Columbia Scholastic Press Association
Phone: (212) 854-9400
CSPA is affiliated with the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University in the City of New York.
Conventions and Workshops
Fall Conference Speakers
These are the speakers scheduled to speak at this year's CSPA Fall Conference
Maggie Alden is a senior at Columbia University and the managing editor of Columbia Daily Spectator. A Minnesota native, she most recently worked at The New Yorker and plans to continue working in publishing after graduation.
Matthew Chayes is a reporter for Newsday in New York, where he covers crime. Before joining the newspaper's staff in 2007, he worked in The Chicago Tribune's Washington bureau, then as a freelance reporter in New York City. He's been a guest on the BBC and the Fox News Channel. In high school and college, he edited the campus newspapers.
Alena Cybart-Persenaire teaches English and journalism at Kennedy High School in Waterbury, Conn. where she chairs the English department plus advises The Eagle Flyer newspaper, winner of 50 journalism awards including four 2012 New England Scholastic Press Association awards and Connecticut's 2012 Margaret M. Generali grant for literacy. A former staff writer for the Bristol Press, Hartford Courant and Columbia Spectator, Alena was named the University of Connecticut's 2006 Graduate of the Last Decade. She was editor in chief of UConn's The Daily Campus, winning 1996 second place U.S. Newspaper of the Year from the Associated Collegiate Press.
Sarah Darville is the editor-in-chief of the Columbia Daily Spectator, the daily newspaper of Columbia University and Morningside Heights. A junior at Columbia, she previously worked as the Spectator's news editor and has interned at the New York Daily News, GothamSchools.org and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. She was the editor in chief of The Prowl at Coral Glades High in Coral Springs, FL from 2007-2009.
Jenny Dial is a sports editor/reporter for the Houston Chronicle in Houston, TX. A graduate of the University of Oklahoma, Dial has worked with the San Antonio Express News, the United States Olympic Committee and Sports Illustrated among others. She was the sports editor for the Gold Crown winning Oklahoma Daily. She has been awarded four APSE writing awards, was named Texas Sportswriter of the Year by the Texas Coaches Association in 2011 and was awarded a Gold Key by CSPA in 2008. Dial graduated from East Central High School in San Antonio, TX, where she edited the Gold Crown winning Hornet yearbook.
Mary Kay Downes has advised the Chantilly High School Odyssey yearbook for the past 23 years. She was the 2007 JEA National Yearbook adviser of the year and holds the CSPA Gold Key and NSPA Pioneer awards. Odyssey is the recipient of several CSPA Crown and NSPA Pacemaker awards. Downes judges books for state and national organizations, writes articles for journalism publications and teaches at summer workshops. She is the past president of CSPAA and now chairs its Honors Committeee.
Paul Ender, before he retired in 2000, was adviser to the American yearbook at Independence High School in San Jose, CA, for more than 25 years. Personal honors include JEA Yearbook Adviser of the Year, Northern California Yearbook Adviser of the Year, CSPA Gold Key, NSPA Pioneer Award and OIPA National Scholastic Journalism Hall of Fame. His students' books earned many state and national awards.
Erica Miriam Fabri is the author of Dialect of a Skirt, a collection of poetry published by Hanging Loose Press (November 2009). She is a writer and performer and a graduate of The American Academy of Dramatic Arts and received her MFA in Poetry from The New School. Her work has been published in New York Quarterly, Texas Review, The Spoon River Poetry Review, Hanging Loose Magazine, Good Foot Magazine, Paper Street and more. She has worked on projects as a writer, editor and performance director for The New York Knicks, HBO and Nickelodeon Television. She has been awarded a writer's residency at the Omega Institute and has been a featured and/or visiting poet and performer for numerous art festivals and numerous outreach programs including drug rehabilitation centers, prisons and hospitals. She currently teaches Performance Poetry at Pace University, Creative Writing at The School of Visual Arts and a variety of Poetry courses at Baruch College and Hunter College of The City University of New York (CUNY). www.ericafabri.com.
Adam Goldstein is Attorney Advocate for the Student Press Law Center and is licensed to practice in New York. Beyond media law, his Internet work has included representing domain name complainants in arbitration and authoring several legal articles on online copyright and trademark issues. Before entering legal practice, Goldstein spent three years as a freelance producer and editor for FoxNews.com, handling day-to-day and breaking news coverage. Goldstein graduated from Fordham University School of Law in 2002; during his studies, he served as the technology editor of the Fordham Intellectual Property, Media and Entertainment Law Journal. Goldstein received his undergraduate degree in Internet Journalism from Fordham College at Lincoln Center, where he was the Editor-in-Chief of the FCLC Observer. He is a member of the New York State Bar Association and the ABA.
Robert Greenman taught high school and college English and journalism, and advised school publications for more than 30 years. He is a newspaper in education consultant for The New York Times and the high school liaison for the Society of Professional Journalists' New York City chapter, the Deadline Club. Greenman is the author of The Adviser's Companion, a guide for high school newspaper advisers, and vocabulary enrichment books based on words and passages from The New York Times and the Atlantic Monthly: Words That Make A Difference and More Words That Make A Difference (co-authored by his wife, Carol). He writes regularly for the Visual Thesaurus language Web site, visualthesaurus.com. Visit his Web site at www.robertgreenman.com
Dave Johnson is the author of Marble Shoot, (Hummingbird Press 1996) and the plays, "Sister, Cousin, Aunt and Baptized To The Bone." He is the editor for Movin' (Orchard Books 2000). Johnson is a visiting faculty member of the MFA Creative Writing Program at The New School University and an Instructor at The Cooper Union School of the Art. He has taught at Yale and Columbia Universities. His work has recently appeared in Washington Square and is currently appearing in The Texas Review.
Dean Kostos's poetry collection Last Supper of the Senses was released this past September; he is also the author of the collection The Sentence that Ends with a Comma (which was taught at Duke University) and the chapbook Celestial Rust. He co-edited the anthology Mama's Boy. His poems have appeared in Barrow Street, Boulevard, Chelsea, Cimarron Review, Oprah Winfrey's web site Oxygen, The Paris Review (forthcoming), Rattapallax, Southwest Review, Western Humanities Review, and elsewhere; his translations from the Modern Greek have appeared in Talisman and Barrow Street. His reviews have appeared in American Book Review, Bay Windows, and elsewhere. "Box-Triptych," his choreo-poem, was staged at La Mama. He has taught poetry writing at Pratt University, Gotham Writers' Workshop, Teachers & Writers' Workshop, Teachers & Writers Collaborative, and the Great Lakes Colleges Association. A member of PEN, American Center, he was also the recipient of a Yaddo fellowship.
Gary Lundgren served as director of student publications and director of the Arkansas Scholastic Press Association during his nine years on the faculty of the University of Arkansas. During that time, his staffs received several Gold Crown and Pacemaker Awards and he received the CSPA Gold Key, NSPA Pioneer Award, JEA Medal of Merit and was inducted into the Scholastic Journalism Hall of Fame. He also published Yearbook Points & Picas magazine for 11 years. Lundgren, currently is a senior customer experience manager for Jostens where he manages a team responsible for producing educational resources and programs, yearbook kits and customer communications. During his 15 years at Jostens, he launched Jostens Adviser University and the Gotcha Covered Look Book in addition to editing the 1,2,3 Yearbook Journalism Curriculum and the Get the Picture photojournalism curriculum. Lundgren has taught design and workshops in 43 states.
Christian McEwen is currently working on a play about women and money, based on interviews with more than forty women. Its title is "Legal Tender: Women & the Secret Life of Money." Her lastest book, World Enough & time: On Creativity and Slowing Down (Bauhan Publishers, NH) is out.
Michael Lydon is a writer and musician who lives in New York City. The author of many books, among them Rock Folk, Boogie Lightning, Ray Charles: Man and Music, Lydon was a founding editor of Rolling Stone and has written for many periodicals, including the New York Times, Atlantic Monthly, Village Voice and others. Lydon is also a singer-songwriter, a member of ASCAP and the AF of M, local 82, and he teaches writing at St. John's University.
Jeff Mays is a reporter/producer for DNAInfo covering Harlem. Previously, he was a reporter for The Star-Ledger of New Jersey where he covered Newark City Hall and Mayor Cory Booker. A graduate of Columbia University and Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism, Jeff was named The Star-Ledger's Dee Murphy reporter of the year, the paper's highest honor, the Garden State Association of Black Journalists reporter of the year and is the recipient of national reporting awards from the National Association of Black Journalists. Mays was also named an IRE fellow. May's work has appeared in The New York Times, Wired magazine, AOL BlackVoices and NewsOne.
Jennifer Miller is author of The Year of the Gadfly (Harcourt, 2012), a debut novel about a group of outcasts at a prestigious New England prep school and Inheriting The Holy Land (Ballantine, 2005), a reported book about the lives of Israeli and Palestinian teenagers. Her journalism has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post Magazine, Christian Science Monitor, Marie Claire, Allure, Salon.com, Fast Company, The Millions and the Daily Beast. Visit her website at www.byjennifermiller.com.
Jeff Moffit is Balfour's Key Account/Education Manager. Prior to joining Balfour, he advised The Oracle newspaper and The Torch yearbook at Olympia High School in Orlando, Florida. He is a National Board Certified teacher in Career and Technical Education. The publications he advised won multiple state and national awards. He was Olympia High School's Teacher of The Year in 2007. Moffit holds a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Texas at Austin and has been working with yearbooks since the seventh grade.
Alan Murray is the President and co-founder of Uncharted, an entrepreneurial social media venture focused on people, culture, and travel. An award-winning photographer, journalist and editor, his work has included assignments such as the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, NCAA tournaments, and long-term multimedia documentary work. He was awarded public service honors for his work covering organ donation issues. Murray resides in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area.
Mark Murray is coordinator of technology systems for Arlington Independent School District in Arlington, TX. He also serves as the executive director of the Association of Texas Photography Instructors and as consultant for the Photo Imaging Education Association. He is a frequent presenter at conferences and workshops around the country, including the CSPA and JEA/NSPA conferences, Carolina Journalism Institute, Dallas County Publication Workshop and Flint Hills Summer Publication workshop. During his tenure as photography instructor at Lamar High School in Arlington, he was one of the advisers to élan, Lamar's literary/art magazine, a Pacemaker and Silver Crown winner. He received a Gold Key from CSPA in 2004 and the CSPA Joseph M. Murphy Award for Outstanding Service in 2012.
Jake Palenske has many titles. Convergence and graphics guru. Technology addict. Retired semi-professional fat man dancer. Cupcake-seeking sweets fiend. While those titles describe him best, his business card says he's the Manager of Integrated Marketing and Organizational Communications for Raytheon Intelligence and Information Systems in Dallas, TX. In his spare time, Palenske is a frequent instructor and speaker at scholastic journalism events across the nation and in Europe. He recently received his first grown-up professional citation, the Southern Interscholastic Press Association's Elizabeth B. Dickey Distinguished Service Award.
Vanessa Santaga is a member of the English department at Kingsborough Community College of the City University of New York (CUNY), where she teaches freshman composition and developmental reading and writing. She is also a co-director of the college's Developmental English program, responsible for coordinating 90 sections of the department's lowest level of basic reading and writing and ESL. Santaga's interest in personal narrative writing as an academic genre began as a student at Edward R. Murrow H.S., in Brooklyn, and continued as an English major at Dartmouth College, where she was a writing assistant for freshman composition courses. Her M.A. is in English Education from NYU where she also completed the coursework toward her doctorate.
Mike Simons advises the Skjöld yearbook at West H.S. in upstate New York. Known for his high-energy teaching style and photography instruction, Simons was named a 2011 Special Recognition Yearbook Adviser by JEA. Simons is a JEA certified journalism educator. Skjöld has been named both a Pacemaker and Crown finalist in the past four years. He currently serves as second vice president of the CSPAA.
Helen F. Smith is the executive director of the NESPA and a past president of the CSPAA. From 1973-2009, she taught English and journalism and advised the Newtonite and Mirettes at Newton North High School in Newtonville, Mass. Publications she has edited include Journalist's Handbook for the New England Press Association, and Springboard to Journalism and its Teacher's Manual, The Official CSPA Stylebook, Scholastic Newspaper Fundamentals and Scholastic Newspaper Critique for CSPA. Along with teaching in CSPA programs, she has taught high school students and teachers at Boston University, and, through the Soros Foundation, in Kyrgyzstan, the Republic of Georgia, Hungary and Romania. The U.S. State Department's ACCELS program also sent her to teach in Kyrgyzstan. At the American University of Central Asia in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, she has been a visiting teacher since 2006. She has edited the Writing Handbook for the American University of Central Asia and the university's Web Page Style Guide. Since 2007 she has worked with teachers in Lusaka, Zambia through the Communities Without Borders program.
C. Randy Stano is professor of practice in visual journalism and journalism in the School of Communications and editorial adviser for the Ibis yearbook at the University of Miami. He is the former director of editorial art and design for The Miami Herald and the Democrat and Chronicle of Rochester, NY. Stano was assistant art director at the Kansas City Times and part of its Pulitzer Prize-winning team in 1982 and the Herald's in 1993. A former president of the SND, Stano also chaired the southeast region, contest and quick course committees for SND. While teaching at A.N. McCallum High School in Austin, TX during the 1970's, Stano was the school's publications adviser and the DJNF National High School Journalism Teacher of the Year in 1974. Stano has received numerous awards for art/design directing from SND, National Headliners Club, Florida SNE, Print and many other design contests. He works as a consultant and judge for numerous art/design competitions. Stano received the CSPA Gold Key in 1980 and the Joseph M. Murphy Award for service to CSPA in 2005.
John Tagliareni advised Bear Facts, the student newspaper of Bergenfield (NJ) High School, for 37 years until his retirement from teaching in 2010. Bear Facts has received the GSSPA's Garden State Award, the NJPA's Award for General Excellence, and the CSPA's Gold Medalist with All-Columbian honors, and Silver Crowns. Bear Facts was featured on the Reading Rainbow program, televised nationally, as well as ABC-TV's Nightline and on National Public Radio. He is a former president and current officer of the GSSPA, which awarded him its Golden Quill Award for Distinguished Service in 1984. The DJNF selected him as a Distinguished Adviser that same year. Tagliareni has judged student newspapers for the CSPA. He is a recipient of the CSPA Gold Key in 1992 and the OIPA's Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2000, the CSPA honored him with the Jubilee Award and The New York Times and CSPA honored him with the Charles R. O'Malley Award for Excellence in Teaching. He also served as CSPAA Recording Secretary from 2002-2004. The Deadline Club, The New York City Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, honored him with their Teacher Recognition Award in 2007. He serves on the Student Press Rights Commission of the JEA, which awarded its Lifetime Achievement Award to him in 2010.
Violet Turner has taught middle school and high school English in Wantagh, NY schools for 23 years. She is an adjunct professor for Long Island University, taught creative writing for over a decade, and was the adviser to Escapades, the WHS literary magazine, for seven years. Turner also taught creative writing to inmates at Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, NY. Her extensive writing background includes copywriting for WLIR radio and Costich and McConnell Advertising, news writing and announcing for WLIM radio, public relations for the Stony Brook Community Fund and the Clinton County Mental Health Association, educational scriptwriting, and freelance writing for publications such as Newsday, Maximum Guitar, Screenwriters Magazine, Expecting Magazine, and the Long Island Voice. She was the 1992 first place recipient of the Phyllis Whitney Writing Award and has had her photography featured in Popular Photography. Turner has received the New York State English Council Educator of Excellence Award (2008) and was a National Endowment for the Humanities recipient. She is presently pursuing a Master of Fine Arts degree in creative writing at SUNY Stony Brook Southampton. This year she was named a finalist in the 2012 NCTE Norman Mailer Short Fiction contest.
Melissa Wantz is the adviser of The Foothill Dragon Press, the online news site at Foothill Technology High School in Ventura, CA, where she also teaches five sections of freshman and sophomore literature. She started the journalism program in 2008 as a 10-member lunch club. This year the class attracted 90 applicants. She is the author of Social Media, The Classroom and the First Amendment, published in December by the First Amendment Center and the Knight Foundation. Wantz is a 2009 ASNE Fellow and in 2011 taught digital journalism for advisers at CSPA's summer workshop. Wantz was named a 2012 Distinguished Adviser by DJNF. She is currently serves as first vice president of the CSPAA.
Bruce Watterson has been working with scholastic and collegiate publication students for years and started as a student editor in high school and college. He's worked as an adviser in secondary and collegiate publication circles...all the while he has never met a pica he didn't like. His passion for teaching meshes with his desire to inspire creativity, imaginative approaches and maybe even a little risk-taking in publications. Honored most recently with the CSPA's Joseph Murphy Award for Service, Watterson currently chairs the judging team for the Crown Awards at CSPA.
Ray Westbrook is newspaper and yearbook adviser at St. Mark's School of Texas in Dallas where publications he advises have won Gold Crowns, Pacemakers and Gold Stars. A frequent speaker at publications workshops during the summer, he serves as president of the CSPAA and has received the Gold Key from CSPA, the John Murrell Excellence in Teaching Award from St. Mark's and the Edith Fox King Award and the Max Haddick Texas Journalism Teacher of the Year award from ILPC.
Kathleen D. Zwiebel was the 1998 DJNF National High School Journalism Teacher of the Year. She advised five publications at Pottsville Area High School in Pottsville, PA. In the past the publications have received national and state honors from CSPA, NSPA and PSPA. A 1996 CSPA Gold Key recipient, Zwiebel also received the CSPA Diamond Jubilee Award, Charles R. O'Malley Award for Excellence in Teaching, NSPA Pioneer Award, JEA Medal of Merit and PSPA Teacher of the Year. She serves as past president of the CSPAA and chairs its committee on Judging Standards.
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CSPA is an international student press association, founded in 1925, whose goal is to unite student journalists and faculty advisers at schools and colleges through educational conferences, idea exchanges, textbooks, critiques and award programs.