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Journalism Education Committee Chair

Butler Cain
Assistant Professor/Mass Communication
West Texas A&M University
Sybil B. Harrington Fine Arts Complex, Room 269
Canyon, TX
Bio (click to expand) Butler Cain is an Assistant Professor of Mass Communication at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas. He received a Ph.D. in Media History from the University of Alabama, where he also received degrees in Journalism. He spent a decade as news director of Alabama Public Radio in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, before moving to South Korea to teach English language skills to Korean students.

Butler has been a member of SPJ since 1997. He is a founding member of the Texas Panhandle Pro SPJ chapter in Amarillo, Texas, and has served on the Journalism Education Committee and the International Journalism Committee. Butler blogs about travel and journalism at

June Nicholson, vice chair
Director of Graduate Studies
School of Mass Communications
Virginia Commonwealth University
901 W. Main Street
Room 1108 Temple Building
Richmond, VA 23284-2034
(804) 827-0251 (office)
Fax: (804) 828-9175
Bio (click to expand) picture June O. Nicholson, a professor of journalism in the School of Media and Culture at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va., chaired national SPJ’s Journalism Education Committee from 2000-2007. She is former chair of the SPJ's International Journalism Committee and has been a member of other national SPJ committees over the past several decades. She is co-developer of the SPJ newsroom training module on covering diverse communities. Nicholson also is a former president of the Virginia professional chapter of SPJ.

Nicholson is the 2014 recipient of the Outstanding Woman in Journalism and Mass Communications Education Award from Commission on the Status of Women of the Association of Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. In 2008, she was recipient of the Robert Knight Multicultural Award for promoting diversity in America's newsrooms, given by AEJMC's Scholastic Journalism Division. She was recipient of the Distinguished Service Award of VCU's College of Humanities in 2007 for contributions to VCU and the journalism profession. She is serving a second term as president of the University Faculty Senate through August 2015.

Nicholson teaches senior-level capstone undergraduate government, enterprise and project reporting courses and coverage of specialized areas such as science, health, education, urban affairs and the environment. She also teaches a graduate course on International Journalism in the M.S. program in Mass Communications with a specialization in multimedia journalism. Before joining the VCU faculty, she was a reporter and editor for more than a dozen years in North Carolina and Virginia. She holds a master’s degree in public affairs journalism from The American University in Washington, D.C., and a B.A. degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Journalism Education Committee Members

Tracy Ann Burton
Freelance Writer
Bio (click to expand) Tracy Burton has more than a decade of professional writing experience. She graduated from Central Michigan University with a bachelor's degree in journalism and a master's degree in English: composition and communication. She also holds a Graduate Certificate in College Teaching. She enjoys working with student writers and helping them develop their passion for the great craft we know as journalism. Burton also is experienced in public relations, videography, media relations, photography and graphic design. She currently is a freelance writer and works in higher education public relations and marketing and has held reporting positions with the Midland Daily News and the Lansing State Journal.

Meredith Cummings, University of Alabama

Kym Fox
Senior Lecturer, Journalism Sequence Coordinator
Texas State University-San Marcos
Bio (click to expand) picture Kym Fox joined SPJ while an undergrad at Arizona State University in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism. She has been president of the San Antonio Pro Chapter and is currently the co-adviser to the Texas State University student chapter. Fox spent the first 20 something years of her career as a reporter and editor, first at the Mesa Tribune, a 40,000 daily in a suburb of Phoenix, and then 18 years at the San Antonio Express-News. She was the deputy metro editor when she left the Express-News to take to the classroom at Texas State. Most of her career, she spent covering courts and legal affairs, thus her affinity for Freedom of Information projects. Over the years she has covered everything from high school sports to George H.W Bush signing NAFTA. She has interviewed the Queen of England and Michael Jackson, though not at the same time. Along with her B.S. in journalism, she earned an M.A. in communications from the University of the Incarnate Word while an editor at the Express-News. At Texas State she is a senior lecturer and coordinator of the journalism sequence. She teaches a variety of writing classes as well as multimedia journalism. Her take on the future of journalism: “Newspapers are NOT dying. They are evolving.” Find her on Twitter @kymfox.

Suzanne Lysak
Assistant Professor/Broadcast & Digital Journalism
Syracuse University/Newhouse School of Public Communications
Syracuse NY 13244

Adam Maksl, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Journalism
Indiana University Southeast

Jimmy McCollum
Associate Professor
Lipscomb University
One University Park Drive
Nashville, TN 37204-3951
Bio (click to expand) picture Dr. Jimmy McCollum is an associate professor in the department of communication and journalism at Lipscomb University, where he has taught since 1989. He is the director of the Tennessee High School Press Association, which is based at Lipscomb. He advises Lipscomb’s student online news service,, and is faculty sponsor of the campus chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He has served as a reporter/anchor with WSM-AM Radio News.

Ryan Parkhurst, James Madison University

Lee Anne Peck
School of Communication
Journalism and Mass Communications
University of Northern Colorado
Campus Box 114
University of Northern Colorado
Greeley, CO 80639
Bio (click to expand) picture Lee Anne Peck has taught English, journalism, and communications courses since 1988. Most recently she was an assistant professor of international communications at Franklin College Switzerland, Lugano. Over the years, she has advised three student newspapers.

Peck's professional experience began in 1976 as a correspondent for the Moline Daily Dispatch. After graduating with her bachelor's degree, she edited and then managed the regional Choice Magazine of the Front Range. In the mid-1980s, she edited and wrote for publications in Indiana and Delaware; she has worked for the Fort Collins Coloradoan as an editor, a columnist and writing coach and for the Rocky Mountain News as a copy editor. Peck has also worked at the Tampa Tribune's online product, Tampa Bay Online, and for Microsoft's online publication, Denver Sidewalk. Peck began free-lance work in the late 1970s and continues to do free-lance editing, writing, and public relations work.

Her research focuses on all aspects of media ethics. She received a Fulbright to teach journalism at the University of Dubrovnik in Croatia fduring spring semester 2007.

Pat Sanders, University of North Alabama

Jeff South
Associate Professor
VCU School of Mass Communications
(804) 827-0253
Bio (click to expand) picture Jeff South was state editor and database editor at the Austin American-Statesman before heading to academia in 1997 under the mistaken impression he’d have summers off. He is an associate professor in the School of Mass Communications at Virginia Commonwealth University, where he teaches news writing, legislative reporting, communications technology and media ethics. South has served as a trainer for SPJ, IRE, AP and other organizations. He frequently conducts workshops on, and writes about, computer-assisted reporting, online journalism and media convergence. In 2003, South was awarded a fellowship from the American Society of Newspaper Editors to work at The Charlotte Observer. In 2007, he will serve a six-month Knight International Press Fellowship in Ukraine. For more than 20 years, he was a reporter and editor in Texas, Arizona and Virginia for newspapers such as the Dallas Times Herald, the Phoenix Gazette and The Virginian-Pilot. He also served two years with the U.S. Peace Corps in Morocco.

Leticia Steffen
Associate Professor, Department of Mass Communications & Center for New Media
Colorado State University-Pueblo
2200 Bonforte Blvd., BCC 103Q
Pueblo, CO 81001
Office: 719-549-2873
Cell: 719-821-3106
Home: 719-565-0537
Bio (click to expand) picture Leticia Steffen is an associate professor in the Department of Mass Communications and Center for New Media at Colorado State University-Pueblo. She joined the CSU-Pueblo faculty in 2004. A native of New Hampton, Iowa, Steffen completed her bachelor’s degree at Saint Louis University, working as a stringer for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the Suburban Journals of St. Louis before moving to Colorado to complete a master’s degree in mass communications and journalism studies at the University of Denver. Before moving to Pueblo, Steffen worked as a writer and editor in the Denver area. Steffen teaches journalism courses and serves as faculty adviser to the CSU-Pueblo online student news website and news magazine, the CSU-Pueblo TODAY.

Becky Tallent, Ed.D.
Associate Professor
School of Journalism and Mass Media
University of Idaho
Bio (click to expand) picture Rebecca J. “Becky” Tallent is an award-winning journalist and public relations specialist with more than 12 years experience as an energy/environmental and financial journalist plus an additional 16 years experience as a public relations specialist and five years as an educator. She is currently an associate professor of journalism and mass media at the University of Idaho.

Becky’s experience as a reporter and editor inside Oklahoma was with the Daily Oklahoman, the Tulsa World, Oklahoma Business News Co. (where she was reporter and editor of the Oklahoma Energy/Environment Report) and as editor of the Oklahoma Banker. She has also covered energy and environmental issues for McGraw-Hills News, Inc. of New York (Platt’s Oilgram News, Engineering Week and Green Markets); Reuter’s U.S. Financial, Inc. based in New York; and the Washington, D.C.-based Oil Daily.

As a public relations specialist, Becky has represented the University Hospitals, the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority, the Oklahoma Energy Resources Board and Epworth Villa (a not-for profit retirement community). From 2002-2006, she was a public relations specialist with Evergreen Productions, Inc. of Oklahoma City where she represented the City of Lawton (OK), Tidal School Vineyards and the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. Her expertise in public relations is writing/publications, working with the news media and crisis communications.

Before Idaho, Becky taught journalism at Bishop McGuinness High School, Southwestern College, the University of Phoenix, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Northwestern Oklahoma State University.

Some of Becky’s most recent awards include: 2003 Faculty Member of the Year, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University; first place, 2001, American Marketer’s Association, Oklahoma City Chapter, Marketing Campaign for Epworth Villa; second place, 2001, Society of Professional Journalists, Oklahoma Chapter, not-for-profit publications (Epworth Villa); first place, 2000, Society of Professional Journalists, not-for-profit publications (The Oklahoma Banker); and the 1999 Award of Merit from the Oklahoma Chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators for the Oklahoma Banker.

Becky has been a member of SPJ since 1972 when she joined the University of Central Oklahoma student chapter. She joined the Oklahoma Professional Chapter in 1977 and became a member of the Snake River Chapter in 2006. She has served on numerous local and national committees for SPJ. Becky’s dedication to the Society lies in her belief that service in SPJ is a way to contribute something back to the profession.

Becky earned both her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism (1975) and her Master of Education in Journalism (1977) from the University of Central Oklahoma. She earned her Doctorate of Education in Classroom Teaching/Mass Communications from Oklahoma State University in 1995.

Peggy Watt, Western Washington University

Jack Zibluk, Southeast Missouri State University

Home > Training > Census Resources for Journalists

Resources for Journalists
Census Resources for Journalists

Pew Research Center
The All Things Census page from the Pew Research Center provides resources, findings and methods related to Census 2010. This site links to many other sites and organizations that are posting census information that could be helpful to journalists.

C-SPAN Video
Check out C-SPAN’s video archive on census news conferences.

American Society of News Editors
ASNE has a few resources listed on the Census Central page.

Census Director’s Blog
View Census Director Robert Groves’ daily blog.

Media Toolkit
The Toolkit for Media Organization Partners is designed to help media organizations and associations communicate the benefits of census participation.

Partner Toolkits contain information and resources to help partners communicate the importance of the census to key groups. Materials are tailored for each audience, addressing relevant facts and the unique benefits of participation.

Materials for Media
Online news briefings and electronic press kits will be available at this site in the near future. You can sign up to get e-mail notifications when the information to this site is updated. The kits are intended to package relevant news, information and photos to help generate earned media coverage throughout the 2010 Census effort.

Get a Fact sheet for Your Community
Review facts by zip, county or city from the 2000 Census and then be able to compare it to the 2010 Census results when completed. In some cases there are data from 2006-2008 through the American Community Survey.

U.S. Census Bureau American FactFinder
Fact sheets for race, ethnicity or ancestry groups.
View population trends in your community.

What the Media Need to Know
A handbook about the American Community Survey [PDF Format].

From the George Washington Library System
This research guide highlights the electronic and print resources published by the U.S. Census Bureau and select resources that accompany Census research.

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