Monday, May 5, 2014

Why I want to be SPJ's Campus Adviser at-Large

Welcome to my SPJ candidate blog for Campus Adviser at-Large. Thanks for stopping by! ... My name is Lisa L. Rollins, and I want to serve the Society of Professional Journalists in this role for a number of reasons, which I explain below. ... 

In the following text, you will learn more about me, and after doing so, I hope you will consider casting your vote for me during the Excellence in Journalism conference in September 2014 in Nashville--or electronically, if you're unable to attend the national event.

Let's get started!

Current SPJ Office:  Board member for the Oklahoma ProChapter; member of the Awards & Honors Committee (national).

Current Employment: 
Assistant professor, journalism, Ashford University; faculty adviser for the SPJ student chapter at AU.

Previous SPJ Experience: 
Student Rep at-Large (national board); Region 12 director (national board); faculty adviser for SPJ student chapters at Middle Tennessee State University and Langston University.

Past Work Experience: 
Chairwoman and assistant professor of journalism/communication at Langston University (2010-2013); adjunct professor, journalism, at the University of Oklahoma (2013); adjunct professor and instructor, journalism, at Middle Tennessee State University (1997-2010); director of special media projects for MTSU (1999-2010); features writer for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (1990-1993); staff writer and page editor for the Denton (Texas) Record-Chronicle (1987-1990).

Education: Bachelor of Science in journalism, University of North Texas; Master of Science in mass communication, with an emphasis in media management, Middle Tennessee State University; Education Specialist degree in higher education/administration and supervision, MTSU; and Ph.D. in higher education, with a dissertation that focused on media convergence, news habitsof undergraduates and journalism education, Capella University.

Honors, Awards and Activities: 
2014 graduate of the Region 8 Ted Scripps Leadership Institute, Fort Worth; 2012 recipient of the SPJ-sponsored Terry Harper Memorial Scholarship; 2012 Master Teacher of Honor/Kappa Delta Pi; judging coordinator for SPJ’s High School Essay Contest, Oklahoma (2012-2013).

Why I’m seeking this SPJ office:
My passion for SPJ and its mission extends back to 1987 and my undergraduate years
at the University of North Texas, where I served as vice president for UNT’s student SDX-turned-SPJ chapter. Moving from a student reporter to a working journalist, I continued to benefit from my affiliation with SPJ, and later, as a journalism educator, I wanted to share all that SPJ offers with my students.
SPJ, hands down, is the best investment I have made in my lifelong career in journalism, and today—more than ever—SPJ’s mission is important in helping shape the careers and ethics of journalism students. It it is imperative that the next generation of journalists be prepared for the challenges they will face not only in the daily newsroom, but in regard to issues such as FOIA, ethics and the First Amendment, among others. SPJ is the ideal organization to help student journalists shape their career paths, from ongoing education to networking, and beyond.

Moreover, because technology has dramatically influenced our profession and news culture, today this extends to the journalism classroom. I am proud to be the faculty adviser for the first-ever online-founded student SPJ chapter. At my current university, our students are setting the bar for how an online journalism program’s students can create required chapter programming and also benefit from SPJ membership. Plus, thanks to my service as a former SPJ faculty adviser at two on-ground universities and a former Student Rep at-Large at the national level, I am keenly aware of the needs that these SPJ student members have as well.

SPJ’s immediate-past Campus Adviser at-Large, Kym Fox, has observed that SPJ’s future is in the hands of tomorrow’s journalism professionals; thus, today’s journalism students are an integral part of SPJ now and in the years to come. Nurturing and educating our student chapter members will help ensure a strong tomorrow for SPJ, in addition to helping them strengthen their professional skills and voice.

As Campus Adviser at-Large, I want to help SPJ maintain its dedication and commitment to student learners, both on-ground and online, and I’m excited for the chance to help our next generation of journalists be heard at the national level. My passion for SPJ and all it encompasses is an enduring constant in my effort to give back to my profession, and that includes via its student members.

How to contact me via social media 

*** Please email me with any SPJ-related questions!