancing poorly, and taking apart broken things to make them more broken. Scott Bowman is a freelance photographer who shoots Alabama football for publications such as Crimson magazine, as well as various promtional advertising materials for businesses. He also shoots weddings and portraits. Before becoming a photographer, he spent more than a decade on the air as a DJ, as well as programming Alabama radio stations.


Feb. 25-26, 2011

ASPA State Convention

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Marlin Caddell is currently the Web developer for Boone Newspapers. He helps manage Web sites for more than 30 newspapers across the country. Caddell is a graduate of The University of Alabama with a major in journalism, and served as editor-in-chief of the UA student paper, The Crimson White. He also worked for The Tuscaloosa News as a copy editor. His heart’s desire is to equip journalists with the tools to connect better with the audiences they serve and to provide split-second information to that audience. Jon Carter has been the adviser of The Artisan at Briarwood Christian School since 1993. He has judged magazines for Columbia Scholastic Press Association and North Carolina Scholastic Press Association.

Dr. Chandra Clark is an assistant professor at the University of Montevallo where she teaches broadcast news and production classes, social media, and media marketing classes. She just finished producing a Distracted Driving DVD and multi-media project for Shelby County middle and high schools to be used as part of the required curriculum at prom time and driving education classes. She started working at local TV stations at 16 years old, and her career started with ABC 33/40, where she became senior producer. She served as an adjunct professor in broadcast news for five years before graduating with her PhD from the University of Alabama in 2009, and served a one year visiting professorship at Samford University in Birmingham. While working on her PhD, she worked full-time as the assistant director of broadcast marketing and media. Chandra has produced national commercials, multi-media recruitment videos, and web content while also working with national broadcast networks, documentarians, and television stations from around the country. Erin Coggins, MJE, advises the yearbook and newspaper at Sparkman High School in Harvest. She is president of the ASPA Board of Directors. She has been named the Susie DeMent Adviser of the Year twice and was recently recognized as a Special Recognition Adviser by the Dow Jones Newspaper Fund and was awarded the 2007 Columbia Scholastic Press Association’s Gold Key.

Tyler Craig has a bachelors degree in communication from Appalachian State University. Craig is now entering his second year with Walsworth Publishing, and has found a perfect fit to utilize his interpersonal relationships skills while helping customers create the best yearbook in the business.


Feb. 26-27, 2010

ASPA State Convention

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Dr. George Daniels, MJE, is an associate professor of journalism in the College of Communication and Information Sciences at The University of Alabama. Daniels spent eight years as a television news producer in the Richmond, Va., Cincinnati and Atlanta media markets. He teaches multimedia reporting and writing classes at UA.

Suzanne Dowling is a media relations coordinator for the University of Alabama – a position she has had for the past 24 years. She graduated from Holt High School in 1977, and received a bachelor of science in public relations from The University of Alabama in 1981. She is the co-founder of Arts ‘n Autism, an after school program and summer day camp for children with autism, and currently serves as the president of its board as well as on the board for the Autism Society of Alabama. Mary Kay Downes, MJE, advises the nationally award winning “Odyssey” yearbook at Chantilly High School (VA). Over the past 23 years, Downes’ yearbook students have won multiple CSPA Crowns and NSPA Pacemaker awards, as well as SIPA All Southern ratings and VHSL Trophy Class awards. “Odyssey” is also a three time recipient of the Savedge Award for sustained excellence, and was inducted to the NSPA Hall of Fame in 2004. A recipient of the CSPA’s Gold Key, the NSPA Pioneer Award, the (VAJTA) Douglas Freeman and Thomas Jefferson Awards, Downes was also named the Journalism Education Association National Yearbook Adviser of the Year in 2007. She serves on the board of judges for CSPA and NSPA, and has had several articles published in JEA, CSPA, Quill and Scroll and VAJTA publications. She is Past-President of the Columbia Scholastic Press Advisers Association. Brad Fisher, APR, is responsible for advertising and public relations for the DCH Health System, which operates DCH Regional Medical Center, Northport Medical Center and Fayette Medical Center. He is accredited in public relations and been named a Senior Practitioner by the Southern Public Relations Federation. He received the Silver Medal, the club’s highest award, from The Tuscaloosa Advertising Federation. Fisher teaches a beginning reporting class in the University of Alabama’s Journalism Department. Fisher previously worked as a reporter for the Florence Times Tri-Cities Daily and The Tuscaloosa News. Fisher received a degree in journalism and public relations from the University of Alabama, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Omicron Delta Kappa honorary fraternities. He and his wife, Debrah, are the parents of three grown daughters. Kirsten Fiscus is a 2010 graduate of Bob Jones High School and a freshman majoring in photojournalism at the University of Alabama. Kirsten marches in The Million Dollar Band. Last fall she played on an intramural co-ed flag football team with other members of the Mellophone section, and this semester plans on playing co-ed softball. If there is any advice she could give to up-and-coming freshman, it would be get involved, make new friends, and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.


Feb. 26-27, 2010

ASPA State Convention

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Shweta Gamble has been the Design Editor of The Tuscaloosa News since 2005. She graduated from the University of Alabama at Birmingham with a degree in journalism and art studio, and has worked as a designer at The Orlando Sentinel and The Birmingham News. She often serves as a judge for collegiate design competitions and enjoys painting in her free time. Dr. Jennifer Greer is chair of the Department of Journalism at the University of Alabama. She worked as a professional journalist for newspapers, magazines and online news sites and also worked in public relations before moving into teaching full time. She has taught reporting and news writing at the University of Florida, the University of Nevada, and at Alabama for 18 years. One of her teaching specialties is writing across media, in which she teaches writing for print, broadcast and online, as well as public relations and advertising. She was one of the first journalism educators in the country teaching online news and multimedia news. She’s won college-wide teaching awards twice and serves on the national elected committee on teaching for the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. In high school, she served as the newspaper opinion editor and as the lifestyle editor of her yearbook staff. Jo Ann Hagood advised award-winning papers for 30 years. In 1989 she started Jackson High School’s Aggie Journal. During the 17 years she advised that publication, the staff won awards from ASPA, Troy University and The University of South Alabama/Mobile Press-Register Newspaper Competition. Active in the Alabama Scholastic Press Adviser’s Association, she served as president and won the Susie DeMent Adviser of the Year Award in a 1997. In 2000, Hagood became a Certified Journalism Educator with JEA. She is currently teaching English at a private academy and serving as a JEA mentor for Alabama. Stephanie Hammond graduated from Bob Jones High School in Madison, AL and is now a freshman at the University of Alabama. She double-majors in journalism and business administration on a pre-law track, and has worked as a staff writer for the Crimson White. She attended the 2010 ASPA State Convention as well as the 2010 ASPA Long Weekend Journalism Camp and is most interested in print journalism and design.

Tina Mozelle Harris teaches English at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and directs the Ada Long Creative Writing Workshop for high school students. She has served as the interim editor of PMS poemmemoirstory 9 and the co-editor of PMS 10. Her poetry and essays have been published in a variety of journals including Red Mountain Review, Santa Clara Review, and StorySouth and the anthologies, Family Matters: Poems of Our Families and As Ordinary and Sacred as Blood: Alabama Women Speak. She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prizes for her poetry and for one of her essays.


Feb. 26-27, 2010

ASPA State Convention

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Larry Haynes, principal of Oak Mountain Middle School in Shelby County, spent 15 years teaching U.S. History, English, journalism and broadcasting at Montevallo High School, where he advised the school’s bi-weekly newspaper, SPOTLIGHT. In 1991, he started MHS News, one of the first student broadcasts in Alabama. He served two years as president of the Alabama Scholastic Press Advisors Association (2001-2003) and was recognized as ASPA’s Susie DeMent Journalism Advisor of the Year in 1996. He was named a Dow Jones Newspaper Fund Special Recognition Advisor in 1998 and received Columbia University’s Gold Key Award in 2001. In 2005, he added broadcast journalism teaching duties to his administrative responsibilities and worked with his students in producing OMMS News, now produced by Adviser Becky Mantooth. Laura Hunter, born in the Alabama hill country of Walker County, lives outside Northport, Ala. She began writing in her mid-50s and has short stories published in the anthologies Belles’ Letters and Climbing Mt. Cheaha. Magazine publications can be found in ALALITCOM, Crave Magazine, Explorations (Univ of Alaska), Birmingham Arts Journal, Marr’s Field Journal (Univ of Alabama) and Seven Hills Review. Her poetry appears in Beyond Doggerel and Ordinary and Sacred as Blood. She publishes creative non-fiction as a freelance author, most recently in Longleaf Style magazine and in Motif: come what may. She has been recognized on local, state, national and international levels for her writings, which reflect the perseverance of the downtrodden, those Alabamians who refuse to give up, even against extreme odds. Paul Isom has reported for four newspapers, and covered news, sports and features, worked on design and copy desks and as a features editor, most recently at The Birmingham News. In his director of student media positions, he has overseen the operation of five different student newspapers, three yearbooks, six magazines, two radio station and a television station at five institutions, including The University of Alabama, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and currently, East Carolina University. He has also taught numerous college-level writing, reporting and editing courses. Isom was part of the team for The News’ stories on corruption in the state’s two-year college system, which won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting. Paul was named Distinguished Four-Year Multi-Media Adviser in 2006. Richard LeComte worked for 11 years as a newspaper editor in the features department at at the Reno Gaztte-Journal in Nevada. Before that, he worked as a reporter and editor in Missouri, Kansas and Florida. He now works as a communications specialist at the University of Alabama, where he recently earned a master’s degree in library and information studies. He was born and raised on Long Island and earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Wesleyan University in Connecticut and studied journalism at the University of Missouri. He lives in Tuscaloosa with his wife and three children.

Laura Lineberry is a full-time instructor of graphic design at The University of Alabama College of Arts & Sciences Art Department. She has been recognized regionally and nationally for her talents in print media by the American Advertising Federation, Print Magazine, Communication Arts, the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, the Public Relations Council of Alabama, and many more. She serves as Creative Director for the National Alumni Association’ s Alabama Alumni Magazine and teaches an honors magazine design course, which results in the annual publication of Mosaic magazine, a student publication for the UA Honors College. Lineberry has contributed her creative services to other magazines, and is also an accomplished book designer.


Feb. 26-27, 2010

ASPA State Convention

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Becky Mantooth currently serves on the faculty at Oak Mountain Middle school as a 7th grade literature teacher and broadcast journalism adviser. She earned a bachelor’s degree in secondary education, language arts from the University of Alabama in 1995, and graduated summa cum laude from The University of Montevallo in 2002 with a master’s degree in education. Before joining the faculty at Oak Mountain, Mantooth taught English and journalism at Hoover High School and advised the school’s award-winning newspaper, The Hoover Voice. During her tenure from 1995-2002, The Voice won multiple state and regional honors including All-Alabama from the Alabama Scholastic Press Association and All-Southern from The Southern Interscholastic Press Association. Mantooth was named the ASPA Susie DeMent Adviser of the Year for 2002. Dan Meissner has served as a newspaper reporter, photographer, editor and designer. He has more than 30 years of experience teaching journalism at The University of Alabama in reporting, editing and visual journalism courses. At UA, he also coordinates journalism internships at media outlets throughout the state and nation. Susan G. Newell, MJE and NBCT, has advised school newspapers and yearbooks for over 25 years. Publications she has advised have won Best SIPA publication in Alabama, All-Alabama, All-Southern, All-American, NSPA Best of Show, and CSPA’s Gold Medalist. Her students have won individual awards with SIPA, ASPA, CSPA, Quill & Scroll, and NSPA. Ms. Newell has been a yearbook and newspaper judge and speaker for state and national press associations. She is a past president for ASPA, is the State Director for Alabama for JEA, and is on the executive board for SIPA. She is the 2008 Advisor of the Year for Alabama, a 2008 Dow Jones Newspaper Fund Special Recognition Advisor and 2010 Distinguished Advisor, and an ASNE Reynolds High School Journalism Institute fellow. Marie Parsons is a retired journalist and journalism instructor. She is a past director of the Alabama Scholastic Press Association and University of Alabama Program for Minorities. She is currently a JEA Mentor to three Alabama media advisers.

Dennis Pillion has been a sports producer for al.com since April 2007. He has covered many sporting events, including the last two BCS National Championship Games, NFL, NBA and high school games. He also spent several days last year in the Gulf coast covering the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. He currently serves as president of the Alabama Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Pillion previously worked as a sports reporter for The Robesonian, a 15,000-circulation daily newspaper in Lumberton, NC. He is a 2005 graduate of The University of Alabama with a degree in journalism. Andrew Richardson began his career as the Media Editor and then-Web Editor for The Crimson White where he handled all of the Web content for the newspaper and started a number of podcasts. He also spent two years in operations at Alabama Public Radio helping with production of weekend content for the station. Since graduation, Andrew has worked as Web/Media Communications Specialist for the College of Community Health Sciences at the University of Alabama.


Feb. 26-27, 2010

ASPA State Convention

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Spencer Riley graduated from Bob Jones High School in May 2010 and majors in management information systems in The Culverhouse College of Commerce ad Business Administration at the University of Alabama. He was the features editor of his high school’s newspaper and has written for The Crimson White.

Dr. Chris Roberts was both Journalist of the Year and president back when ASPA was called the Alabama High School Press Association. He edited his high school newspaper while also working for two professional papers and three radio stations while at Jacksonville High. After nearly two decades at big-city papers in Alabama and South Carolina, he’s now an assistant professor at The University of Alabama.

Farren Stanley is an M.F.A. candidate in poetry at the University of Alabama. Stanley’s poems have appeared in Centrifugal Eye, The 13th Warrior and Glyph, among others. She lives with three orchids, two animals and a lot of succulents.

Martin Swant is a business reporter at The Birmingham News. After graduating from the University of Missouri School of Journalism in May 2010, Swant worked at Standard & Poor’s in New York City before joining the News in August for a business reporting fellowship. Swant has written for newspapers and wire services in the Midwest, along with a three-month stint working for Reuters in Belgium, where he covered the European Union, NATO and the 2008 Financial Crisis.

Carla Jean Whitley dreams of a writing career began in fifth grade, when she found herself penning essays while other kids watched TV. Nearly 20 years later, she fulfills that dream daily, writing and editing as the managing editor of Birmingham magazine. There, Carla Jean works with other writers to tell the stories of Birmingham’s people. Carla Jean also developed the magazine’s music blog, Birmingham Box Set, and increased the magazine’s print coverage of the Birmingham music scene. She has also worked as a features editor, reporter and page designer at several Alabama newspapers.

2011 ASPA State Convention Program  

ASPA 2011 State Convention program