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Changing students_ changing the world

VIEWS: 190 PAGES: 76

									                                                      UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA–LINCOLN

                                      COLLEGE OF JOURNALISM AND MASS COMMUNICATIONS
                                                                 ALUMNI MAGAZINE SUMMER 2007

 the world
         Pages 18-19

                                                                     Tom Getman

     Ford knew the power of the word
 Much was said about the grace, charity and caring spirit of President in his declaration of his personal faith in order to win back some of the
 Gerald R. Ford during his memorial services earlier this year. His deep angry evangelical voters, especially Republicans, whom Jimmy Carter
 personal faith in God and the U.S. Constitution were cited both by the was capturing during the 1976 campaign. This was after he had omit-
 words spoken of him and by the non-verbal symbolism.                         ted a suggested overt line mentioning Jesus in a National Prayer
       In the long-planned funeral activities and appointed biblical texts, Breakfast speech earlier in the year. (He did, much more appropriately,
 an inclusion of the “fourth estate,” particularly at the National pray spontaneously in “the Name of Christ” to close his remarks.)
 Cathedral state funeral, was central.                                             In the course of the White House conversation, Ford quite force-
       Why was Tom Brokaw’s invitation to speak an important state- fully asserted, “Jimmy Carter is free to do what as a Baptist he is com-
 ment for Mr. Ford to make? Brokaw’s expression of affection was shared fortable with, but as an Episcopalian I could never use my faith in Jesus
 by many of the journalists who covered the Ford White House. This was to manipulate people into voting for me or even to publicly rationalize
 true especially for those who were a part of the press corps traveling decisions. Because I’m human, it could reflect badly on the Lord.” He
 pool during the 38th president’s short but pivotal tenure.                   said his position came from a conviction that he should not be disin-
       The symbolism was not lost on those close to him; it spoke loudly genuous to himself, his style of witness and desire to respect others’
 of the easy manner Ford had with all people he touched and his views and in order to avoid the risk of confusing church and state in
 unthreatened and open personality that embraced free interchange peoples’ minds. That, accompanied by his position about the Nixon par-
 and lack of need to censor friends, family, political colleagues or the don, were twin pillars of a never-to-be-forgotten lesson to those who
 press — but as well his own discipline in his thoughtful use of speech.      knew and loved him as to how principles were more important to Ford
       Even 30 years later President Ford’s easy accommodation of vari- than being elected.
 ant opinions and strongly held — even opposing — views expressed pub-             But the somewhat tense mood shifted abruptly after a nightcap
 licly or privately is legend. One story his eldest son Michael Ford tells is was poured and Ford began to chuckle like a schoolboy as if a preado-
 illustrative:                                                                lescent joke had been told or a faux pas committed. When asked if his
       “My father’s great respect for the First Amendment as a founda- guest had embarrassed himself or said something foolish, he respond-
 tional principle for our democracy and union was well known. Yes, he ed with great delight, “No, I am just tickled that here we are — two coun-
 did welcome dissent in both the public and                                                                try boys from small Midwestern towns —
 private arenas, as he was able to evaluate                                                                and we are sitting in the White House!”
 the source and the substance of the differ-                                                                     His capacity to put others at ease,
 ing point of view and rethink or reaffirm his                                                             even after sharp disagreement or debate,
 position. A great illustration of his open-                                                               and to press home a teachable moment
 mindedness was his position on the Equal                                                                  about one of our most important
 Rights Amendment where initially he was                                                                   Constitutional truths was a sign of invio-
 opposed to ERA because it singled out                                                                     lable core values.
 women’s rights vis-a-vis other people’s                                                                         Researchers at the Ford Library indi-
 rights. Then after hearing the various ERA                                                                cate, in fact, that he rarely spoke publicly
 arguments and listening to my very persua-                                                                about the First Amendment, and when he
 sive mother, he came around to be an active                                                               did, it was most often indirectly. One occa-
 proponent of ERA even though it did not ulti-                                                             sion of an overt reference was appropriate-
 mately pass. That was not the first or the                                                                ly at the dedication of a new headquarters
 last argument with Mom that he lost.”                                                                     for the Anderson Daily Mail in South
       Indeed Betty Ford and the Ford chil-                                           Photo CoJMC Archives Carolina.
 dren were not stifled in statements or Getman is World Vision’s director for humanitarian                       He said, “We need more, not fewer,
 lifestyle by a politician who valued his affairs and international relations and knew Gerald Ford news media … including newspapers. Every
 chances for election or political survival in the 1970s                                                   reporter, as I see it, is under an even greater
 ahead of their, guaranteed First                                                                          responsibility to operate without fear and
 Amendment Rights — or those of his friends, staff and political oppo- without favor, and every newspaper has the responsibility to keep alive
 nents.                                                                       the tradition of a free press. … We can participate in an occasion that
       It is often said about senior leaders that their most powerful com- pays tribute to one part of our Constitution … the perpetuation of a free
 munication is the non-verbal, that which bespeaks their personal self- press.”
 confidence and secure self-image or the lack thereof. It is what is               Referencing the recent past assaults on the same, he declared,
 fleshed out, not what is said, that so often reveals the true character. “There is one thing that must be preserved above all others, and I refer
 Incarnation of expression is the theological word for this highly effective to the First Amendment.”
 and compelling self-effacement. And Ford’s comfort level with expres-             Indeed. May we be granted more national leaders like Gerald R.
 sion from his loved ones and critics alike surely resulted in a constant Ford in these troubled days marked by fear, wiretaps and other intru-
 reaffirmation of the centrality of the First Amendment. No wire-tapping sions on privacy and rights, “enemies lists” and preachers who curry
 or censorship was needed to shore up a fragile ego.                          favor by being cheerleaders for failed — even unbiblical — policies.
       Freedom of speech was honored in the Ford household and in the              Mr. Ford wisely kept his faith in his heart and in his actions, fear-
 wider community, including in the press.                                     ing, appropriately, the dangers that could besmirch both. He knew the
       One evening in the family quarters of the executive mansion, this danger of a Fourth Estate that self censors in order to curry favor or
 writer got a personal glimpse of this rare unencumbered quality. A seri- avoid conflict with political parties or perceived prevailing patriotism.
 ous conversation, even debate, was enjoined about the theological cor- As Henry Kissinger said at Mr. Ford’s Cathedral funeral service, “He
 rectness and political ramifications of whether he should be more overt had an impact so profound it is rightly to be considered providential.”s

12   SUMMER 2007                                                                                                               J ALMNI NEWS          33
                                                                                                                                                              CONTENTS x
                                                                                                                  COVER S TORY
                 J Alumni News is a
                                                                                                                  Announcement | 05.03.07
             biannual publication of the
                College of Journalism
             and Mass Communications
             at UNL in cooperation with
              the College of Journalism
                 Alumni Association

                   Will Norton Jr.

                  Charlyne Berens

                    Art director
                   Marilyn Hahn

                Luis Peon-Casanova
                   Bruce Thorson
                 Stephen Hermann

           Journalism Alumni Association
                                                       18       Howard Buffett, professor
                                                                Bruce    Thorson,
                                                        Sartore and Thomas Mangelsen
                Board of Directors                      pose for photo after announce-
                                                        ment of a major gift to the CoJMC
               Ann Pedersen-Gleeson                                                                                                                                       Photo by Stephen Hermann

              Vice president/secretary
                 Ashley Washburn                      4    FROM THE DEAN. Developing
                                                           communication skills in our grads                                        26             ALUMNI fyi
           National board representative
                                                      prepares them for careers other than the
                                                                                                                                    s Broadcast grad helps war-weary Iraqis
                  Thom Kastrup                        media and attracts top professionals to
                                                                                                                                    s News-editorial grad featured on NET
                  Board members                       join our faculty.
                 Terri Diffenderfer
                                                                                                                                    s Advertising grad to study in London
                  Rhonda Gerrard                                                                                                    s Grad covers politics for New York Times
                                                          NEW FACULTY. Meet broadcast
                    Barry Kriha
                   Monte Olson
                 Tracy Overstreet
                                                      5   professor Kathryn Christensen
                                                                                                                                    s Journalism is launching pad for law career
                                                                                                                                    s Alumna helps UNL reel in dollars
                Cheryl Stubbendieck                   s Christensen delivers keynote address
                                                                                                                                    s Interest in film leads to Capitol Hill
                   Past president                                                                                                   s NYC alumna opens home to interns
                   Dara Troutman

               Student representative
                                                      10    SPECIAL. Journalism should
                                                            serve the citizens, not the gov-
                                                                                                                                    s J school grad found calling in politics
                                                                                                                                    s First job out of college is dream job
                    Riana Perez                       ernment
                                                                                                                                    s Transplanted Midwesterner finds success
               College representative
                                                                                                                                    s Alumna remembers a ‘different’ J school
                  Richard Alloway

             Foundation representative
                                                      12      COLLEGE. Spotlight here and
                     Steve Hill

       Letters to the editor should be sent to:
                                                      s Seigenthaler inaugurates lecture series
                                                      s Faculty are teaching on three continents
                                                                                                                                    42      J DAYS. Events celebrate excel-
                                                                                                                                            lence, achievement, free speech
                    J Alumni News                                                                                                   s Concert spotlight on First Amendment
                                                      s J school is training future journalists
                        CoJMC                                                                                                       s Free speech challenges public, courts
                   P.O. Box 880443                    s Gift helps to train photojournalists
               Lincoln, NE 68588-0443                                                                                               s Advertising Alumnus of the Year
                                                      s Photojournalist works to create 24-
                         Phone                                                                                                      s Broadcasting Alumnus of the Year
                    402.472.3041                      hour African news channel
                          FAX                                                                                                       s News-editorial Alumna of the Year
                    402.472.8597                      s Emmy Award winning producer pre-
                                                                                                                                    s Service to the Profession Award
                         E-mail                       mieres documentary at The Ross
                                                                                                          s KTA Journalist of the Year Award
                                                      s J school looks to be more diverse
                  College Web site

                                                      FINAL WORD                                                                         JNews & Notes
             NewsNetNebraska Web site                 Retired dean on academics and fund-
                                                                                            Faculty Notes ..................................................... 52
                                                      raising ................................................................ 74
             Daily Nebraskan Web site
                                                                                                                                    Faculty Profile ................................................... 53
                                                                                              Alumni Notes .................................................... 56
 The University of Nebraska–Lincoln does not dis-
                                                                    PEN & TELL                                                      Student Notes .................................................... 60
 criminate based on gender, age, disability, race,              Send us your news                                                   Student Honors ................................................ 62
 color, religion, marital status, veteran’s status,
 national or ethnic origin, or sexual orientation.                                                  Student Projects ................................................ 64
12   SUMMER 2005                                                                                                                                                    J ALUMNI NEWS                    33

       The rich heritage of Nebraska journalism

     Kathryn Christensen, an alumna of this col-                                               amphitheaters of ancient Athens. Those
     lege and then vice president of television for                                            amphitheaters were the mass media of that
     The Wall Street Journal, sent me an e-mail on                                             time.
     June 8, 2006: “I wanted to let you know of a                                                   Aristotle and Plato called the discipline
     big change in my life: my last day was May 31.                                            rhetoric. It did not require one- or two-tailed
          “… I’m not at all sure what I want to do.                                            tests at the .01 level or multiple regression
     … I think I’ve told you … that I do want to                                               analyses in order to be considered scholarly
     return to Nebraska at some point.”                                                        endeavor. It dealt with effective writing and
          I immediately wrote Senior Vice                                                      speaking, and rhetoric was included among
     Chancellor Barbara Couture. Indeed, corre-                                                the original liberal arts.
     spondence between us and between Kathy                                                         As a result, all universities had depart-
     and me continued at a steady pace as Kathy                                                ments of rhetoric. However, as modern
     considered her options.                                                                   research universities developed (with a focus
          When I knew she was sure she wanted to                                               on grants for empirical research), an empha-
     return to her home state, I informed Dr.                                                  sis on empirical scholarship replaced
     Couture, and on Sept. 21 I wrote Kathy: “Will                                           instruction in rhetoric.
     you accept this offer.”                                                    As a result, students with high ACT and SAT scores often
          “Yes, indeed,” she responded.                                   do not know grammar as well as they should, and they struggle
          Kathy Christensen is only the latest of a series of outstand-   to write and speak clearly.
     ing professionals who have returned to campus after decades at             It is a given on university campuses that communication
     the highest echelons of media.                                       skills are uncommon for the typical graduate.
          Clearly, the College of Journalism and Mass                           However, our faculty members appreciate and develop
     Communications today is enjoying the benefits of 40 years of         rhetorical skills in their students. As a result, our graduates have
     faculty commitment to teaching basic skills. During the eras of      an advantage in many fields in addition to media.
     Bill Hall and Neale Copple, two icons of this program, the                 Similarly, faculty members at the School of Journalism at
     school moved from a more theoretical curriculum to one that          the University of Montana share these values. I attended the
     focused on communication skills.                                     recent dedication of Anderson Hall, that school’s new home,
          Because of that mission, hundreds and hundreds of grad-         and was inspired by Dean Jerry Brown’s definition of journal-
     uates have left Burnett and Nebraska and Avery and Andersen          ism education as teaching in rhetoric.
     halls prepared for exceptional professional careers in both                He concluded his remarks by announcing that he was leav-
     media and non-media organizations. As a result, many                 ing the deanship to join the faculty full time, and he introduced
     observers have concluded that the college is merely a very good,     the new dean of the School, Peggy Kuhr, a 1973 graduate, who
     non-academic, anti-intellectual trade school.                        had distinguished herself in newspapers and now was returning
          Indeed on two occasions during my tenure, the chair of an       to her alma mater. (See page 74 for Dean Brown’s remarks.)
     accreditation site team has declared that this college is lacking          Among the guests that day was Nathaniel Blumberg, for-
     in scholarly productivity.                                           mer dean at Montana and a popular and effective professor of
          This has been difficult for our faculty to accept, given the    journalism at the University of Nebraska during the early
     number of books, articles and documentaries the college facul-       1950s.
     ty has produced in the last 17 years. However, it is a conclusion          Our two programs share claims to Dean Blumberg, but,
     that stems from a conviction by some that journalism educa-          more importantly, we share a definition of what media educa-
     tion is nestled comfortably in the soft social sciences.             tion is all about, and those shared values attract top profession-
          Indeed, one of these persons asked a faculty member,            als to come back home.
     “Who’s doing journal articles around here?” Such a conclusion              Clearly, that has made a significant difference for our stu-
     seems to ignore the writings of the ancient Greeks.                  dents.
          Aristotle, Plato and their compatriots taught their students
     to debate and argue their city’s news and issues in the

14    SUMMER 2007                                                                                                     J ALMNI NEWS        33
             COLLEGE                                                          (        new faculty

Christensen brings career lessons to the classroom

An Emmy is a nice award, but       I learned in high
a lot of people win Emmys.         school the students
      And, in television, win-     today don’t get in
ning an Emmy is very much a        high school,” she said.
team project.                            During her jour-
      Really, her two Emmys        nalism career,
are just team projects, she        Christensen said, her
said. No big deal.                 work philosophy cen-
      She talks very humbly,”      tered on fairness and
Will Norton, dean of the           accuracy.
College of Journalism and                “You have to sort
Mass Communications, said          of understand that
of the most recent faculty         we need journalists in
addition, Kathryn                  a democracy,” she
Christensen. “Really good          said. “It puts a lot of
people — that’s how they           obligations on jour-
behave.”                           nalists.”
      In a long and distin-              Fairness, she
guished career, Christensen        said, is a journalist’s
made it to the highest eleva-      main obligation.
tions of two media mountains       Reporters must be
— serving as executive pro-        scrupulous in getting
ducer of ABC’s “World News         all sides of a story,
Tonight” and later as vice         and they must also be
president of television for The    able to discover
Wall Street Journal.               things other people
      She returned to UNL, her     are unaware of.

                                                                                                                                         Photo by Bruce Thorson
alma mater, in January, and —            Christensen said
more than just a really good       she hasn’t developed
person — she is the perfect fit    a teaching philosophy
for the journalism college’s       yet. She just hopes
focus on convergence, Norton       her students learn
said. In her first semester, she   something.                                           “
taught the Art of Writing, a             But anyone look-
                                                                                                       both Boston and London.

boot camp tutorial on gram-        ing at Christensen’s                   People get their news
mar and good writing, and          resume would likely                    from a variety of                 “On the print side, there
team taught NewsNetNebras-         conclude her students                  sources now. And you         were lots of times when you’ve
ka, the J school’s online news     will, indeed, learn      have to get used to                        finally pushed the rock over
publication.                       something — most         delivering the news on                     the hill, and you know you
      Norton was enthusiastic      likely a good deal.      a variety of platforms.                    will make a difference. It’s a
about the skills Christensen       After growing up in                                                 lonely experience but a victo-
brings to the college. “She’s a    Fullerton, Neb., and                                                rious one,” she said.
terrific journalist — and not      earning a bachelor of                                                    Christensen then jumped
just in broadcasting and not       arts degree in news-editorial      then joined The Wall Street      into broadcasting for the first
just in print but in both.”        from UNL in 1971, she              Journal, working in the          time as the senior broadcast
      Christensen will use those   worked at The Des Moines           Dallas, San Francisco, Boston,   producer, then executive pro-
skills in her teaching.            Register until 1973, the           New York and London              ducer and then managing edi-
      “The biggest surprise of     Chicago Daily News and             bureaus before leaving           tor of ABC’s “World News
being back in the classroom is     Chicago Sun-Times from 1973        the newspaper in 1990.           Tonight” with Peter Jennings
that so many of the founda-        to 1978 and the Charlotte          During that time she also        from 1990 to 1991. Shortly
tions in writing and grammar       News from 1978 to 1979. She        served as the bureau chief in    after, she worked at the  >>
12   SUMMER 2005                                                                                              J ALUMNI NEWS        53

Baltimore Sun until 1993, and       nation’s leader.                   now,” she said. “And you have             Christensen said once she
then returned to “World News              But despite her global       to get used to delivering the       was satisfied with a story, she
Tonight” to serve as the man-       reach, she never forgot her        news on a variety of plat-          became a strong advocate for
aging editor, executive pro-        Nebraska roots.                    forms.”                             it.
ducer and senior broadcast                Christensen said she              While Christensen is a               “In terms of reporting, I
producer from 1993-1999. It         always thought she might like      proponent of students’ gaining      think I was considered fairly
was here that she won her two       to teach, and throughout her       knowledge in both print and         demanding,” she said. “But
Emmy awards for investigative       professional career, she had       broadcast journalism, she is        once a story was written, I
coverage of campaign finance        several conversations with the     careful to note that only very      wasn’t keen on having it
and special coverage of             dean about a teaching posi-        small differences separate the      rewritten if it didn’t need it.”
domestic issues. In 1999, she       tion.                              two.                                      After establishing an
returned to The Wall Street               When she left The Wall            “A story is a story,” she      impressive national reputa-
Journal, serving as the vice        Street Journal for good in June    said.                               tion, it hasn’t taken her long
president of television and the     2006, she wanted a change and           And her ability to find a      to establish an equally remark-
vice president international in     to be closer to family. She        good story is what sets             able one at UNL. She was
Hong Kong.                          remembered her conversations       Christensen apart from other        recently named an honorary
     Christensen said her most      with the dean.                     journalists, said Larry Rout, a     member of the Innocents
memorable moment in broad-                “She called and said she     senior editor at The Wall Street    Society, the Chancellor’s
casting was the weekend after       would still be interested in       Journal.                            Senior Honorary at UNL,
the Oklahoma City bombing           teaching,” Norton said. “I              “She knows, recognizes         which bases membership on
in 1995. Soon after that April      wrote the vice chancellor and      immediately, what makes a           superior academic achieve-
19 event, Timothy McVeigh           said, ‘This is the key person we   story,” Rout said.                  ment, unparalleled leadership
was arrested for the crime. He      need to have at this school.’”          Rout and Christensen           and selfless service to the uni-
was later convicted and exe-              The vice chancellor          began working together at The       versity and community.
cuted.                              agreed, and Christensen was        Wall Street Journal’s New York            Additionally, Christensen
     “McVeigh had just been         welcomed to UNL.                   office in 1981 and have been        was the keynote speaker at
arrested, and I was in charge             And she is this key person   friends for the past 25 years.      UNL’s Ivy Day, an event co-
of ABC’s broadcast that             because the ability to work in          “She is probably one of        sponsored by Mortar Board
night,” she said. “People who       either print or broadcast alone    the smartest people I’ve            and the Innocents Society.
weren’t supposed to come in         is becoming meaningless, a         worked with,” Rout said. “She       Laine Norton, a senior jour-
came in, and because there          topic with which she is famil-     works hard. She’s thoughtful        nalism major and Innocents
were so many different stories      iar.                               and clear-eyed.”                    Society vice president, invited
going around, I just remember             “The distinction between          What Rout found partic-        Christensen to be the speaker.
thinking, ‘Oh, please, can we       news-ed and broadcasting is        ularly impressive while work-             “… she represented what
just get this on the air and get    increasingly diminishing, and      ing with Christensen, though,       the society stands for. She has
everything done fairly?’ In         you need to know how to do         was her allegiance to her staff.    had a successful career and is
broadcast you really have to        both,” Christensen said.           Rout and Christensen were           an alum who speaks volumes.”
work as a team.”                          Today’s audience has         New York news editors togeth-             Laine Norton said she was
     Saying college is quite        changed so much that the           er, and Christensen supervised      awestruck when she met
similar to the workforce,           media are now competing            a staff of about 12 people.         Christensen and even more
Christensen is again humble         with growing leisure time as            “She’s as loyal to her staff   impressed by her speech.
about her accomplishments.          well as with an audience that      as her staff is loyal to her,” he         “The feedback I received
     “I doubt the ‘real world’ is   isn’t nearly as loyal as it once   said. “She worked hard to           was the most interesting,” she
any different than what stu-        was to specific news organiza-     make sure her staff ’s stories      said. “People were asking me
dents are doing today,” she         tions.                             received prominent placement        how they could get a hold of
said. “It doesn’t matter where            “People get their news       — and they worked as hard as        this woman. Three-fourths of
you are, you have to work           from a variety of sources          they could for her.”                that room had no background
hard — and be willing to                                                                                   in journalism, yet she con-
work.”                                                                           “                         nected with all of them. It was
     While working at “World                                                                               as if she was having a conver-

News Tonight,” Christensen                             I doubt the ‘real world’ is                         sation with the entire room
supervised coverage of presi-                          any different than what stu-                        rather than giving a formal
dential elections, the 50th                            dents are doing today. It                           speech.”
anniversary of the invasion of             doesn’t matter where you                                              Christensen would proba-
Normandy and the South                     are, you have to work hard —                                    bly say her success as a speak-
African election that installed            and be willing to work                                          er, like the Emmys, is no big
Nelson Mandela as the                                                                                      deal.                          s

16   SUMMER 2007                                                                                                 J ALUNI NEWS       33
                                                                                                 (      Ivy Day
Finding common ground, debate in a
democracy is not an either-or proposition
s by KATHRYN CHRISTENSEN, Ivy Day keynote speaker

It is, truly, an honor to be here;   because it has a profound              not a media conspiracy; jour-       fractured politicians — to reach
I was not even within wishing        effect on our nation and — let         nalists and wanna-be journal-       for the trigger.
distance of playing a role in Ivy    there be no mistake — what             ists are too stubborn to ever            Last weekend, I watched
Day when I was a student here        happens in our nation has a            plan and agree on anything.         one political show in which one
36 years ago … and I’ve no           profound effect on our world.          The problem is just the oppo-       of the U.S. attorneys who was
doubt that the standards for         With that comes profound               site: an “anything goes” ten-       recently fired was being inter-
reception into Mortar Board or       responsibility.                        dency that is gaining momen-        viewed. The moderator asked
The Innocents Society are even              On one of the walls of the      tum against the backdrop of         now former U.S. Attorney Bud
tougher now than they were           College of Journalism is a             unprecedented competition           Cummins whether Attorney
during my college days.              quote from Thomas Jefferson,           and cost pressures.                 General Alberto Gonzales
       You may wonder, in fact,      basically asserting that given a             We have blurred the lines,    should step down because of
what I’ve done to deserve this       choice between a government            as Dow Jones chairman Peter         the firings. Listen to how Mr.
podium, this chunk of your           without newspapers — there             Kann recently wrote, that sepa-     Cummins, who had every rea-
time. My life and experiences        was no TV or Internet back in          rated journalism from enter-        son to be upset, at the least,
have been interesting to me, of      1787 — or newspapers without           tainment from opinion, and          with the attorney general,
course, but what might make          government, he wouldn’t hesi-          yes, from commercial relation-      replied: “Well,” he said, “you
them interesting to you?             tate to prefer the latter: news-       ships. We embrace the bizarre       know, out here in Arkansas, we
Perhaps the answer is in what        papers without government.             and the perverse. We have           don’t necessarily put a bullet in
we have in common: I stand           Twenty years later, though, he         encouraged stereotypes:             everybody that makes a mis-
here as someone just like you,       wrote of the “putrid state” of         Businessmen are greedy, and         take like they seem to do in
one of countless Nebraskans          newspapers and bemoaned                environmentalists are saintly.      Washington.”
and Midwesterners who owe            “the vulgarity and mendacious          But worst of all, we have made           Score one for rational dis-
so much to our families, our         spirit of those who write them.”       important, complicated situa-       course, for ratcheting down the
hometowns, this university and       Still, he concluded, “the press        tions into sporting events. One     rhetoric. When was the last
the people who have encour-          is an evil for which there is no       team versus another. Too many       time you heard a talk-show
aged and helped us to stretch        remedy. Liberty depends upon           things are either all good or all   host listen to the answer to a
for interesting and productive       freedom of the press, and that         bad. And what we build up as        question he had just asked?
lives.                               cannot be limited without              all good today, we tear down        When was the last time you
       When Laine Norton and         being lost.”                           as all bad tomorrow.                saw two politicians on televi-
Tyler Moore invited me to                   That is still true today, but         We in the media — and         sion actually appear to ponder
speak today, they suggested          it is sometimes hard to argue          that is a big crowd these days,     the other’s point?
that there might be interested       in the face of what we see on          because nearly everyone who              I am worried, as you can
in my perspectives, as a gradu-      much of the media landscape. I         can write or speak is calling       see, that too many in the
ate of this university and a         do not believe that Americans,         himself a journalist — have         media are subtly — and unin-
longtime member of the               or anyone else for that matter,        reduced serious and important       tentionally, I am sure — encour-
national media, on our nation        are craving a fix of Anna              debates to either/or proposi-       aging the shouting and the
and our world. Mine are no           Nicole every 15 minutes. I             tions.                              noise instead of the thoughtful-
more valid than anyone else’s,       don’t believe that most of the               Americans in general,         ness we need in a complicated
but I am glad to share them          hundreds of talking heads on           however, are not so rabidly         world. Rational debate is
with you. I’d like to do that        television are experts in all          polarized on any one issue.         impossible if we cannot agree
against the backdrop of the          matters Iraqi or Middle                They are, I know, capable of        on the same reality.
goals of these two honor soci-       Eastern. I do believe, though,         seriously discussing and weigh-          Engage with me for a
eties — not just scholarship but     as Peggy Noonan recently               ing such things as the appro-       moment in science fiction:
also leadership and selfless         wrote, cable television “is a          priate balance of civil liberties   Imagine a human on Mars,
service. The latter two, I           place where you pay little price       and national security. If only      monitoring American cable tel-
believe, are in too short supply     for being wrong.”                      the media would encourage           evision to learn about us earth-
in our country today, along                 But cable — and the rest        that and add to the debate          lings. He would surely be con-
with the practice of listening to    of television, the Internet and        instead of too often trying to      vinced that we are on the brink
and respecting our differences.      the newspapers — they are all          ignite it.                          of tearing each other’s throats
       Let me deal first with my     places where much damage                     Americans also are less       out, interrupted only by time-
own business — the media —           can be done. The problem is            likely than the media — or our      outs every 10 minutes for   >>
                                                                                                                        J ALUMNI NEWS 73

                               an update on whether             certainty that the entire      the banal and someone
                               Britney is in or out of          rest of the world is anti-     asked the question “what
                               rehab. And if this Martian       American. Or, to be specif-    possession is most impor-
                               were reading a local news-       ic, anti-American govern-      tant to you?” The answer,
                               paper, he might think the        ment.                          to a person: “my American
                               only two inhabited places             That’s not the case, in   passport.”
                               on earth were America and        my experience. It is nothing         Living outside your
           IVY DAY             Iraq.                            more than anecdotal evi-       country is, I would add,
     3.24.07                          This is not the world     dence, but in my time in       one of the greatest of privi-
                               you live in. But increasing-     Asia, Africa, Europe and       leges: The perspective of
                               ly, I think, you will have to    the Middle East, I’ve found    distance, while living in
                               work to stay informed, to        as many supporters as          another culture, cannot
                               find relatively complete,        opponents.                     help but lead you to appre-
                               contextual information on             Two weeks ago, for        ciate even more the wis-
                               important issues. There are      example, I was in Kosovo       dom, which must have had
                               news organizations that          as part of a program my        some divine inspiration, on
                               still practice this, but there   college engages in to pro-     which our young civiliza-
                               are fewer of them than           mote democratic principles     tion was built.
                               when I began my career.          in struggling societies.             I have seen the other
                               Thanks to the Internet, you      Kosovo, you’ll recall, was     side.
                               may give up entirely, pre-       pounded by the American-             On the night of Jan.
                               ferring to read, watch or        led NATO bombing just          31, 1987, one of my friends
                               listen to only those pontifi-    eight years ago. Many of       and colleagues, Jerry Seib,
                               cators with whom you             the people I met fled —and     was detained by secret
                               agree. The search engines        lost — their homes, seeking    police in Tehran. I was then
           MAIKA BAUERLE
                               will allow you to do that,       refuge in the nearby moun-     London bureau chief for
                               and you won’t need to be         tains. Today, they are still   The Wall Street Journal,
                Mortar Board
                               bothered with learning           rebuilding their country.      and Jerry and his wife,
                               things you don’t specifical-     But I was completely taken     Barbara Rosewicz, were
                               ly ask for.                      aback at the number of         based in Cairo and cover-
                                      That puts more pres-      those people — Albanians       ing the Middle East for the
                               sure, it seems to me, on         and Serbs — who, unsolicit-    Journal.
                               those in my business to          ed, praised our country for          Jerry had been invited
                               find ways to serve the pub-      their liberation from the      to Iran, along with more
                               lic interest. Thoughtfully,      tyrant Slobodan Milosevic.     than 50 other journalists.
                               quietly but diligently. A             Years earlier, in the     While he was there, he was
                               constitutional right to sur-     late ’80s, I was on the        inexplicably picked up by
                               vive does not guarantee          Iraqi-Turkish border as        the secret police, put in the
                               survival.                        thousands of Kurds, victims    notorious Evin prison and
                                      All of this comes at a    of Saddam Hussein’s chem-      accused of spying for
               JESSICA DELAY   time when we need to             ical gassing, crossed the      Israel, apparently because
                 advertising   engage even more with            border. Everyone I met was     his dark beard made him
                  Innocents    each other — and by each         hoping for Western inter-      look Jewish to them. They
                               other, I mean the world.         vention.                       publicized the arrest of this
                               One notion gaining steam              I will tell you also of   so-called spy, which of
                               these days that I find par-      one night, also in the ’80s,   course made it even more
                               ticularly dangerous is this      when I was sitting in a        difficult to secure his
                                                                Jerusalem cafe with sever-     release.
                                                                al American journalists. We          Jerry is a Kansas-born
                                                                were all expatriates and,      Catholic. His wife and I
                               Three J school students          because journalists always     spent the next several days
                               were    inducted    into         can find something to com-     flying around Europe and
                               Innocents   Society   or         plain about, we were all       the Middle East, meeting
                               Mortar Board during Ivy          highly critical of the state   with various people, includ-
                               Day ceremonies on March          of the world and our own       ing a fellow we met with in
           RIANNA PEREZ                                         country as well.               the Zurich airport whom I
                broadcasting                                         As the night ended,       believe was a CIA agent.
                  Innocents                                     the conversation drifted to    After four days of interro-

18    SUMMER 2007                                                                               J ALUMNI NEWS         33
                                                                                               (       Ivy Day
gation, Jerry was released,          environment.                              It is hard, maybe impossi-      Selflessness.
through the efforts of the                 And it is, in my view, so     ble, for us in this country to              Our dilemmas today are
Journal and the U.S. govern-         very important for us to            grasp that second kind of             not trivial.
ment. No explanation.                engage, rather than withdraw,       extremism.                                  I am among those who
      I saw a different version of   from the world. We are not a              I read recently that, of 14     believe America does have an
the same thing in 1999, while I      giant island, protected by          countries surveyed by the             enemy, that we are threatened.
was based in Hong Kong and           oceans.                             World Health Organization             Not by a country, not by a reli-
heading the Far Eastern                    In his book “American         and Harvard Medical School,           gion but by something more
Economic Review, a pan-Asian         Gospel,” Jon Meacham calls          the U.S. has the highest rate of      complicated and less organ-
weekly magazine we published.        our attention to a piece pub-       depression. A former col-             ized than either of those. You
      Our correspondent in           lished in 1941 by Reinhold          league, Bret Stephens, writing        might disagree.
Kuala Lumpur, Murray Hiebert,        Niebuhr, the famous protestant      about this in The Wall Street               But here on the ground
had two years earlier written        clergyman and professor at          Journal noted that there are          level, you and I need to engage
an article about a judge’s wife      Union Theological Seminary. In      many caveats within the sur-          in that debate and listen to
who had filed a $2.4 million         the piece, Meacham noted,           vey. “A New York City lawyer          each other, respectfully, pon-
suit against her son’s school,       Niebuhr was “talking about          who fails to make partner by          dering what the other says.
apparently because the boy           why isolationism was so strong      his mid-30s may find and freely       Allowing ourselves to change
had been dropped from the            and what Christianity could do      report himself to be depressed,       our minds, to appreciate each
school debating team. It was a       to move the nation in the prop-     for example, while a fruit-seller     other’s arguments.
short, not particularly signifi-     er direction, to throw its force    in Nigeria who makes just                   We have decisions to
cant article. But it embar-          behind the British and the          enough in a year to feed and          make, together, and it is reas-
rassed the judge, and the            defeated peoples of the con-        clothe her family may be fairly       suring to me that the two
brotherhood of the Malaysian         quered nations in Europe.”          contented and completely              honor societies of this universi-
judiciary rallied around him.              Niebuhr argued then that      unaware of even the notion of         ty value leadership and selfless
      Murray was accused of          many American Christians            depression.”                          service as highly as scholar-
various crimes, his passport         were suffering from utopi-                But how long can this last?     ship.
was confiscated and he was           anism, which he described as        When will the frustrated New                It is perhaps dramatic to
eventually brought to trial and      an idea that “war could be          York lawyer get a grip and turn       say our future rests on the
convicted of contempt of court.      eliminated if only Christians       outward instead of inward?            thoughtful, listening leadership
It was something of a show           and other men of good will          Will the Nigerian fruit-seller’s      and service of these Innocents
trial to save face for the judici-   refused resolutely enough to        son, who perhaps has to help          — named, as we know, for the
ary, and his three-month sen-        have anything to do with con-       his mother and forego school,         13 popes who stood as cham-
tence was reduced to four            flict.”                             tire of just surviving as technol-    pions against evil — and
weeks. But I’ve now seen the               “In our opinion,” Niebuhr     ogy brings the more prosper-          Mortar Boards. But already,
inside of two Malaysian pris-        continued, “this utopianism         ous world into his sights?            each of you has made a differ-
ons, places you don’t want to        has contributed to the tardi-             The gap between the             ence.
be. And I watched court pro-         ness of the democracies in          haves and the have-nots is                  “Human progress never
ceedings that — judicial wigs        defending themselves against        growing, just as our world is         rolls in on wheels of inevitabili-
and robes aside — made me            the perils of a new barbarism.”     shrinking. We are the haves.          ty,” wrote Martin Luther King
wince when, a short time later,            Today, I think, we have yet         Aside from health — which       Jr. in his famous “Letter from a
Malaysia’s then Prime Minister,      another new barbarism.              is a big aside — our worries          Birmingham Jail.”
Mahatir Mohammad, took the                 If totalitarianism was the    are, for the most part, those               “It comes through the tire-
world stage to chastise the          great problem of the 20th cen-      that come with the luxuries of        less efforts of men willing to be
United States for various rights     tury, then extremism is, so far,    liberty, gifts of the sacrifices of   co-workers with God, and with-
issues.                              the great problem of the 21st.      our parents, grandparents and         out this hard work, time itself
      I mention those experi-        So wrote Meacham, and I             founders. Gifts, as well, from        becomes an ally of the forces
ences just to illustrate the obvi-   believe he hit the nail on the      those who are, politics aside,        of social stagnation. We must
ous: There is no universal opin-     head.                               making sacrifices for strangers       use time creatively, in the
ion of our country. We are                 Extremism is the danger       at this very moment. In               knowledge that the time is
loved by some, hated by oth-         we must overcome. At home,          Afghanistan and Iraq, there is        always ripe to do right.”     s
ers. More often, the opinion is      the extremism of rhetoric.          no doubt that young
somewhere in the middle. It is,      Elsewhere, the extremism that       Americans are seeing the
however, important to consider       breeds from the kind of desper-     worst of human nature. But            Kathryn Christensen joined the
the source, or sources, of all of    ate poverty and lack of educa-      they, like their parents in           J school faculty in January after
this emotion directed at us.         tion that makes one vulnerable      Vietnam and their grandpar-           a career in both newspapers
And it is vital to know more of      to hatred. If hatred becomes        ents at Normandy, are also            and broadcasting. She gave
the story than we sometimes          the only sustaining emotion, it     seeing — and engaging in —            this speech during the spring
hear in today’s highly-charged       becomes a mission.                  the best of human nature.             Ivy Day celebration at UNL.

12 SUMMER 2005                                                                                                         J ALUMNI NEWS 93

For the                                          p eop le …                                  Journalism should serve the
                                                                                             citizens, not the government


Back then, it wasn’t unusual
for people to treat us as
though we were heroes.
Sometimes at important
events, they would actually
cheer our arrival.
   We were reporters, most of
us newspapermen, but that’s
the kind of standing that we
had back then, which was

                                                                                                                                       Photo courtesy Scripps Howard
about 35 years ago. These
were our readers, the con-
sumers of our product, and
because they believed in us,
they gave us the most precious
thing a reporter can have:
     Once, when the government tried to                             rate lawyers or bundles of cor-   America that was coming out
mess with that credibility, it triggered one of the biggest First   porate money. Reporters           of the civil rights movement
Amendment fights ever. I know; I was at the center of it. That      mobilized as never before.        and prepared to fight consti-
was back then, too, back when I was a reporter at the New York      And in the forefront of that      tutional issues. The NAACP
Times newspaper, stationed in San Francisco and assigned to         organizing were the budding       Legal Defense Fund came with
cover the Black Panthers.                                           black journalists’ chapters       the wherewithal, the money to
     I managed to get on the inside and, for more than a year, to   from around the country. A        fight and a genius constitu-
report effectively on the Panthers. But at that point, the FBI      memorable 1970 full page ad       tional lawyer in Anthony
grabbed me and said in the clearest way possible, “You are on the   proclaimed:                       Amsterdam, a Stanford
inside. You see what is going on and you hear what is said, and          “Message to the black        University law professor.
what we want you to do is this: Give us regular reports. Tell us    community … from black                 The victory that came in
what you find out. Let us know what you see and what you            journalists                       the United States Court of
hear.”                                                                   “We will not be used as      Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
     As I was soon to learn, this wasn’t a request; it was a        spies, informants or under-       was total. The court put the
demand. I was told, “You tell us or you will tell it in court.”     cover agents by anybody. We       burden on the government.
When I refused to become the spy they wanted, J. Edgar Hoover,      will protect our confidential     You want to subpoena a
the head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, went to the        sources, using every means at     reporter? You want to ruin a
Attorney General John Mitchell, who had the support of              our disposal. We strongly         reporter’s credibility? Then
President Nixon, and a subpoena was issued, demanding my            object to attempts by law         show why that ought to be
appearance before a federal grand jury that was investigating the   enforcement agencies to           done. Tell the court what you
Black Panther party. They were messing with our credibility. But    exploit our blackness.”           expect to get from the
because they didn’t believe that we were prepared to fight, they         The organizing black         reporter. But also explain how
never saw the haymaker coming.                                      reporters hooked up with the      you know what the reporter
     What happened next is a story that has never been told.        highly organized black            has in the first place. And
     We beat them like a drum. We didn’t do it with big corpo-
10 SUMMER 2007                                                                                              J ALMNI NEWS       33
                                                                                             (        media

prove that you cannot get this      to take verbatim notes of                 In an article published in    Graham, the Timesman
information from any other          grand jury testimony of home         Newsday newspaper in New           reporting from the Justice
source. And show that there is      run slugger Barry Bonds and          York, Porter Bibb, a former        Department.
a great, overriding national        fellow baseball players Jason        correspondent at Newsweek               “Your ears must be burn-
interest in this information.       Giambi and Gary Sheffield.           and publisher of Rolling Stone     ing,” Graham said. “This
     The court accepted the              But the lawyer Ellerman         magazine, wrote that “public       lawyer Rehnquist from the
argument of professor               also made this admission: He         or privately owned, all media      Justice Department made a
Amsterdam, which was that           said that while he was secretly      appear to have a serious credi-    speech today, and he really got
the First Amendment not only        leaking the transcripts, he was      bility problem.” His piece         on you good.” We laughed
protects sources and informa-       publicly complaining to the          included this paragraph:           then, but on the cold February
tion but that it also protects      judge about the leaks and even            “…the Pew Research            day the Supreme Court heard
the reporting process. The          filed a motion to dismiss            Center also found that most        arguments, we had hoped that
Justice Department did not          charges, arguing that the            media, including the Internet,     Rehnquist would recuse him-
even attempt to meet the test       leaked testimony made getting        are rapidly losing credibility     self and stand aside. But
laid out by the Ninth Circuit.      a fair trial for his client “prac-   with the public. Only 26 per-      Rehnquist had his mind made
The army of reporters, mobi-        tically impossible.” The leaked      cent of Wall Street Journal        up. He delivered his vote, and,
lized in a fight for credibility,   testimony became a center-           readers, for example, ‘believe     to my way of thinking, that’s
had its finest hour.                piece for a book the reporters       all or most of what they read’     how a bad precedent was
      But that was back then.       wrote on the steroids issue,         in that paper, as opposed to       established.
     Like a lot of reporters        particularly as it pertained to      more than 49 percent 10 years           There is another piece to
who have gotten old, I, too,        the baseball stars. So they got      ago. Pew found that only 20        this, though, and that’s the
am now in the classroom. I’m        what they wanted, but to do it,      percent of New York Times          story of Josh Wolf. He is 24
a part of the faculty at the        they had to look right past the      buyers believe all or most of      years old and just starting out
Scripps Howard School of            lawyer who they knew was             what they read.”                   in a career in the media. He’s
Journalism and                      lying in his public statements.           That case from back then,     what is called a video blogger,
Communications at Hampton           And those lies were printed in       from 35 years ago, the case        and one day he shot some film
University in Virginia. So I am     the newspaper where they             where we fought so fiercely for    the police wanted — no,
too far from the newsroom           were employed. Are they              our credibility? In truth, that    demanded — and they came
now to know if there are yet        heroes?                              victory was not at all so total.   after it.
reporters who hear the cheers.           And what of Judith              The government appealed that            Josh Wolf didn’t believe
     Are there cheers for San       Miller? She’s the New York           decision from the Ninth            that was right. In his mind, it
Francisco Chronicle reporters       Times reporter who did serve         Circuit Court of Appeals to        had to do with credibility. He
Lance Williams and Mark             some 85 days in jail rather          the Supreme Court of the           wanted to hang onto what he
Fainaru-Wada? In San                than reveal her source in the        United States. And that            believed his work was all
Francisco, a federal grand jury     case involving Valerie Plame,        became United States v.            about. But because of the bad
was investigating the Bay Area      who was exposed as being an          Caldwell. When the Supreme         precedent that was set back in
Laboratory Co-Operative             undercover CIA agent. The            Court joined that with two         1972, he had to go to jail.
(BALCO) and its connection          more scrutiny Ms. Miller was         other cases, the result was the    Before it was over, he spent
to steroid abuse by profession-     subjected to, the more it            Branzburg decision.                226 days in prison, which is
al athletes. The two reporters      seemed she had to answer for.             A small piece of history is   longer than any journalist has
were leaked the grand jury tes-     And not long after she was           that Branzburg was the first       ever served behind bars. He
timony.                             released from her imprison-          vote by the newly confirmed        didn’t give the police the
     A federal judge ordered        ment, her 28-year career with        Associate Justice William          videotape. Instead, he made
them to reveal their sources.       the Times was over. She wasn’t       Rehnquist. Earlier, in the         an agreement and put it on his
Both refused, and once all          fired, but she was shown the         Justice Department, Attorney       blog for all to see. The agree-
their legal arguments were          door. Once the relationships         General Mitchell had put           ment, he said, “not only leaves
turned aside, they were left        she had with powerful                Rehnquist in charge of what        my ethics intact but actively
facing jail. At the University of   Washington politicians came          was called “the subpoena           serves the role of a free press
California, Berkeley, the jour-     to light, even a number of her       issue.” He would be the one to     in our so-called free society.”
nalism school hailed them as        colleagues at the New York           decide. One day not long                He earned the cheers. s
heroes. The two reporters           Times went public with criti-        before Rehnquist decided to
escaped having to do jail time      cism directed at her. Instead of     come after me with a subpoe-       Caldwell is the writer in resi-
when one of the lawyers in the      being a hero who won the             na, I had a call in the San        dence at the Scripps Howard
case, Troy Ellerman, admitted       Pulitzer Prize, she departed         Francisco bureau of the New        School of Journalism and
that he allowed Fainaru-Wada        the Times under a cloud.             York Times. It was from Fred       Communications,      Hampton
                                                                                                            University, Hampton, Va.
                                                                                                                   J ALUMNI NEWS        11
          The Joe W. Seacrest Lecture Series
         Joe W. Seacrest was copublisher and later presi-
         dent of the Nebraska State Journal and was
         active with other members of his family at the
         Lincoln Journal. He was a founder and benefac-
         tor of the Lincoln Community Foundation, was
         active in the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce and
         was a Mason and inspector general of that orga-
         nization’s national supreme council.

Retirement is a full-time
job for Seigenthaler

For some Americans, retirement means mov-
ing to Florida, building a house on a golf course
and visiting the grandkids as often as possible.
   John Seigenthaler Sr. isn’t the average
   Seigenthaler, who turned 80 this year, toiled
under Bobby Kennedy at the U.S. Justice
Department, worked his way up to the helm of                           Funding for the Devaney Auditorium in the West Stadium, the
                                                                       site of the first Joe W. Seacrest Lecture, was provided by Steve
The Tennessean in Nashville and was founding                           Lenwell, ’73, and his wife, Kaye. Seigenthaler (left) was the first
editorial director of USA Today.                                       speaker of the Joe W. Seacrest Lecture series.

     And after retiring as editor, publisher and CEO of The
Tennessean and from USA Today in 1991, Seigenthaler founded           the Nebraska Alumni                     Taking a break from the
The First Amendment Center in Nashville.                              Association.                       industry in the early 1960s,
     “My wife says I need a new definition of ‘retirement,’” said          Will Norton, dean of the      Seigenthaler worked as an
Seigenthaler, saying his age showed in the “silver curls” atop his    journalism college, said           administrative assistant to
head.                                                                 Seigenthaler was an ideal per-     then-Attorney General Robert
     The center’s current executive director, Gene Policinski, said   son to speak to UNL faculty        F. Kennedy. During the
even though Seigenthaler is retired, he is usually either in the      and professional journalists.      Freedom Rides in 1961, he was
office or traveling to speaking engagements five or more days a       Students, specifically, he said,   chief negotiator between the
week.                                                                 could learn a good deal from       Justice Department and Gov.
     Ken Paulson, editor of USA Today, also said Seigenthaler is      Seigenthaler’s decades of expe-    John Patterson of Alabama.
as passionate and committed as ever.                                  rience.                                 Seigenthaler supported the
     “John is one of those rare individuals that you’ve heard              “His level of expertise is    First Amendment — and the
about all your career who turns out to be even better than his        exceptional,” Norton said.         Freedom Riders’ right to free
reputation.”                                                               In high school,               speech — in more than hypo-
     Seigenthaler chose to pass up the putting greens and “The        Seigenthaler served on the         thetical situations during his
Price is Right” to teach the public the importance of the First       yearbook staff and was editor      time with the U.S. government.
Amendment. His mission to teach the significance of this brief        of the newspaper. While            He took his commitment to
yet vital section of the Bill of Rights brought him to the            attending Peabody College,         the amendment’s brief 45
University of Nebraska–Lincoln on April 19.                           now part of Vanderbilt             words to the streets of
      “The public needs to know whatever you can tell them, and       University, he also worked at      Montgomery, Ala., too.
in many cases, I think that’s everything you can tell them,”          the campus newspaper, The               As he tried to protect
Seigenthaler told a crowd of about 60 professional journalists,       Peabody Post. Later, he            Freedom Riders in Alabama’s
students and members of the public.                                   worked for an Air Force base       capital, Seigenthaler was
     His lecture, made possible by an endowment from the              newspaper before joining the       attacked by a mob of
Seacrest family, was hosted by the UNL College of Journalism          Tennessean as a reporter in        Klansman, hit above his left ear
and Mass Communications, the Nebraska Press Association and           1949.                              with a lead pipe and knocked
12 SUMMER 2007                                                                                                  J ALMNI NEWS 33
                                                                                            (  Seacrest lecture
                                                                               Tiffany Villager, Seigen-      who admitted fabricating ele-
                                                                         thaler’s colleague at The First      ments of articles he wrote for
                                                                         Amendment Center since 1993,         the newspaper.
                                                                         said the topics he chose for              “It was a tragedy. He had
                                                                         investigative reports illustrated    become the voice of USA
                                                                         his dedication to helping oth-       Today,” Seigenthaler said at the
                                                                         ers.                                 April 19 lecture.
                                                                               “He has always had a pas-           Bringing Seigenthaler to
                                                                         sion for the underdog, the           the UNL campus as part of the
                                                                         oppressed and those who don’t        Joe W. Seacrest Lecture Series
                                                                         necessarily have a voice,” said      has been a long time coming,
                                                                         Villager, who serves as director     said Joe’s son, Jim Seacrest. The
                                                                         of research at the center.           elder Seacrest died in March
                                                                               At the lecture, Dean           1978, bequeathing money to
                                                                         Norton noted Seigenthaler            UNL.
                                                                         managed to balance his duty as            “Nobody in the family
                                                                         a citizen with his duty as an        knew about it until about two
                                                                         editor.                              or three years ago when the
                                                                               “You have the respect of       Lincoln Community
                                                                         politicians and the respect of       Foundation notified us that
                                                                         journalists.”                        they’d had an audit and discov-
                                                                               In 1982 Seigenthaler           ered this fund,” Jim Seacrest
                                                                         embarked on another venture:         said.
                                                                         founding editorial director of            He added that the family
                                                                         USA Today. He was with the           would like to bring prominent
                                                                         paper from its beginning and         journalists to speak to students,
                                                                         even commuted for 10 years           faculty and the public. If fund-
                                                                         from his home in Nashville to        ing allows, these lectures could
                                                                         the newspaper’s headquarters         occur annually.
                                                                         in Arlington, Va.                         Beermann, meanwhile,
                                                                               Seigenthaler stayed at USA     said it was an honor to help
                                                                         Today until his retirement in        host such a renowned journal-
                                                                         1991, when he shifted his focus      ist.
                                              Photo by Stephen Hermann
                                                                         to founding The First                     “[Seigenthaler] is one of
                                                                         Amendment Center.                    the premier people in this
unconscious.                      medical doctor at Central State
                                                                               Through his involvement        country relating to the First
     “It was just a teeming       Hospital licensed to practice
                                                                         with the center, Seigenthaler        Amendment,” Beermann said.
anthill of violence,” said        medicine in Tennessee,”
                                                                         continues to stress the impor-       “He’s also a visionary in jour-
Seigenthaler, who lay in the      Seigenthaler said. “It was
                                                                         tance of the fundamentals of         nalism practices. He’s truly an
street for nearly half an hour    unhealthy, unclean and unsani-
                                                                         journalism, said Allen               icon.”
before help arrived.              tary.”
                                                                         Beermann, president of the                The lecture also allowed
     Returning to The                  After The Tennessean ran
                                                                         Nebraska Press Association.          aspiring journalists to learn
Tennessean in 1962,               the story, laws were rewritten to
                                                                               “He believes very clearly in   from a journalism icon.
Seigenthaler worked with or       ensure the safety of patients.
                                                                         the basics: fairness, ethics,             “It was humbling just
trained reporters such as Frank        Seven years later,
                                                                         accuracy, good writing,”             being in the same room as
Sutherland, who was later edi-    Seigenthaler approved an
                                                                         Beermann said.                       someone who had worked at
tor of The Tennessean; the late   investigative report about the
                                                                               Too often journalists get      such prestigious newspapers,”
David Halberstam, who went        Ku Klux Klan’s resurgence. The
                                                                         tied up in the “new toys, new        said Theresa Horsch, a sopho-
on to win a Pulitzer Prize; and   series sent a Tennessean
                                                                         gimmicks and new gadgets” in         more news-editorial major.
even Al Gore, who went on to      reporter posing as a KKK sym-
                                                                         the industry and lose sight of            With more than half a
become vice president.            pathizer into the closely guard-
                                                                         the real foundations of journal-     century of work behind him,
     In 1973, Seigenthaler        ed world of the white power
                                                                         ism, Beermann said.                  Seigenthaler likely will contin-
approved a Tennessean inves-      group.
                                                                               Seigenthaler’s experience      ue working for years to come,
tigative report that involved a        The report disclosed that
                                                                         in the industry has taught him       Paulson said.
reporter posing as a mental       David Duke, a prominent doc-
                                                                         the growing importance of                  “John can’t — and John
health patient for 30 days to     tor in Birmingham, was also a
                                                                         another aspect of good jour-         won’t — retire. There’s too
learn the inner workings of the   prominent KKK member, and
                                                                         nalism: ethics. He led a 2004        much passion surging through
state-run institution. What the   when Duke ran for office in
                                                                         investigation of Jack Kelley, a      those veins. If he can inspire
reporter found was astonish-      Louisiana years later, reporters
                                                                         2002 Pulitzer Prize finalist and     one more person, he’ll never
ing.                              used The Tennessean report to
                                                                         popular USA Today reporter           stop.”                         s
     “There was not a single      reveal his political affiliations.
                                                                                                                       J ALUMNI NEWS 13

The future of journalism
J school faculty teach, learn
in Ethiopia and Kosovo

Scott Winter realized the depth of tension in
Kosovo when he witnessed a showdown
between students on his first day of teaching a
course about the Internet. Nine Ethnic
Albanian students and one Serbian student
were in the class — the same demographics of
    Winter, a J-school lecturer, watched as the
Serbian woman called another student in her
group a “lazy bitch.” The air tensed, and the
classroom grew silent. Minutes later, students
were able to laugh about the situation and
relax, but Winter said that moment of height-
                                                                       Scott Winter, lecturer,
ened anxiety made him “understand the fric-                            co-teaches students in
tion in the country. These guys aren’t playing                         Kosovo classroom
     The startling experience was just one of many that J school     per writing. In Ethiopia, facul-         “You’re getting people to
faculty have had while teaching journalism in the emerging           ty taught courses in interna-      understand what freedom of
democracies of Kosovo and Ethiopia. With financial backing           tional media, newspaper            expression is about and how
from the Norwegian government, the J school is collaborating         design and layout.                 they can begin to put freedom
with Gimlekollen, a privately owned college in southern Norway,           Zenebe Beyene is a visit-     of expression into their gov-
in an ambitious effort to train a new generation of journalists in   ing Ethiopian scholar who is       ernment and into the laws and
Ethiopia and Kosovo.                                                 studying at the J school as part   policies of a country, so there
     Throughout the past year, J school faculty members have         of the Gimlekollen program.        can be free exchange of infor-
taught journalism and technology courses at the University of        His origins give him a special     mation and ideas because
Addis Ababa in Ethiopia and the Kosovo Institute of Journalism       perspective on the projects.       that’s how the world will
and Communication (KIJAC) in Kosovo. The classes are mod-                 “I strongly believe that      thrive,” Norton said.
eled largely on the same press freedoms enjoyed in the U.S.          the collaboration of UNL with            J school faculty said stu-
     “There are not many universities in the world where five        Addis Ababa University is          dents at both universities were
faculty members had six teaching assignments on two continents       beyond the academic, the           very receptive to the ideas and
and in two crisis points in the world,” said J school dean Will      teaching, the research or the      skills presented in their jour-
Norton.                                                              assistance,” Beyene said. “It’s    nalism classes,
     To compete in the global marketplace, universities must cul-    establishing a bond, establish-          Professor Rick Alloway,
tivate international connections, Norton said. And because the       ing the bridge between             who taught in Addis Ababa,
U.S. has arguably the best higher education system in the world,     humans living in different         said his students’ circum-
the natural growth market for colleges and universities exists       parts of the world.”               stances contributed to their
abroad.                                                                   Norton also has a special     fierce desire to learn.
     In Kosovo, J school faculty taught students how to create a     connection to Africa and the J           “Perhaps because college
Web site modeled after the J school’s NewsNetNebraska.               school’s efforts there. He spent   is something few Ethiopian
Professors also taught reporting for online publication and the      his early childhood in the         students can afford, they seem
nuances of this media form as compared to traditional newspa-        Congo.                             very aware of the opportunity

14   SUMMER 2007                                                                                  J ALNI NEWS      33
                                                                                                (  international
                                              “I came away with a               “Their English is actually           In Kosovo, the cultural
                                       renewed appreciation for the       very proficient. Their English        challenge involved under-
                                       bounty of our country, the         writing is a little bit less profi-   standing and being sensitive to
                                       ability to have open criticism,    cient than their speaking, but        the recent politics and history
                                       dependable infrastructure —        it’s not a barrier at all to com-     of the region.
                                       things like hot water and elec-    munication,” said professor                “They’re in a state of great
                                       tricity,” Alloway said.            Kathy Christensen, who taught         anticipation and anxiety now,
                                             He said it was not unusual   in Kosovo.                            I think, in terms of what will
                                       during classes he taught to              Cultural barriers and the       happen, in terms of their sta-
                                       lose power for extended peri-      difficulty of transferring les-       tus and hopes for independ-
                                       ods of time, but the               sons to a different value sys-        ence,” Christensen said.
                                       Ethiopians didn’t seem too         tem presented some chal-                   The relatively recent
                                       concerned. For them, such          lenges. One Ethiopian student         Serbian conflict in Kosovo had
                                       inconveniences are a part of       produced a story investigating        a direct impact on the stu-
                                       life, Alloway said.                AIDS treatment methods in             dents.
                                             The school in Addis          Ethiopia. Outside Addis                    Jerry Renaud, professor of
                                       Ababa is located near the city     Ababa, a local Christian doc-         broadcasting and head of the
                                       center in a recently construct-    tor encourages AIDS patients          sequence, said every student in
                                       ed classroom building. The         to refuse medication and              the journalism class he taught
                                       facility contains a small com-     instead be doused with holy           had had at least one family
                                       puter lab, a radio station stu-    water. Winter said that cross-        member killed or bombed out
                                       dio, recently furnished audio-     culturally investigating where        of their home during the war.
                                       and video-editing suites, office   science meets faith and not                Broadcasting faculty
                                       space for faculty and staff as     offending “are big issues we          member Barney McCoy
                                       well as a library, which houses    need to be talking about in           described the same pervasive
                                       many books donated by the J        journalism.”                          effects of the violence.
                                       school and its faculty.                  The Ethiopian population             “There is still a lot of mis-
                                             Though the school was        consists of a near-even split of      trust,” McCoy said. “The dam-
                                       sufficiently equipped for          Christians and Muslims, a             age was so personal.”
                                       teaching, transitory govern-       combination that has created               And as in Ethiopia, a pre-
                                       ments in the country have cre-     tension for other regions, such       carious power grid caused fre-
                                       ated disorder.                     as the nearby Middle East.            quent power failures, making
               Photo by Jerry Renaud
                                             The government’s empha-      Despite the clash of these reli-      news gathering with modern
they have, and they were sel-          sis on ethnic identity has fos-    gions elsewhere, Alloway and          technology a challenge. But
dom late or tardy,” Alloway            tered competition for power        Winter said they were sur-            the Kosovo Institute of
said. “They were very attentive,       among Ethiopia’s 82 ethnic         prised by the widespread har-         Journalism and Communi-
took good notes and asked              groups. In large part, that        mony in Ethiopian culture.            cation in Pristina was modern
good questions. … In short,            instability has left much of       They said even arrangements           and had state-of-the-art
they wanted to be there.”              Ethiopia underdeveloped and        of the buildings exhibited this       equipment, including its own
     The faculty members               impoverished.                      harmony: One of the largest           power generator that kicks in
often faced challenges teaching              “They really got into the    orthodox Christian churches           during failures in the Kosovar
abroad. Technology served as           computers, not because of the      happily shares a fence with the       power system.
the greatest obstacle in               glitz of it. … They love the       largest Mosque in Addis                    For each challenge the
Ethiopia, despite the state-of-        technology and the complexi-       Ababa.                                faculty members faced, there
the-art computer lab provided          ty,” Winter said. Winter, who            “They celebrate their cul-      was also a reward. The stu-
by Gimlekollen. Struggles              also taught in Addis Ababa,        ture like I never see over here,      dents were eager for journal-
included bandwidth and                 said e-mail is of particular       and they celebrate every cul-         ism, dedicated and passionate.
Internet-connection problems.          importance to Ethiopian stu-       ture equally,” Winter said.                “I think the experience
     Technology “was always a          dents because of the govern-             Alloway said he was             emboldened them,” McCoy
wildcard,” said Alloway. “We           ment’s limitations on commu-       inspired by the balance in            said of the Kosovar students’
were unsure what technology            nications, particularly on text-   Ethiopia and the “duality of          exposure to democratic
we would have available to us          messaging and Internet chat        meaning of the word ‘harmo-           reporting principles that are a
from day to day.”                      services.                          ny” — harmony as it relates to        historic part of the American
     Internet usage was labori-              Despite the dominance of     the music of the country and          press.
ous, time-consuming and                other languages such as            the harmony with which so                  He said some of the stu-
frustrating, but the Web was           Albanian in Kosovo and             many different ethnic popula-         dents began to consider the
necessary for illustrating top-        Amharic in Ethiopia, the stu-      tions coexist.” Alloway will use      possibility of critically ques-
ics to the students.                   dents communicated in              this harmony as a theme in an         tioning governmental policies
                                       English.                           audio documentary.                    and politicians — going      >>
12   SUMMER 2005                                                                                                       J ALUMNI NEWS          15
                    against tradition.                      Renaud’s course on the
                          “They wrote about gov-            Internet, Kosovar students cre-
                    ernment corruption, pollu-              ated the Web site
                    tion, deterioration of historical and
                    landmarks, contaminated                 started posting stories to it.
                    gasoline, political prisoners,               One of the main benefits
                    children selling tobacco.               of the trips for faculty was to
                    Amazing journalism,” McCoy              work in areas of revolutionary
                    said. “I was humbled to see             development and change.
                    students who did not hesitate                Of Kosovo, Christensen
                    to point out problems facing            said, “The very existence of the
                    Kosovo’s people that need to            school reminds you of how
                    be addressed by Kosovo’s gov-           exciting it is to be building a
                    ernment.”                               country.”
                          Some Kosovar journalists,              “It’s hard to talk about
                    he said, tend to censor them-           much else,” Winter said.
                    selves because government               “Obviously they talk about
                    criticism has not been an               music, films, culture and
                    option until recently. Even             everything. But politics looms
                    though the U.N. provides a              over everything else there. It’s
                    modicum of government sta-              behind the scenes everywhere.
                    bility, most students believed          Much like Ethiopia, some of
                    corruption is pervasive.                the world’s best stories are
                          Despite the grave chal-           over there right now, so it’s
                    lenges posed by government              really important that we do
                    corruption, lack of economic            them right.”
                    development and faulty infra-                Kaare Melhus, an assistant
                    structure, hope still exists in         professor at Gimlekollen
                    Kosovo, Renaud said. Like               School of Journalism and
                    Alloway in Ethiopia, Renaud             Communication in
                    found that focusing on the big          Kristiansand, Norway, said he
                    picture in Kosovo was the best          hopes the partnership with
                    way to remain hopeful in a              UNL will continue to evolve.
                    country with so many chal-                   Melhus and other interna-
                    lenges.                                 tional TV journalists recently
                          Students’ projects showed         gathered in Addis Ababa to
                    promise for the future of jour-         discuss future partnerships. He
                    nalism in both Ethiopia and             said the goal for the group is
                    Kosovo. Ethiopian students              to create an “African CNN” of
                    reported on the high rates of           sorts, modeled after 24-hour
                    rabies-infected dogs in Addis           cable news in America.
                    Ababa, on the exploited                      In Ethiopia and Kosovo,
                    flower-plantation workers and           the J school is all about the big
                    on the clash between tribal             picture, contributing to the
                    culture and city culture.               pursuit of freedom. But the
                    Within the second week of               impact and education aren’t
                    Five UNL faculty taught a class in
                                                                 Winter said, “Doing this
                    convergence in Pristina, Kosovo, in
                    April. Students who enrolled were
                                                            stuff feels like the most impor-
                    TOP: Shqipe Breznica, Armend            tant stuff I’ve ever done pro-
                    Kabashi and Syzana Bytyqi               fessionally, especially when I’m
                    MIDDLE: Jerry Renaud and Adriatik       over there, but the key to it is
                    Stavileci BOTTOM: KIJAC class           how to make this important
                    photo, front row, Adriatik Stavileci;   for our students too.”
                    middle row: Kreshnik Bajraktari,             The trips give faculty
                    Puhi Demaqu, Xheraldina Rexhepi,        members firsthand experi-
                    Syzana Bytyqi, Shqipe Breznica;         ences to use in their own lives,
                    back row: Faton Pacolli, Jerry
                                                            but the experiences will also
                    Renaud, Scott Winter, Armend
                    Kabashi and Ekrem Tahiri. Not pic-
                                                            provide students with insight
                    tured: Jelena Bjelica and Vjosa         into international issues.
16   SUMMER 2007                                                   ALUNI NEWS        33
                                                                                           ( international
     “My hope is that it will
change the way I think about
journalism, it will change the way
                                       UNL involved in the birth of a new nation
I think about global issues and                                                           thankful for UNL’s participation in the project.
                                       by KAARE MELHUS
that will have a positive impact                                                          We could not have run KIJAC without the “fly-
on my students,” Winter said.                                                             ing professors.” Teachers also came from
                                       It’s not every day the world witnesses a new
     Faculty’s work in Ethiopia
                                       nation coming into being. This year Kosovo         Gimlekollen in Norway and from Cardiff
and Kosovo increases the J
                                       will, in some shape or form, take its place as a   University in Wales. In addition, to learning
school’s international profile as
                                       member of international organizations under        new skills, the KIJAC students benefit from rub-
well as the range and ability of
                                       its own name and with its own flag. There have     bing shoulders with seasoned journalists with
the faculty to affect students’
global alertness.                      been plenty of birth pains.                        backgrounds from news organizations like the
     “It changes your life to teach          Since the break-up of communist              BBC, CBC, Time Magazine and Britain’s
people who understand how              Yugoslavia, Kosovo has been a province of          Sunday Telegraph.
important education is and will                              Serbia     with    Kosovo          While this teaching input is being airlifted
do everything they can to be well                            Albanians making up the      into Pristina to assist local Balkan teachers,
educated,” Norton said. “Our                                 majority. The Serbs do not   hand-picked Kosovars with background in the
international connections are giv-                           want the secession of        local media are sent abroad for graduate stud-
ing our college an incredible                                what they deem the heart     ies in order to qualify for positions on the
boost.”                                                      of their nation, while the   future KIJAC faculty. Dukagjin Gorani, former
     Beyene said Ethiopians                                  Albanians don’t want to      editor of the Express, is currently enrolled in
appreciated the time that J school                           go back to the Serb perse-   the Ph.D. program at Cardiff University, and
faculty members took away from                               cution from which NATO       the next couple of people who go abroad might
their families and lives in the                              delivered them during the    end up studying in Lincoln.
United States to spend teaching                              brief bombing campaign             KIJAC, which operates under the auspices
overseas. Beyene said he believes           MELHUS
                                                             in the spring of 1999.       of the Kosovo Ministry of Education, Science
the faculty members are “cru-                The Kosovar aspiration is membership in      and Technology, has so far been financed by
saders for truth.”                     the European Union. But both the outgoing          the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
     “We consider this, what these     United Nation Mission in Kosovo, which has         UNL is presently involved in seeking additional
people are doing, as sacrifice for                                                        funds in the U.S. for the 10-year program.
                                       run Kosovo since 1999, and the incoming EU
us,” Beyene said.
                                       administration demand that Kosovo meet cer-              While the Kosovars are aided in their
     Dean Norton said it’s impor-
                                       tain standards before final status can be          efforts to meet Western standards for nation-
tant to seize opportunities, espe-
                                       achieved.                                          hood, former Finnish president Marthi
cially the opportunity to bring a
                                             Among these standards are freedom of         Athisaari’s proposal for a solution to the
global perspective to UNL’s jour-
nalism college — a perspective         speech and freedom of information, key con-        Kosovo status question is before the UN
much bigger than Nebraska.             cepts in any Western democracy. The College        Security Council. On the one hand, minority
     In turn, he said, faculty can     of Journalism and Mass Communications at           rights have been guaranteed; on the other
offer the benefit of exposing for-     UNL is presently involved in the development       hand, international borders must be respect-
eign students to American jour-        of the Kosovo Institute of Journalism and          ed. Both these principles are recognized in the
nalistic ideals: transparency, free-   Communication, a two-year master of arts pro-      UN Charter.
dom of expression, responsibility,     gram in Pristina. KIJAC was established in               If Athisaari had said that Kosovo should
fairness, forgiveness and reconcil-    2005 in cooperation with Gimlekollen School        remain within Serbia, the province would erupt
iation.                                of Journalism and Communication, Norway,           in violence. If he had suggested full nationhood
     In the face of such hardships     and Cardiff University School of Journalism,       to Kosovo, between 70 and 90 ethnic groups
as those experienced by the peo-       Media and Cultural Studies in the United           elsewhere in the world would say: “Hey, what
ple of Ethiopia and Kosovo, pre-       Kingdom.                                           about us?” So Athisaari is proposing Kosovar
serving hope is not an easy task.            The 25 students in each class choose to      membership in international organizations, a
     And Norton does not foster        study print/Web or broadcasting with some          Kosovo flag and other symbolic measures to
the notion that either he or his       overlapping convergence courses. This spring,      nurse Kosovo along on its slow and painful way
faculty will be able to “solve” any-   four journalism professors from UNL were           to EU membership.
thing amid the complexities of         involved in teaching Web journalism at KIJAC             And UNL is right in the middle of the
Kosovar and Ethiopian life. But        and setting up the KIJAC news site modeled         drama, teaching both Albanian and Serb jour-
he maintains the College of                                                               nalism students how to work together covering
                                       after NewsNetNebraska. Barney McCoy,
Journalism and Mass
                                       Kathryn Christensen, Jerry Renaud and Scott        the birth of a new European nation.              s
Communications’ work abroad is
                                       Winter spent the better part of March with the
worthwhile.                                                                               Melhus is the international director at the
                                       first year students, teaching them the intrica-
     “I think our attitude has to                                                         Gimlekollen School of Journalism and
be: Do we have the opportunity         cies of Web publishing
                                                                                          Communication, Kristiansand, Norway
to do some good?”                  s         As the Norwegian project manager, I am

12   SUMMER 2005                                                                                                   J ALUMNI NEWS         17
                                                                      ‘It’s about changing
                                                                    students’ experiences’
                                                                                                              — HOWARD BUFFETT

Grad assistants Belita Kalala, Zambia, and Nkemjika Kalu, Nigeria, visit with Howard Buffett before the presentation   s   Photo by Stephen Hermann


        starving child covered in flies. A
                                                                                                 We begin to show the

 A      one-legged Romanian man, sniff-
        ing glue to satisfy his drug addic-
   For many students at UNL, such images
of poverty are confined to the pages of
                                                                                                 world what needs to
                                                                                                 be done by those of us
                                                                                    who are in a position to
                                                                                    do things positively.
                                                                                           — Allen Beermann
                                                                                           Neb. Press Association
                                                                                                executive director

magazines — if they ever see them at all.
     Thanks to donations by three of the nation’s leading photog-             Buffett had the opportuni-     donations,” Norton said.
raphers, some students in the college will be able to witness these      ty to see the college when he             Through it all, Beermann
atrocities firsthand and report on what they see.                        was invited to speak at the 2005    says the intent is that the focus
     Howard Buffett, Thomas Mangelsen and Joel Sartore have cre-         J Days ceremony, Norton said.       be not on the money but on the
ated a $1 million chair of photojournalism at the J school. The               Beermann said Buffett was      mission. “We begin to show the
fund will enable students to travel abroad, documenting poverty          interested early on in funding a    world what needs to be done by
throughout the world. It also provides a salary stipend for a photo-     photojournalism chair, but he       those of us who are in a posi-
journalism professor. Buffett, a photographer of scenes in the           didn’t want to do it by himself.    tion to do things positively,”
developing world, Mangelsen, a prominent nature photographer,            Thus, Mangelsen and Sartore         Beermann said. “A photo can
and Sartore, a contract photographer for National Geographic and         — who, along with Buffett are       be so powerful that it can move
other prominent publications, also will schedule mentoring ses-          long-time friends of                people to do things that need to
sions with student photographers at UNL each year.                       Beermann’s — were brought on        be done.”
     “It’s about getting these kids out there so they can see a world    board.                                    Beermann predicted the
that is very different from the world they grew up in,” Buffett said.         Beermann said,“All three       opportunities made possible by
“It helps make everyone realize the significance of how this coun-       deeply believe in higher educa-     the gift will be an outstanding
try behaves.”                                                            tion. They have the belief that     recruiting tool and will make
     Will Norton Jr., dean of the journalism college, said the dona-     students can make a positive        the J school the envy of the
tion will allow students to have their capstone experience covering      influence.”                         nation.
the needy. “Its mission is primarily to cover poverty with a cam-             The college announced the            Russ Pankonin, publisher
era,” he said.                                                           endowed chair during a cere-        of the Imperial Republican and
     Buffett, the eldest child of billionaire investor Warren Buffett,   mony Thursday, May 3, that          president of the Nebraska Press
has been a lifelong photographer and has created many books of           included an audience of mem-        Association, said, “This gener-
photography, including “On The Edge: Balancing Life’s Resources”         bers of the Nebraska                ous gift by three outstanding
and “Tapestry of Life.”                                                  Legislature, University of          Nebraskans gives students and
     “It’s a significant statement when a son of one of the wealthi-     Nebraska Regents and publish-       journalists a very real opportu-
est men in the world is focused on the needs of the poor,” Norton        ers and editors from across the     nity to make meaningful posi-
said.                                                                    state. Also present were UNL        tive changes in the plight of
     Buffett said the project would “… send out enthusiastic young       faculty and students, members       millions of our fellow human
journalists who can travel around the world and have the right           of Buffett’s family and Salim       beings.”
equipment and training and can come back and tell these stories          Amin, son of the legendary                Knowledge is the first step
and change a little bit in this world.”                                  African photojournalist,            in making change, Buffett said.
     The project was initiated with the help of Allen Beermann,          Mohamed Amin.                       “It’s a great place for us to par-
executive director of the Nebraska Press Association, who describes           During the announcement,       ticipate in the university.”
Buffett as “a world class photographer and storyteller of the plight     Buffett presented a slideshow of          It’s about experiences but
of humankind.”                                                           his photos.                         ultimately about “educating and
     Beermann said UNL’s J school has become known for its in-                “The stories behind these      training students in a way they
depth reports, and he knew if he brought Buffett to campus, the          images are what the world           can’t get by sitting here in
photographer would see potential to help both students and the           needs to hear,” Buffett said.       Lincoln, Nebraska,” he said.
needy.                                                                        Norton said Buffett’s work     “When they (students) come
     Beermann said the students who benefit from the new fund            with the J school was significant   back, they will be changed per-
would begin to learn about their fellow human beings in all parts        for many reasons. For one           sons. And, hopefully, they can
of the world who are not receiving proper medical treatment and          thing, “It was a statement to the   deliver a message that will
education. The students’ work will enhance what Buffett himself          community of how much the           change people’s attitudes and
has been doing, Beermann said.                                           university depends on private       how they look at things.” s

12   SUMMER 2005                                                                                                     J ALUMNI NEWS        19

Africans covering Africa
Dream of ‘A24’ is to get Africans
talking to each other

If journalism is the means by which a commu-
nity talks to itself, Salim Amin would like to
put that idea to work on a continental scale,
letting all of Africa talk to itself.
    Amin has a specific vision for Africa. A
native of Kenya, he is working to found a 24-
hour news channel, ‘A24,’ that would employ
African journalists to cover Africa, to make a
way for Africans to talk to Africans.
      “My vision is to empower Africans with knowledge so
Africans can make educated decisions” about whom to choose as
political leaders, where they should invest their money, and
whom they want their social leaders to be, Amin said during a
March visit to Lincoln. “My first objective is to get Africans talk-
ing to each other.”
      Far from being a monolithic society, Africa is made up of 53
diverse nations and people who speak thousands of different
languages. “There’s no such thing as pan-Africanism at the
moment,” Amin said. “We don’t communicate with or under-
stand each other.” A journalist himself, Amin believes a 24-hour
news channel focused on Africa and Africans could help change
      For one thing, the broad and deep coverage the channel
would provide would empower people to make informed deci-               Salim Amin came to UNL to attend an event
sions, Amin said. Africa must keep its talented people and its          announcing Buffett’s, Mangelsen’s and
growing investment capital on the continent, he said, but people        Sartore’s donation to the J school on May 3
have to know about the opportunities available there.
      Enter ‘A24.’
      Amin is inspired by the memory and philosophy of his                  Will Norton, dean of the     useful news will be delivered
father, Mohamed Amin, a legendary African photojournalist,             journalism college, said people   to Africans through a medium
who died in a plane crash in 1996. Although his work took him          have tried before to found a      many have, and the informa-
to the “more ugly, horrendous side of the continent,” Mohamed          pan-African news network,         tion will enable the audience
Amin had an enormous love and affection for the continent, his         but technology had just not       to improve their lives,” Norton
son said. Salim Amin wants to continue to balance the bad news         advanced enough. Things are       said.
in Africa with the good news, letting Africans tell their own sto-     different in the cellular com-         To be sure everything
ries.                                                                  munications world of today.       stays professional, Amin, who
      That doesn’t mean, though, that ‘A24’ will simply be a                “Most families do not        is managing director of
cheerleader for the continent. Amin said the channel, which will       have televisions, and many do     Camerapix, the multi-media
be delivered via television, radio, the Internet and cell phones,      not have radios, but an           company his father founded,
will highlight positive things the 53 nations are doing but will       increasing number of families     is working to get a solid busi-
also hold their leaders accountable.                                   have at least one and often       ness plan in place. He wants
                                                                       more than one cell phone. So      every employee to have a
20   SUMMER 2007                                                                                               ALUNI NEWS        33
                                     whom the J school has collab-      nalistic skills and in personal    nel’s ability to work on the
                                     orated to foster journalism        safety.                            continent will be much easier,
                                     education in Ethiopia and               To increase that safety,      and its news will be more
                                     Kosovo. Working with the           Amin wants ‘A24’ to be             respected, Amin said.
                                     Norwegians and the British         endorsed by the African                 Amin himself is already
                                     Council in Ethiopia, Amin put      Union and the United Nations       highly respected, Melhus said.
                                     together a gathering of African    so that those multilateral         Amin is one of five Africans
                                     media professionals and global                                        appointed a Young Global
                                     media leaders in December                                             Leader in 2007. The group of
                                     2005, which was the begin-                                              50 leaders from around the
                                     ning of the plan for ‘A24.’                                                 world gathers for three
                                           The Norwegians                                                           conferences a year to
                                     will continue to be                                                               talk about the
                                     involved as ‘A24’                                                                   future and how to
                                     moves forward.                                                                        help shape it for
                                     “We’ve been                                                                            the better, Amin
                                     asked to be part                                                                        said.
                                     of the training”                                                                              Besides
                                     for ‘A24’ jour-                                                                          working to
                                     nalists, said                                                                            launch ‘A24’
                                     Kaare Melhus,                                                                            and keeping
                                     assistant profes-                                                                        Camerapix
                                     sor at the                                                                              operating,
                                     Gimlekollen                                                                            Amin last year
                                     School of                                                                             produced a doc-
                                     Journalism and                                                                      umentary about
                                     Communication in                                                                  his father. Titled
                                     Norway. “We hope that                                                           “Mo and Me,” the
                                     Western media will carry                                                     documentary has won
                                     ‘A24’-produced stories, in the                                           more than a half dozen
                                     same way that these media                                             awards. It was featured at
                                     carry Al-Jazeera produced sto-                                        UNL’s Ross Theatre in March.
                                     ries,” Melhus told Ligali, a       organizations will put pressure         Like his father, Salim
                                     non-profit working for             on African leaders to act          Amin got into journalism
                                     African equality, in fall 2006.    appropriately toward ‘A24’         when he was young. He
                                     “If that happens, we might         journalists. “We have to prove     earned a bachelor’s degree in
                                     start to break the pattern         to the leaders that we’re as       communications from the
                                     where most African stories are     unbiased as possible,” Amin        University of Vancouver,
                                     produced by foreign corre-         said, that ‘A24’ is different      Canada, and then returned to
                                     spondents. It could also be        from many African media that       Africa as a photojournalist,
                                     that ‘A24’ might influence         regularly pursue personal          covering Somalia in the early
                                     West Africa’s agenda.”             grudges against governments        1990s, then Sudan, Rwanda
                                           UNL is involved, too,        and leaders.                       and elsewhere before he
                                     helping to raise funds to               ‘A24’ plans to cover busi-    returned to Kenya to take over
          Photo by Stephen Hermann   develop the business plan and      ness and economic news, poli-      his father’s business.
                                     to help train the journalists      tics and government, non-               Salim’s older daughter is
share in the company and said        who will work for                  governmental organizations,        10 years old now, born only 10
no investor will ever own            ‘A24,”’Norton said.                health care and culture. It will   days after her grandfather
more than 15 percent of the                Amin plans to start with     also offer educational pro-        died. Her younger sister is 7.
stock. “We will never have a         five or six bureaus and eventu-    gramming.                          Amin said he has tried to be
majority shareholder who can         ally increase that to 46                The channel will have a       sure they know who their
dictate editorial content,” he       bureaus across Africa with         strong editorial board made        grandfather was and what he
said. “This can’t be seen to         stringers and freelancers cov-     up of respected African jour-      did. If that inspires them to go
have one or two people               ering areas where there are no     nalists who have worked for        into journalism when they
behind it with an agenda.”           bureaus. He has already begun      major international media and      grow up, that would be great,
     The business plan was at        to recruit journalists. “We        who will be advisers to the        he said, adding, “I hope I can
the top of Amin’s agenda this        want to pay international          journalists on the ground.         leave something of my own
spring, and he was getting           salaries, not African salaries,”   Once ‘A24’ has proven that it      legacy for them, too.”
help from some Norwegians            he said, and to provide a high     won’t be going after anyone             ‘A24,’ he hopes, will be a
— the same Norwegians with           level of training both in jour-    for personal reasons, the chan-    big part of that legacy.       s
12   SUMMER 2005                                                                                                  J ALUMNI NEWS         21

                                                                                                                                    Movie poster art courtesy Chris Donahue
                                                                                                     “I am alone in all of this,”
                                                                                                her mother responds, nodding
Chris Donahue: architect of anecdote                                                            her head as tears well up in her
                                                                                                     Remembrance is bitter-
With an Academy Award, an Emmy and the Jury Prize for Best                                      sweet. But for Tracy, who has
Documentary at the 2003 IFP Los Angeles Independent Film Festival                               no memories of her father, it’s
under his belt, Chris Donahue is no amateur film producer. So what’s                            the emptiness that stings.
                                                                                                     “What about me?” Tracy
driving him, and what is it like to have a grinning Jack Nicholson clap-                        asks, now also in tears. “Don’t
ping for you?                                                                                   we have each other?”
                                                                                                     The reality of this scene
                                                                                                and countless others from the
                        by CARSON VAUGHAN                                                       documentary “Be Good, Smile
                                                                                                Pretty” hurts. For Chris
                        Tracy Tragos and her mother sit silently and alone in a room            Donahue, the producer, this
                        teeming with emotional traffic. Soon Tracy will begin interview-        impact on the viewer means
                        ing her mother about Lt. Donald Glenn Droz, Tracy’s beloved             success. The documentary’s
                        father and her mother’s husband who was killed in Vietnam on            Emmy and the Jury Prize for
                        April 12, 1969.                                                         Best Documentary at the 2003
                             Tracy is close to her mother, but asking questions that will       IFP Los Angeles Film Festival
                        make your mother shed tears of heartache is never easy.                 were bonuses.
                        Dredging up the past is difficult. Tracy chooses her words care-             Donahue visited UNL in
                        fully.                                                                  February and spoke with jour-
                             “I know you feel very, very alone in all of this,” Tracy says to   nalism students and faculty
        DONOHUE         her mother.                                                             before the screening of his lat-
22   SUMMER 2007                                                                                        ALUNI NEWS 33
                                                                                               (      premiere
est film. On the night of Feb.       of the events leading up to her     telling you to think,” Donahue        it. He is the executive director
23, the Mary Riempa Ross             father’s death in the Mekong        said. “I think that’s what the        of the HUMANITAS board,
Media Arts Center was half full      Delta — events previously           biggest challenge to filmmakers       the committee in charge of
of anticipatory students and         unknown to her or her family.       is: to challenge people to think,     selecting the winners of the
middle-aged arts advocates.          Tragos’s delicate persistence in    to begin the discussion. This is      HUMANITAS prize. The prize,
Half full. Considering the hon-      questioning those who knew          not the end of the discussion.”       as stated on the group’s Web
ors Donahue has received, half       her father best, especially her           Despite an extensive fil-       site, is “an annual screen-
full seemed half empty.              mother and her father’s friends     mography, Donahue remains a           writer’s award founded in 1974
      Despite the modest             from the war, including U.S.        producer of quality over quan-        to encourage, stimulate and
turnout, the eager audience          Sen. John Kerry, creates an         tity, a quality rooted not in airy    sustain the nation’s screenwrit-
filled the room with voices.         emotional rollercoaster both        entertainment but in the              ers in their humanizing task,
Before the film began,               for those involved in the exca-     advancement of human                  and to give them the recogni-
Donahue was asked to give a          vation of her father’s life and     enlightenment.                        tion they deserve.”
brief introduction. The pro-         for the film’s viewers.                   “I get attracted to projects
ducer is short in stature and              Although Tragos’ determi-     that touch me, that hit me at               Donahue himself has an
mild in manner, but his voice        nation to unearth her father’s      the core,” Donahue said. “I get       impeccable reputation among
demanded attention. The the-         memory required pushing her         attracted to stories that have        his colleagues.
ater fell silent; perhaps the        family and others to their emo-     some kind of social signifi-                “Unlike a lot of other pro-
crowd expected Donahue to            tional limits, the life of Lt.      cance.”                               ducers out there, Chris is not a
speak with a Scorsesean bril-        Droz is no longer just a locked           In addition to “Be Good,        frustrated director. That is, he
liance.                              suitcase filled with old letters    Smile Pretty,” Donahue co-pro-        has no interest in telling me, as
      Instead, he modestly           and forgotten smiles.               duced the 1996 film                   director, how I should do my
thanked them for coming and                The title for the documen-    “Entertaining Angels: The             job,” said Chris Tashima in a
returned to his seat.                tary was taken from letters sent    Dorothy Day Story,” starring          personal e-mail. Tashima
      If he were in the business     home by Tragos’ father during       Laura Kelly and Martin Sheen,         worked with Donahue as
for the money or the fame, this      the Vietnam War. He signed          which was about the 1930s             director, writer and actor on
would be a much different            them, “Be good, smile pretty.”      social activist and her creation      both “Visas and Virtue” and
story. If he were in the business          With the “Academy             of the Catholic Worker                “Day of Independence.”
for the money or the fame, he        Award-winning producer”             Movement.                                   “He respected my position
may have been disappointed in        label attached to Donahue, his            The following year,             yet didn’t hesitate to mention
his turnout. But, as a film pro-     endorsement of a project car-       Donahue produced the live-            any matters he felt were impor-
ducer, the humble Donahue            ries some weight.                   action short film “Visas and          tant or that he thought I might
maintains a much more hum-                 “It was really important to   Virtue” about a Japanese diplo-       not be considering,” Tashima
ble ambition.                        have him as a part of the proj-     mat who wrote transit visas for       said.
      “The overall goal is to tell   ect to lend credibility to the      Jews at the beginning of                    Donahue has an eye for
a compelling, engaging story         endeavor — especially at the        WWII. Donahue describes the           perfection. When asked what
that will affect people deeply,”     beginning,” Tragos said in a        film as “a Japanese Schindler.”       he would be if he were not a
Donahue said in an interview.        personal e-mail. “It helped to      This film landed Donahue              film producer, he said he
“You don’t set out to win an         prove that it was more than a       onstage at the Academy                would be an architect. He is
Academy Award; you set out to        personal vanity project but a       Awards, knuckles white, clutch-       interested in design.
tell a good story.”                  legitimate endeavor.”               ing a flawless, golden Oscar.               “I think that is what film
      Donahue has accom-                   Tragos did not want the             “It’s a pretty surreal event,   is a lot about,” Donahue said.
plished both.                        movie to take on a political        to be standing on stage and           “It’s about putting different
      In “Be Good, Smile             stance. She would leave that to     look down and see Martin              pieces of a puzzle together, and
Pretty,” first-time director         the viewer, including Donahue,      Scorcese and Jack Nicholson,”         I think that’s what architects
Tracy Tragos struggles to dig        who maintains that a certain        Donahue said. “It’s a pretty          do.”
up the past and know her             amount of personal bias is          nice club to be in.”                        As the last credits scrolled
father, who was killed at the        always present in films.                  Membership in the club          out of sight at the UNL show-
age of 25 in Vietnam when she              “The thing I have learned     didn’t come easy, however.            ing, lights flooded the room to
was 3 months old.                    from this is that when the bul-     Donahue has worked for the            reveal the half-full theater
      “She called me one day         lets stop, the damage from the      CBS and PBS affiliates in New         brimful of applause, the sons
and said, ‘You’ll never believe      war doesn’t end,” Donahue           Orleans, taught at the                and husbands in attendance
what I found today. I came           told his audience after the         American Film Institute and           too caught up in their own
across this article about my         UNL screening. “What’s good         Loyola Marymount University           emotions to notice their moth-
dad,’” Donahue said. “I got          about this film is it gave people   and holds graduate degrees            ers and wives were still crying.
goose bumps when she told me         the chance to talk about their      from AFI and the Jesuit School              “Be Good, Smile Pretty”
about the story she found on         experience. … As a filmmaker,       of Theology in Berkeley.              didn’t hit only Donahue at
the Internet.”                       I don’t really want to tell you           The self-effacing Donahue       the core.                       s
      Tragos had found details       what to think, but I don’t mind     knows good work when he sees
12 SUMMER 2005                                                                                                         J ALUMNI NEWS         23

 UNL and J school is looking to be
  more diverse, more welcoming

It’s 7:52 a.m. A student grabs her backpack
stuffed so full of homework it barely stays shut
and dashes out of her dorm room. She has less
than eight minutes to get to the other side of
campus. Good thing she’s a fast walker.
    As she walks briskly along the sidewalks, she
joins thousands of other college students hur-
rying to their next classes. It’s the circulatory
system of university life, students moving here
and there along cement veins. Most of the time
it doesn’t bother her. Usually she doesn’t
notice. But today, she feels out of place — a
foreign cell in the bloodstream, surrounded by
people who don’t look like her.
      She was born and raised in Kansas, but her ancestors were      what may be the most diverse       white, 13 percent were black,
from Africa. Her skin color sticks out against the white wall of     freshmen journalism class to       11 percent were Hispanic, 6
passing students, and she is overtaken by an immense wave of         date.                              percent were Asian and 1 per-
emotion. How can she be among thousands of other people and                Beyond basic civil rights,   cent were American Indian.
still feel so alone? All she wants is to see others like her.        diversity at UNL is important           At the UNL Journalism
      Though the aforementioned student is hypothetical, for         for several reasons.               College, white students com-
Amber Johnson, a freshman news-editorial major from Council                 “We have to have diversi-   prise 90.7 percent of the stu-
Bluffs, Iowa, the emotions and issues are real. As the only black    ty,” said Will Norton, dean of     dent population, black stu-
among nearly 1,000 students at Lewis Central High School,            the journalism college, “not       dents 3.5 percent, Hispanic
Johnson felt as if she always stuck out.                             just in what the population is     students 3.7 percent, Asian
      “For most of my younger life, I honestly didn’t notice I was   in the U.S., but we need to        students 1.8 percent and
any different,” Johnson said. “I guess you could say I was raised    have a global diversity so peo-    Native American students
white. I didn’t realize I was different until high school. It made   ple here understand what the       only .2 percent, according to
me feel inferior, so to speak.”                                      issues are in other parts of the   the 2006-2007 UNL Fact
      Those feelings are part of what UNL administrators are try-    world.”                            Book.
ing to eliminate as they exert more and more effort to increase            In 2004, according to the         Differences among ethnic
minority enrollment at an overwhelmingly white university.           National Center for Education      groups are facts of life, and
      To that end, Johnson is part of a 9.1 percent increase in      Studies, 66 percent of college     the more prepared future
minority students at the journalism college in the last year,        students in the U.S. were          journalists are, the more
according to the UNL Trend Report for 2006-2007, signifying
24 SUMMER 2007                                                               WS    33
                                                                                                                     (     recruiting
                                                            LEFT: Journalism     students       Chicago, visiting schools with       like you can have something
                                                            Courtney Robinson, Lanham,          good journalism programs             in common with.”
                                                            Md.,      Michele      Brown,       and attending state and                   Fellow freshman Johnson
                                                            Spotsylvania, Va., and Ivana        national conferences, to con-        agreed.
                                                            Jackson, Washington, D.C.,          nect with potential students              “It’s very positive being
                                                            pose for a picture in               from across the country. So          around people that are like
                                                            September      2006.    Scott       far, the recruiting results have     you, come from the same
                                                            Winter, lecturer and recruit-       been positive.                       background,” she said. “You
                                                            ing coordinator, and Amber                According to Winter, 22        feel better. … It’s the little
                                                            Hunter (far left), UNL Admis-       percent of the incoming 2007-        things that you don’t con-
                                                            sions, created a postcard to        2008 freshmen class scored at        sciously think about that are
                                                            recruit students to the             least a 30 on their ACT tests        really important to you, like
                                                            J school                            — or the equivalent on the           self-esteem and morale.”
                                                                                                SAT tests — and 62 percent                But the importance of
                                                                                                scored a 25 or above.                diversity isn’t only ethnic.
                                                            like I had to live up to the              “You know, I’ve never               “I don’t think we need to
                                                            expectations that people saw        considered myself a salesman,”       necessarily think of diversity
                                                            on TV because I was the only        Winter said, “but this college       as just black and white,”
                                                            person they could ask,” she         is pretty easy to sell with the      broadcasting professor
                                                            said.                               international trips we do, with      Creighton said. “It’s just peo-
                                                                 For example, Johnson           the caliber of faculty mem-          ple from different parts of the
                                                            said kids would ask her about       bers. … It’s pretty easy for me      country, different parts of the
                                                            a rap song’s lyrics or expect       to tout that.”                       world.”
                                                            her to be an all-star basketball          He’s not alone.                     Hunter and Winter
                                                            player. She preferred guitars to          Amber Hunter, senior           agreed.
                                                            rap and was involved with the       assistant director of admis-              “I will tell you, there is no
                                                            high school choir, drama pro-       sions at UNL, has worked with        campus in the Big 12 working
                                                            gram and cheerleading squad.        Norton and Winter to attract         harder to recruit students of
                                                                 “I don’t think diversity       students to the college              color than us,” Hunter said.
                                                            can do any harm,” she said. “I      through national programs            “There are a lot of campuses
                                                            think everyone can use a little     like the Washington                  that are very jealous of us and
                                   Photo by Bruce Thorson

                                                            education — black, white, yel-      Metropolitan Scholars and            our resources.”
                                                            low or purple. I don’t think it     National Hispanic Scholars                She said the university as
                                                            matters who it is. Even African     and UNL initiatives like the         a whole has made out-of-state
                                                            Americans coming in — I             Circle of Nations, which             and minority recruitment
                                                            think they can use the same         focuses on potential Native          high priorities to bring those
                                                            diversity on their end. I think     American students.                   different experiences and
                                                            diversity benefits all of us.”            “I think journalists are to    backgrounds to the class-
equipped they will be to han-                                    But someone has to do          report to everyone — in this         rooms, but it has also worked
dle the world, said Trina                                   the heavy lifting to bring that     country or world,” Hunter            hard to bring in the best and
Creighton, an African-                                      diversity to the classrooms.        said, “and so, in order to do        brightest students.
American lecturer in broad-                                      Enter Scott Winter, news-      that, you just have to under-             For journalism, Winter
casting.                                                    ed lecturer and J school            stand all of the complexities of     said, that means the best and
     “I think when a journalist                             recruiter for the last two years.   different groups.”                   brightest from all groups.
is exposed to different types of                                 When he was hired,                   And what better way than            “Ultimately, I just want to
people, you’re a better                                     Winter said, the dean gave          in the classrooms, she said.         get the best kids,” he said, “and
reporter, period,” she said.                                him two goals: improve the                Erin Green, a black fresh-     I’m just convinced that if we
     Creighton said diversity                               caliber of the student body by      man broadcasting and adver-          are just getting the best white
in the classroom boosts the                                 recruiting more high-end stu-       tising double major, simplified      kids, that’s problematic not
education for everyone, espe-                               dents and increase diversity.       it even further.                     just for our college but for our
cially for future journalists in                                 “He wants to be a nation-            “People, I guess, like to      country.
a world of media stereotypes                                al player on the national           see people like them,” she said.          “We’re not doing it
and misunderstood cultures.                                 scene,” Winter said, “so he         “I think it’s different if you are   because of any mandate or
Freshman Johnson knows                                      wants students from all over        watching the news and you            anything. We just think it’s the
what Creighton is talking                                   the country.”                       can’t really relate to the person    right thing to do. … We’re just
about.                                                           Consequently, Winter           who’s talking to you. You want       trying to make our college
     “[In high school,] I felt                              travels to multiple target areas    to see someone that you feel         reflect America.”               s
                                                            like Washington, D.C., and
                                                                                                                                             J ALUMNI NEWS          25

UNL grad helps spread
hope to war-weary Iraqis

WASHINGTON – Fifteen years after earning a
broadcasting degree in Nebraska, Susan
Phalen has helped bring a ray of hope to war-
ravaged Iraq.
   One midnight in early March, Phalen and
her colleagues helped four Iraqis restart a
Saddam-era radio station by using jumper
cables and a 12-volt battery to zap the trans-
mitter back to life.
     The jolt created what Phalen believes is the only independ-       Guam for a year.                   the trick.
ent broadcasting network in Iraq, where the government and                  In 1997, she did a nine-            Today, the station’s Iraqi
political groups typically run media outlets.                          month stint as deputy press        programmers are holed up in
     “It was a very fulfilling moment,” Phalen said by telephone       secretary for Sen. Chuck           a rustic compound where they
from Baghdad. “It was ‘boom!’ and we had talk radio all over           Hagel, R-Neb., before leaving      live, eat and broadcast music
Iraq.”                                                                 for the State Department.          and news that travels 150
     Phalen, who wears a military helmet and body armor when-               After the 2003 invasion of    miles to listeners as distant as
ever she’s outdoors in Baghdad, does battle on a different front-      Iraq, Phalen worked in             Baghdad, Fallujah and Mosul.
line in Iraq.                                                          Baghdad under the U.S.-led               The compound, which
     She is a public affairs specialist for the State Department,      Coalition Provisional              lacks running water or
which helped set up the broadcasting network. The State                Authority. Since then, she’s       plumbing, also is a military
Department provided some technical training, Phalen says, but          gone back and forth between        outpost manned by U.S. and
has taken a hands-off approach on running the network.                 Washington and Baghdad,            Iraqi soldiers, who protect the
     The Independent Radio and Television Network in the               working on public affairs in       station’s staff.
Diyala province fit the mission of Phalen’s group, known as the        Iraqi elections and other tasks.         The station is in the mid-
Global Outreach team. One of the team’s roles is assisting                  Her most recent visit         dle of a vast field. One could
American and international journalists who are on the ground           began in January, and she          see a car bomber approach
covering Iraq and the war.                                             hoped to remain in Iraq until      from miles off, Phalen said.
     The network is run by two Sunnis and two Shiites who, at          the end of May.                          She sat with others on the
great risk, are urging Iraqis to come together rather than fight            She got involved in the       station’s front porch early one
one another.                                                           Independent Radio and              recent morning, sipping Diet
     “My hope for IRTN is to make it the voice for my people in        Television Network project         Coke and coffee.
Iraq, the voice of freedom, peace and progress for Iraq,” Samir,       when she heard that a quartet            “You could hear the
one of the station’s leaders, said via e-mail.                         of Iraqis wanted to restart        (bombs) going off on the
     For Phalen, who attended the University of                        broadcasts in Diyala, where        roads a couple miles away,”
Nebraska–Lincoln from 1987 to 1992, such commitment is why             the radio station had been         she said of the devices that
she’s made nine trips to Iraq since 2004.                              silent for at least six months.    have wreaked havoc within
     Living in Baghdad’s Green Zone, Phalen endures what she           Its previous operators fled or     Iraq.
calls the “Wizard of Oz” reality of Iraq, punctuated by random         were killed.                             “It’s a very volatile area,”
rocket attacks, to try to help Iraqis get their stories out.                The station’s equipment       she said. “But it’s a very inter-
     “Our goal is to try to show the American taxpayers what’s         surprised Phalen. It was more      esting project to be working
happening over here and what the story is beyond the blood-            modern than she had used at        with the Iraqis, working right
shed and the car bombs,” said Phalen, who is 37 and single.            UNL. Her team e-mailed the         in the belly of the beast. They
     An Illinois native, Phalen got her first taste of journalism at   Italian company that manu-         think they are speaking for the
UNL when she took courses on a whim. She got hooked.                   factured the transmitter, ask-     silent majority of Iraqis who
     In college, she was a disc jockey for campus radio station        ing how to turn it back on.        are scared to say, ‘Hey, stop
KRNU. After graduating, she worked as a radio reporter in              The makeshift jumpstart did        the violence; put your guns
26   SUMMER 2007                                                                                                 J ALUMNEWS          33
                                                                 LEFT: Susan Phalen works
                                                                 with Donia Abdul Latif, 20,
                                                                 and three other Iraqi broad-
                                                                 casters at the Independent
                                                                 Radio and Television Network
                                                                 in Diyala Province, Iraq
                                                                 AT RIGHT: Afghan journalist

                                                                                                                                                                               Photo courtesy Lincoln Journal Star
                                                                 Farhad Peikar and Matt Hansen

                                                                 inside and explode.
                                                                      A rocket recently blew up
                                                                 just outside of a building
                                                                 where Phalen was, killing sev-
                                                                 eral people and wounding
                                                                 several others.
                                                                      “Those of us on the
                                                                 inside tried to rush back out
                                                                 because we could hear
                                                                                                      Journalism grad featured in NET special
                                   Photo courtesy Susan Phalen

                                                                 screaming. But we couldn’t get       To many Americans, Afghanistan is synonymous with Osama Bin
                                                                 out. They locked the building        Laden, the Taliban and the terrorist attacks on the World Trade
                                                                 down. It was a very intense          Center.
                                                                 and emotional little while,”              However, for two American journalists — including Matthew
                                                                 she said.                            Hansen, a College of Journalism and Mass Communications grad-
                                                                      She tells her family mem-       uate — two weeks spent in the southern Asian country resulted in
                                                                 bers, who live in northern           transformations, both professional and personal.
                                                                 Virginia, that it’s like living in        “Afghan Journey: A Story of Friendship,” airing at 7:30 p.m.
down.’”                                                          the eye of a hurricane. Chaos        April 18 on NET1, repeating at 10 p.m. April 23, follows Hansen (a
      As a result of their mes-                                  always swirls around.                former Lincoln Journal Star reporter, now with The Omaha World-
sage, Phalen said, the four                                           “I wouldn’t be surprised        Herald) and photographer Dior Azcuy as they travel to Kabul in
Iraqis who work at the broad-                                    at all if someday I’m sitting        October 2005. Their journey, reported in the Lincoln Journal Star
cast station are “huge targets”                                  outside having lunch at a pic-       series “Beyond Bin Laden,” explores the connections between
for terrorists who live not far                                  nic table, in the peace and the      Nebraska and Afghanistan.
away.                                                            quiet under a palm tree, and              The series was proposed by Kathleen Rutlege, Lincoln Journal
      Overall conditions in Iraq                                                                      Star editor, because Nebraska and Afghanistan are connected in
                                                                 have a cow go flying through
might seem dire, even hope-                                                                           surprising ways. Afghan refugees raise families in Nebraska, the
                                                                 the air past the table,” Phalen
                                                                                                      Nebraska National Guard helps to train Afghan soldiers and the
less, and have prompted a                                        said. “Wouldn’t surprise me in
                                                                                                      renowned Center for Afghan Studies is part of the University of
growing number in Congress                                       the slightest.”                      Nebraska at Omaha.
to push for a withdrawal of                                           She admits that her                  When the two young journalists stepped off a plane in Kabul,
U.S. forces from the war, now                                    mother, Gwen, a UNL gradu-           they stepped into another world. They discovered a culture that
more than four years old. The                                    ate who was raised on a farm         was unfamiliar and strange and a people whose love of life and
Democratic Congress is                                           near Orleans, Neb., wishes she       country is infectious. This included Farhad Peikar, a young Afghan
preparing to send President                                      would come home.                     journalist who became not only their “fixer” — their interpreter,
Bush a war spending bill con-                                         Her father, Tom, a gradu-       their driver and the person with the needed connections — but also
taining a timeline setting a                                     ate of Omaha Westside and            their friend.
goal of removing all combat                                      UNL, left Nebraska with his               Every evening at a gritty Internet café in Kabul, Hansen and
forces by a year from now.                                       family in the late 1960s for a       Azcuy shared their experiences online with readers back in
      But Phalen said she still                                  30-year career in the Air            Nebraska.
has hope that stability can                                      Force. The family is “very                Through Azcuy’s photographs and hand-held movies taken in
emerge in Iraq.                                                  proud” of Susan’s work, he           Afghanistan as well as blog accounts and more recent interviews
      “If I didn’t think there                                   said.                                with Azcuy, Hansen and Peikar, “Afghan Journey” looks at the
was a chance or a cause for                                           But the family worries          friendship that develops among the three journalists, utilizing it as
hope, I wouldn’t be here,” she                                   about her living amid such           a metaphor for enlightened relationships on an international
said. “I’m consistently amazed                                   hostility in Iraq, he said. “In      stage.
at the amount of hope the                                        our helplessness, we have to              “Afghan Journey” is an episode in the six-part PBS series,
Iraqis have.”                                                    turn to powers greater than          “America at a Crossroads.” The series covers terrorism, Iraq,
      Even so, Iraq is dangerous                                                                      Afghanistan, the Muslim world and America’s global role.
for everyone.                                                                                              Hosted by journalist Robert McNeil, program topics include
                                                                      He adds, “She is a staunch
                                                                                                      the men and ideas behind Al Qaeda, gangs in Iraq, America’s
      Phalen lives inside the                                    professional in her role in the
                                                                                                      Muslims, Islam and security versus liberty. Funding for “America at
Green Zone, a heavily guarded                                    survival of Iraq.”               s
                                                                                                      a Crossroads” is provided by the Corporation for Public
diplomatic and government
                                                                                                      Broadcasting.                                                       s
area of closed-off streets in                                    This story appeared in The
central Baghdad. Enemy rock-                                     Omaha World-Herald in April          This story appeared in the April 6 edition of the Lincoln Journal Star
ets and mortars sometimes fly                                    and is reprinted by permission.      and is reprinted by permission
12   SUMMER 2005                                                                                                                                  J ALUMNI NEWS         27

Ad grad is headed across the pond
Aaron Eske, who received a Marshall Scholarship,
will study at the London School of Economics
by NATE POHLEN                                                            the Chicago region. A total of       does things for CNN or Fox
                                                                          44 American students received        News or The Washington Post
                                                                          a Marshall Scholarship this          very frequently, but really what
Aaron Eske has a knack for stumbling into                                 year.                                we’re tuned into more than
things. He stumbled into a job opening with                                    “The interview process          anything are the Nebraska
U.S. Sen. Ben Nelson. He came across the                                  was wicked,” Eske said. “They        media.”
                                                                          have you sit down in a confer-             Eske also writes speeches
application for the Marshall Scholarship just a                           ence room with like seven or         and counts Sen. Nelson’s com-
month before its deadline. And both of those                              eight people. They just drill        mencement addresses among
                                                                          you with questions, ranging          his favorites. Eske also works
stumble steps paid off.                                                   from anything they want to           on all the big policy speeches,
    The Marshall pays American students to                                talk about. Most of the people       including those for the
attend a British university for two years, and,                           who are interviewing you are         National Small Businesses
                                                                          former Marshall scholars, and        Association and the Farm
since he was planning to study in London any-                             they’ve accomplished so              Bureau.
way, Eske decided to apply for the scholarship.                           much.”                                     “Basically, every single
                                                                               Damuth did a mock inter-        speech I have to pour a lot of
      Eske was working as an intern for Sen. Ben Nelson when              view with Eske before he left        effort into because I’m not an
positions kept opening up in Nelson’s office. Before he knew it,          for Chicago.                         expert in everything,” said
Eske was staring at an opportunity to be Nelson’s full-time press              “I thought he was               Eske. “Everything is at first a
secretary.                                                                extremely astute,” said              big endeavor, but then gradu-
      “It happened remarkably fast,” said Eske. “There were just          Damuth. “I taped the mock            ally it gets easier as I get more
openings, and I just stepped up to the plate, I guess.”                   interview. We’ll spend an hour       familiar with the topic.
      Make no mistake, Eske has earned everything that’s come             going over the tape, talking         Speeches are so unpre-
his way. A 2005 graduate of the J school, Eske moved to                   about strategies, talking about      dictable.”
Washington, D.C., immediately after graduation to work for                how questions can be                       That has led to some
Nelson.                                                                   answered differently. He really      minor bumps along the road.
      Now, just two years later, he will be leaving the country. Eske     understood how he could                    “I’ve planned the entire
received the prestigious Marshall Scholarship in December, and            work with that mock interview        wrong speech before,” said
he will spend the next two years in London.                               and turn it into an advantage        Eske. “I had plans to give a for-
      “I don’t think it will really sink in until I get there, and then   in the real interview.”              mal speech with 15 minutes of
when I’m there, it’s just going to be a roller coaster ride for two            While thinking about            statistics and examples, but it
years,” Eske said.                                                        London, however, Eske still has      actually was supposed to just
      Created in 1953, the Marshall gives students two fully fund-        to attend to life in D.C. He         be ‘Hey, what’s going on? My
ed years of study at any university in the United Kingdom. Only           lives near Capitol Hill and          name’s Ben Nelson. Welcome
U.S. citizens with a minimum GPA of 3.7 and a degree from an              walks to work every morning.         to the nation’s capitol. I hope
American college or university are eligible to apply.                          “Most people around here        you have a good time,’ and
      Past recipients include Ray Dolby, inventor of Dolby Sound;         are in their 20s and 30s, and        he’ll crack a few jokes. That’s a
Stephen Breyer, associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court; and          they’re all brilliant,” said Eske,   big fumble on my part.”
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Anne Applebaum. Eske, 23, is the            who is no slouch when it                   While Eske travels all over
first Marshall recipient from UNL.                                        comes to academics. Eske             the country, he hasn’t forgot-
      Eske and Dr. Laura Damuth, director of undergraduate                graduated with an advertising        ten about his family back
research at UNL, worked on the scholarship application together,          degree and highest distinction       home in Nebraska. He said
which included a personal statement Eske had to write.                    honors.                              they have been very supportive
      “You’ve got to pack an awful lot into that personal state-               His daily jobs include          of his move to D.C. and soon
ment. You really have to be convincing in your application that           writing press releases and           to London.
you are somebody the committee would like to meet,” Damuth                speeches for Sen. Nelson, as               “They know that, for what
said. She said Eske carefully followed her advice about how to            well as staying in touch with        I want to do, I can’t be an
write his statement.                                                      Nelson’s Nebraska con-               hour’s drive away from them,”
      Eske’s application competed with about 250 others from the          stituents.                           said Eske. “I really want to do
Chicago region. Of those, 22 people were invited to Chicago for                “That’s really a focal          communications even though
an interview, and eight were chosen for the scholarships from             point,” said Eske. “Sen. Nelson      the careers I’m going to
28 SUMMER 2007                                                                                                         ALUMNI NEWS 33
                                                                                                                                                 Photo courtesy Aaron Eske
 Aaron Eske poses for picture
 in front of Chicago’s Bean
 sculpture in Millennium Park

London for aren’t communica-        to think in a press perspective,”   it’s a beautiful city, and he’ll    different than the American
tions-based.”                       said Eske.                          enjoy his time there.               ones in terms of how things
     While Eske travels to some          Eske said Stacy James, an            “London’s a world hub.        work. But he’s extremely
of the largest cities in the        advertising professor, inspired     The people I’ll be taking classes   adaptable, so he’ll do just fine.”
world now, he is still glad he      him to become an advertising        with are going to be from                Despite his busy schedule,
went to college at UNL.             major. James said she doesn’t       almost every country around         Eske has had ample time to
     “It’s kind of a novelty.       know how she did that but says      the world,” Eske said. He           map out his future. Eske’s
Living in D.C., I’ll say            of Eske, “He’s a very engaging      acknowledged he’s not looking       dream job is to be the commu-
‘University of Nebraska’ and        person and very funny. He’s         forward to “the whole studying      nications director for the
people just look at me like I       not satisfied with the status       thing” while being in a beauti-     United Nations Children’s
landed from Neptune. I’ve           quo. His life in D.C. is very       ful place like London.              Fund. But first, he is eager to
actually gotten the question        commensurate with his curios-             Damuth said the chance to     get into his classes at LSE.
quite a few times ‘Oh, is that in   ity and interests.”                 study at LSE will be the oppor-          “I need to learn more
Canada?’”                                Eske, a 2001 graduate of       tunity of a lifetime for Eske.      about global politics and how
     He says his preparation at     Lincoln Southeast High                    “The London School of         development agencies work,”
the J school has helped him at      School, will be spending the        Economics is one of the best        Eske said. However, he insists
his current job.                    next two years at another LSE,      international institutions in       running for office is not in his
     “Being in the J school defi-   the London School of                terms of international issues,      long-term plans. Don’t count
nitely helps because you know       Economics. He will study glob-      issues on developing countries,     on seeing him on the ballot
how to work a deadline, basi-       al politics and development         international business and          anytime soon.
cally, and you know how the         management. Eske, who will          law,” said Damuth. “I think it’ll        “I’d much rather be
press operates. I learned a ton     leave in September, has trav-       be an adjustment because the        directing from the sidelines.” s
in J school. It taught me how       eled to London twice. He said       British institutions are very
12 SUMMER 2005                                                                                                      J ALUMNI NEWS          29

Climbing The Hill
From the York News-Times
to The New York Times,
1996 grad covers politics

Jeff Zeleny flips through TV channels as he
waits for Nebraska’s U.S. Sen. Chuck Hagel to
make a big announcement on March 12, 2007.
Zeleny, a New York Times reporter, is in the
Senate Press Gallery in the U.S. Capitol, search-
ing for a channel that’s broadcasting Hagel’s
Omaha press conference.
     Zeleny spots the senator      correspondent on Capitol Hill.     enough,’” Zeleny said.                    While Starita may have
on MSNBC and springs into          The road Zeleny traveled is full         When senators are in a         exaggerated, Zeleny did cover
action, grabbing his tape          of accomplishments, but his        hurry, Zeleny might be able to       a murder trial for the Fillmore
recorder and placing it near       work ethic, personal charm         squeeze in only a couple of          County News, his hometown
the television’s speaker.          and humility are qualities that    questions. But, revealing some       weekly in Exeter, Neb., just
     It soon becomes apparent      helped him land his job at the     of his own techniques, he said       after graduating from high
that the senator may not           Times and that set him apart       it is easier to get politicians to   school. He also worked at the
announce anything, and the TV      as an accomplished journalist.     say what’s on their minds at a       York News-Times throughout
coverage stops abruptly.                While the Press Gallery is    formal interview.                    high school, covering mostly
Zeleny writes an e-mail to Mike    a big space, it is packed with           “It is more Q&A, not really    sports.
Buttry, Sen. Hagel’s communi-      desks for reporters from many      a discussion. It is friendly, not         Even though Zeleny was
cations director, to find out      different publications. Zeleny,    adversarial. You have to get         “honing these hellaciously
what is going on and continues     who is more than 6 feet tall,      the politicians’ voices into the     good reporting skills at an
flipping through channels.         attempts to give himself more      stories. But during sit-down         uncommonly young age,”
Then Zeleny finds a live-news      room by pushing his chair back     interviews, I try to drive the       according to Starita, Zeleny
feed on the Internet. Finally,     from his desk.                     conversation,” Zeleny said.          attended the UNL J school to
Hagel says he will announce             The Press Gallery is right          This kind of drive had to      refine these skills even more.
his decision about a possible      next to the doors the senators     come from somewhere. Joe                  At the university, Zeleny
run for president sometime in      come through when a session        Starita, a news-editorial profes-    played trumpet in the march-
late summer.                       is adjourned. As soon as those     sor at the J school, took            ing band during his freshmen
     “Oh, he punted!” Zeleny       doors open, reporters mob the      Zeleny’s story back to the           and sophomore years. He also
says. “I don’t usually cover       senators, hoping to catch an       beginning.                           worked at the Daily
things off of TV, but we didn’t    interview. But a reporter cover-         “Jeff is one of those bless-   Nebraskan. The band had to
know what he was going to do,      ing politics on The Hill can       edly lucky few who knew —            play on without Zeleny his last
and it is still unclear.”          bump into senators and other       knew while he was still a fetus      years at UNL because the DN
     Zeleny continues to flip      political figures any time, any-   — that he was going to be a          became his main focus. He was
through the TV channels, listen    where, Zeleny said.                reporter,” Starita said. “While      the paper’s editor in chief dur-
to the senator’s speech on the          “If you run into Hillary      others were heading off to the       ing the 1994-1995 school year.
Internet, talk on the phone and    Clinton, you can ask her a         swimming hole, the 10-year-old            Zeleny said his work at the
type a draft on his laptop.        question. Sometimes they [sen-     Zeleny was heading off to the        newspaper prepared him well.
     A 1996 graduate of the J      ators] scurry away. And some-      courthouse, pen and pad in                “The Daily Nebraskan
school, Zeleny has quickly         times, they like to talk to get    hand, to cover the latest trial.     gave me a head start,” Zeleny
moved up the ranks in report-      publicity. Then you have to say    He would then write up the           said. “At the university you are
ing. He is now a Times political   ‘Thanks senator. I’ve got          story and hand-deliver it to the     being a reporter before you
                                                                      local newspaper.”                    even know what that means.”
30   SUMMER 2007                                                                                                  JLUMNI NEWS        33
                                                                          Many other events fell into     tial campaign, for example, I         the chair, and he just kept his
                                                                    place early in Zeleny’s career.       try to ask the questions that         smile,” Holland said.
                                                                          In his first job, at the Des    voters might ask. I am fortu-               Zeleny has solved the
                                                                    Moines Register, Zeleny cov-          nate to have a ringside seat at       problem. His new desk is out of
                                                                    ered the Iowa Legislature. Carl       many historical events, so I do       the direct line of fire of
                                                                    Hulse, a New York Times               my best to use my eyes and            passersby, and even in the
                                                                    reporter, was covering the            ears to convey everything back        gallery’s hectic environment,
                                                                    Democratic caucuses in Iowa           to my readers,”                       he gets his work done. His
                                                                    when he took notice of Zeleny.              Zeleny’s willingness to get     easy-going nature and polite-
                                       Photo courtesy Jeff Zeleny

                                                                          “Jeff really knew his way       the story and get it right has        ness help.
                                                                    around Iowa politics. People          again caught Hulse’s attention.             “I really am nice. Most
                                                                    were looking to him as a guide.       Now speaking as Zeleny’s col-         times I just put on my head-
                                                                    His Midwestern character              league at the Times, Hulse            phones and write,” Zeleny said.
                                                                    helps him as a reporter. He is        describes the qualities that                Despite his rapid rise up
                                                                    more open and friendly than           make Zeleny a great reporter.         the journalism ladder, Zeleny
                                                                    others,” Hulse said.                        “He has some of the best        remains down-to-earth.
                                                                          That Midwestern work            qualities of an ‘old-time’                  “I moved faster than I
New York Times Washington
                                                                    ethic and friendliness helped         reporter. He is dogged. He will       expected,” he said. “I’ve been
bureau reporter Jeff Zeleny,
                                                                    Zeleny land a job with the            chase down the story. But he          to 42 states and more coun-
left,   interviews    Nancy
                                                                    Chicago Tribune in 2000. At           has qualities of a ‘new-style’        tries and continents than I
Pelosi, California represen-
                                                                    first, his work in Chicago may        reporter, too. When something         thought I would, growing up
tative and House Speaker,
                                                                    have seemed like a step in the        goes wrong with my                    where I did.” But nearly every
on the Capitol Steps
                                                                    wrong direction.                      BlackBerry, he is the first one I     fall, Zeleny returns to the fami-
                                                                          “My first story in Chicago      call. He gets the Web. That           ly farm near Exeter to help with
                                                                    was about the high price of           stuff is like second nature. He’s     the harvest.
                                                                    milk. I thought, ‘What have I         on the cutting edge. Jeff is on             For budding journalists,
      During his time as editor,                                    done? I went from covering pol-       the cusp between old and new          Zeleny passed along advice
the Husker football team was                                        itics to milk!’ Certainly my          style reporting.”                     that helped get him where he
playing well and winning                                            career was over,” Zeleny said.              Zeleny has other personal       is today.
games, but the players were                                               But soon opportunity            qualities that help him on the              “You really need to know
getting into trouble. Coach                                         would strike. Zeleny covered          job. Judy Holland, a correspon-       how to write, no matter what
Osborne banned the DN from                                          the Florida presidential elec-        dent for Hearst Newspapers,           you do,” he said. “It is critically
covering practices and the                                          tion recount in 2000, which led       who works near Zeleny in the          important to know as much
players’ extracurricular activi-                                    to his being named the                Press Gallery, spoke about his        about the world as you can.
ties.                                                               Tribune’s national political cor-     patience and charisma.                Travel as much as you can.
      “It tested the relationship,                                  respondent and sent him to the              “He is really very charm-       Read as much as you can.”
but I’m still a fan. I still respect                                paper’s Washington Bureau             ing,” Holland said of Zeleny.               It appears much of
Coach Osborne, and it is hard                                       the following year. And then in       “What I admire about this guy         Zeleny’s success can be attrib-
not to be a fan,” Zeleny said.                                      January 2007, Zeleny became           is how he keeps his sense of          uted to patience, hard work,
      Zeleny said J school pro-                                     a New York Times’ correspon-          humor and cool on deadlines,          personal charm and humility.
fessors told him internships                                        dent on Capitol Hill.                 national deadlines, unlike a lot      Or maybe his time at the J
were important. He had intern-                                            Even in this prestigious        of other reporters.”                  school had something to do
ships in Arkansas and Florida                                       position, he doesn’t forget that            Holland pointed out that        with it. Or maybe it was just
and then landed one with the                                        his first priority is to the Times’   the desks in the gallery are          luck. But whatever it was,
Boston Bureau of The Wall                                           readers.                              small and crammed together.           Zeleny, 34, has quickly moved
Street Journal.                                                           “I like to tell people’s sto-   Zeleny’s tall frame hinders him       up the ranks as a journalist —
      “I got an internship                                          ries and take people places           a little in this tight space filled   from covering football to poli-
because the guy said, ‘Let’s                                        they wouldn’t ordinarily be           with people.                          tics to milk and back to poli-
hire a kid from Nebraska;                                           able to go,” Zeleny said.                   “Everyone who walked by         tics, this time at the top of the
that’ll drive those Harvard kids                                    “When I’m covering a presiden-        would hit him in the back of          national heap.                  s
nuts,” Zeleny said.
12   SUMMER 2005                                                                                                                                       J ALUMNI NEWS           31


Bob Copple’s journalism
degree boosted him toward
a successful career in the

A lot of things have changed since Robert F.
Copple was growing up in Nebraska — but the
most important changes were the ones he made
   In 2007, Copple was named one of the “Best
Lawyers in America” in biotechnology law. This
year Phoenix Magazine tabbed Copple, a 51-
year-old UNL graduate who lives in Scottsdale,
Ariz., one of that city’s “Top Lawyers.” Copple,
who practices dispute management law, knows
why he’s found so much success lately.
     “I’m one of those guys that’s always enjoyed being a lawyer.
But that’s also because I’ve taken a little more control over my                               Instead, Copple took
career,” said Copple.                                                                     charge of his own career by
     Copple went from multiple degrees at UNL to working with         Copple was named    opening his own practice,
the Nebraska Unicameral to clerking for retired Nebraska               one of the “Best   Copple and Associates, in 2005.
Supreme Court Chief Justice Norman Krivosha.                              Lawyers in      Recently he worked as the lead
     “He was wonderful,” Krivosha said. “Bob is a very bright, very      America” in      editor and contributing author
concerned human being who loved to do research and investigate.         biotechnology     to Biotechnology and the Law.
He liked to work a lot, but I don’t ever consider working too much       law in 2007      Copple said it is the first book
as a flaw, because that’s also my work ethic.”                                            of its kind on biotechnology.
     A Lincoln native, Copple has been married for 25 years and is                             “What I’m doing now is
the father of two. He worked for Motorola as a lawyer in Arizona,                         really in some respects a con-
but when the company wanted to move him and his family, he                                tinuation of what I’ve done
declined.                                                                                 before,” Copple said, “but with
32 SUMMER 2007                                                                                   J ALUMNI NEWS 33
                                                               really good about me popping           Before pursuing his law        Institute for Conflict
                                                               into his office. It was not       degree, Copple worked as a          Prevention & Resolution,
                                                               unusual for me to walk in and     legislative aide at the Nebraska    hired Copple to work for
                                                               plop down.” The younger           Unicameral in 1978.                 Motorola, and she said Copple
                                                               Copple got to meet lots of             “Working at the                has always been unique
                                                               people that way, he said.         Unicameral was great fun,” he       among his peers.
                                                                     Neale Copple was dean       said. “There was nothing I                “I think it boils down to
                                                               from 1966 to 1990, and he         didn’t like about it. It was        his creativity,” Bryan said. “It’s
                                                               instituted many significant       great being part of the whole       that creative spark that seems
                                                               changes along the way. Under      mish-mash that we call legisla-     to find him solutions where
                                                               the elder Copple, who died in     tion.”                              others can’t.”
                                                               2003, the college gained a             Copple said he was disap-            Between 1986 and 2005,
                                                               graduate program and nation-      pointed to learn that because       Copple published more than
                                                               al prominence.                    of term limits this would be        20 academic articles. He said
                                                                     “The way the program        Sen. Ernie Chambers’ last year      he’s continued to write
                                                               was set up,” Copple said, “a      in office.                          because he enjoys the chal-
                                                               journalism degree was an               “Ernie Chambers is one         lenge of exploring difficult
                                                               excellent setup for anything I    of the best things that hap-        concepts and relating them to
                                                               wanted to do. It didn’t hurt      pened to the Nebraska               the law — like his book
                                                               that I was getting my degree in   Unicameral,” he said. “He           “Biotechnology and the Law.”
                                                               a college that was ranked in      became the conscience of the              “I never really let loose of
                                                               the top five in the country.”     Unicameral. Chambers is the         my academic interests,” he
                                                                     In addition, Copple said,   one that would yell out that        said, “and I’ve always used
                                                               his father’s dedication to the    the emperor had no clothes.”        those in my professional inter-
                                                               college was inspiring.                 Copple’s law career began      ests.”
                                                                     “He absolutely loved        when he joined Sherman &                  Now Copple runs his own
                                                               every day that he was involved    Howard, a large general prac-       practice, where he works to
                                                               with that school,” Copple said.   tice firm in Denver, in 1986. In    prevent, manage and resolve
                                                               “He would say he would do it      1990, Copple moved to a firm        disputes between companies.
                                                               for nothing if that’s what it     that specialized in environ-        Those disputes regularly
                                                               took. It was his passion. I       mental law. At that practice,       involve intellectual property
                                                               think that for him it was hard    he worked on cases involving        rights such as patents,
                                                               work — he worked very, very       environmental and natural           biotechnology, Internet pub-
                                                               hard. It was simply one of        resources regulation, media,        lishing and environmental
                                                               those challenges that he          telecommunications and pub-         regulation. Although he isn’t
                                                               loved.”                           lic utilities regulation and gov-   allowed to give out names,
                                                                     Copple received his bach-   ernment and media relations.        Copple said most of the com-
                                 Photo courtesy Laura Copple

                                                               elor’s degree in journalism in    His work in litigation, which       panies he works with are
                                                               1977 and master’s degree in       Copple liked best, involved         Fortune 500 companies, most
                                                               mass communications in 1985       commercial, regulatory and          of them in the top 50.
                                                               at UNL. He earned a law           technical issues and claims.              While Copple has evolved
                                                               degree at UNL in 1981 and a            “Litigation can be very        repeatedly throughout his
                                                               doctorate in mass communi-        exciting,” he said. “The prob-      education and career, he said
                                                               cations from the University of    lem is that it is extremely         he wouldn’t change his deci-
                                                               North Carolina at Chapel Hill     expensive for the client. It may    sions for anything.
a real emphasis on technolo-
                                                               in 1990. Steven L. Willborn,      cost $2 million for litigation,           “It’s been a wonderful
                                                               dean of UNL’s Law College,        and there’s no guarantee            ride, and it continues to be,”
     Despite all his success,
                                                               said Copple was at the top of     you’re going to win.”               Copple said. “And I have basi-
Copple said, none of it would
                                                               his class.                             Copple moved to                cally remade myself several
have been possible without the
                                                                     “We did teach him to        Scottsdale in 1996 to become        times in my career as a result
help of the Lincoln communi-
                                                               keep learning creatively and      senior litigation counsel for       of marketplace forces or
ty and his father, Neale
                                                               nurture his academic inter-       Motorola and manager of the         because of my own intellectu-
Copple, former dean of the
                                                               ests,” Willborn said. “Our        Phoenix Law Department              al interests in law. I fully
UNL College of Journalism
                                                               writing is more for specifics     Office. His Motorola career         expect that I will remake
and Mass Communications.
                                                               than journalism, but I think it   lasted until 2003. Kathleen A.      myself again. That is the beau-
     “My father was just an
                                                               has really helped for him to      Bryan, now president and            ty of the practice.”            s
absolutely wonderful mentor,”
                                                               have a background in both.”       CEO of The International
Copple said. “He was always
12 SUMMER 2005                                                                                                                              J ALUMNI NEWS          33
                              ALUMNI fyi
                              UNIVERSITY PIONEER
                                                                                                                                Interest in film
                              Rohrke, three others, have helped UNL reel in                                                     leads alumnus
                              grants topping $100 million in funding in 2006                                                    to Capitol Hill
                              by KRYSTAL OVERMYER                              opment. In these projects, she does a lot
                                                                               more writing — massaging the content,            by BILL FECH
                              Marla Rohrke’s constant desk companion is        making the proposal more cohesive. These
                              her “Associated Press Stylebook.”                larger proposals can take from six months        As the graduates of today face
                                   But Rohrke doesn’t work for a newspa-       to a year before they’re ready to be submit-
                              per or magazine. Instead, she works as one       ted.                                             the uncertainties of tomor-
                              of the top grant writers in the University of          Rohrke and three other grant writers       row, there’s at least one
                              Nebraska–Lincoln’s Office of Research and        see about 125 to 150 proposals per year —
                                                       Graduate Studies.       just about a tenth of all proposals submit-      University of Nebraska-
                                                            Grant writing      ted by UNL faculty. UNL’s external research      Lincoln alumnus who found
                                                       has more to do with     funding topped $100 million in 2006,
                                                       journalism than most    almost double the amount in 2000.                his niche in the outside world.
                                                       people likely think.          UNL’s emphasis on research and                 And if you’re ever on
Photo courtesy Marla Rohrke

                                                            Rohrke, who        grants is reflected in the Office of Research
                                                       pursued a master’s      and Graduate Studies, which became a for-
                                                                                                                                Capitol Hill, you can look him
                                                       degree in the College   mal “office” after Vice Chancellor for           up.
                                                       of Journalism and       Research Prem Paul joined the university in
                                                       Mass                    2001. As state funding for universities                Gregory Lukow, who graduated from
                                                       Communications          across the nation, including at UNL, has         UNL in 1975 with bachelor’s degrees in
                                                       from 1992-1997,         become less abundant, finding alternative        broadcast journalism and English, has
                                                       draws upon those        sources of funding has increased in impor-       been the chief of the Motion Picture,
                                    ROHRKE             advertising and         tance. But few universities have an in-house     Broadcasting and Recorded Sound
                                                       news-editorial skills   program built to help faculty members gar-       Division of the Library of Congress since
                              in her current position of senior proposal       ner research dollars.                            2003.
                              writer.                                                In 1997, Rohrke was first hired by UNL
                                                                                                                                      He oversees the organization and
                                   Grants help fund faculty research and       as an on-call technical writer to help faculty
                                                                                                                                preservation of the world’s largest collec-
                              projects. A good proposal catches the            write proposals. Her work — and the office’s
                                                                               — has ballooned since then.
                                                                                                                                tions of American — and foreign-pro-
                              attention of reviewers, who comb through
                                                                                     “She has been a pioneer in that            duced-films, television and radio broad-
                              many applications before deciding to whom
                                                                               regard,” said Nathan Meier, a proposal           casts and sound recordings. But Lukow’s
                              to award the funding.
                                   Rohrke helps guide faculty through          development specialist. “UNL’s success is a      story of success began like that of many
                              that process. A compelling lede and nut          reflection of Marla’s commitment and dedi-       other Nebraskans: on a farm.
                              graph are important to have in a proposal        cation to the profession.”                             “I grew up on a farm near Hastings
                              — the sort of stuff that teases a grant                Rohrke wasn’t always planning to           and didn’t give much (thought) about
                              reviewer into wading through what can be         make writing and editing her career. She         going to college anywhere else but
                              lengthy text.                                    earned a bachelor’s degree in zoology in         Nebraska,” he said. “It’s just what one
                                   “In a proposal, you’re selling yourself,    1973, and was a substitute teacher and           did.”
                              you’re selling your idea, you want to be able    later worked for the Nebraska Game and                 Undeclared for his first year of class-
                              to catch their attention,” she said.             Parks Commission. As an education coordi-        es, Lukow eventually began his major in
                                   Ideally, Rohrke helps faculty members       nator for the Lower Elkhorn Natural              broadcast journalism, quickly discovering
                              take their proposals from start to finish.       Resources District, she began to write           his fascination with film, radio and televi-
                              She finds out about the project — and about      more. She always knew she had strong writ-       sion.
                              the agency or program that’s awarding the        ing skills, but she didn’t have the formal             “One of my past jobs on campus was
                              grant. She talks to the faculty member           writing education.                               as a film developer for the journalism
                              about strategy, about how to tailor the                She went back to school. In her news-      school,” Lukow said. “At the same time, I
                              research or proposal to meet the require-        editorial classes, she learned the impor-        fell in with a friend in Cather Hall who
                              ments of the agency. While the faculty           tance of accuracy and stylistic rules. In
                                                                                                                                had been a film buff since childhood. I
                              member might write the first draft, Rohrke       advertising, she learned how to be creative
                                                                                                                                ended up taking all the film classes and
                              is there to review the proposal for clarity      and how important it is to pay attention to
                                                                                                                                right before graduating was able to
                              and organization, and she makes sure the         your audience.
                                                                                     Those honed skills contribute to
                                                                                                                                declare an English major as well.”
                              writing is compelling. That process can take
                                                                               Rohrke’s success, Meier said.                          Seizing the opportunities UNL
                              from a few weeks to months, depending on
                                                                                     “She brings outstanding organization       offered him, Lukow participated in a bar-
                              the proposal deadline.
                                   For bigger projects — involving multiple    and editing skills,” he said. “Any time that     rage of activities, including being the clas-
                              faculty members, disciplines and sometimes       I’m working on a large, multidisciplinary        sical music announcer for the campus
                              universities — the role of the grant writer      project, I ask her to be my copy editor. She     radio station, starting his own film club
                              expands. Rohrke becomes another member           is relentless in her pursuit of mechanical       and even writing for the Daily Nebraskan.
                              of the team, the “expert” in proposal devel-     and grammatical excellence.”               s           “My friend and I briefly established a
                              34   SUMMER 2007                                                                                                     J ALMNI NEWS        33
                                                                                                                                                 Photo courtesy Greg Lukow
                                                                                                                  Greg Lukow in the
                                                                                                                  Library of Congress

Lincoln film society,” Lukow said. “In some     through UCLA’s prestigious film and tele-       the construction of the brand new
hall somewhere we’d show 8-millimeter           vision program with a master’s degree to        National Audio-Visual Conservation
silent movies for die-hard (cinema) fans.       show for it.                                    Center, which will store and conserve the
Somewhere along there I decided to waltz             Foregoing completion of his doctor-        library’s entire film, television and audio
into the DN and asked to be a film review-      ate, Lukow opted to pursue a career geared      collections.
er.”                                            toward film preservation, working his way             Currently, those collections are stored
     Impressing his editors on a constant       up the chain of command to eventually           in seven separate facilities in four states
basis, Lukow had his own weekly film col-       become the coordinator of Moving Image          and the District of Columbia.
umn called “Key Grip” and was promoted          Archive Studies at UCLA and also the                  Located just south of Washington in
to entertainment editor for the 1974-1975       head of the American Film Institute’s           Culpepper, Va., the center is scheduled to
school year.                                    National Center for Film and Video              open later this month and has dominated
     After graduation, Lukow decided to         Preservation.                                   much of Lukow’s time since he moved to
continue his career by enrolling in the              In early 2001, Lukow’s experience and      the East Coast.
University of California at Los Angeles’        reputation caught the attention of officials          “There haven’t been very many ‘aver-
School of Film and Television.                  at the Library of Congress, who hired him       age’ days for me since coming out here,” he
     In looking back, though, Lukow saw         as the assistant chief of MBRS.                 said. “We’ve got hundreds of people devel-
his college infatuation with the movies as a         “That was a big decision for me,” he       oping this new center — the world’s
means to see more of America.                   said. “I had a wife and kids and went           largest of its kind — and it involves me in
     “To be honest, part of my reason for       ahead and moved them all out (to                a lot of national projects and committees.
becoming involved in film was to give me        Washington D.C.).”                              It’s been a technological and economic
something to latch onto to get me out of             But destiny wasn’t through with            challenge, but it’s also been exciting. I’m
Nebraska,” he said. “Growing up, I had my       Lukow. Just one month after Lukow signed        looking forward to things calming down.”
share of dirty, sweaty farm work. That just     on as the assistant chief, the division chief         Despite his hectic lifestyle in
wasn’t my thing. I suppose in the end the       went into retirement, leaving a vacancy         Washington, Lukow tries to make it back
lure of UCLA was too much to pass up.”          Lukow filled informally until his official      home whenever he can, as he’s not one to
     The price of attending UCLA as an          promotion to chief in 2003.                     forget his Nebraska roots.
out-of-state student, on the other hand,             Speaking of the reasoning behind hir-            “I try to get back to Nebraska about
was something Lukow hoped to avoid.             ing Lukow as chief of the division, Diane       once a year,” he said. “I still have a brother
     “I really wanted to gain California res-   Kresh, the director of the Library of           that lives in Lincoln. I loved it out there. I
idency so I could have in-state tuition         Congress’ Public Service Collections,           loved the college life, and certainly the
rates,” he said. “So I spent a year living in   praised his “knowledge of motion pictures,      training in the journalism school and the
California as a security guard until I was a    television and sound media, his national        English department helped me along my
resident. I was still into movies, though. I    leadership in audiovisual preservation and      way.”                                        s
kept track: In one year, I saw 836 movies.”     his effective direction of the division.”
     Lukow managed to balance his film-              Since accepting his new position,          This story appeared in the Daily Nebraskan
watching with academics, working his way        Lukow has had his hands full, overseeing        on April 23. It is reprinted by permission.

12   SUMMER 2005                                                                                                    J ALUMNI NEWS         35

A sp eci a l kind of int nshi p
Alum takes advertising students under her wing — and into her home
by KARALYNN BROWN                                                                                                          TV/KGIN-TV in Lincoln before becoming
                                                                                                                           director of communications for the CBS tel-
It wasn’t until Lynne Grasz entered the pic-                                                                               evision affiliate in St. Louis. She has also
ture that Michele Kaiserman discovered                                                                                     served as the executive director of PRO-
her passion.                                                                                                               MAX International and of the Broadcast
      Last year, Kaiserman didn’t really                                                                                   Designers Association.
know what she wanted to do with her life.                                                                                        “Lynne graduated in a time when
The UNL senior knew she wanted to do                                                                                       most women were offered the ‘choice’ of
something with advertising, but she didn’t                                                                                 being teachers or nurses,” said Lisa
see a career for herself in copywriting,                                                                                   Behrns, the first student Lynne formally
graphics or sales. Nothing in the field real-                                                                              mentored. “She defied this option, if you
ly sparked her interest.                                                                                                   can call it an option, and paved a course
      Nothing sparked her interest, that is,                                                                               that was all her own.”

                                                                                              Photo courtesy Lynne Grasz
until she flew to New York last summer to                                                                                        While Grasz acknowledged the pres-
participate in an unusual internship pro-                                                                                  ence of a “glass ceiling” throughout her
gram created by Lynne Grasz, a UNL grad-                                                                                   career in news and public relations, she
uate and president and chief executive offi-                                                                               became one of the first woman television
cer of Grasz Communications, a marketing                                                                                   executives in the state and the first woman
and public relations firm in New York City.                                                                                to be elected president of a men’s and
      “I tried to expose Michele to as much                                                                                women’s media industry association
as I could during her four weeks in the                           GRASZ                                                    (Broadcast Promotion and Marketing
city,” Grasz said. This included a one-week            “Once you mentor, you feel obligated                                Executives).
internship with the event planner of PRO-       to do it again,” she said. “The people in                                        Her mentoring began when Cather
MAX/BDA, the worldwide association of           that circle will interact with each other,                                 Circle was created in 1999 and since then
entertainment marketers, promoters and          helping make sure the people behind them                                   has grown exponentially. Now, students in
designers.                                      won’t make the same mistakes they did.”                                    Cather Circle must apply for the chance to
      “I got to follow the event planner              Grasz, who graduated from UNL in                                     live in her office for three or four weeks
around this huge hotel, set up VIP rooms,       1966 with a degree in broadcast journal-                                   with most of their living expenses covered.
make sure the talent had everything they        ism and home economics, made her first                                     Grasz will be mentoring four students at
needed in the green room and even run           career decision when she was 16, after                                     different times this summer.
two international parties,” Kaiserman said.     winning a writing contest at Northeast                                           And according to UNL advertising pro-
“The internship showed me what I wanted         High School in Lincoln. “The prize was a                                   fessor Amy Struthers, these students will
to do even though all along it was right in     trip to New York City,” she said. “When we                                 gain more than career experience through
front of my eyes; I have always been very       crossed the bridge and saw the New York                                    Grasz Communications. “Students come
organized and planned all my high               skyline, I knew I wanted to live there and                                 back more convinced of what they want to
school’s dances and my sorority’s three         work for CBS.”                                                             do,” Struthers said. “Being there takes
days of recruitment. Without that intern-             She did achieve that goal. In 1981,                                  away their doubt, and they know they
ship, I don’t think I would have seen that      she worked in New York City for CBS. But                                   made a good choice.”
event planning could be a career option.”       there were a few steps between Lincoln                                           For her part, Grasz is constantly rein-
      What makes the internship unusual is      and New York. In college, Grasz was busy                                   venting herself. “I’m the kind of person
that Lynne Grasz not only opens her busi-       with various internships and jobs, includ-                                 who, if I make cookies, I will make them
ness to four interns each summer but also       ing assignments with the campus radio                                      differently each time,” she said. “I don’t
allows the students to live in the              station, KOLN-TV/KGIN-TV Channels                                          follow recipes.”
Manhattan apartment where her business          10/11, United Press International and                                            She seems, however, to make a bal-
is based. For her, the internships are a nat-   Miller & Paine department store.                                           anced impression on those she mentors.
ural extension of the Cather Circle, a net-           After graduation in 1966, she worked                                       “Lynne’s a very warm woman who is
working organization for outstanding UNL        as Michigan Newspaper Editor for United                                    willing to do anything and everything to
alumni. Grasz is now immediate past chair-      Press International and director of promo-                                 help out others in the business, especially
woman of Cather Circle.                         tions and public relations for KOLN-                                       young women who are trying to find their

36   SUMMER 2007                                                                                                                              J ALMNI NEWS         33
way,” Michele Kaiserman said. “On the
other hand, though, she is a very          Going political
smart businesswoman. She knows
what she wants and follows her
dreams. I think the combination of the
                                           Grad worked on George McGovern,
two is what has gotten her this far.”      Gary Hart, Bill Clinton campaigns
      Lisa Behrns agreed. “Lynne is a
feisty New Yorker with the soul of a       by KRYSTAL OVERMYER
humble, hardworking Husker.”
      Surprisingly, this CEO’s greatest    Judy Harrington traces the roots of her job         And Evelyn Norton just happened to
accomplishment is not her two Emmys,       as one of George McGovern’s top campaign       be President John F. Kennedy’s personal
her Broadcast Promotions and               coordinators back to a depth reporting class   secretary.
Marketing Executives Gold Medallion        at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.              “I remember calling her, and she
Award or Religion in Media Award. It            Harrington, who graduated from the        described where she was sitting outside the
is not her National Headliner Award or     College of Journalism and Mass                 Oval Office,” Harrington said.
that she was named one of the “60          Communications in 1963 with news-edito-             That year, UNL racked up enough
Women in Communication,” both from         rial and political science majors, remembers   points in the Hearst competition to earn a
Women in Communications, Inc. For          how then-Dean Neale Copple started a           trip to Washington, D.C. — where
these, she gives some credit to innova-    depth reporting class on the heels of the      President Kennedy personally handed out
tive bosses and good timing.               creation of the Hearst Journalism Awards       awards. Norton remembered Harrington
      What she takes the most pride in     Program. The magazine the class dealt with     and made contact with her, showing her
is her integrity. “When you’re in a        the origins of Nebraska’s Unicameral           around the White House.
tough career,” she said, “it’s easy to     Legislature — the only nonpartisan, one-            Harrington was inspired by the presi-
end up giving up too much of yourself.     house legislature in the nation.               dent who had years before created the
But you have to live with
yourself. My mother always
told me to stay true to
myself, and I think I have
really tried to do that.”
      Her corporate philoso-
phy reflects this — she only
works with people and prod-
ucts she likes and believes
in. Her clients have included
Newsweek Magazine, The
National Portrait Gallery
and The Smithsonian,
Consumer Reports and the
International Quilt Studies
      And she believes in giv-
ing more back to the univer-
sity than the internships.
When she is in Lincoln, she

                                                                                                                                         Photo courtesy Judy Harrington
makes time to speak to
classes and helps at the
Alumni Association. She
wants to share her experi-
ences ,“to reach out and
touch as many people as I
possibly can.”
      Shelley Zaborowski has
worked with Lynne through                                                                    MCGOVERN AND HARRINGTON
the Cather Circle at the
Alumni Association since 1999. “Lynne           Harrington was charged with writing
has been instrumental in taking            about one of the state legislators, John       Peace Corps.
Cather Circle to the next level — she is   Norton, who first proposed the change in            She remembered that Kennedy had
involved in so many aspects. I think       the then two-house Legislature in the early    said, “Go and serve people.”
every volunteer organization needs         1900s. While John Norton had died, one of           “It was very strong leadership on his
a Lynne Grasz to keep it going and         his children, Evelyn Norton, was willing to    part and a very strong call to service,” she
moving forward.”                     s     be interviewed for the story.                  said.                                     >>
                                                                                                                J ALUMNI NEWS 37

      “From the day I heard his speech, I was going to go into the
Peace Corps.”                                                             Going places
      After her Peace Corps years in Venezuela, Harrington moved
to Washington. For years, she’d kept in touch with Norton. And
Norton was a personal of friend of Democratic Rep. George
                                                                          First job is dream job
      In 1971, when the South Dakotan started making noises               by ABBY BARTHOLOMEW
about running for president, Harrington was asking, “How do I
go to work for him?”                                                      Most college graduates don’t find their
      His speeches inspired her, she said, even before she met him.
He was noted for his opposition to the Vietnam War.                       dream jobs straight out of school. They
      “George McGovern was authentic. You weren’t dealing with            have to move through a couple of jobs
many facades or camouflage,” she said.
      Harrington worked as a regional campaign coordinator, in            before they get to what they really want.
charge of the Midwestern states from a base in Washington.
During that time, she knew Bill Clinton and Gary Hart — cam-
                                                                          But that wasn’t the case for J school alum-
paign organizers who would eventually make their own presi-               na Crystal Weaver.
dential bids.
      McGovern lost the 1972 election in a landslide. Republican                Less than six months after             Event Solutions covered
rival Richard Nixon racked up 60 percent of the vote to                   leaving campus, Weaver was             the competition in its maga-
McGovern’s 37.5 percent.                                                  hired at Event Publishing, a           zine, saying it “gave attendees
      But Harrington stuck with McGovern. He asked her to help            company that provides the              a chance to see GRAMMY-wor-
him get ready to run for a South Dakota Senate seat in 1974 —             resources — like conference,           thy events in the making and
and he won.                                                               tradeshow and trade magazine           offered exhibitors another
      She spent the next six years in South Dakota, overseeing            Event Solutions — a company            opportunity to showcase inno-
various offices that dealt with constituent issues, until McGovern        needs to plan events. It was her       vative ways of using their prod-
lost his reelection bid in 1980.                                          dream job, but it did not just         ucts.”
      But a few years later, she was one of the first people              fall into her lap.                           At one of the morning
Colorodo Sen. Gary Hart hired to help run his campaign,                         Graduating in spring 2006,       meetings during the Denver
according to Jim Pribyl, a friend and former director of the              Weaver took an internship with         show, the director asked the
South Dakota Democratic Party.                                            the Denver-based Schenkein             staff if a news release had
      Pribyl said Harrington was invaluable as a campaign organ-          Public Relations firm. While           been prepared about Project
izer.                                                                     sorting mail one day, she came         GRAMMY.
      “She’s a very classic Midwestern character in that she is           across the Event Solutions mag-              No hands went up. No one
meticulously well-organized and industrious to get things done,”          azine. Immediately she was             had a release prepared.
he said. “There’s no circumstance that if you put the problem in          intrigued.                                   “So I jumped,” Weaver
front of her, she couldn’t organize and lead people to the task at              “I sneaked off with it for a     said. “I wrote a news release,
hand.”                                                                    few hours,” Weaver said. “I saw        created a distribution list and
      In 1992, Harrington set up the basic campaign system in             that the Idea Factory                  pitched local Denver media in
Bill Clinton’s headquarters.                                              tradeshow was coming to                one day. That proved my worth
      Clinton later appointed her to be associate director of the         town.” She immediately volun-          to the company then and
Peace Corps.                                                              teered to be a show intern for a       there.”
      “That was quite fulfilling, all those years later, to be able to    week at the Denver event.                    The magazine publisher,
be with the Peace Corps administration in Washington.”                          “I was basically just a little   upon seeing Weaver’s intense
      Now, retired and living in the small South Dakota town of           helper,” Weaver said. “But in          work ethic and learning she
Hill City, Harrington can “just run around and do everything I            return I got to attend the most        was moving to Arizona in a
want to do.”                                                              extreme all-you-can-eat/drink          month, immediately offered her
      Harrington follows politics, albeit “at arm’s length.” Today’s      evening showcase parties.”             a spot at the Event Solution
politicians rely on polls to tell them how to land on an issue, she             During the tradeshow,            offices in Tempe, Ariz.
said, and lobbyists and special interest groups have changed the          Event Solutions sponsored a                  Weaver interviewed for the
agenda in Congress.                                                       real-time competition called           job of circulation director, the
       “I don’t see a result that is for the common good; I see a         Project GRAMMY, a chance to            person who deals with maga-
result that is ‘which lobbyist won,’” she said. “It’s not the             design an after-party space for        zine distribution, but she let the
McGovern style.”                                                          the annual music event hosted          company know it could also put
      Harrington said she still keeps in touch with McGovern —            by the Recording Academy. The          her PR skills to good use.
and she still finds him inspiring.                                        academy produces the                         “I explained that it seemed
      “He’s a dear person and a brilliant person and an accessible        GRAMMY’s official after-party,         like the circulation director job
person and an ethical person. It’s been one of the greatest joys of       which Weaver later attended in         could really be an extension of
my life to work with him.”                                            s   2007.                                  my PR duties. The readers of
38   SUMMER 2007                                                                                                        J ALUNI NEWS        33
the magazine are the most                   mores in college have business             ty and the DN, and learned how             and now does media prep for
important public that the com-              cards.                                     to research by completing her              the trade magazine’s recent
pany has,” Weaver said. She                      Larsen said Weaver was                honors thesis.                             partnership with another trade
convinced Event Solutions to                always impeccably dressed in                     “I think what prepared me            magazine.
expand her position.                        professional attire and always             for the workplace is not                         Weaver also gets to travel
     “They offered me the dual              busy with her many extracurric-            college classes but the college            around the world. In spring, she
position of PR and circulation              ular activities.                           experience and what I made of              made a business trip to the
director on the spot,” she said.                 Weaver said a combination             it. … It’s a mish-mash of experi-          Czech Republic and Hungary.
     Professor Phyllis Larsen,              of all her college experiences             ences that constitutes a true                    Larsen isn’t surprised by
one of Weaver’s teachers while              prepared her for her job.                  education today — and the best             Weaver’s intercontinental trav-
she was at the J school, isn’t                   “I was prepared because I             part is, that’s what employers             el.
surprised by Weaver’s presti-               pursued my education. Classes              want,” she said.                                 “She was focused out-
gious title at an important pub-            were only part of that,” Weaver                  Since Weaver moved to                ward,” Larsen said. Weaver
lishing company.                            said.                                      Tempe in September 2006, she               looked outside of her academic
     “I admire Crystal’s inde-                   Weaver graduated with a               has learned a lot about her two            and social boundaries to learn
pendence; she’s a risk-taker,”              major in advertising and a                 titles at the magazine.                    from and help others, Larsen
said Larsen, who was Weaver’s               minor in Spanish. She was also                    “Both my ‘hats’ are equal-          said. Even during her university
honors thesis adviser. Larsen               a member of Mortar Board, Chi              ly important but not separate,”            days, Weaver was writing about
said Weaver always went after               Omega sorority and the                     she said. As circulation director,         ways to help a Mexican island
the things she wanted; she did-             Advertising Federation of                  she targets every potential                create a blood bank and
n’t wait for opportunities to fall          Lincoln, and she worked at the             audience for the magazine. She             researching Costa Rican poli-
into her lap.                               Daily Nebraskan. She was also              also manages the magazine’s                tics. This international interest
     Larsen smiled as she                   a Chancellor’s Scholar and                 database.                                  has continued with Weaver into
recalled her first meeting with             gave the student keynote                         As PR director, Weaver               the workplace.
Weaver. Weaver came to intro-               address at the Honors                      communicates with the media                      With so much on her plate,
duce herself during Larsen’s                Convocation in 2006.                       to spotlight the company and               Weaver has her work cut out
office hours.                                    Weaver said she developed             its experts as the top in their            for her, but she loves it.
     “She handed me her busi-               her professional interest                  field, helps the marketing                       “My job makes me more
ness card and said she looked               through clubs and classes,                 department deal with the mag-              confused but more motivated
forward to working with me,”                learned communication and                  azine’s advertisers, publishes a           and excited than I’ve ever been
Larsen said. Not many sopho-                people skills through her sorori-          weekly newsletter for the staff            in my life,” Weaver said.       s

     He ‘knew in seconds’
  I am so excited to tell you all that on Sunday, Kyle proposed, and I happily said
  yes. He popped the question at a steak-seafood restaurant called Eddie V’s in
  Scottsdale, Ariz. (We live in Phoenix now.) Dinner was supposed to be just a
  nice “date” after my return from a work trip to Europe, and I didn’t suspect a
        After the waiter cleared the table, he brought out a red rose in a tall vase
  and a small envelope with the accompanying florist’s card on which Kyle had
  written, “I knew in seconds what I wanted to ask you for a lifetime. ... Will you
  marry me?”
        The secret is, this was the advertising copy from a florist’s campaign Kyle
  and I designed in the advertising class where we first met more than two years
                                                                                                                                          Photo courtesy Crystal Weaver
  ago. The class was ADVT 283 with professor Stacy James. We did a campaign
  for Lincoln’s All About Flowers, which was selected by the client — with               beer?” I laughed and said of course we could. We walked into the Mexican-
  slightly modified copy — for a billboard on ‘O’ St. in the winter of 2005 and          style restaurant, San Felipe’s Cantina, next door to find our Arizona friends
  published in Nebraska Weddings magazine.                                               all there waiting for us with piles of bridal magazines, a groom’s guide book
        My first response was, “Are you kidding me?” It was complete and utter           and pink champagne.
  surprise. I wasn’t expecting this for another year.                                           The ring is a marquise-cut center stone with small round diamonds
        He then came around to my side of the table, got down on one knee and            embedded around the white gold band. It’s beautiful. We haven’t picked a
  asked me again. I managed a “yes!” The other diners seated nearby applaud-             date yet but are thinking in the summer of 2008 — in the Caribbean.        s
  ed, and a couple across the room sent over flutes of champagne. We called our
  families who were in on the secret, which was so emotional but happy.                  In May, Crystal Weaver sent this e-mail to faculty at the J school to
        After all this, as we were leaving the restaurant, Kyle said, “You know,         announce big news for herself and Kyle Olig, a fellow J school adver-
  planning all this and everything was really stressful. Can we just go have a           tising grad.

12   SUMMER 2005                                                                                                                           J ALUMNI NEWS                  39
Bert Sass’s career takes                                                       His time at Tucson also
                                                                         gave him his first chance to
                                                                                                              followed the twins for their
                                                                                                              first 12 weeks of life and
                                                                         produce a documentary.               reported on the struggles and
him south by southwest                                                         “I’ve always had a special     triumphs during the tense
                                                                         knack for documentaries, and I       time. This was also the first
by MATTHEW ARTZ                                                          enjoy doing them,” Sass said.        year the Murrow award had a
                                                                         “It allows you to go deeper          documentary category.
“Flexibility is the key to success and compromise the key to a           into the story.”                           “It’s amazing to think we
career,” Bert Sass said — a powerful insight from a big city jour-             Sass has made many doc-        were the first, especially with
nalist with roots in Nebraska.                                           umentaries and feature pro-          the quality of good material we
     For the past 24 years, Sass has produced special projects and       grams at KPNX-TV in                  were up against,” Sass said.
documentaries for the top-rated TV news station in Phoenix. His          Phoenix, where he has worked               He credits the J school for
career has netted him both personal satisfaction and professional        since 1983. The diverse topics       giving him a start.
awards.                                                                  include teen pregnancy and                 “UNL truly helped me,”
     Sass graduated from Northwest High School in Grand Island           parenting, immigration, AIDS,        Sass said. “I constantly had
in 1971 and received and earned a degree in broadcasting with            drunken driving, hunger,             both professors and students
minors in history, English and political science from UNL in 1975.       ranch life and Grand Canyon          encouraging and pushing me
     His career began at KLMS radio in Lincoln where he had              river guides.                        forward.”
worked part-time in college.                                                   A four-year documentary              He especially remembers
      “It wasn’t the most glamorous job, but it gave me the expe-        project following a young man        broadcasting professor Larry
rience I needed to really get my career rolling,” Sass said.             through the Naval Academy            Walklin.
     In 1976, he became a regional reporter for KHGI-TV in               received the most fanfare. That            “He was really more than a
Kearney.                                                                 documentary was sold as a one-       teacher,” Sass said. “He let us
     “I was one of the early ‘backpack journalists’ as we call them      hour program to A&E.                 experience the broadcasting
today. I would do all the camera work, write the story and be the              Sass has received many         world while we were still stu-
reporter. It was a cheap, efficient way to do news, not to mention       awards, but the one that tops        dents. “
fun,” Sass said. “I was on about a one-story-a-day deadline, so          his list is the Edward R.                  Sass recalls some helpful
you could say it was tense at times.”                                    Murrow Award given by the            advice from Walklin: “You try
     The work that Sass did in Kearney helped land a job at              Radio TV News Directors              to give people what they want
KGUN-TV in Tucson in the summer of 1977. He jumped right                 Association. Sass was a nation-      and what they need. A good
in as a weekend anchor and weekday reporter, eventually moving           al winner in 1988 with “Born         mixture of both will determine
to weeknight anchor and lead reporter during his six years there.        Too Soon,” a documentary             success — both in life and
                                                                         about premature twins. Sass          career.”

                                                                         advertising classes were taught      the ashtray.”
 Braziel remembers a                                                     mostly in the basement class-
                                                                                                                    Braziel acknowledges that
                                                                                                              working in the dean’s office

 ‘different’ J school                                                         “It was just a dive,” Braziel
                                                                         said. “All the windows leaked. It
                                                                                                              might have affected her per-
                                                                                                              ception of J school faculty
                                                                         always smelled musty.”               members. But she still thinks
by KRYSTAL OVERMYER                                                           Still, it felt like home — so   the relationship students had
                                                                         much so that she and others          with faculty back then was per-
When Geri Jones Braziel applied for a job as a copywriter instead        were nostalgically disappointed      haps a bit different — more laid
of a graphic designer for Speedway Motors, it was partly because         when the J school prepared to        back, less stifled by later con-
she couldn’t wrap her head around all the space measurements             move from Avery to a renovat-        cerns of political correctness.
and math that went into actually pasting together a publication.         ed insurance building, the cur-      Faculty members felt like
     Twenty years later, she’s still at Speedway Motors. But now,        rent Harold and Marian               friends.
as a graphic designer and a manager, she does every day what             Andersen Hall.                             “The professors were just a
she thought she wanted to avoid — albeit with the use of a com-               “There were a lot of us         riot,” she said.
puter.                                                                   that were completely up in                 She remembers the faculty
     “It’s the things I did in school — I still remember struggling in   arms when it moved out of            being helpful and guiding, she
some of the media strategy classes, all the mathematics, all the         Avery,” she said.                    said. Secretary Judy Yeck and
figuring space,” said Braziel, who graduated from UNL in 1987 in              The atmosphere then was         others kept up on her. “She
advertising. “I do that every single day of my life now, and it’s like   a bit different, too. Among          knew if we’d been drinking or
nothing fazes me.”                                                       other errands, Braziel remem-        been out. She had sort of a
     Braziel, who helped out in Dean Neale Copple’s office as part       bers buying cigarettes for the       radar on me and kept me in
of a work study during her time at the College of Journalism and         dean. Oldfather Hall had vend-       check.”
Mass Communications, remembers a J school quite different from           ing machines full of them.                 And Dean Copple?
what students experience today.                                               “Everybody in the office,       “Working for the dean, you
     Most visibly, the J school was housed in Avery Hall. The            everybody smoked,” she said,         weren’t going to get away with
                                                                         “holdin’ one in the hand, one in     much of anything.”
40   SUMMER 2007                                                                                                   J ALUMNI NEWS         33
                                 “It’s a motto that has          es in Europe,” Sass said. “I knew    “Inside Arizona,” a news-maga-       “Hiking, mountain biking, pho-
                           helped get me where I am              after that trip that broadcasting    zine program.                        tography — I can do it all. I’m
                           today,” Sass said.                    was where I wanted to be.”                  Now as a special-projects     fortunate to spend this much of
                                 Walklin had only good                Over the course of his          producer, he produces and            my life in a place this great. The
                           things to say in return.              career, reporting projects have      schedules special reports and        only thing I regret is that this
                                 “Bert was a very intelligent,   taken Sass to five countries in      promotable news stories, most-       business is so demanding. I
                           thorough student who always           eastern Asia, as well as to Haiti,   ly airing during “sweeps.” He        would love to enjoy more of
                           went the extra mile,” Walklin         Mexico, Canada and most of           also acts as a coordinating pro-     what Arizona has to offer.”
                           said. “It’s that work-hard men-       the United States.                   ducer during elections and                Being in the business as
                           tality that has helped him tackle           “I love to travel and see      other big events, like forest        long as he has, Sass is a gold
                           the complex stories he does           new places. It’s one aspect of my    fires.                               mine of advice for young jour-
                           today. He could be counted on         job I’m very grateful for,” Sass          “It’s a job that keeps evolv-   nalists.
                           to accomplish what he started.”       said.                                ing. Each day I might be doing             “The business world is lot
                                 Former faculty member Ed             Sass has been a jack-of-all-    something completely differ-         more competitive today. There
                           Bailey also holds a special place     trades in Phoenix; during his        ent,” Sass said. “That’s the         is less time to learn and grow
                           in Sass’s memory.                     24 years at KPNX-TV he’s pro-        beauty of being where I am in        into your position. You have to
                                 “He taught a traveling          duced many documentaries,            the news industry.”                  take advantage of your oppor-
                           course that took us on a 10-day       was an assignments editor and             Pete Scholz, a co-worker        tunities; don’t let them pass you
                           tour of the broadcasting servic-      was a senior producer for            and photojournalist, said, “Bert     by or they may not come back”
                                                                                                      is one of the most meticulous        Sass said. “Do your networking;
                                                                                                      and well-prepared producers          find your mentors and the peo-
                                                                                                      I’ve ever worked with. His           ple who will push you forward
                                                                                                      attention to detail is so high       in life. If you can’t find your
                                                                                                      that not much gets past him,         dream job, don’t get discour-
                                                                                                      which is good, because that’s an     aged. Find something that will
                                                                                                      attribute a special-projects pro-    give you good exposure to the
                                                                                                      ducer has to have.”                  industry you want to be a part
                                                                                                           Sass said KPNX-TV has           of. You know what you want to
Photo courtesy Bert Sass

                                                                                                      given him a professional home        be doing. Find ways to get your-
                                                                                                      and stimulating work. The            self that position. Always bring
                                                                                                      location fits him, as well.          a positive attitude, and your
                                                                                                            “I love Arizona and every-     hard work will pay off.”        s
                                                                                                      thing I can do here,” Sass said.

                                                                                                      conscientious worker, very effi-     know how to handle a variety of
                                                                                                      cient.                               media.
                                                                                                           Shipley said the J school            Braziel said graduates also
                                                                                                      fosters the kind of close rela-      need to enter the workforce
                                                                                                      tionships between students and       ready to take criticism. In adver-
                                                                                                      faculty members that Braziel         tising, there is no room for mis-

                                                                                                      remembers. Even the layout of        takes — and that’s something
                                  Art courtesy Speedway Mo

                                                                                                      classrooms serves to make the        graduates need to be prepared
                                                                                                      program seem a bit more              for.
                                                                                                      friendly and informal.                    “To be in this position, you
                                                                                                           She said Braziel might be       have to have a thick skin,” she
                                                                                                      right about professors being         said.
                                                                                                      more conscious of their words             Today’s graphic design
                                                                                                      now than in the past.                tools are a far cry from the
                                Braziel remembers Copple,        that would’ve been impossible              “I think there was an open-    typewriters and pasteboards
                           who died in 2003, as a brilliant      given the technology when she        ness in that sense,” Shipley         used when Braziel graduated
                           man who made those around             graduated, she notes. She            said. “There might have been         from UNL. Remembering those
                           him feel at ease. Sometimes           works side by side with her hus-     things talked about then that        differences — culled from 20
                           he’d let her drive his                band, who is Speedway’s art          wouldn’t be discussed now.”          years of evolution in the graphic
                           Volkswagen. “He was this jolly        director.                                 Just as Braziel’s job           design and advertising world —
                           old guy, but he could be tough             Linda Shipley, the college’s    description has changed over         can make one feel a little sheep-
                           as nails, too.”                       current associate dean, was an       the years, so has the training       ish.
                                Braziel has found success        advertising faculty member dur-      the J school provides its stu-            “I find myself quoting over
                           at Speedway Motors. She and           ing Braziel’s undergraduate          dents. Job descriptions “were        and over — it’s such an old per-
                           her staff produce six, 300-plus-      years. Shipley said she remem-       much more defined when               son thing — ‘I remember when
                           page catalogs per year — a feat       bered Braziel as being a very        (Braziel) was in school,” Shipley    …’”                             s
                                                                                                      said. Today’s graduates need to
                           12   SUMMER 2005                                                                                                        J ALUMNI NEWS         41
     2      0          0         7      J DAY S

Freedom Sings highlights
annual J Days celebration
by ALICIA ROTH                       (ASUN), UNL’s Hixon-Lied
                                     College of Fine and
Freedom of speech is some-           Performing Arts and the
thing many people take for           Nebraska Press Association.
granted, but it is a part of the           Nearly 700 people came
First Amendment that                 to listen to the free concert
Americans benefit from every         and multimedia show. People
day.                                 were dancing, clapping and
     “Freedom Sings” brings          singing along to tunes that
those benefits home through          had been censored in some
music, video and graphics.           way through the years. A few
The seven-member band fea-           scored gray First Amendment
tures three Grammy Award-            Center T-shirts that the narra-
winning musicians who have           tors were throwing out into
all come together to help teach      the audience.
people about the importance                The performance was
of freedom of speech.                part of the journalism col-
     “Freedom Sings”                 lege’s annual J Days, a week set
appeared April 12 at the Lied        aside to promote the college
Center Auditorium at UNL,            and celebrate the achievement
sponsored by UNL’s College of        of students and alumni.
Journalism and Mass                        “Our job as a college is to
Communications, the                  support and defend the First
Association of Students of the       Amendment in any way we see
University of Nebraska               fit. (‘Freedom Sings’) is a

                                     community values. But wait. It
Free speech                          wasn’t a liberal justice like Hugo
                                     Black or William J. Brennan Jr.
embraced by                          who wrote that opinion. No, the
                                     author was John Marshall
conservatives,                       Harlan, an Eisenhower
                                     appointee and one of the most
                                                                            Photo by Stephen Hermann

liberals alike                       conservative justices of that era.
                                            Yet Harlan wrote in
 by JOHN R. BENDER                   defense of Cohen’s right to wear
                                     his expletive-emblazoned jacket,
 In April 1968, Paul Robert Cohen    “While the particular four-letter
 walked into the Los Angeles         word is perhaps more distasteful
 County Courthouse wearing a         than most others of its genre, it
 jacket with the words “F*** the     is nevertheless often true that
                                     one man’s vulgarity is another’s                                  First Amendment. In fact, these     inflicted by outrageous publica-
 Draft” on it — only Cohen didn’t
                                     lyric. Indeed, we think it is large-                              freedoms have friends and ene-      tions like Hustler’s parody of
 use asterisks.
                                     ly because governmental offi-                                     mies on both ends of the politi-    him. In an opinion joined by six
       Police arrested Cohen, who
                                     cials cannot make principled dis-                                 cal spectrum, and Harlan is not     other justices, conservative Chief
 was convicted of disturbing the
                                     tinctions in this area that the                                   the only conservative member of     Justice William Rehnquist deliv-
 peace. Cohen appealed his con-
                                     Constitution leaves matters of                                    the Supreme Court to have           ered a resounding “no.” If the
 viction to the U.S. Supreme
                                     taste and style so largely to the                                 embraced a broad view of the        decision had favored Falwell, it
 Court, which ruled that his First
                                     individual.”                                                      First Amendment.                    would have silenced not just
 Amendment rights had been
                                           In popular imagination, it’s                                      When the case came to the     Larry Flynt but every media pro-
                                     the liberals who most ardently                                    U.S. Supreme Court, the issue       duction that makes fun of public
       Well, whaddaya expect? It’s
                                     defend the freedoms of speech                                     was whether public figures such     figures from “The 1/2 Hour
 just another example of that lib-
                                     and press guaranteed by the                                       as (the Rev. Jerry) Falwell could   News Hour” to “The Daily Show.”
 eral Supreme Court undermining
                                                                                                       sue for the emotional injury              A year after the Falwell

42   SUMMER 2007                                                                                                                                   JALUMNI NWS          33
                                      great expression of the First          people might find offensive.          the drug culture of the 1960s,
                                      Amendment that is different                  Addressing the remaining        the Vietnam War, the impact
                                      from anything else,” said Mary         59 percent is where “Freedom          of Sept. 11 and the lyrics of
                                      Garbacz, assistant to the dean         Sings” steps in.                      rap music.”
                                      of the college.                              Paulson created the                  Music is much more cen-
                                           The First Amendment of            “Freedom Sings” program in            sored today than it was in the
                                      the Constitution grants all cit-       1999. He narrated the UNL             1950s and ’60s when rock ‘n’
                                      izens five basic freedoms:             performance with Gene                 roll was just starting. Songs
                                      speech, free press, religion,          Policinski, current director of       now have words bleeped out
                                      peaceful assembly and the              the First Amendment Center.           because some might find the
                                      ability to petition the govern-              “I wrote Freedom Sings          lyrics offensive, which is often
                                      ment.                                  because I wanted to remind            the case with rap music.
                                           “There are no more pow-           Americans to not take their                “Today’s music is tomor-
                                      erful words on the planet than         freedoms for granted,”                row’s Musak” said Paulson,
                                      those contained in the First           Paulson said after the show.          introducing a toned-down
                                      Amendment,” Ken Paulson,               “If it was a lecture on the free-     version of Eminem’s song,
                                      current editor of USA Today            doms of the First Amend-              “The Real Slim Shady.”
                                      and former director of the             ment, only a dozen or so peo-              Other songs are banned
                                      First Amendment Center, said           ple would show up, whereas            because they might have con-
                                      in a 2006 interview with the           hundreds show up for a rock           troversial messages in them or
                                      New Jersey Courier-Post. “It           ‘n’ roll show. It’s also more         because the musician did or
                                      created a whole new society,           fun for me to listen to them          said something that people
                                      one founded on mutual                  play the music and to see the         disagreed with — like the
                                      respect and an acceptance of           audience getting involved.”           Dixie Chicks’ Natalie Maines
                                      ideas.”                                      The 90-minute show cov-         dissing President Bush. The
                                           In a 2006 poll by the First       ers three centuries of music,         backlash from listeners and
                                      Amendment Center, 40 per-              much of which has been cen-           broadcasters meant that their
                                      cent of those surveyed                 sored or banned for various           anti-war song, “Traveling
                                      thought the press has too              reasons through the years.            Soldier,” was replaced on the
                                      much freedom. In the same                    Garbacz said, “It covers        charts by Darryl Worley’s pro-
                                      poll, just 41 percent thought it       time periods reaching back to         war song, “Have You
                                      was OK for people to sing              the Revolutionary War to              Forgotten?”
                                      songs with lyrics that some            today as well as music about                                         >>

                                      traditional liberals in holding that   warrants — in an effort to thwart    Amendment is absolute. But the
                                      the First Amendment protected          terrorists. Conservatives say        earlier cases teach that an order-
                                      flag burning.                          these disclosures violate the        ly society and effective govern-
                                            Although you’d never know        Espionage Act of 1917. Liberals      ment can coexist with broad free-
      Jonell Mosser, left,
                                      it by listening to radio talk shows,   see them as vindication of the       dom of expression. As Justice
      and Ashley Cleveland
                                      it isn’t just the political liberals   role of the free press in exposing   Louis Brandeis put it many years
      perform at Freedom              who support free speech. People        government excesses and wrong-       ago, “If there be time to expose
      Sings concert at the            of all ideologies realize freedom      doing.                               through discussion the falsehood
      Lied Center April 12            to speak and freedom to publish              On the other side, liberals    and fallacies, to avert the evil by
                                      are essential for building public      are more likely to want to regu-     the processes of education, the
                                      support for their views and their      late campaign financing. They        remedy to be applied is more
                                      policy proposals. A law that           say the current system, which        speech, not enforced silence.
                                      silences one’s opponent may            favors political action committees   Only an emergency can justify
                                      later silence one’s friends — or       and interest groups backed by        repression. Such must be the rule
 decision, the Supreme Court took     oneself.                               wealthy individuals and business-    if authority is to be reconciled
 up the issue of flag burning. The          Free-speech questions fre-       es, amounts to little more than      with freedom.”
 case involved a protester at the     quently confront the public and        legalized bribery of public offi-          The desire to regulate
 1984 Republican National             the courts. Sometimes the liber-       cials. Conservatives see the dona-   speech may be the first impulse
 Convention in Dallas who had         als are more supportive of free-       tion of money to political candi-    one feels when faced with insult,
 burned a flag in protest of the      dom, sometimes the conserva-           dates and causes as the essence      dissent or danger, but the
 Reagan administration’s policies.    tives are.                             of free speech; regulations on       Constitution commands that
 He was prosecuted under a Texas            For example, many conser-        campaign donations threaten to       restraints on expression must be
 law that prohibited the desecra-     vatives would like to see The New      choke political speech at its        the last resort.                   s
 tion of venerated objects, includ-   York Times and The Washington          source.
 ing flags. The Supreme Court was     Post punished for disclosing that            These are tough questions      John Bender, a member of the news-
                                      the National Security Agency has       without easy solutions, and no       editorial faculty, wrote this column
 sharply divided, 5-4, but conser-
                                                                                                                  for the Lincoln Journal Star, which
 vative Antonin Scalia joined the     wiretapped Americans — without         one is saying the First
                                                                                                                  published it April 12.
12   SUMMER 2005                                                                                                           J ALUMNI NEWS            43
     2      0         0        7       J DAY S

     Almost a century earlier, Beethoven was banned during
World War I because he was German, and listening to something
by a German composer was thought to be encouraging the
     A few decades later, Elvis Presley, the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll,
was censored on his Ed Sullivan TV debut. The swinging hips
he became famous for were deemed too risqué for network tele-
vision, so viewers saw Elvis only from the waist up.
     A picture of Elvis in the middle of his famous hip gyrations
flashed on the Lied Center’s big screen while Paulson and
Policinski talked about censorship.
     “The longer you look at this photo, the dirtier it gets,”
Paulson said of the Elvis image. “We weren’t sure what was hap-
pening down there, but we knew it was important.”
     Another song that generated a lot of controversy was
“Louie, Louie,” the 1963 hit by the Kingsmen, a song played
today by marching bands across America.
     A combination of a bad recording session, a lead
singer with a swollen mouth, a microphone that was 3
feet above the singer’s head so he had to stand on his tip-  CoJMC We                               Co                       are CoJM
toes to sing, and recording the whole song in a single
take all contributed to a nearly incomprehensible piece of work.
     The lyrics were so hard to understand that boys across
America began writing out what they thought the words to the
song really were and passing them to their friends. They, in turn,
would leave the often obscene notes in their pockets where their
mothers would find them. Pretty soon, parents were sure the
song was corrupting their children.
     “What would June Cleaver have done if she found dirty                                  THE COMMON TOUCH.
lyrics in Beaver’s pants?” Paulson asked. “Well, first she would                    Gus Buenz put his father’s
tell Ward, and then she would call in the FBI.”
     Actually, the FBI was asked to investigate and to determine      advice to good use in a successful career
if the song was in fact corrupting America’s youth. After a thor-     with General Motors
ough investigation of many different copies of the song played
on many different record players at many different speeds, the        by RAMSEY YOUNG
FBI came to the conclusion that the song is “unintelligible at any

speed.”                                                                                Gus Buenz was hardly expecting the honor.
     While the “Freedom Sings” show isn’t patriotic in the sense                            In April 2007, the journalism alumni board
of waving flags, it does celebrate what makes the United States                        named Buenz the Advertising Alumnus of the
the way it is. In many countries around the world, the news                            Year for his career accomplishments and contin-
media do not have anywhere near the same freedom they have in                          ued support of the college.
the U.S.                                                                  “When I was notified that I had won this award I was
     “It’s tragic we have all of these freedoms that others would     absolutely floored,” said Buenz, a native of Ogallala.
die for, but we can’t even name what they are,” Policinski said of        Ann Pedersen-Gleeson, president of the Alumni Advisory
the poll that the First Amendment Center conducts each year. s        Board, said Buenz was chosen because of his cumulative work.


q    August ‘Gus’ Buenz                                               q   David Graupner
     Advertising Alumnus of the Year                                      Broadcasting Alumnus of the Year
                     A native of Ogallala, Buenz graduated                                Graupner began his on-air career in
                     from the University of Nebraska with a                               broadcast communications at KFOR-AM
                     journalism degree in 1960. His career at                             in Lincoln. Today he is president of
                     General Motors spans a 42-year period                                Jones/TM Century in Dallas, Texas

44   SUMMER 2007                                                                                            J ALUMNI NEWS        33
MC We are CoJMC We are CoJMC We are CoJMC We are

   “He had an illustrious career with GM and has continued to give          Starting as a staff exhibit assistant for a GM science show designed
   back to the college,” she said.                                          for high school assemblies, Buenz worked his way up the GM
        At an early age, Buenz learned a critical lesson from his father,   ladder.
   Harold “Beens” Buenz, who worked six-and-a-half days a week at                “While working as a science show presenter I got great public
   a drugstore. Buenz said the work ethic he learned from his father        speaking experience and was even given the chance to be on a
   has served him well throughout his life.                                 national kids program called ‘Captain Kangaroo,’” Buenz said.
        Buenz also learned how to treat people from his father. When             His first advancement put Buenz on the staff of the GM
   Buenz and his brother were grown, his father told them, “I am            exhibit at the New York World’s Fair in 1964. From there he began
   very proud of both of you, but never, ever forget the common             to work as a staff assistant with various public relations depart-
   touch and how to relate to common people.” August Buenz said             ments in Indianapolis, New York City and Washington, D.C.
   that concept has inspired him throughout his career.                          In 1975 Buenz became the assistant regional manager of
        Buenz left Ogallala after high school and enrolled at the           GM’s regional public relations office in Chicago. Two years later
   University of Nebraska–Lincoln, where he graduated from the J            he became the manager for the Indianapolis region’s public rela-
   school in 1960.                                                          tions office. Later in 1979 he transferred back to the Chicago
        “My education was terrific,” he said. “My four years at             branch to become the manager, and in 1987 he went to work as
   Nebraska prepared me as well as they could have for the career I         director of public relations for the Oldsmobile Division in
   went into.”                                                              Lansing, Mich. GM phased out the Oldsmobile line in 2001.
        After graduating he was drafted into the U.S. Army and                   “Working for Oldsmobile when the company put it to sleep
   served until 1962 when he began his career with General Motors.          was both challenging and fun,” Buenz said.                     >>

   q    Cheryl Butler                                                       q   David Beliles
        News-editorial Alumna of the Year                                       Service to the Profession by a Non-alumnus
                         Butler, a native of Omaha, is retired from                              Beliles is retired from a 39-year career
                         The Washington Post where she held var-                                 with Stauffer Communications Inc. He
                         ious positions — her last four years as the                             and his wife, Ruth, and son-in-law Matt
                         director of recruiting and hiring for the                               Walsh and daughter Lisa, along with sev-
                         Post’s newsroom                                                         eral other investors, bought the
                                                                                                 Longboat Key (Fla.) Observer in 1995

   12   SUMMER 2005                                                                                                    J ALUMNI NEWS        45
     2       0          0         7       J DAY S

     Buenz served as director of communications for GM’s Fleet              tions.
and Commercial Business in Detroit starting in 2001. His last GM                  Graupner, who lives in Dallas with his wife, Joanne, said his
job was as director of communications of GM’s Latin America,                education at the journalism school solidified and trained him for
Africa and Middle East regions , based in Miramar, Fla.                     what he wanted to do. “It taught me what journalism was about
     Buenz had the opportunity to visit GM plants all over the              and what broadcasting was really about,” Graupner said.
nation and the world. “When traveling, the first thing that jumps                 Graupner, now 50, has had a career that in the last 30 years
out at you is the quality of all of the people who worked for GM.           has taken him all over the U.S. After starting out in Lincoln, he
The quality of the people was just outstanding everywhere,” Buenz           went to Sarasota, Fla., then to Dallas. After Dallas he moved to
said.                                                                       Albuquerque, N.M., then to Reno, Nev., and then to Madison,
     Buenz retired from GM in December 2004 and now lives with              Wis. Finally, in 1996, he came full circle and moved back to Dallas,
his wife in Naples, Fla.                                                    where he is the CEO/president of Jones/TM, a company that pro-
     “My wife has always been very understanding and supportive.            duces and distributes music-based services for broadcast media.
She was always there for me and did a great job raising our chil-           He was named this year’s Outstanding Broadcasting Alumnus
dren,” he said. Their son, Jeff, is an account executive at a Denver        during the April J Days celebration.
advertising agency, and their daughter, Ericka, is a first grade                  Although Graupner didn’t pursue a career in radio right
teacher in suburban Denver’s Cherry Creek School District.                  away, he said he had always had an interest in it.
     Buenz has taken to an active retirement lifestyle, doing vol-                “Growing up outside New York City … the only way you real-
unteer work for an organization called SCORE, which offers                  ly knew what was going on with new music coming out and stuff
advice to people starting small businesses. He has also become a            like that was listening to this one radio station. So it was very
regular contributor to The New York Times, submitting reviews of            much an integral part of your life back then,” Graupner said.
automotive books.                                                                 During the middle of Graupner’s senior year of high school,
     “In New York, Washington and with Oldsmobile, we worked                he moved to Lincoln because his father was transferred to Dorsey
really hard to get a story in The New York Times. It was a real             Laboratories. He graduated from East High School and then
homerun accomplishment. Now I am a contributor to The New                   attended UNL in the fall of 1975. Graupner said it was kind of
York Times,” he said with a laugh.                                          ironic because long before his father was transferred, he was
     In his spare time Buenz has been taking classes in Spanish. He         thinking about attending UNL because of its highly touted theater
was motivated to do so by his admiration for the English-speak-             program.
ing abilities of a GM first line supervisor in Ecuador who spoke                  The first time he walked into the journalism school, then in
perfect English.                                                            Avery Hall, he said he was blown away because of a certain elec-
     In reviewing his career, Buenz attributed his success to the           tricity the place had. He said the entire staff and student body
opportunities he was given.                                                 struck him as very interesting people.
     “A lot of assignments gave me the opportunity to grow and                    “I got to believe that the discussions that went on in Avery
develop, and it all goes back to being hired,” said Buenz.                  Hall were probably some of the most interesting discussions held
     Buenz said the best advice he could give to graduating UNL             anywhere on that university campus,” Graupner said. “… you
students is to first look at every job as an opportunity. The second        were talking about the news and that changes every day, every
thing students can do is to go beyond everything that is asked of           hour, every minute.”
them. Buenz also recommended that students network with alum-                     While attending school, Graupner also worked full time at
ni and others already working in their field. And he emphasized             KFOR-AM.
that students should always enjoy what they are doing.                            “The guy was one of those guys that everyone hated in college
     “Life is tough enough, but if you don’t enjoy it, life is terrible,”   because he was working full time in radio,” said Dan Charleston,
Buenz said.                                                           s     a fellow student and a good friend of Graupner’s. “The rest of us
                                                                            were simply trying to get someone at one of those stations to even
                                                                            interview us.”
                                                                                  Graupner said he put in a lot of work and made some sacri-
WALKING UP A STAIRCASE. Graupner                                            fices. “Not having a social life helped a great deal,” Graupner said.
goes from ‘a good voice for radio’ to CEO                                   He said he made practice tape after practice tape before he went
                                                                            on the air.
of a broadcasting company                                                         But once he got on the air, he had to make a change. He was
                                                                            told he couldn’t use his own name, so he created the call name,
by CHARLES WILBRAND                                                         Dave G.
                                                                                  “There’s this thing about radio names. Most people I know in

                On a very cold fall afternoon 32 years ago, David           radio have fake names. I don’t know why,” Graupner said. He said
                Graupner sat on the steps of the old Temple                 he never got to choose his name. It was always given to him.
                Theater on the University of Nebraska–Lincoln                     If there is one thing David Graupner seems to do well, it’s
                campus. A theater major, he realized he didn’t              handling change.
                have the talent or the passion for the field. But a               “He is a person who did well as a university student and was
fellow student had told him he had a nice voice, one that would             very able to adapt to change, and he has used that talent very wise-
sound mighty fine on the radio.                                             ly,” said Larry Walklin, a UNL broadcast professor who taught
     So he went and checked out the school of journalism — and              Graupner.
found a long and distinguished career in broadcast communica-
46   SUMMER 2007                                                                                                     J ALUMNI NEWS         33
      Graupner experienced frequent job changes and had to adapt
quickly to new situations. But he said his biggest change came
                                                                          WILLING TO HELP. Cheryl Butler may
when he made the jump from executive vice president to                    be retired from The Washington Post,
CEO/president of Jones/TM.
      “All of a sudden I was thrust into the chair of being the boss,”
                                                                          but she continues to mentor young
Graupner said. “It’s a real eye-opening experience when you are           journalists
responsible for everything.”
      Graupner has been known to be the one who makes the                 by SARA GALLATIN
changes. Charleston, now the vice president of Finer City

Broadcasting in San Diego, said Graupner was always thinking                                 The journalistic landscape has been dramatically
outside the norm, trying to figure out how to make something                                 altered since she first started out in the field more
better. He said one of Graupner’s favorite lines was, “If it isn’t                           than 45 years ago, said Cheryl Butler, honored in
broke, break it.”                                                                            April by the UNL journalism department for her
      Charleston also recalled an incident when they were both in                            outstanding career.
college during the mid ’70s, working at KRNU, the student radio                 “Technology has changed a lot,” the Omaha native and veter-
station at UNL, when the station didn’t really have a particular          an Washington Post newswoman said. “When I started out, papers
music format. They went and put color-coding dots, based on the           weren’t computerized. Everything was done on hot metal.”
type of song and other categories, on every single piece in the                 Butler, a University of Nebraska alumna, remembered the
library and put clocks in the control room in order to control the        days when journalists worked directly with hot metal type. Today,
music that was played over the air. Graupner said most of the pro-        UNL is filled with computers and other advanced equipment.
fessors thought that he and Charleston were absolutely crazy                    “Technology gave you a chance for a better product,” Butler
because what they did went against the norm. But they succeeded           said. “But in other ways, the emphasis has changed.” In other
in making the student-run station better.                                 words, the emphasis is not always on giving readers the most in
      People remember Graupner for his personality and creativity.        depth stories anymore, she said. Rather, it is often about making
Charleston said his friend was very bright and very intelligent and       the constant updates that the Internet allows. This is different, and
was driven to succeed.                                                    while not all bad, the reader gets shortchanged on being as well-
      “He is one of those pleasant, assertive personalities,” said Rick   informed as possible.
Alloway, a former co-worker of Graupner’s at KFOR-AM and now                    The now-retired Washington Post employee was last on the
a member of the UNL broadcasting faculty. “He had his own                 Nebraska campus in April 2004 for the annual J Days awards and
ideas. … He makes people laugh and keeps things light but knows           ceremonies when she was selected as the journalist of the year and
when to be serious.”                                                      was also the Seline Memorial Lecturer.
      Graupner’s success didn’t happen overnight. With each job                 Her interest in journalism prompted her to work on the
change came more responsibility. Opportunities kept coming up,            Omaha Central newspaper when she was a junior in high school.
and he kept taking them.                                                  She enjoyed it so much that she continued with it throughout her
      “It has happened so gradually over my career that it is basi-       senior year. Upon graduation, she knew she wanted to pursue a
cally (like) I’m walking up a staircase,” Graupner said of his suc-       career in journalism.
cess.                                                                           So she decided to attend the University of Nebraska. She
      But it hasn’t necessarily been a steady ascent. He described        graduated in winter 1968 with a bachelor’s degree in news-edito-
projects he launched that the company thought were fantastic but          rial journalism and mass communications. After graduating, she
the public didn’t like. He said everyone will experience failure, but     went to work at the Lincoln Evening Journal as a copy editor.
it’s just part of the process.                                                  After a year, she began to do layouts and was also a wire edi-
      “It’s like baseball. Sometimes you strike out; sometimes you        tor. She remained at this position until 1972 when she left for the
hit a home run. You just have to accept it,” Graupner said. “When         St. Paul (Minn.) Dispatch where she worked at the copy desk;
it does happen … don’t let it keep you from going to bat again            however, she also gained experience by sometimes substituting for
with another idea.”                                                       the wire editor and the A1 news editor.
      While at Jones/TM, Graupner has been a part of many inno-                 “I’m not sure I could have ever been a reporter,” Butler said.
vations and ideas. He said the company was one of the first to real-      “Some people just have more copy editor makeup.” Butler does
ly embrace the Web and deliver its product over the Internet.             not like to interview or report as much as she likes to edit. “Editing
       “The thing that I am proudest of in my career is having been       is just more my thing,” she said.
able to spot bright, young, talented people and bring them into                 In 1981 Butler headed east to work at The Washington Post.
this company, then give them the support — emotionally, profes-           During her 36 years in the newspaper business, she saw enormous
sionally and financially,” said Graupner, who has three sons              changes. She said she missed the old days when editors would
Danny, 23, Benjamin, 21, and Neil, 16.                                    work directly with printers. Hot metal type is no longer used, and
      David Graupner remains passionate about his job. He said his        page design and layout is all computerized. But, although she may
company is like a college campus because there is so much diver-          think back fondly of years gone by, Butler said many of the
sity and each day is completely different.                                changes are for the better.
      “It’s not too often that you can be the CEO of a company and              “The Internet has changed the way people report,” she said. “I
wear Hawaiian shirts to work. So it’s the best of both worlds,”           think the computerized newsroom gives you a lot more control
Graupner said.                                                       s    over the newspaper business. It allows for extended dead-          >>
12   SUMMER 2005                                                                                                       J ALUMNI NEWS          47
     2      0         0         7       J DAY S

lines, and you can control it more.”                                         “When I look back on my career, I am happy that I got to do
     Butler also said having later deadlines gives reporters and edi-   the things I did. There is no one thing that I am most proud of,”
tors more time to “get it right,” but it also gives them much more      she said. “I guess my biggest contribution was helping to find and
responsibility.                                                         encourage students. To me, that’s what I’m proud of.”            s
     Journalism has changed so much in the past 40 years, and
Butler said she is excited to see how it continues to change.
Although she is unsure newspapers will even be around in anoth-
er few decades, she is curious to see what happens.                     LIVING THE DREAM. Hard work, deter-
     Butler said the Internet has also revolutionized newspapers        mination led to satisfying newspaper
because reporters are doing much more online. Many papers now
have their own Web sites, too, and in Butler’s opinion, the younger     career
generation may tend to go that route.
     Beyond that, Butler said, she sees less interest in serious news   by SAM ERB
today, no matter how it’s delivered.

     “It seems like people are less interested in major news than                          In 1776, a new breed of men created a new idea
they used to be. They are more interested in celebrity news,” she                          that has lasted 231 years. Founded on the notion
said. “As a journalist, I don’t think it’s a good thing, but you have                      that all men could create their own destiny, the
to write what your readers want. I don’t believe in dumbing down                           American          Dream         was        born.
a paper, though.”                                                                                Meet David Beliles, a 77-year-old former
     In 2000 Butler became a recruiter at the Washington Post. Her      reporter, ex-Marine, editor-publisher and current newspaper
job was to find and recruit new people who had exceptional jour-        owner, who pulled himself up by the bootstraps to achieve his
nalistic potential. So she went to colleges and journalism conven-      dream.
tions looking for people she thought would be good candidates                 Working hard throughout his career, Beliles eventually rose to
for Post internships. She was also in charge of keeping track of        the top of Stauffer Communications, which owned numerous
people to hire. And she was always on the lookout for “younger          newspapers throughout Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Michigan
stars.”                                                                 and Missouri.
     Dakarai Aarons was one of those younger soon-to-be stars. In             His 39-year service to his newspapers set new standards for
2000, Butler was meeting with a few high school students to talk        the industry. Along the way, he was also able to teach the necessary
about UNL’s journalism school. Aarons was a senior, and he was          skills to young journalists, eventually nurturing and molding 12
intrigued by what she said, so he stayed in touch with Butler           future editor-publishers.
throughout the year. Finally, Aarons went to Lincoln and took a               Beliles’ latest achievement came from the University of
tour of the journalism school and decided it was the place for him.     Nebraska–Lincoln College of Journalism and Mass
     “As I started my first year at UNL, Cheryl would check in with     Communications and its alumni board, which honored him with
me to see how I was adjusting and even introduced me to her fam-        the Service to the Profession award.
ily when she came to Lincoln for a visit,” Aarons said.                       “You have to have somebody who will notice you. You need to
     “As a proud 2006 graduate of UNL,” Aarons is now a lead            let someone know what your dream is … and if they are the right
education reporter for The Commercial Appeal in Memphis, Tenn.          person they will help you achieve that dream,” Beliles said.
He writes about the schools and students in the city and also cov-            Will Norton, dean of the journalism college, said when he
ers national events that affect the Memphis school district.            first arrived in Lincoln in 1991 he asked who the leaders in
     Butler mentored him throughout his school years. She told          Nebraska journalism were, and Beliles was one of the first names
him to write a wide range of stories, she gave him feedback on the      mentioned.
things he had written and she told him how he could continue to               “David Beliles was probably the best publisher not only in the
improve his writing.                                                    state but in the region,” said Norton.
     There are many things aspiring journalists can do to advance             Beliles never formally graduated from high school or college.
and to give themselves a better chance at success, Butler said. They    But through his own self-discipline, he took his newspaper to an
need to keep their ears open and listen to and watch what is going      elite class, earning more general excellence awards from the
on around them. A journalist must look at the small details but         Nebraska Press Association than any other state newspaper. By
also remember to look at the bigger picture.                            sharing tips and ideas with editor-publisher Ken Bronson, who
     And young journalists can’t be picky, she said. They must be       also worked for Stauffer Communications, Beliles was able to
flexible in their new careers and prepared to seize opportunities as    build excellence at Stauffer’s newspapers.
they arise. The comfort zone, she said, must be broken.                       “One of the best friends I’ve ever had, and he is one hell of a
     “Cheryl’s best qualities are her frankness and willingness to      newspaperman,” said Bronson, who currently runs his own con-
help,” Aarons said. “She was able to provide practical advice and is    sulting business for newspapers out of Topeka, Kan.
always honest with people about their strengths and weaknesses.               Bronson was but one of many colleagues and former employ-
Cheryl’s mentoring was invaluable. I know I wouldn’t be as far          ees who came to pay Beliles their respects at the annual journal-
along in my craft without her expert advice,” Aarons said.              ism awards luncheon in April.
     But after more than 45 years in the journalism business,                 Beliles accepted the award with tears in his eyes and brought
Butler decided to leave the world of daily journalism. She is still     tears to the eyes of his daughter, Lisa Walsh. He reflected on his
living in Washington, D.C., and enjoying her retirement.                nearly 40 years of service by recalling a comment his wife often
                                                                        repeated: In 40 years she had never heard him once complain
48   SUMMER 2007                                                                                                 J ALUMNI NEWS         33
about getting up to go to work.                                                  In 1976 Stauffer Communications offered him the position of
     “God, what a fortunate man. I am a fortunate man,” Beliles             operations officer of the company’s northern group of nine news-
said.                                                                       papers while he was serving as editor and publisher of the
      Beliles was born in Louisville, Ky., on May 14, 1930. He was          Hannibal, Mo., Courier-Post. Oscar Stauffer, the corporate owner,
the son of a newspaperman, and throughout the ’30s and ’40s the             hand picked both Beliles and Bronson to be the first two publish-
family moved from place to place.                                           ers in his empire. With their newfound freedom, they began bull-
     All that moving was hard on him and his brother, Beliles said.         dozing paths for new programs and ideas. They created a program
By the time the boys started to make friends, his father would be           that placed young journalists in direct working relations with the
forced, by Depression-era-closings and layoffs, to move on to               publishers of the newspapers.
another paper. Omaha, Chicago and Cincinnati, with brief stops                   “I wanted to recognize what had been done for me, and want-
in between in Louisville, were his childhood stomping grounds.              ed to help them achieve their dream and make a career in news-
Beliles said he respected his father’s job but didn’t like the lifestyle.   papers,” Beliles said.
He began to associate newspapers with an unsatisfactory type of                   “He had an amazing ability to train others to become editors
transient life, and he wanted nothing to do with the newspaper              and publishers,” said Kent Thomas, a former Kansas publisher
business.                                                                   who regards Beliles as his mentor.
     So he spent his high school years searching for a way out. One              In July 1977, Beliles became editor-publisher of The Grand
day during his senior year, he and his buddies skipped school. The          Island Independent, where he spent 16 years and also served as vice
result: His signature ended up on a one-year active duty contract           president of operations for Stauffer Communications with
with the Marine Corps, followed by six years in the inactive                responsibility for 10 of the larger dailies.
reserves.                                                                        Beliles said that his experience took the place of formal edu-
     “I give the Marine Corps a lot of credit for straightening me          cation but that it was different in earlier decades. Now, he said, it
out,” Beliles said.                                                         is extremely important that young people earn college degrees.
        With more purpose and discipline, he later enrolled in                   In 1992, the Nebraska Press Association honored Beliles with
Columbia College in Chicago, where he spent seven months                    Master Editor-Publisher award. A year later, Beliles retired from
working at a radio station from midnight to 6 a.m. as a disc jock-          Stauffer Communications just shy of 40 years in newspapers.
ey and newsman. During the day he held a part-time job at ABC                    But he wouldn’t stay retired for long. In 1995, his daughter
television. Soon, he decided he liked working much more than                and son-in-law made him an offer he couldn’t refuse. Beliles now
studying. In 1952, through some of his father’s connections, he             is part owner of The Longboat Key (Fla.) Observer. He has helped
landed his first job working in circulation and promotion at the            the company grow to five Observer newspapers.
Champaign-Urbana Courier in Illinois.                                            Although the newspaper blood started with his father, it has-
     Not long after, on Valentine’s Day 1953, he married Ruth               n’t quit yet. Beliles’ granddaughter, Emily Walsh-Parry, continues
Dearing, and the young couple soon moved to Independence,                   the tradition, writing for the Black-Tie section of the Observer.
Mo., where Beliles took a job as circulation manager.                            With the Observer on solid ground and in the hands of his
     Although he had sworn he’d never follow in his father’s foot-          daughter and son-in-law, Beliles has finally declared his retire-
steps, he could feel it starting to happen.                                 ment 12 years after the official date. Every now and then he will
      “After a year, I went to the publisher and told him I loved this      help out with some editing on the weekends, but he does it out of
work, and eventually he taught me the trade,” Beliles said.                 his home, not in the office.
     For the next eight years, Beliles learned everything he could.              Through the years, Beliles has successfully managed every
He was involved with every part of the business, getting ready for          newspaper he laid his hands on, has guided his family members to
his shot as a manager. He worked hard and soaked up everything              their own successes and has been part of a 54-year marriage. And
the publisher taught him. In May 1961, his opportunity finally              in 2003, Beliles finally crossed one more item off his to-do list: He
arrived when Oscar and Stanley Stauffer, chairman and president             got his high school diploma from the state of Florida.             s
of Stauffer Communications, respectively, offered him a job as
editor-publisher at the York News-Times in York, Neb.
     Beliles said he worked frantically, reading every book he
could about becoming a good journalist. The fact that he had                WORK HARD, BE PREPARED. Steve
never received his high school diploma or a college degree                  Chatelain used his J school education to
weighed heavily and motivated him to keep reading, to learn
everything he could.                                                        advance through the ranks of Nebraska
     He split his time running the newspaper, reporting on the              journalism
local government and writing a daily editorial.
     “I am sure it was pretty poor at first, but by reading good            by JUSTIN HOLBEIN
journalists, I got better,” Beliles said.

     He spent five years in York before moving to Arkansas City,                            Steve Chatelain, this year’s recipient of the Kappa
Kan., in 1966, where he was editor-publisher for three years and                            Tau Alpha Journalist of the Year award, believes
where he got to know fellow SCI editor-publisher Bronson, who                               “community journalism” plays an integral role in
then was working at the Headlight and Sun in Pittsburg, Kan.                                a community’s success.        xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
     “Ken was a bigger innovator and idea man. Ken and I com-                                   Chatelain, 50, publisher of the Kearney Hub,
pared notes and learned all we could,” said Beliles.                        has worked in the small communities of Nebraska his whole       >>
12   SUMMER 2005                                                                                                       J ALUMNI NEWS         49
                                                   2        0         0         7     J DAY S

career. His newspaper serves as a fundamental link to the com-                                                        family.
munity of Kearney. During his 14 years of guidance, the Hub has                                                            Chatelain has maintained a strong relationship with the J
been an important part of Kearney’s growth. It covers the area’s                                                      school throughout his career and has continued to network with
news and is also one of the businesses whose success is important                                                     many of his professors and instructors since he graduated. The
to the community’s economy.                                                                                           Kearney Hub has filled many positions with graduates from UNK
     “You have to be very open and honest with what your role is,”                                                    and UNL. Will Norton Jr., dean of the journalism college, said
Chatelain said. “That is one of the delicate things about being a                                                     Chatelain is committed to quality journalism.
community journalist. You are covering people you see — often.”                                                             “Steve is one of the best publishers in the state,” Norton said.
     Chatelain’s commitment to the local community extends well                                                       “The Kearney Hub has one of the best physical plants in the coun-
beyond the success he has achieved as publisher. His roots are now                                                    try for publishing a quality newspaper. His staff takes their com-
planted firmly in Kearney where he and his wife, Mary Jo, are rais-                                                   mitment to quality journalism seriously.”
ing three boys: Max, 20; Jack, 16; and Wil, 11.                                                                             “Steve’s character is very similar to the people who are lead-
     Chatelain credits much of his personal and professional suc-                                                     ers in his town,” Dean Norton said. “He works harder than every-
cess to the experiences he encountered in the UNL journalism col-                                                     one who works for him and is striving for every local business to
lege. After spending three years at Peru State, he found his calling                                                  succeed.”
in journalism and transferred to UNL. He said he could have felt                                                           Chatelain is committed to making sure the local community
isolated at a big campus like UNL, but the J school strongly                                                          shares in the success of the Kearney Hub. That commitment is
encouraged each student to become involved in college life as well                                                    reflected in the mission statement he helped craft for the Hub:
as in learning journalism.                                                                                            “Our mission is to perform in a way that helps our customers
     “The J school prepares you so well technically,” said                                                            excel and our community thrive.”
Chatelain, who graduated from UNL in 1979. “The school gives                                                               The community of Kearney has put his leadership skills to
you great job skills, allowing aspiring journalists to communicate                                                    good use. Chatelain is the former chair of the Red Cross board
clearly.”                                                                                                             and a former member of the boards of the United Way and
     He said it was important for each student to work hard. “The                                                     Kearney Chamber of Commerce. He has lent his leadership to
development of a good work ethic is as important as the educa-                                                        Nebraska as well. He is a past president of the Nebraska Press
tion the J school provides,” he said. That work ethic is what he                                                      Association and the Daily Publishers’ Association and is currently
looks for in new journalists applying to work at his newspaper,                                                       vice chair of the Museum of Nebraska Art (MONA).
Chatelain said. And he wants some staying power. He is not look-                                                            With a history of serving both the state and community at
ing for journalists who will work hard for one year and then jump                                                     large, it is no surprise Chatelain’s personal hobbies include read-
ship for another job.                                                                                                 ing and studying American history. A self-proclaimed “Civil War
     “Journalists owe an employer the best job they can deliver for                                                   history buff,” he is interested in the decisions made by U.S. leaders
two to three years before moving on with their careers,” he said.                                                     in times of distress. He is also interested in the journalistic deci-
His ideas on employment are strongly tied to his feelings of seri-                                                    sions of the period, how the media have shaped history. Recently,
ous commitment to career, community, journalism, school and                                                           he has been reading about the Founding Fathers and learning

                                                                                                                              Broadcast Pioneer award goes to Fries
                                                                                                                              Gary Fries was named the 2007 Nebraska Broadcasting
                                                                                                                              Pioneer during the J school’s alumni luncheon on April 13.
                                                                                                                              He spent his entire professional life in radio, starting out
                                                                                                                              at Stuart Broadcasting’s KFOR radio in Lincoln during col-
                                                                                                                              lege. During his career, he was a salesperson, sales man-
                                                                                                                              ager, general manager, group head and network presi-
Photo courtesy Nebraska Broadcasters Association

                                                                                                                              dent and had firsthand sales experience in communities
                                                                                                                              ranging from Grand Island to New York City.
                                                                                                                                    Fries joined the Radio Advertising Bureau as its pres-
                                                                                                                              ident and CEO in October 1991 after serving as president
                                                                                                                              of the Unistar Radio Networks. He had also served as
                                                                                                                              president and COO of Sunbelt Communications Radio
                                                                                                                              division and had managed stations in Phoenix, Omaha,
                                                                                                                              Little Rock, Springfield, Ill., and Albuquerque. He graduat-
                                                                                                                              ed from NU in 1963 with a degree in business adminis-
                                                                                                                                    He was named Radio Executive of the Year by Radio
                                                                                                                              Ink Magazine in 1993 and was inducted into the
                                                                                                                              Nebraska Broadcaster’s Association Hall of Fame in
                                                   Gary Fries (center) accepts award from Rick Alloway (left) and Dean Will
                                                                                                                              1994.                                                     s
                                                   Norton (right) at alumni award lunch in Lincoln on April 13

50                                                   SUMMER 2007
many of their stories.
     Chatelain’s own history shows journalistic success at every
level. He began his career as a part-time reporter for the Auburn
News-Press and Nemaha County Herald. He moved to Ogallala
and worked as a sports editor at the Keith County News and later
became the general manager. In 1983 he became the copy editor
for the Scottsbluff Star-Herald. His most important career move
was to the Kearney Hub in 1985 where he was named managing
     In 1989, he left Kearney to become the publisher of the
Columbus Telegram, then returned to Kearney in 1993 as publish-
er of the Hub.
     Chatelain’s award from KTA is not his first from the J school.
In 2003 he was honored as Outstanding News-Editorial Alumnus
during J Days ceremonies.
     Chatelain’s legacy as a journalist is tempered by a passion for
his newspaper’s future. He said the Kearney Hub is embracing the
new technology available to all media markets with the advent of
the Internet.
      “Probably the first big breakthrough for us came around
1999 or 2000 when we first associated with an outside service
provider that could assist on the technological side while helping
us figure out how to begin generating revenue from our Web site,”
Chatelain said.

                                                                                                                                              Photo by Bruce Thorson
     The Hub is three or four years into a good relationship with
a vendor who supports some 1,600 newspapers around the coun-
try. The Web site is now a solid contributor to the Hub’s overall
financial health, Chatelain said. “We get almost 300,000 unique
visitors to our site each month with nearly 1 million page views.
      “ will be a critical part of the Hub’s future.
Our Web site along with our printed publication — which                Ken Paulson, the editor and senior vice president/news of USA
remains very strong in our market — gives us the ability to serve      TODAY and creator and editor of Freedom Sings, addresses stu-
our community and our advertisers in ways greater than we’ve           dents, faculty and parents at the J school’s honors convocation at
ever done before.”                                                s    the Lied Center in Lincoln on April 12

                                   Dean’s award                                                       Sorensen award
 Ken Paulson and                                                    vision and online           Three       Omaha        World-Herald
 Gene        Policinski                                             operations.                 reporters received the 2007 Thomas
 received      Dean’s                                                     Freedom Sings         Sorensen Award for watchdog jour-
 awards at the UNL                                                  uses musical per-           nalism.
 College of Journal-                                                formance, film, pho-             Henry Cordes, joined by Rob
 ism’s annual J Days                                                tographs and narra-         White and Matthew Hansen, investi-
 celebration.                                                       tion in the 90-minute       gated unexpected firings and budget
      Paulson,      the                                             program to tell the         deficits in the athletic department at
 editor and senior                                                  story of three cen-         the University of Nebraska at
 vice president/news        PAULSON              POLICINSKI turies of banned or                 Omaha. Two months later, both the
 of USA TODAY and                                                   censored music in           school’s chancellor and the vice
 the creator and editor of Freedom Sings,      the United States and invites the audience       chancellor of academic affairs had
 co-narrates the Freedom Sings program         to take a fresh look at the First                resigned, and the university made
 with Gene Policinski, vice president and      Amendment and the impact of freedom of           plans to install a new audit system.
 executive director of the First Amendment     speech.                                                 Cordes, the lead reporter,
 Center.                                            Based at Vanderbilt University in           received a check for $1,000. White
      Policinski is executive producer/host    Nashville, Tenn., the First Amendment            and Hansen received $500 each as
 of Freedom Sings. He came to the First        Center is an operating program of The            their share of the Sorensen Award,
 Amendment Center from a career that           Freedom Forum and is associated with the         established by the Sorensen family,
 included work in newspapers, radio, tele-     Newseum.                                s        University of Nebraska graduates. s

12   SUMMER 2005                                                                                                 J ALUMNI NEWS           51
              JNews         & Notes
     F A C U L T Y               P R O F I L E              A L U M N I                S T U D E N T               H O N O R S

           ADVERTISING                         Burlington, Vt., on April 13. She presented    Program Executives to participate in facul-
                                               a paper titled “The Framing of a President:    ty programs with media industry leaders
                                               Ronald Reagan’s Campaigns and Legacy”          in Las Vegas in January. In April she gave a
FRAUKE HACHTMANN presented a paper,
                                               at the Hawaii International Conference on      panel presentation on “Privacy Issues” at
“Promoting Consumerism in Western              Social Sciences that was held from May 30      the Broadcast Education Association con-
Germany During the Cold War: An Agency         to June 3 in Honolulu.                         vention in Las Vegas. She was also appoint-
Perspective,” at the American Academy of                                                      ed to the editorial board of the
Advertising Conference in Burlington, Vt.,     AMY STRUTHERS received a Layman                Southwestern      Mass     Communication
in April. She recently received a grant from   Grant of $7,500 for research through the       Journal. Lee was promoted to full professor
the UNL Research Council to continue her       UNL Office of Research and Graduate            this year.
studies in this area by conducting research    Studies. She will use the funds to study the
this summer investigating the role of          effectiveness of public health advertising     JERRY RENAUD, advertising faculty
advertising agencies on the German econ-       to adolescents. With broadcasting faculty      member Amy Struthers and Tarik Abdel-
omy in the post-Cold War era.                  member Jerry Renaud and Tarik Abdel-           Monem of the NU Public Policy Center
     Hachtmann served as a paper review-       Monem of the NU Public Policy Center,          received a $12,000 grant to make and pro-
er for the American Academy of                 she also received a $12,000 grant to make      mote an informational documentary
Advertising conference, the World              and promote an informational documen-          about alternative energy sources.
Journalism Education Congress and the          tary about alternative energy sources.
Association for Education in Journalism                                                       LARRY WALKLIN received a visit during
and Mass Communication conference,                     BROADCASTING                           one of his classes from three members of
where she also chaired this year’s advertis-                                                  the Black Masque chapter of Mortar
ing division’s student paper competition.                                                     Board, the senior honorary, to name him
                                               RICK ALLOWAY taught in Ethiopia for the
In addition, she was a member of the                                                          “Professor of the Month” for February
                                               first three weeks in February and is work-
Southwestern Mass Communication Journal                                                       2007.
                                               ing on an audio documentary about the
and the 2007 Report of the Central States
                                               country, focusing on its music. While in
Conference on the Teaching of Foreign                                                                 NEWS-EDITORIAL
                                               Ethiopia, he also conducted some freedom
Languages editorial board, for which she
                                               of expression survey work with the gradu-
reviewed and edited manuscripts and co-
                                               ate students there, which he plans to com-     TIM ANDERSON was recognized for the
authored an article titled, “Embracing
                                               pare/contrast with results of the same sur-    second time in two years by the Parents
Technology: Tools Teachers Can Use to
                                               veys given to UNL students. He is working      Association and UNL’s Teaching Council
Improve Language Learning.”
                                               on an audio documentary about the radio        for his contributions to students and was a
     Hachtmann continues to serve on the
                                               play-by-play announcers during the             finalist for ASUN’s Outstanding Educator
Academic Senate executive committee. She
                                               Devaney/Osborne era. He was a finalist for     of the Year Award for 2006-2007. In April,
also led a team of UNL faculty members to
                                               the “large class” category ASUN                Anderson spoke on “Uncommon News,
develop inquiry course portfolios for the
                                               Outstanding Educator of the Year award         Common Knowledge” at the Osher
Peer Review of Teaching Project.
                                               and was a recipient for the 14th time of       Lifelong Learning Institute and attended
                                               UNL Parents Association award for out-         the Gannett Journalism Educators
PHYLLIS     LARSEN was awarded the
                                               standing contributions to students. He         Symposium in McLean, Va.
Certificate    of     Recognition      for
                                               attended the Midwest Broadcast
Contributions to Students by the UNL
                                               Journalism conference April 23-25 in his       CHARLYNE BERENS received an award
Parents Association and the Teaching
                                               capacity as a member of the board of the       from the Parents Association and UNL’s
Council for the second time. Larsen was
                                               Northwest Broadcast News Association,          Teaching Council for contributions to stu-
invited to speak on media relations at the
                                               one of the conference sponsors.                dents in January. She spoke to a number of
American      Marketing     Association’s
                                                                                              civic groups and the Osher Lifelong
Nebraska Brand Camp and served as a
                                               TRINA      CREIGHTON taught summer             Learning Institute about her books on the
conference paper reviewer for the AEJMC
                                               school and took her last class toward the      Nebraska Unicameral and her biography
Advertising Division.
                                               master’s degree in leadership development      of Sen. Chuck Hagel. She accompanied a
                                               during the summer session. She was a           group of freshman honors students to
LINDA SHIPLEY was recognized by the
                                               finalist for the “small class” category ASUN   Washington, D.C., during part of spring
American Academy of Advertising for her
                                               Outstanding Educator of the Year award         break. She was a faculty speaker for two
years of service as the AAA representative
                                               for 2006-2007.                                 Nebraska Preview sessions for high school
on the Accrediting Council on Education
                                                                                              students in March and taught a session for
in Journalism and Mass Communications.
                                               LAURIE THOMAS LEE was awarded a 2007           the Honors Colloquium for high school
The award was presented at a luncheon
                                               Conference Faculty Fellowship by the           seniors in June. She was a judge for the
during the AAA annual conference in
                                               National Association of Television             Communicator of Achievement awards
52   SUMMER 2007                                                                                          33
     F A C U L T Y               P R O F I L E              A L U M N I                     S T U D E N T                  H O N O R S

competition sponsored by the National
Federation of Press Women.                    LINCOLN HOME STAR OF ‘EXTREME MAKEOVER’

LUIS PEON-CASANOVA made a presenta-           Peon-Casanova, students tape the
tion to the UNL visual literacy committee
about the J school’s program and began an     production of home renovation
assessment of visual literacy labs and lec-
tures. He completed the coursework for        by ASHLEY PRITCHARD
his master’s program and began work on
his thesis. His “behind the scenes” docu-     It’s not the finished product. It’s the jour-               Arriving in town on Sunday, Oct. 29,
mentary of the “Extreme Makeover:             ney to get there. That’s the philosophy the           the “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”
Home Edition” segment that filmed in          “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” team                 team — and 2,800 volunteers — finished
Lincoln last fall was shown at the Ross       brought to Lincoln last fall.                         the house in northeast Lincoln’s Havelock
                                                    And that journey is exactly what UNL            neighborhood on Friday. From start to
Theatre in May, and he gave a slideshow
                                              professor Luis Peon-Casanova document-                finish, the crew worked 106 hours to
presentation of pictures shot by his class
                                              ed in his film “Behind the Cameras:                   transform the modest bungalow into a
in France last summer to the Lincoln
                                              Extreme Makeover, Home Edition,                       five-bedroom dream house. With the help
Camera Club, also in May.                     Nebraska Volunteers.”                                 of two UNL broadcasting students, Justin
                                                                                                    Peterson and Kelly Mosier, Peon-
JOE STARITA was a                                                                                   Casanova caught most of those hours on
finalist for the “small                                                                             video. Along the way, Peon-Casanova and
class” category ASUN                                                                                his student assistants learned a good deal
Outstanding                                                                                         about reality television.
Educator of the Year                                                                                      “People will be able to see the com-
award for 2006-2007.                                                                                mon men and women,” Peon-Casanova
                                                                                                    said, “the people who actually did the
BRUCE      THORSON                                                                                  work.”
was one of the artists                                                                                    A member of the J school faculty,
whose work was                                                                                      Peon-Casanova gets excited about work-
included in the                                                                                     ing with his students because they care
Plains Song Review’s                                                                                about the quality of their work and issues
spring volume and                                                                                   around them. As a teacher, he said he has
celebrated at an April                                                                              the opportunity to transform students
18 reception at the                                                                                 and watch them grow. And the students
Great Plains Art                                                                                    push him to continue to learn more and
Museum.                                                                                             better professional techniques.
                                                                                                          “That is the best thing I can do to stay
                                                                                                    fresh and stay informed for students,” said
                                                                                                    Peon-Casanova, who has his own inde-
eled to Ethiopia to
                                                                                                    pendent media production company.
teach design and
                                                                                                          No stranger to documentaries, Peon-
graphics in February                                                                                Casanova has worked in television for 20
and to Kosovo to                              Ty Pennington (far left) , ‘Extreme
                                              Makeover” design team leader/car-                     years, first at the Texas Parks and Wildlife
teach Web design and                                                                                Department and then at Nebraska
graphics in March.                            penter, visits with onlookers during
                                              filming                                               Educational Telecommuncations where he
He attended two                                                                                     created educational documentaries. He
national high school                                               Photo courtesy Jackson Studios
                                                                                                    said he has realized the potential for tele-
journalism conven-                                 ABC’s Emmy award-winning reality                 vision and new media to inform and edu-
tions to recruit students. He finished the    television show puts together a run-down              cate. So when Lea Barker, from Hartland
master’s degree in English and will start     house, a deserving family, a team of                  Homes, called him about producing a
the Ph.D. program in fall. He received a      designers and a race against the clock. Last          documentary, even though she couldn’t
one-month fellowship to work at the           fall the “Extreme Makeover: Home                      tell him what it was about, he was interest-
Vermont Studio Center in May and is           Edition” team and local homebuilders,                 ed.
teaching at summer high school journal-       Hartland Homes, produced a home big                         But Peon-Casanova was not the only
ism workshops in Texas and California         enough to house the combined Machacek                 one in the dark. Strict privacy policies
this summer.                            s     and Fullerton families — all seven of                 meant that, while a small group knew that
                                              them.                                                 “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”          >>
12   SUMMER 2005                                                                                                         J ALUMNI NEWS         53
     F A C U L T Y                 P R O F I L E              A L U M N I               S T U D E N T               H O N O R S

                                                                                                                                           Photo courtesy Jackson Studios
 was coming to Lincoln, only a      entire construction process,              Peon-Casanova was also           That freedom allowed
 select few knew the actual         Barker said it came as a com-       excited to see the process. The   him and his student assistants
 location, date and situation.      plete shock, but the company        video, he said, is a journey      a behind-the-scenes look at
      “Up until the day I had to    had an easy time deciding to        from the old house to the new     one of America’s top-rated TV
 start shooting, I only knew it     help out.                           that tells the stories of the     shows.
 was a behind-the-scenes doc-            “The show sells itself,” she   workers and volunteers. He             Peon-Casanova would
 umentary for ‘Extreme Home         said. “Everyone wants to have       was interested in hearing the     generally shoot a few hours in
 Makeover,’” Peon-Casanova          a brush with Hollywood.”            stories and reasons behind the    the morning and then pass off
 said. “I didn’t know when or            Hartland Homes wanted          2,800 volunteers.                 the camera to one of the stu-
 where we would shoot. I didn’t     to document the experience to             On the Friday morning       dents so he could teach his
 know anything.”                    have a video memory book,           when the show was officially      classes. Then he would return
      Enlisting help but keep-      Barker said, because this was a     announced, the Hartland           in the evening with another
 ing everything secret was the      once-in-a-lifetime experience.      Homes Web site went live at       student to finish the job.
 hardest part, Barker said.         She said “Extreme Makeover:         10 a.m., Barker said. By 9 p.m.        Peterson, a junior broad-
       “We were asking people       Home Edition” recommended           that same night, more than        cast major, said he learned a
 to supply literally thousands      using a production company          1,200 people had filled out       lot by working with Peon-
 and thousands of dollars’          out of Texas, but Hartland          volunteer forms online. It was    Casanova. He also learned the
 worth of material without          Homes is a local company that       an amazing outpouring of          “reality of reality TV.” The
 telling them what we were          supports local companies.           support.                          actual TV show didn’t docu-
 doing,” she said.                  And having worked with                    “The camera allows you      ment the hours of work done
      When the show’s produc-       Peon-Casanova on a previous         to go anywhere, do anything,      by construction crews and
 ers approached Hartland            project, Barker knew he would       ask any question you would        volunteers.
 Homes to coordinate the            be perfect for the job.             like,” Peon-Casanova said.             Mosier, now a Husker-

54   SUMMER 2007                                                                                             33
                                                        JNews Notes

     F A C U L T Y                P R O F I L E              A L U M N I                S T U D E N T               H O N O R S

                                                                                                                                            Photo courtesy Jackson Studios
 LEFT: Luis Peon-Casanova, in      hours building a two-story          video would have its own            truck sat patiently until one
 window       frame,   films       stone wall at the entryway of       story to tell. “What I want         task was completed before
 “Extreme Makeover” crew at        the house before producers          people to get out of the docu-      swooping in and quickly fin-
 night ABOVE: Peon-Casa-           told them to stop so an             mentary is how great our            ishing their own jobs. The
 nova, in yellow hard hat, is      “Extreme Makeover: Home             community is,” she said.            documentary shows all of
 on site to document home          Edition” designer could come        “Seeing the wonderful volun-        these facets — and the inces-
 makeover                          over and put on the last stone.     teering attitude of everyone        sant dust, the nailing and the
                                        “What people see on            was the most rewarding part.”       hammering, he said.
                                   Sunday nights is nowhere near            There was also great col-           Peon-Casanova plans to
 Vision employee and broad-        what happens,” Peterson said.       laboration among the differ-        show the documentary to his
 casting graduate student,              While Mosier enjoyed           ent groups of volunteers.           students. Barker plans to dis-
 agreed. “The TV show is           watching a professional video       Peon-Casanova noted that            tribute copies to Hartland
 entertaining to watch but         and production crew, he said        roofers were roofing right next     Home vendors, especially
 misses the point of what actu-    he found himself in the way a       to framers who were framing         those who helped make the
 ally happens,” he said. “What     couple of times, having to          next to masonry workers lay-        event possible.
 you see on TV is not the real     move so he didn’t end up in         ing bricks. It was cool to see           “So much of the actual
 story. They write their own       the TV show’s shots. Peon-          the coordination, he said.          show had nothing to do with
 story.”                           Casanova also struggled, he              The Havelock area, where       what we did,” she said. “Our
      Peterson and Mosier were     said, with not being in control.    the made-over home was              documentary shows the
 both amazed by the amount of           “I was uncomfortable not       located, was also a sight to see,   process and documented our
 work and time volunteers          being in the driver’s seat, call-   said Peon-Casanova. Workers         experience and the local expe-
 donated. They witnessed a         ing all the shots,” he said.        and supplies were lined up lit-     rience.”                     s
 mother and son spend 20                But Barker thought the         erally around the block. Each

12   SUMMER 2005                                                                                                  J ALUMNI NEWS        55
                                                         JNews Notes

     F A C U L T Y               P R O F I L E               A L U M N I                   S T U D E N T            H O N O R S

                 2007                          reducing costs during the claims process
                                               by using Google Earth to view satellite
                                                                                                position to be retail and transportation
                                                                                                reporter for the Kansas City Business
JEFF DEANS, Lincoln, completed the mas-        images of accident scenes.                       Journal, which is part of a national group
ter’s in journalism in May. He is employed          DUSTIN TOMES is production execu-           of American City Business Journals. The
by the UNL Office of Extended Education        tive at Dinger Associates in Lincoln. He has     weekly journal publishes business owner-
and was married March 24 to Laura              experience in both account management            focused news, reporting on major compa-
Vondras of Lexington.                          and graphic design through his intern-           nies in the Kansas City area.
      MARK MAHONEY is a reporter at the        ships at Dinger since May of 2006.
Voice News in Hickman.                              DON WILLOUGHBY, who earned the                               2004
                                               M.A. in 2006, is serving a one-year
                 2006                          appointment as a public information
                                               adviser to the military in Afghanistan
                                                                                                JESSE BOECKERMANN is a producer at
                                                                                                KHAS TV in Hastings. He received honor-
DAKARAI AARONS is one of two lead edu-                                                          able mention awards in both 2005 and
cation reporters for the Memphis                                 2005                           2006 from the Nebraska Associated Press
Commercial Appeal. He covers the                                                                Broadcasters. In addition to his work in
Memphis City School District, the state’s      RYAN GAGER and Gina Witt were married            Hastings, he also is a Catholic Social
largest, with more than 115,000 students       July 7 in Hastings. He is employed by            Services volunteer, a Big Brothers, Big
and nearly 200 schools.                        KLKN TV, Channel 8, Lincoln.                     Sisters mentor, a Meals on Wheels volun-
     KARLA BAUMERT and Derek Frese                  EMILY HAGEN is a marketing/PR spe-          teer and a Hastings Catholic Outreach vol-
were married in May in West Point. She         cialist and assistant to the showroom            unteer.
earned a journalism degree with an adver-      owner at The Furniture Room in Denver.                EMILY DECAMP is a media planner
tising major and is completing a master’s           ASHLEY KUMPULA, Lincoln, is an edi-         with Universal McCann in New York City.
degree in leadership education from UNL.       tor at Sandhills Publishing.                          KELLY EICKMEIER and Mark Zieg
She has been an AgLEC recruitment coor-             MELISSA LEE is the higher education         were married in June. She earned a jour-
dinator with UNL.                              reporter at the Lincoln Journal Star. During     nalism degree with an advertising major
     SHAUN BAUMHOVER, Lincoln, will            her college career, she was editor in chief of   and is a policy and document specialist
be married Aug. 25 in Seward to Rhiannon       the Daily Nebraskan and had internships at       with Lincoln Benefit Life.
Oliva. He was an advertising major.            the Lincoln Journal Star, Billings (Mont.)            KRISTIN JAKUB became director of
     ALI CHRISTY joined Swanson Russell        Gazette and the Minneapolis Star Tribune.        marketing and officer of West Gate Bank
Associates in Lincoln in February as an             LAURA MEERKATZ is assistant online          early in 2007. She had been with the bank
account coordinator for SRA clients            editor and night city editor at the Lincoln      for five years, most recently serving as
Shindaiwa, Turfco, Boyt Harness                Journal Star. She had previously worked as       communications director. In her new posi-
Company/Bob Allen, Humminbird,                 the online content editor for the Steamboat      tion, she will manage all marketing efforts
FoodSource Lures and Standard Golf             Pilot & Today in Steamboat Springs, Colo.        and media placement for the bank.
Company. She is responsible for complet-       During college, she had internships at The            REBECCA MOCKELMAN is a first
ing projects and maintaining relationships     Standard-Times in New Bedford, Mass.,            lieutenant and pilot with the U.S. Army’s
with SRA clients. Christy was formerly an      and the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago.        2nd battalion, 135th Aviation regiment.
account service intern at SRA.                      KELLIE KONZ PEARSON is the new              She is stationed at Camp Anaconda in
     RACHEL ENSTROM is a graphic               speech teacher at Raymond Central High           Balad, Iraq. While she was enrolled at
designer with CareerBuilder in Chicago.        School northwest of Lincoln. Throughout          UNL, Mockelman participated in the
     SEAN HAGEWOOD is a copy                   college, she was an assistant coach and          ROTC program. After graduation, she
editor/page designer at the St. Joseph (Mo.)   judge for the Lincoln East speech team.          received her training at Fort Rucker, Ala.,
News-Press.                                    She married Brad Pearson in 2005 and             as a pilot on the UH-60 Black Hawk and
     LISA MCEVOY, Glenwood Springs,            worked at KPTM Fox 42 News in Omaha              OH-58D Warrior helicopters
Colo., is executive team leader-human          as a production technician. Later, she
resources for Target Corporation in            worked on KPTM’s assignment desk and                              2003
Glenwood Springs.                              then as weekend producer.
     MEGAN MCFARLIN is an account                   SUZANNA ADAM STAGEMEYER took                JOE BRADLEY graduated in May from the
executive at Dinger Associates in Lincoln.     a temporary position as editorial assistant      UNL College of Law. During his law
     KYLE OLIG is a claims representative      for the Associated Press bureau in Omaha         school career, he was part of the national
for Allied/Nationwide Insurance, specializ-    after graduation, then worked as a free-         moot court team and was a finalist in the
ing in medical payments for the Scottsdale,    lance reporter for the Midlands Business         Allen Moot Court competition. He was a
Ariz., office. He was named employee of        Journal. She and her husband moved to            member of Allies and Advocates for GLBT,
the month in March 2007. He was recog-         Kansas City in May 2006, and she worked          the Black Law Students Association, the
nized as employee of month in March            as a freelance reporter for various area         Equal Justice Society, the Women’s Law
2007 in Nationwide’s quarterly corporate       publications, then took a position with          Caucus and the Law School Democrats.
report on innovation. He had suggested         The Johnson County Sun weekly communi-           He was a law clerk at the Nebraska
improving customer satisfaction and            ty newspaper. In late February, she left that    Appleseed Center for Law in the Public
56   SUMMER 2007                                                                      33
     F A C U L T Y               P R O F I L E               A L U M N I                S T U D E N T               H O N O R S
Interest and for Knudsen, Berkheimer,          where they helped launch a five-day-a-          photographer of the year for the fifth con-
Richardson & Endacott, both in Lincoln.        week free daily, the Grand Junction Free        secutive year in the annual Nebraska News
      SEAN CALLAHAN was recently               Press. Their son was born in May 2005, and      Photographers Association still photo
named the Nebraska Sportswriter of the         the family moved to Omaha to take jobs at       competition in April. He took first place in
Year by the National Sportswriters and         the World-Herald in August 2005. Veronica       portrait/personality, illustration and
Sportscasters Association. Callahan re-        worked as an education reporter before          sports feature categories and third in the
ceived the award at the NSSA’s annual          being named community editor. Dane              picture story category.
awards banquet in Salisbury, N.C., on          covers visual art and television. As com-            JOHN MOELLER is a reporter for New
April 30. Callahan currently writes for        munity editor, Veronica is charged with         Music Express magazine in London,, which is a part of     starting and organizing an initiative to get    England. The magazine deals with culture,
the network. He also reports        more intensely local news in the paper and      music, art and travel. He spent the 2006-07
for WOWT TV in Omaha and KOLN TV               online.                                         academic year teaching English and taking
in Lincoln four nights a week, and he                                                          courses in Spanish history at Universidad
appears on NET’s “Big Red Wrap-up” dur-                          2001                          Castilla la Mancha in Toledo, Spain. After
ing the football season. On the radio side,                                                    graduation, he attended the University of
Callahan hosts two weekly Husker football      SARAH BAKER is media relations coordi-          Heidelberg for two years and served as an
shows, and he produces Nebraska football       nator for the Nebraska Department of            intern for a German newspaper for one
radio reports that air on 20 different sta-    Economic Development’s travel and               year.
tions across the state each day.               tourism division. She previously worked as
      RICHARD KLUVER is art director at        a marketing assistant at the Lund                                1998
McCann Erickson in New York.                   Company in Omaha. She continues to
      DAVINA LEEZER, Omaha, is a market-       work as a freelance writer for a number of      JASON HENKE is director of new media
ing specialist for Mosaic in Omaha. She        publications.                                   and marketing for independent label
was previously a marketing account execu-           ROBIN BARRETT is a media buyer at          Giantslayer Records, a contributing song-
tive, junior copywriter and direct mail spe-   Swanson Russell Associates in Lincoln. She      writer to the Giantslayer Publishing song
cialist for infoUSA.                           assists in purchasing advertising for sever-    catalog and co-founder of the interactive
      MEREDITH MEGRUE, Lincoln, is mar-        al SRA clients and also helps implement         Web site, Story Behind The Song in
keting coordinator for Back to the Bible       new digital media projects. She joined SRA      Nashville, Tenn. In 2006, he also founded
radio in Lincoln.                              as a media coordinator in 2004.                 HotHouse Freelance — a writing and mar-
      TONY SATTLER is an interactive                JENNIFER BEALE, Austin, Texas,             keting company specializing in P.R. writ-
account manager at Swanson Russell             works in the Texas governor’s office. She is    ing and tour promotion. Through Hot-
Associates in Lincoln. He previously           responsible for publication design and          House, he maintains his eight-year rela-
worked at Smith, Kaplan, Allen and             coordination with the governor’s budget,        tionship with past employer Insight
Reynolds Advertising in Omaha as an            policy and planning division. In addition,      Management. A former community serv-
account executive.                             she writes responses to constituent letters     ice co-chairman and current alumni mem-
      MEGAN STRAHM, San Francisco,             and helps with special projects.                ber of SOLID (Society of Professional
Calif., is an admissions adviser at the             LINDSAY HIER has joined Swanson            [Music        Business]     Leaders     in
Academy of Art University.                     Russell Associates, Lincoln, as an art direc-   Development), Jason has assisted music
                                               tor, managing the layout, design, illustra-     industry mogul Miles Copeland (former
                 2002                          tion, photography and final production of       manager of The Police and Sting) in pro-
                                               various Gateway marketing materials. She        moting his world renowned Bellydance
RHONDA JOHNSON, Highlands Ranch,               came from Case Logic in Longmont,               Superstars and has provided marketing for
Colo., was married in July to Richard          Colo., and also worked as a designer for        the Experience Music Project rock muse-
Johnson, also of Highlands Ranch. A            Guardian Companies in Cheyenne, Wyo.,           um in Seattle, which was created and
native of Holdrege, she is an event consult-   and Frontier Printing in Fort Collins,          founded by Microsoft entrepreneur Paul
ant at National CineMedia in Centennial,       Colo.                                           Allen. He has also helped promote a long
Colo. He is a math teacher and golf coach                                                      list of concerts by a variety of artists,
at Rocky Heights Middle School in                                2000                          including Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar
Highlands Ranch.                                                                               Festival, Keith Urban, Kelly Clarkson, Bill
     VERONICA DAEHN STICKNEY was               TOM GEMELKE and Allison Ebke were               Cosby, 311, Rascal Flatts, Chicago, Lisa
named community editor at The Omaha            married April 21 at St. Luke’s United           Marie Presley, TobyMac and Earth, Wind
World-Herald in late December 2006. After      Methodist Church in Lincoln. He earned          & Fire.
graduating from UNL’s J-School in May          both a B.J. and an M.A. (2005) from the J            SARAH WILLNERD is a public rela-
2002, she worked as a copy editor and          school and works in sales for Speedway          tions associate at marketing agency
regional reporter at the Waterloo-Cedar        Motors and is a sports announcer with           Swanson Russell Associates. She has been
Falls Courier in Waterloo, Iowa, for about     ESPN 1480.                                      at SRA since October 2004. She does com-
nine months. Then she and her husband,             MATT MILLER, a photojournalist at           munications for irrigation manufac-
Dane, went to Grand Junction, Colo.,           The Omaha World-Herald, was named               turer Rain Bird Corporation, soil       >>
12   SUMMER 2005                                                                                                  J ALUMNI NEWS        57
     F A C U L T Y               P R O F I L E               A L U M N I                 S T U D E N T              H O N O R S

amendment producer Profile Products            account executive with TIMP Directional          school, he worked as a communications
and sod producer West Coast Turf. She          Marketing in Overland Park. Her husband          specialist in the communication technolo-
also handles in-house communication            is an eight-year member of the Olathe            gy industry. He earned the Ph.D. in com-
activities and external company news           Kansas Fire Department.                          munication studies from the University of
announcements for SRA. Prior to return-                                                         Kansas in 2002 and taught at Hawaii
ing to Lincoln, she was a management                             1994                           Pacific University in the College of
analyst for five years in the city manager’s                                                    Communication for three years. He moved
office in Des Moines, Iowa. She earned a       JENNIFER REGIER was featured in a                to Ann Arbor in 2005. His research and
master’s degree in public administration       Midlands Business Journal story about her        teaching focuses on the social conse-
from the University of Kansas in 2000.         Jazzercise centers in Lincoln and Omaha.         quences of new media with an emphasis
                                               She is a co-owner of South Lincoln               on mobile telephony.
                 1997                          Jazzercise Center and also opened a fran-             MICHAEL HO continues to work at
                                               chise in Grand Island. In addition to teach-     Kaiser Permanente as a computer pro-
VINCE D’ADAMO and his wife, Jackie,            ing classes in Lincoln, she is a district man-   gramming team leader but also has
Napa, Calif., are the parents of a girl,       ager for Jazzercise and is responsible for       become involved in the AssignmentZero
Juliette Scioneaux D’Adamo, born March         district sales and for adding new instruc-       pro-am journalism project (zero.newas-
7 and weighing in at 6 pounds, 7 ounces.       tors, classes, facilities and income. She also He and his wife, Colleen,
                                               coaches franchisees and coordinates dis-         live near San Francisco.
                 1996                          trict meetings. She completed her training
                                               to be a Jazzercise instructor the same                            1991
TINA COOL was one of the featured per-         weekend she graduated from the J school.
formers at the Lincoln County Fair’s 120th                                                      ANN EADS is marketing director at
anniversary edition in April. She was born                       1993                           Consolidated Kitchens in Lincoln. She
in North Platte and performed with                                                              works out of the company’s Omaha office
Scarlet and Cream during her years at          PHIL CARTER has been named manager of            and is responsible for advertising and pub-
UNL. Since graduation, she has pursued a       media relations at the University of South       lic relations and helping to coordinate
career in country music and has signed a       Dakota at Vermillion. He previously served       events and trade shows for Lincoln,
recording contract with Pacific Records in     as director of university and community          Omaha, Des Moines and Sioux City. She
Seattle. She and her husband, Gene, have       relations for Briar Cliff University in Sioux    has more than 15 years experience in
performed on cruise lines while traveling      City. Before that, he was editor of the          advertising.
the world. She also has performed at the       Dakota County Star in South Sioux City,
Opryland Hotel in Nashville, the USO in        and was a corporate communications spe-                           1989
New York City and Harrah’s casino in           cialist with Gateway. He and his wife,
Reno.                                          Cheryl, live at Dakota Dunes with their          JANE HIRT was named one of “40 Under
     JAMIE KARL is vice president of pub-      two children, ages 6 and 3.                      40” in Chicago by Crains in fall 2006. She
lic affairs and policy at the Nebraska               TERESA DESKINS, Santa Monica,              was cited for her work as one of the cre-
Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He           Calif., is a reality TV editor, working on       ators and the current editor of RedEye, the
served in the U.S. Army from 1997-99. He       “The Bachelor” and “The Biggest Loser.”          Chicago Tribune’s youth-oriented tabloid.
will be responsible for news releases, the     She also co-produced and edited a docu-               LYN WINEMAN was named one of
Legislative Report, legislative monitoring,    mentary short called “The Fighting               Lincoln’s “40 under 40” by the Midlands
state chamber council staffing and lobby-      Cholitas.” It is about a group of indigenous     Business Journal. The awards recognize 40
ing efforts.                                   Bolivian women who wrestle Lucha Libre           young people each year who the magazine
     SHELLEY ZABOROWSKI, senior asso-          style every Sunday in El Alton. The docu-        believes are making a difference in their
ciate executive director of the NU alumni      mentary won honorable mention at                 community. Wineman is senior vice presi-
association, has been selected by the          Sundance in January and best documen-            dent and account supervisor at Swanson
Council of Alumni Association Executives       tary short at the NYC Shorts Film Festival.      Russell and Associates in Lincoln. She is
as one of two Forman Fellows for 2007.               KACY PHILLIPS, Denver, was married         responsible for new business development,
The award recognizes promising leaders in      in May to Aaron Hansen. She is self-             strategic direction, client relations and
alumni relations.                              employed as a freelance graphic designer.        overall account direction for the agency.
                                               He is an anesthesiologist in private prac-       She and her husband, Neil, have three chil-
                 1995                          tice.                                            dren.

SHERI CROSS SALLEE is director of com-                           1992                                            1988
munications, process transformation, with
Sutter Health in Sacramento, Calif.            SCOTT CAMPBELL, Ann Arbor, Mich., is             MOLLY NANCE is director of strategic
    RONDA VLASIN of Mission, Kan., and         an assistant professor and Pohs Fellow of        planning and marketing at Madonna
Richard Stone II of Gardner, Kan., were        Telecommunications at the University of          Rehabilitation Hospital in Lincoln. She
married in September 2006. She is an           Michigan. After graduation from the J            coordinates the hospital’s strategic plan-
58 SUMMER 2007                                                                                                  J ALUMNI NEWS 33
                                                         JNews Notes

     F A C U L T Y               P R O F I L E               A L U M N I                 S T U D E N T                 H O N O R S

ning process and leads the marketing and       framing business in Auburn.                      Lincoln Business Journal, and the Omaha
PR activities for all of Madonna’s services.                                                    Business Journal Pages.
She most recently worked for the Nebraska                        1982
Hospital Association and has 20 years of                                                                           1946
experience in marketing communications         LISA LACKOVIC is marketing director for          RUTH WARNER, Columbus, died April 13.
and public relations. She has a master of      Watkins Concrete Block in Lincoln. She is        A native of West Point, she was a member
arts degree from Baker University in           responsible for marketing concrete               of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority during
Baldwin City, Kan.                             masonry products to architects, engineers,       her years at the university and was presi-
     JUDY PICKENS has joined Swanson           landscape architects and landscape con-          dent of the journalism honorary. She was
Russell Associates in Lincoln as a media       tractors. She has completed a two-year           editor of the AWGWAN, a humor maga-
planner. A native of Wahoo, Neb., Pickens      appointed term on the board of directors         zine. She was a journalist at The Omaha
has an extensive marketing communica-          and executive committee of the National          World-Herald and later worked in public
tions background with 20 years of agency       Concrete Masonry Association.                    relations at UNL. She and her husband,
experience. She will work on a wide array                                                       Juel, had four children, 13 grandchildren
of accounts using her business-to-business                       1977                           and four great-grandchildren.
and national consumer media planning
and buying expertise.                          PHIL JOHNSON, chief operating officer at                            1939
     ANDY POLLOCK, Lincoln, was hon-           Colle+McVoy, was named NAMA
ored in February as one of the Lincoln         Marketer of the Year. The award was pre-         CHARLINE DEIN NELSON, York, celebrat-
Business Journal’s “40 under 40.” During       sented by the organization at its April con-     ed her 90th birthday in December with her
his college career, he was president of        ference in Dallas, sponsored by                  two children, two grandchildren and other
ASUN. After graduating with a degree in        AgriMarketing magazine. He has served as         relatives and friends. After graduating
journalism, Pollock went on to UNL’s law       a director and president of the North            from UNL, she was a secretary at Lincoln’s
school where he graduated with distinc-        Central Chapter of NAMA and has chaired          City Hall and later worked at the Army Air
tion. He now serves as executive director of   awards program committees for the asso-          Force base in Lincoln, where she met Staff
the Nebraska Public Service Commission         ciation. He chaired the NAMA Issues              Sgt. Pat Nelson. They married in 1943. In
and is active in Big Brothers Big Sisters in   Forum committee in September 1998 and            1956, they moved to York where Pat ran
Lincoln. He and his wife, Kris, a dentist in   was named Outstanding Chair in 1999.             Nelson Motors from 1956-1974. Charline
Lincoln, have four children: Libby, Sam,                                                        worked as a secretary for Desch
Katie and Mac.                                                   1976                           Monuments in York.                      s

                 1985                          TOBIN BECK was named adjunct professor
                                               of the year by the Communication                 Drath, ’52, supports intern-
KEVIN WARNEKE, executive director of           Department of George Mason University
McDonald House Charities in Omaha,             in Fairfax, Va. The award was based on a         ships in Washington, D.C.
received the James Leuschen Fellowship         vote by students. Tobin teaches two news         News-editorial major Whtney Turco and grad-
from the Public Relations Society of           writing courses at GMU and also works            uate student Brian Blackwell are the first ben-
America’s Nebraska chapter. The $500 fel-      fulltime as senior editor of America’s Civil     eficiaries of the Viola Herms Drath Fellowship
lowship is awarded annually to a member        War magazine in Leesburg, Va. He and his         to support UNL students’ summer internships
of PRSA Nebraska who is pursuing contin-       wife, Ellen, and son J.T. live in Clifton, Va.   in the Washington, D.C., area. Drath recruited
uing education. Warneke is studying for a                                                       the Washington Times and Washington Life to
doctor of philosophy in leadership studies                       1973                           offer internships. The fellowship provides
at UNL. He volunteers for Keep Nebraska                                                         funds that allow students to accept unpaid
Beautiful, the UNO Alumni Association,         MEG LAUERMAN, director of university             internships in the nation’s capitol.
the Cox Classic golf tournament and            communications for UNL, was named                       Viola Drath earned a master’s degree from
Pacific Hills Lutheran Church. He also is a    Public Relations Professional of the Year        UNL in 1952. She has had a long career as a
freelance writer.                              for 2006 by the Nebraska Chapter of the          journalist and author, writing for German and
                                               Public Relations Society of America. The         American publications and publishing a biog-
                 1984                          award goes to an individual who has made         raphy of Willie Brandt, former German chan-
                                               significant contributions to the profession      cellor. She received the William J. Flynn
LYNNELL MORGAN and her husband,                over a period of years.                          Initiative for Peace award in 2005 for her work
Dennis, are the new owners and publishers                                                       in promoting U.S.-German relations for more
of the Elgin Review in Elgin, Neb. She                           1968                           than 30 years. To date, only six people have
worked at radio stations in Crete and                                                           received this prestigious award, which recog-
Beatrice before joining the newspaper in       CYNTHIA HOIG is vice president of adver-         nizes those who have worked to resolve a con-
Grant. In 2002, she opened Lynelle’s           tising for the Midlands Business Journal.        flict that has affected the United States.
Studio/Framemasters, a professional por-       She also handles regular accounts in the                Drath was the subject of a profile in the
trait photography studio and custom            MBJ and in its sister publication, the           winter 2006 edition of the J Alumni News. s
12 SUMMER 2005                                                                                                      J ALUMNI NEWS           59
      Brian Lehmann placed first in the photojournalism division of the
Hearst News Championships in San Francisco in early June. He received a
$5,000 award. Lehmann had previously earned $2,000 for his first place
finish in the first round of the year-long photo competition.

       Brian Lehmann took second place in a photo competition spon-
sored by the Alexia Foundation for World Peace.
      The foundation is named for Alexia Tsairis, an honor photojournal-
ism student at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at
Syracuse University, who was a victim of the terrorist bombing of Pan Am
Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland.
      During the summers of 1987 and 1988 she interned for the
Associated Press Graphics and Photography departments in New York
City. She was a dedicated supporter of Amnesty Inter-national and
Greenpeace and had a deep commitment to world peace, according to the
foundation’s Web site.
      The Alexia Foundation is dedicated to providing students and pro-        DOCUMENTARY MAKES IT TO FINALS
fessionals the means to promote world peace and cultural understanding.        “In the Wake of Catastrophe,” the video documentary about the Sri
      Lehmann won a half-tuition scholarship plus $500 to produce his          Lanka tsunami and Hurricane Katrina, was a regional winner in the
picture story.                                                                 Student Academy Awards competition held in spring. As such, it was
      Fifty-three students from 41 universities and one high school applied    forwarded to the national competition.
to the competition this year.                                                       The film was produced by graduate students Trevor Hall and Kelly
                                                                               Mosier under the supervision of broadcast faculty member Jerry
      COLLEGE PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR                                         Renaud. The work grew out of the 2006 depth reporting class taught by
       Brian Lehmann was named college photographer of the year in the         Renaud and news-ed faculty member Joe Starita.
annual Nebraska News Photographers Association still photo competi-
tion in April.
      Lehmann placed first and second in spot news, first and second in        CATHER AWARD TO NEWS-ED MAJOR
general news, first and second in feature, first, second and third in por-     Elaine Norton was named Cather Circle Collegian of the year in April.
trait/personality, third in sport feature and second and third in picture      Norton is a senior news-editorial and history major and has been a
story. He also earned honorable mentions in spot news and feature.             member of Cather Circle since 2004. In addition, she was the 2006-07
                                                                               internal vice president and is the 2007-08 external vice president for
     A May graduate, Lehmann has interned at the Palm Beach Post and the       ASUN, the university’s student government. She was 2006 homecoming
Concord Monitor, was a staff photographer for the Daily Nebraskan and          queen and a member of the Student Alumni Association board of
assists National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore. He has begun work-      directors. A member of Chi Omega sorority, she served as a junior
ing on a long-term project to document ethanol use and will shoot grain ele-   Panhellenic delegate and was a member of the Arts and Sciences
vators and the wheat harvest in Kansas and Nebraska this summer.               Student Advisory Board and chairman of PALS at the Nebraska Human
Lehmann won a scholarship that will allow him to study photography in          Resources Institute.
London this fall.

Caitlin Bals, Tiffany Lee, Tina Seehafer and Maggie Tunning were              Three J school students were inducted into Innocents Society or
among UNL students initiated in April into Phi Beta Kappa, the                Mortar Board during Ivy Day ceremonies on March 24.
national honor society.                                                            Maika Bauerle, a broadcasting major, was tapped by Mortar
     Bals, who also had an English major, is the daughter of Robert           Board. She is the daughter of Bill and Marcia Bauerle of Imperial.
and Debra Bals of Lincoln. Lee, whose second major was political                   Jessica DeLay, an advertising major, was named to Innocents.
science, is the daughter of Andrew and Catherine Lee of Lincoln.              She is the daughter of Steve and Roxanne DeLay of Omaha.
Tunning, Omaha, had a second major in French. She is the daugh-                    Rianna Perez, a broadcasting major, was also named to
ter of Dan and Amy Tunning. Seehafer, who had a second major in               Innocents. She is the daughter of Mike and Michelle Perez of
English, is the daughter of Gary and Brenda Seehafer of Spencer,              Cheyenne, Wyo.
Wis.                                                                               The Innocents Society inducts 13 new members each spring
     Only about 10 percent of the nation’s colleges and universities          with the selection based on leadership, scholarship and service to
have chapters of Phi Beta Kappa, a liberal arts honorary. To be con-          the university and greater community.
sidered for PBK membership, journalism students must have a dou-                   New members of Mortar Board are tapped into the Black
ble major in a department in Arts and Sciences and must meet that             Masque Chapter each spring by Mortar Boarders wearing black
college’s liberal education requirements. They must also have                 masks and robes. The 23 new members were selected on the basis
grade point averages in the top 10 percent of the graduating class.           of outstanding scholarship, leadership and service to the university
60 SUMMER 2007                                                             33 and community.
                                                                                                         JNews          & Notes
J school students placed first or second — or both — in five categories of this year’s       THREE AD STUDENTS ARE ALUMNI
Society of Professional Journalists Region 7 contest.                                        ASSOCIATION BOARD MEMBERS
      Michele Brown earned first place in general news reporting for her story,
“Living with HIV.” Krystal Overmyer took second in that category with a story called         Sixteen new members were appointed to the Student
“In the Wake of Catastrophe: Role of Religion.”                                              Alumni Association’s board of directors for 2007. They
      Maggie Stehr took first in the in-depth reporting category for her story               include Sarah Haskell, a sophomore from Columbus; Allison
“Questions of Equality,” which was part of the depth reporting class’s Sri Lanka mag-        TePoel, a sophomore from Malmo; and Kelli Shannon, a jun-
azine. Jenna Johnson placed second in the same category for another story from that          ior from Kansas City.
magazine: “Natural Defense.”                                                                       The board plans and coordinates events and programs
      Josh Swartzlander finished first in magazine non-fiction article for his story         for the 1,900-member student group at UNL and serves as
from the Sri Lanka magazine, “In the Wake of Catastrophe.”                                   a volunteer corps for Nebraska Alumni Association activi-
      The magazine itself placed second in the best student magazine category.               ties.
      In addition, the Daily Nebraskan, the independent UNL student newspaper,
placed first in best all-around daily student newspaper.
                                                                                             DEAN IS INAUGURAL MEMBER
                                                                                             Julie Dean, an advertising major from Maryville, Mo., was
Alyssa Schukar was named runner-up in the college photographer of the year still
                                                                                             one of the inaugural members of Husker 24, a new program
photo competition by the Nebraska News Photographer Association. She earned
                                                                                             named for the 24 campus columns and the Nebraska tradi-
first place in sports action and picture story, second in illustration, third in feature,
                                                                                             tion of excellence they represent. The 24 upperclassmen
and honorable mention in sport feature, sports action and portrait/personality.
                                                                                             chosen for their leadership and spirit were honored with a
       Other UNL students who earned awards were as follows:
                                                                                             Nebraska ring. The program is designed to promote the ring
       Teresa Prince, second in pictorial, third in multiple picture package, general
                                                                                             tradition and to create a connection between campus lead-
news and spot news, honorable mention in feature, sports action and sports fea-
                                                                                             ers and the alumni association.
ture and spot news.
       Greg Blobaum, first and second in multiple picture package, second in sports
feature, honorable mention in general news.
       Chris Van Kat, first in pictorial, honorable mention in general news, sports         NFAB FOUNDATION SCHOLARSHIP
action and sports feature.                                                                  TO HARMS
       Kosuke Koiawi, third in sports action and illustration.                              Kurtis Harms received a $2,500 scholarship from the National
                                                                                            Association of Farm Broadcasting Foundation. Secretary of
J SCHOOL PLACES IN HEARST COMPETITION                                                       Agriculture Mike Johanns presented the award at the group’s annu-
The J school finished in seventh place in the overall 2006-2007 intercollegiate com-        al scholarship luncheon in Kansas City. Harms, a native of Dodge,
petition sponsored by the Hearst Foundation. UNL received the fourth place                  graduated in May with an agricultural journalism major. He plans to
medallion in the photo competition and the 10th place medallion in broadcasting.            attend graduate school at the J school.
      Other individual students who plalced in this year’s competition were as fol-
      Broadcast student Maika Bauerle finished third in the first round of broadcast        PFEIFER IS AK-SAR-BEN COUNTESS
competition and received. $1,500. She was a semi-finalist in San Francisco and              Beth Pfeifer, a senior from Madison, was a countess at the Ak-Sar-
earned a $1,000 scholarship for her work there.                                             Ben ball in October 2006 at the Qwest Center in Omaha.
      Adrian Whitsett placed sixth in the first round and received an award of $500.             Countesses are young women whose families have actively con-
      Alyssa Schukar tied for 20th place in the first photojournalism round and fin-        tributed to their communities in Nebraska (excluding Omaha) or
ished second in the next round, earning a $1,500 award. Michael Paulson received a          western Iowa.
$500 for his eighth place finish in the second round.

q AD MAJORS RECEIVE AFL SCHOLARSHIPS                                                   q ADVERTISING CLASSES WIN PRISM AWARDS
Two UNL advertising students received scholarships from the                            Two campaigns classes earned AMA Prism Awards at a May 10
Advertising Federation of Lincoln in November, and a third was                         competition. The awards are sponsored by the American Marketing
named Ad Camper of the year.                                                           Association’s Lincoln Chapter.
     Jennifer Boldra, a senior from Omaha, received the $1,000                               The UNL winners are from professor Stacy James’ campaigns
Pam Holloway-Eiche Memorial Scholarship. She would like to work                        classes.
in management for a Fortune 500 company in the advertising and                               The fall 2006 class won a Prism Award for a campaign it devel-
PR field after graduation.                                                             oped for the Downtown Lincoln Association. The campaign was
     James Sevcik, a junior from Prairie Village, Kan., received the                   titled “Go Where Potential is Capitol.”
$1,000 Joyce Ayres Memorial Scholarship. Sevcik would like to                                The spring 2006 class earned an honorable mention for its
work in sports marketing for a college athletic program or a pro-                      campaign titled “Discover Art in the Everyday,” developed for the
fessional franchise.                                                                   International Quilt Study Center, which is building a new facility on
     Nels Sorensen, a senior from Fairbury, won a new award, Ad                        UNL’s East Campus.
Camper of the Year. The award was created to honor a student who                             A year ago, two advertising campaigns won Prism Awards for
participated in Ad Camp and worked with the AFL during the pre-                        2005 clients Eastmont Towers and People’s City Mission.
vious year. Sorensen hopes to work in a marketing department for
a small to medium-sized company doing graphic design and Web
development. 2005
12 SUMMER                                                                                                                           J ALUMNI NEWS          61
                                                         JNews Notes

     F A C U L T Y                P R O F I L E               A L U M N I              S T U D E N T               H O N O R S

And the winner is …
Students take home big awards
from the ADDYs competition

Paparazzi waited on the red carpet in front of
Lincoln’s Rococo Theater on Feb. 3 as a crowd
arrived in fancy suits and fine gowns. No, it
wasn’t the Academy Awards. The reason for all
the local commotion was the 14th annual
Nebraska ADDY Awards.
   “The ADDY Awards are the Oscars of
advertising,” said Amy Struthers, a J school
professor and adviser for the college’s Ad Club.
     Indeed, the ADDY Awards, the formal awards ceremony for
the advertising industry’s largest and most representative com-
petition, resembles on almost every level such events as the
Academy Awards and the Grammys. This year’s state ADDY                 petition is a good experience      graduate and multiple ADDY
Awards theme, “Live from the Red Carpet,” made the event seem          for students to go through         winner.
even more like a big Hollywood awards show.                            that while they’re in school.”          James added that students
     The competition includes two divisions: one for students               Kortum said he appreciat-     who don’t win still gain a lot
and one for professionals. Dozens of J school students competed        ed getting feedback on his         from the competition.
this year, and 18 combined their talents to receive an impressive      work.                                   “Even the non-winners’
20 awards. J school students also excelled later in the district            “It was very helpful in       work can be seen, which is
competition.                                                           seeing what other work is out      great because what happens
     “Our students did a fabulous job,” Struthers said.                there … and to see it also         then is the professionals in the
     At the state level, UNL students’ work competed with              compared to agency work,” he       area go up to the student area,
entries from UNK, UNO and The Creative Center of Omaha.                said.                              and they say, ‘Who are the up
     A few examples of the 16 categories in the competition are             Instead of a shiny, gold      and comers?’” she said.
Direct Marketing, Newspaper Ad/Insert Campaign, Television             statue shaped like a man                Students may enter the
and Radio Sports, Mixed Media and Elements of Advertising.             named Oscar, an ADDY win-          ADDY Awards as either a
     “There are so many different categories, but that’s because       ner receives a large certificate   team or individually. This
there are so many different ways that people can advertise,” said J    in a translucent holder — still    year, two UNL teams took two
school professor Stacy James, a past co-chairperson for the            one of the most prestigious        of the top student awards. The
ADDY Awards.                                                           honors that the creative adver-    J school’s national student
     In each category, an entry may receive either a gold ADDY         tising field bestows.              advertising competition team
or a silver ADDY. The judges consider the quality of the entries            An ADDY is a “validation      took best of show this year for
in deciding how many awards will be given.                             of the quality of the students’    its Postal Vault campaign, and
     “I think it’s really cool that they give you the opportunity to   work, and it’s a big thing that    a group from one of the J
submit student work and get judged with your peers and learn           students can use to sell them-     school’s campaign classes won
how well you’re doing,” said Dave Kortum, a May 2006 UNL               selves to employers,” said         a special judges citation for
graduate and a member of the UNL team that won best in show            Struthers.                         work created for the Lincoln
and a special judges’ citation.                                             “The ADDYs definitely         Community Playhouse.
     James said, “In your lifetime, if you’re going to be an art       made me look good in front              “Those are two of the
director or a copy writer, other people are going to be evaluating     of my bosses,” said Brandon        ADDYs that we’re especially
your work daily, so you might as well get used to it. So this com-     Curtis, December 2006 UNL          proud of,” Struthers said.
62 SUMMER 2007
     F A C U L T Y                 P R O F I L E               A L U M N I                S T U D E N T                H O N O R S

                                         Kortum said, “It really         judges came from Lincoln and         Struthers pointed out that
                                    boosts your confidence when          Omaha.                               recent graduate Danny
                                    you get an award like this                 “Altogether, between stu-      Schumann’s professional work
                                    because you’re thinking the          dent and professional entries        was submitted by an agency
                                    right way. You’re kind of            we had nearly a thousand             where he was an intern last
                                    ahead of the game.”                  entries, and that’s a lot of         summer.
                                         “UNL has always had             judging to do in one week-                “He won one of his
                                    good representation at the           end,” Knight said.                   awards for work he had done
                                    awards,” James said. “I see               The advancement process         in a professional environ-
                                    every year the quality of the        is the same at the state and         ment,” Struthers said, “so that
                                    work gets better and better,         district competitions: Gold          was really cool.”
                                    and the expectations of the          winners are automatically for-            This year, dues paid by
                                    judges get higher and higher,        warded to nationals; silver          AFF members and money
                                    so I think we’re doing some          winners are encouraged to            from corporate sponsorships
                                    really nice stuff.”                  enter. Nebraska competes in          and from ADDY admission
                                         The ADDY Awards have            the ninth district, which also       tickets paid for the event. The
                                    three levels of competition:         includes Kansas, Iowa and            cost of attending this year’s
                                    state, district and national.        Missouri. Lincoln hosted this        ADDYs, including the dinner,
                                    The national ADDY Awards             year’s district ADDY Awards          was either $55 or $70, depend-
                                    are hosted by the American           on April 28 at the Embassy           ing on how close the table was
                                    Advertising Federation (AAF);        Suites.                              to the stage; students received
                                    two of the group’s local sub-             At the district contest,        a discount.
                                    chapters, the Advertising            UNL’s Brandon Curtis won a                The J school’s Ad Club is
                                    Federation of Lincoln (AFL)          silver ADDY in the Out-of-           a student division of the AFF;
                                    and the Omaha Federation of          Home category for his                many members of the club, as
                                    Advertising (OFA), take turns        Honeywell Fan advertising            well as nonmember students,
                                    hosting the state competition.       campaign; and the UNL team           helped put on this year’s
                                         Gold ADDY state winners         that won best of show at the         ADDY Awards.
Professor Amy Struthers,
                                    are entered into the district        state level won gold ADDYs in             Students helped to set up
ADDY winners Brandon
                                    competition at the expense of        the Out-of-Home category             the Rococo for the event, and
Curtis and Trevor Meyer and
                                    the local AAF chapters. Silver       and Campaigns (Mixed                 some UNL volunteers helped
professor Frauke Hacht-
                                    ADDY winners are encour-             Media) category, as well as a        bring the theme to life by
mann pose for photo after
                                    aged to enter the district com-      silver ADDY in Non-                  playing the part of elegantly
ADDY award ceremony
                                    petition, but they must do so        Traditional Advertising.             dressed ushers or fake
                                    at their own expense. Even if a           “It was a big deal. It was      paparazzi before and during
                                    student doesn’t receive a gold       the first time I won a district      the ceremony.
     The team that won best in      at the state competition, he or      ADDY, so that was pretty                  Even if they didn’t submit
show included Dave Kortum,          she may win a gold at the dis-       sweet,” Curtis said. “It will def-   work to the competition, vol-
Trevor Meyer, Brandon Curtis,       trict competition.                   initely boost my resume, and         unteers made connections that
Mike Vithoulkis, Amy                     “It’s fairly common for an      it was cool to compete at that       could help them in the future.
Grantzinger, Rachel Enstrom         entry that won a silver award        level.”                                   “I thought it was great
and Sylvia Jons. The special        in the Nebraska ADDYs to go               The national ADDY               way to meet professionals in
judges award went to the team       ahead and win a gold in dis-         Awards were scheduled for            the field and network with
of Katie Will, Troy Bell, Andy      trict because it’s a totally sepa-   Louisville, Ky., during the final    them,” said Megan Petratis,
Ostermann, Julie Bohuslavsky,       rate set of judges,” said Fred       weekend in June.                     2006-2007 UNL Ad Club pres-
Brandon Curtis, Trevor Meyer        Knight, a co-chairperson for              Entrants in the student         ident. “If students really want
and Rayna Watson.                   the AFL ADDYs the past two           division must be attending a         to start getting to know people
     The students were excited      years and marketing manager          college or university in             in the profession and really see
to have their talents recog-        for Lincoln’s T. O. Haas Tire.       November when they enter             what work is out there, they
nized.                                   “It’s very subjective,”         their work, but many of this         need to start getting involved
     “For so many of us stu-        James said.                          year’s student winners had           in things like this.”
dents who really strive to               For the Nebraska ADDYs,         graduated by the time they                The date and venue have
stand out among the rest, it’s      four professional judges from        won at the February ADDYs.           not been set for next year’s
just nice to get the recognition    around the nation judge the          Several UNL alumni and cur-          ADDY Awards, but the cere-
in front of our teachers, our       professional division; five stu-     rent students have also entered      mony will be held in Omaha,
peers, people from local agen-      dents judge the student divi-        the professional division of         probably in early to mid
cies,” said Curtis.                 sion. All of this year’s student     the ADDY Awards.                     February.                     s
                                                                                                                       J ALUMNI NEWS 63
     F A C U L T Y             P R O F I L E             A L U M N I                                  S T U D E N T   H O N O R S

New campaign aims
to end panhandling

A battle of cardboard signs is about to begin on
the streets of downtown Lincoln. Some you’ve
seen: “Homeless, need help. God bless.”
    Others started popping up Tuesday and
already have raised a few eyebrows: “I didn’t
need your money. I just needed a change.”
     Take note, charitable Nebraskans: Those new signs are part
of a campaign launched by the University of Nebraska–Lincoln
and the Downtown Lincoln Association asking you to re-think
the way you give.
     The project, dreamed up by a group of UNL advertising
students, asks the public to stop giving spare change to the
homeless and instead direct money to agencies like the People’s
City Mission.
     Their argument: A few dollars here and there can’t fix
chronic homelessness. Professional agencies — with access to
substance abuse and alcohol counseling, job training and more
— can.
     And their goal: to end panhandling and help the homeless
get off the streets.
     “(Homelessness) only gets worse when people give money,”
said Todd Ogden, a senior advertising and political science
major at UNL who’s leading the campaign.
     “When you give money (to panhandlers), you don’t know
where it’s going to go. … We don’t want to discourage people
from giving. We just want people to know giving money to agen-
cies is the better option.”
     Ogden will spend the week distributing promotional posters
and brochures throughout downtown. He’ll also set up “shadow
people” — life-size, faceless human silhouettes holding the new
cardboard signs.
     The cutouts are meant to represent former panhandlers
who got back on track thanks to donations to charitable agen-
cies, he said.
     Ogden had a bit of a disap-
pointing start Tuesday: Hours             Advertising students
after he set up the first “shadow
                                                                  Art courtesy advertising sequence

                                          designed promotion-
person” near Douglas Theatre              al posters for the
Co. at 201 N. 13th St., it vanished,      Downtown Lincoln
presumably stolen by angry or             Association to edu-
mischievous passers-by.                   cate the community
     The remaining five shadow            and campus on
figures, Ogden said, will be              chronic homeless-
strapped to benches, making  >>           ness
64 SUMMER 2007               ALUMNI NEWS 33
                                          JNews Notes

F A C U L T Y   P R O F I L E                  A L U M N I                S T U D E N T               H O N O R S

                                                                                          PLUGGING IN
                such theft more difficult.             actually make a difference.        Ad students
                      “Hopefully, whoever                    And at least one UNL
                took it is setting it up some-         English professor calls the        make contacts,
                where else,” he said good-
                                                       campaign “horrifying and
                                                       demeaning” to the homeless,
                                                                                          friends on trip
                      Panhandling has been a
                consistent problem down-
                                                       several of whom she counts
                                                       among her closest friends.
                                                                                          to Big Apple
                town and worsens in the                      “They were really upset      by LAUREN GARCIA
                summer as warm weather                 and hurt,” said professor Fran
                draws people outside, said             Kaye. “And rightly so.”            They say the neon lights are
                Susanne Blue, executive                      Kaye said she’s offended     bright on Broadway. But why are
                director of Matt Talbot                by the “shadow people,” say-       they like that, and who made
                Kitchen & Outreach.                    ing they imply the homeless        them that way? A four-day trip to
                      Campus, too, is especial-        are second-class citizens.         the Big Apple in the fall semester
                ly vulnerable, as young stu-                 “They’re not shadows.        provided an opportunity for 20
                dents generally show more              They’re real people,” she said.    advertising students from the J
                compassion toward the                  “It’s like my own family being     school to get a taste of the big-
                homeless, Blue said.                   told they’re not human.            city advertising world.
                      Lincoln has some 1,600                 “I just think the whole           “The students were really
                homeless people, she said,             premise is wrong-headed.”          excited,” said advertising profes-
                about 50 of whom are chron-                  Ogden says his intent        sor Amy Struthers, who accom-
                ically homeless, meaning               isn’t to offend. Rather, he        panied the students. “We really
                they’ve had no permanent               wants to give hope to home-        had a group full of go-getters.”
                address for a year or more.            less people who might not               What did the city have to
                      Those 50, Blue said, are         think they can change.             offer the students? It was the 50th
                particularly vulnerable.                     He said he’s talked to       annual Advertising Women of
                      Many suffer from mental          many homeless people who           New York Conference. Founded
                illness, drug addiction or             “want this to happen more          in 1912 as the first women’s asso-
                alcohol abuse. Many have lit-          than anybody.”                     ciation in the communications
                tle or no family or support                  “These guys, they don’t      industry, AWNY sponsors many
                system to lean on.                     want this image. A lot of          events throughout the year,
                      “These are the ones who          homeless people are trying,”       including this 50-year-old confer-
                have really fallen through the         he said. “It’s all about hope.     ence, which attracted more than
                cracks.”                               We’re definitely not trying to     700 students from across the
                      Pocket change, she said,         be disrespectful.”                 nation.
                is not what they need.                       Kaye isn’t convinced. The         The two-day conference
                      “A little bit of change          university, she said, must         began Friday evening with a
                here or there isn’t really             work harder to embrace             social event so students could
                doing anything to help the             diversity.                         meet invited professionals from
                individual make changes,” she                And she believes those       the advertising community.
                said. “It’s just a very tempo-         who don’t stop to spare some            “There were lots of different
                rary fix or a Band-Aid, if you         change could be missing out        professionals you can go up and
                will.                                  on valuable friendships.           talk to,” sophomore advertising
                      “They need meals, men-                 “If you give someone a       major Derek Hester said. “I lost
                tal health services, substance         sandwich one time, give them       myself talking, and the whole
                abuse treatment, shelter. ...          some money one time, have a        night went by really fast.”
                Sometimes giving them a lit-           conversation one time and               “You had to be very tena-
                tle bit here, a little bit there, is   get to know them, it might         cious to get a chance to talk to
                just keeping them on the               change their life,” she said.      people,” Struthers said. At times,
                street.”                               “And it will sure as hell          one professional was surrounded
                      Not everyone agrees.             change yours.”                 s   by 15 or 20 students trying to get
                      Blue admits she’s been                                              his or her attention.
                hit with a bit of skepticism           This story appeared in the              “I learned something from
                from people wondering                  Lincoln Journal Star on May 8      everyone I talked with,” jun-
                                                       and is reprinted by permission.
                whether the project could                                                 ior advertising major          >>
                                                                                                    J ALUMNI NEWS         65
                                                            JNews Notes

     F A C U L T Y                 P R O F I L E                 A L U M N I                 S T U D E N T                 H O N O R S

Stephanie Demers said. “I think
this trip really made me realize
what a cutthroat industry
                                                                                                                  Ad class helps
advertising is.”                                                                                                   give women
      The next day was spent
attending breakout sessions                                                                                        a fresh start
with 27 workshops on topics
like fashion advertising, sports                                                                                  by EMILY ANDERSON
marketing, public relations,
product placement and music                                                                                       Cross excavation, construc-
and sound design. No matter                                                                                       tion and drywall off the “to
what field of advertising a stu-                                                                                  do” list. The building at 6433
dent was interested in, the con-                                                                                  Havelock just needs a finish-
ference had it covered.            From left: Tiffany Harder, Jessica Donovan, Liz Brew, Dan Sheppard, Elise      ing coat of paint and about
      “The breakout sessions       Korte; From right: Troy Bell, Stephanie Demers, UNL grad and New York City     $300,000 more in capital
were helpful and on point with     transplant Dave Kortum, Jayne Meyer and Jeralee Shotkoski                      funds.
what I was trying to learn as far       During these visits, stu-                But having aspirations to              Every solidly built home
as getting a job in New York,”     dents jumped at the chance to            work in an agency while getting       deserves an exterior to match
advertising grad student Troy      immerse themselves in what a             adjusted to life in New York is       its interior. For Lincoln’s
Bell said. “These were a more      real advertising firm is like and        not easy at first. Some gradu-        Fresh Start Home, the same
personal way of getting all of     to network with the people they ates who move to New York                      concept applies: The staff
your questions answered and to met.                                         have to find jobs at department       and residents believe the hard
learn helpful information.”             “On the agency visits, we           stores or restaurants before they     work and pride so obvious
      Hester is working as a fash- had a guide that came in and             get hired at a good agency.           inside the home should also
ion-division intern at Paul        gave a presentation,” Bell said.              As an example, Struthers         be visible to the entire com-
Wilmot Communications in           “I made sure to get that per-            mentioned Dave Kortum, a for-         munity.
New York this summer. One          son’s name down. And those               mer Ad Club president at UNL,               Fresh Start Home gave
breakout session about media       are the people that I sent my            now working at Renegade               an opportunity to students in
sales inspired him to seek out a resume to.”                                Marketing, who went to New            J school teacher Sharon
career in that field of advertis-       Bell, who graduated in              York without a job. On his sec-       Stephan’s advertising class to
ing. He came back from the         May, dreams of living and                ond day in town, Kortum took a        become different kinds of
conference and decided to take     working in New York City. After job selling shoes at                           painters. They used their
Advt 488, a J school class in      the trip, he sent resumes to             Bloomingdales; within a month         skills in public relations to
media sales.                       McCann Erickson, Renegade                he was working in an ad agency.       help Fresh Start Home to
      The students also visited    Marketing and another agency,                 That story inspires recent       raise money and add visibili-
two agencies in New York:          Draft FCB. While Bell spent his grads like Bell. “I’m going to do              ty and appeal to its cause.
McCann Erickson and                spring break interviewing in             whatever to pay the bills until I     The students worked to
Renegade Marketing Group.          New York, he didn’t expect any           get a job in advertising I want,”     inform a corporate commu-
      For Demers, one of the top agencies to call and offer him a           he said.                              nity about the progress the
benefits of the trip was visiting  job right away — which he said                As advice for aspiring           home is making in the lives
the agencies. “It was great to see doesn’t bother him. The fall trip young advertising students, Bell             of women.
the ‘real world’ environment,”     to New York provided him with said, “I think I would say that if                     “Fresh Start Home is an
she said.                          the opportunity to get the               you think New York is the place       ideal client. It is a transitional
      The group spent three        spring interviews.                       you want to go, then make the         facility that takes women
hours at McCann Erickson, a             “I think it’s important that time to make trips there and                 recently released from prison
renowned agency that occupies I have a leg up on the other                  find out. It’s almost a fantasy,      or rehabilitation programs as
17 stories and employs about       people that will be graduating,” but you gotta go there and                    well as women who are flee-
1,500 people total, about 400 in Bell said. “I feel like I’m ahead          experience it to see if it’s really   ing domestic violence, lack-
that building.                     of the game.”                            what you want to do.”                 ing social and economic sup-
      “I really wanted to go            For students who intend to               Hester said, “I’d really rec-    port and just in need of a
because I spent the summer as      work in New York and have the ommend other students seize                      fresh start and gives them
a visiting professor at McCann     opportunity to interview, show- opportunities like this because                direction in the real world,”
Erickson,” Struthers said.         ing that they took a week-long           networking is really important.       Stephan said. Women may
      Renegade Marketing           trip to the city to immerse              When someone like Amy                 stay for up to one year.
Group is a smaller agency that     themselves in advertising cul-           Struthers offers you an oppor-              While enrolled in the
occupies only one floor with       ture reveals how serious they            tunity to network, take it.” s        program, women are helped
about 60 full-time employees.      are.                                                                           to find jobs and, if necessary,
66 SUMMER 2007              ALUMNI NEWS 33
                                           F A C U L T Y                  P R O F I L E               A L U M N I                S T U D E N T                 H O N O R S

                                      helped to overcome substance-             Senior Jennifer Green said      this will lessen our waiting list    in working with a client.
                                      abuse problems. Eight-five per-      she thought the Web site             and allow more women to                    “It’s always more fun to
                                      cent of women who enter              would benefit from updating.         move toward self sufficiency.        work with a real client because
                                      Fresh Start Home and stay            “The more appealing they can         We celebrate tiny victories;         you can take this more serious-
                                      longer than three months are         make it look, the better it is for   they multiply over time.”            ly. The ideas we’re developing
                                      successful in attaining self-suf-    business,” she said. “Public               Fresh Start Home’s pur-        can be implemented to help a
                                      ficiency.                            relations is all about exposure      pose, “to ensure the provision       client like Fresh Start Home,”
                                           Stephan, NU’s assistant         and bringing awareness to peo-       of services to women who             Green said.
                                      vice president of marketing          ple, which is just what Tiffany      experience barriers in their               Stephan said the experi-
                                      and communications, had 13           has expressed that Fresh Start       lives and to assist restoration of   ence of working with Fresh
                                      students in her spring semester      Home needs right now.”               these women into the commu-          Start Home is one of the rea-
                                      public relations class. She said          The home, which served          nity,” cannot be realized fully      sons such classes are successful.
                                      her class’s goals meshed well        58 previously incarcerated           without continued support.                 “The students are so
                                      with the needs of Fresh Start        women in 2006, bought the                  Enter Stephan’s class.         enthusiastic about their client
                                      Home.                                larger Havelock facility and                “Fresh Start Home needs       interaction. Someone needs
                                            “My goal is to allow stu-      planned to move there in July        money, but they also need            awareness, funding, volunteers
                                      dents to experience the styles       2007. Mullison said she hoped        necessities like soap and sham-      or visibility in the community,
                                                                                                                                 poos, but alone     so the students create a solu-
                                                                                                                                 they cannot         tion,” Stephan said. “They have
                                                                                                                                 afford” to get      such a sense of satisfaction
                                                                                                                                 the word out,       about working for a client with
                                                                                                                                 Stephan said.       real needs. A great thing about
                                                                                                                                      Senior Kelli   the J school is the real-world
                                                                                                                                 Kremlacek, who      experience they offer in classes
                                                                                                                                 praised the         like this.”
                                                                                                                                 home for doing            The staff and residents of
                                                                                                                                 a good job using    Fresh Start Home, too, were
                                                                                                                                 volunteers and      pleased with the project.
                                                                                                                                 donations from            “I am so excited to see
Photo courtesy Lincoln Journal Star

                                                                                                                                 the private com-    these projects,” Mullison said,
                                                                                                                                 munity, said that   adding that the home planned
                                                                                                                                 involvement         to follow up on the “low-cost,
                                                                                                                                 from businesses     high-payback” pieces the stu-
                                                                                                                                 is the next step    dents proposed. “I love the
                                                                                                                                 Fresh Start         ideas about redesigning the
                                                                                                                                 Home should         Web site,” she said. “I like that
                                            MULLISON                                                                             take.               there were suggestions that rec-
                                                                                                                                       “I believe    ognized our technological lim-
                                                                                                                                 they have the       its. I think that most of these
                                      of writing they’ll use in public     having more space would allow        opportunity to delve into the        suggestions are very, very prac-
                                      relations, from internal com-        more women the opportunity           corporate community,”                tical.”
                                      munications to press releases        to become part of the project.       Kremlacek said. “I hope to                 Kremlacek said experi-
                                      and speeches,” Stephan said.              Each year, about 500            introduce them to different          ences like helping Fresh Start
                                      “The class works on every            women call Fresh Start Home          avenues to create promotions         Home reach its goals help stu-
                                      aspect of public relations. We       to inquire about its services. Of    and awareness but also to bet-       dents “appreciate the real-
                                      take on the roles of a public        the 496 women who asked for          ter involve corporate donation       world applications of our
                                      relations firm, almost always        help in 2006, 58 were accepted.      and volunteer work.”                 work.”
                                      working with nonprofit agen-         Fourteen began their stay in               Stephan’s students will              “When coursework is
                                      cies like Fresh Start Home.”         2005 and remained sheltered in       develop promotional materials,       done strictly for the purpose of
                                           In their first meeting with     2006.                                including radio spots, flyers,       grading, it sometimes loses its
                                      Fresh Start’s executive director          “Each year, we have a long      posters and an updated Web           impact,” Kremlacek said. “But
                                      Tiffany Mullison, students           waiting list and turn women          site.                                when our ideas and strategies
                                      looked at the home’s pam-            away. When the new shelter                 Green agrees that the          have the potential to be put
                                      phlets, brochures and Web site,      opens, capacity will increase 50     strategy involved in class bene-     into action for an organization,
                                      which was created under a            percent, going from 16 to 24         fits students by providing both      it motivates me.”               s
                                      grant that has since expired.        beds,” Mullison said. “We hope       technical skills and experience
                                      12 SUMMER 2005                                                                                                         J ALUMNI NEWS        67
     F A C U L T Y               P R O F I L E                A L U M N I             S T U D E N T               H O N O R S


UNL students help name the
coffee shop down the street

Last Valentine’s Day, something magical was in
the air, wafting on the breeze near Andersen
Hall even before the sun had risen. But it was-
n’t love; it was the aroma of coffee, the
lifeblood of America.
    The aroma came from Kopeli, Lincoln’s
newest coffee house. On the corner of 14th and
Q Streets — a block from the J school —
Kopeli opened its doors for the first time at
5:30 a.m. on Feb. 14. And UNL students had
helped to create the business’s unique name.
      “The thing I love most about coffee houses is that they have     also needed to get a feel for     table, discussing the design of
this relaxed feel, kind of like they’re a break from your day,” said   the group they thought would      the new business’s logo.
Jan Moore, co-founder of Kopeli. But starting a new business is        be the majority of their future   Initially, the name was barely
no easy task. Moore knew she’d have her work cut out for her,          patrons — college students.       discussed; Moore was confi-
and she turned to UNL students to help her pull it off.                     To help perfect the new      dent that the name “Java
     Moore and her husband, Roger, both UNL alumni, are                business’s name and logo,         More” would appeal to the
majority owners of Growth Management Corporation, which                Moore sought the help of the      group. But the students
owns and operates Amigos restaurants. They became interested           Ad Club and any other stu-        thought “java” sounded dated.
in premium coffees and espresso drinks as a possible addition to       dents who cared to partici-            “The students’ responses
the current breakfast menu in their Mexican restaurants.               pate.                             made me step back and think
McDonalds has led this trend in the fast food industry.                     “She needed to appeal to     again,” Moore said. “I ended up
     When a coffee consultant saw the proximity of UNL to the          the language, values and ideas    changing the name because of
14th and Q Amigos, he recommended opening a separate coffee            of her target audience,” said     the input.”
shop as a way to begin brand imaging for a new coffee line that        Amy Struthers, the Ad Club             The efforts of Moore and
might later be introduced to various Amigos restaurants.               adviser and a J school adver-     her focus group produced
     Moore is vice president of the Growth Management                  tising professor.                 pages upon pages of possible
Corporation in Lincoln. Before opening Kopeli, she spent most               Late last fall, Moore sent   names, ranging from “Bean
of her time managing an Amigos restaurant owned by the cor-            an e-mail inviting UNL stu-       There” to “Clouds in my
poration. She wanted to call attention to the breakfast menu           dents to take part in a focus     Coffee.”
available at the Mexican restaurant. With other fast-food com-         group to test the designs that         “Someone suggested the
petitors setting out to differentiate their own breakfast selec-       she and her husband had           name ‘Gravity.’ I really liked
tions, such as McDonald’s offering of premium coffee with              come up with. She also            that one, but we found out that
early-morning meals, opening a coffee shop next to the Amigos          planned to see how students       it didn’t appeal to the older
restaurant seemed the natural choice.                                  would react to the proposed       demographic,” Moore said.
     “The first step was research. Lots and lots of research,”         name for the coffee house:             Still, Moore needed a few
Moore said. She and her husband, along with general manager            Java More.                        more opinions from college
Allen Schwickerath, visited several local coffee houses near uni-           At the focus group, Moore    students. She decided to meet
versities in various states to get a feel for the industry. But they   and the students sat around a     with the Ad Club. And she
68   SUMMER 2007          ALUMNI NEWS          33
                                                         JNews Notes

     F A C U L T Y                 P R O F I L E             A L U M N I                S T U D E N T               H O N O R S

                                                                                    Jan Moore (left),
                                                                                    co-founder of
                                                                                    Kopeli, and UNL        local patrons.
                                                                                    grad assistant              However, downtown
                                                                                    Reille Creighton       Lincoln has many coffee hous-
                                                                                    (right) participat-    es, and that number is grow-
                                                                                    ed in a copy-and-      ing all the time.
                                                                                    design test at              “There is a large market
                                                                                    Andersen Hall          for coffee houses, and satura-
                                                                                    late last fall         tion has to occur at some
                                                                                                           point,” Struthers said.
                                                                                                                All the same, Kopeli has a
                                                                                                           lot going for it: a convenient
                                    Brandon Curtis, an Ad Club               “It was a name we had         drive-through, patio seating
                                    member.                            made up somewhere along the         and free wireless Internet
                                         The students also dis-        line,” Moore said. “Coming up       access. And that’s to say noth-
                                    cussed why certain names           with it was group effort. I real-   ing of the students who take
                                    appealed to them.                  ly liked the way it sounded.”       pride in the coffee shop that
                                         “I remember that a lot of           The coffee shop finally       they helped name.
                                    them started with a strong ‘K,’    had a name. But there was still          “Every time I drive by, I
                                    to sound like coffee,” said        much more work to do. For           feel honored to have been able
                                    Jeralee Shotkoski, president of    example, Moore had to order         to help decide on a business’s
                                    the club when Moore con-           cups for the shop nearly six        name,” said Elise Korte, anoth-
                                    ducted tests.                      weeks in advance; on each           er member of the Ad Club
                                         The students also did a       cup, is “The Legend of              present during Moore’s copy-
                                    series of word-association         Kopeli,” a short story written      and-design testing.
                                    exercises, relating the image      by Moore herself. Even on a              “People in the business
                                    each name brought to mind.         detail as small as the design of    world will no doubt appreci-
                                         Overall, the focus group      Kopeli’s cups, Moore contin-        ate the drive-through,” Moore
                                    and the visit with the UNL Ad      ued to involve students in the      said. “And Kopeli is the perfect
intended to put what she
                                    Club were successful.              decision-making process. She        place for couples to unwind
learned in the focus group to
                                         Students appreciated that     e-mailed ideas to students and      following a movie.” She also
good use.
                                    Moore asked for ideas and          asked for their opinions.           plans to add heat lamps to the
      “Her goal wasn’t to show
                                    feedback before GMC                      Foodlines, a company          sidewalk café area to make it
them something and ask,
                                    launched its coffee shop.          that specializes in interior dec-   accessible on cool days.
‘Wouldn’t this be cool?’” said
                                         “It helped her hit her tar-   orating and architecture for             In addition to freshly
Struthers, the liaison between
                                    get audience and showed that       restaurants and cafeterias,         baked pastries, Kopeli offers a
Moore and the Ad Club. “She
                                    she cared about what students      crafted the shop’s interior.        meal menu as well, something
was more interested in ‘What
                                    thought,” Shotkoski said.          And then there was the matter       unique among the many cof-
do we need to do to make our
                                         As with any form of mar-      of the coffee itself.               fee venues in downtown
message clear?’ Jan wanted
                                    ket research, there was a need           Taste tests for Kopeli’s      Lincoln. With its convenient
this to be a place where stu-
                                    to provide those surveyed with     new kinds of coffee were also       location, across the street from
dents could come and just
                                    an incentive; students were        conducted but not by UNL            the UNL offices of Admissions
hang out.”
                                    offered Amigos coupons for         students.                           and Research and a block
     A few weeks after the
                                    their time. But they gained              “They brought in a ‘coffee    from the J school, Kopeli has
focus group, Moore visited the
                                    something more valuable than       expert’ for that,” Struthers        also gained popularity with
Ad Club. She asked the stu-
                                    a free burrito. They had a         said, laughing.                     the faculty.
dents for feedback on a new
                                    chance to see copy-and-design            That expert was Tracy              “Well, the exterior looks
set of names and logos. On
                                    testing in action, the process     Allen, the vice president of        like a brick boxcar,” Struthers
sheets of paper adorned with
                                    of showing ideas and pictures      Zoka, which provides Kopeli’s       said. “But the interior is warm
possible logos, students circled
                                    to a sample of people in order     coffee beans. Moore and other       and inviting. It doesn’t say,
their three favorite choices
                                    to gauge their reactions.          Kopeli associates participated      ‘Eat and then get out.’ It’s
and gave the rationale behind
                                         Moore had all the data        in a coffee taste test, called a    more like, ‘Come and spend
each selection.
                                    she needed. She simply needed      “cupping.”                          some time here!’ It has a
     “It was a cool way for the
                                    to make a selection.                     The new coffee house and      ‘snuggle around the fireplace’
Ad Club to put its knowledge
                                    Eventually, one name emerged       its fare have been well received    mentality that encourages lin-
to use. And it was good, free
                                    victorious: Kopeli.                by UNL students and other           gering.”
feedback for Moore,” said                                                                                                                 s
12 SUMMER 2005                                                                                                     J ALUMNI NEWS 69
                                                        JNews Notes

      F A C U L T Y              P R O F I L E              A L U M N I             S T U D E N T               H O N O R S

                                                                     RIGHT: CoJMC broadcast            Schusterov join broadcast-
                                                                     students Megan Carrick and        ing     students     Rachel
                                                                     Chris Welch gather inter-         Anderson, Megan Carrick,
                                                                     views                             Justin Peterson and Chris
                                                                     FAR RIGHT: Turkish inter-         Welch when they take a

   Germany                                                           preter Enver Burak CAN,
                                                                     German interpreter Harry
                                                                                                       break from filming near a
                                                                                                       Turkish Market in Berlin

                                                                          In fact, Stohs-Krause’s      to Germany are many. For
             Depth reporting class                                   heritage was one of the rea-      example, some native
                                                                     sons she felt she should take     Germans feel the Turkish peo-
     analyzes globalization and renovation                           on the project.                   ple are taking jobs and crowd-
              in today’s Germany                                          Being of “solid German       ing the country. The concern
                                                                     stock,” Stohs-Krause said, “the   about overpopulation and the
                                                                     idea of visiting the ‘homeland’   threat to jobs have made some
                                                                     had a certain romantic conno-     Germans feel hostility, resent-
by GABRIELLE JOHNSON                                                 tation.”                          ment and suspicion toward
                                                                                                       the Turkish people. These
Hilary Stohs-Krause was in Berlin, Germany,                               After returning from 10      issues have parallels with
                                                                     days in Berlin, the students      Mexican immigration to the
eating a McDonald’s hamburger when she                               spent the spring semester on      U.S.
noticed something enlightening.                                      separate projects relating to          But in contrast, whereas
                                                                     their research and interviews     many immigrant Mexicans are
    “Nearby sat a young German couple and                            with German business leaders,     Catholic — a religion they
behind us a middle-aged Turkish man.                                 government officials and citi-    share with many Americans
American music was playing. That’s globaliza-                        zens. The advertising students    — most Turks are Muslims,
                                                                     worked on a promotion of the      and most Germans are not.
tion right there,” Stohs-Krause said. She said                       depth report. The broadcast-      The differences in religion can
this moment highlighted a theme of the depth                         ing students, working with        lead to misunderstandings
                                                                     faculty member Barney             and distrust.
report she and other J school students had                           McCoy, wrote and edited their          Anderson said this confu-
been working on.                                                     documentary, and the news-        sion and lack of understand-
                                                                     ed students have written sto-     ing of the Turkish people have
     On Jan. 4, 13 students and four faculty members from the J      ries for the magazine.            led some Germans to refer to
school began their journey to Berlin. They traveled there not just        One of the big stories in    the Turks with “nasty nick-
to learn for themselves about the German people and their cul-       the depth report — and the        names” and have also made
ture but to do research for their stories to be put in the Germany   topic of the hour-long docu-      some Germans wary about the
depth report — a magazine and a documentary.                         mentary — explores Turkish        Turks.
     While the depth report won’t focus solely on globalization,     immigration into Germany.              Events in the U.S. may
that issue has definitely had an impact on many of the stories.      Turkish people have been          also have influenced German
The topics include a look at the German education system, the        immigrating to Germany since      attitudes toward Muslims.
impact of Turkish immigration, the status of religion in             the 1960s; now, Berlin has the         “Ever since 9/11, being
Germany, the European Union’s effect on Germany and more.            largest Turkish population        Muslim is suspicious” even
However the main theme is the way Germany is changing and            outside of Turkey.                though only a few Muslims
reinventing itself since the Berlin Wall fell in 1989. The depth          News-ed junior Katie         perpetrated the attacks on the
report magazine will emphasize the changes since East and West       Backman said the students         U.S., Anderson said.
Germany once again became one.                                       wanted to focus on immigra-            Backman worked on
     Tim Anderson, who taught the news-ed portion of the class       tion since the situation “is      another story covering the
along with Charlyne Berens, said a depth report on Germany           comparable to Mexican immi-       recent construction of a con-
will connect with most Nebraskans.                                   gration in America.”              troversial Holocaust memorial
     “Forty-one percent of people in Nebraska say that their              The parallels between        in Berlin. It is being built in
families originally come from Germany,” Anderson said. “So it        Mexican immigration to the        one of the “touristy hubs” of
just felt right to be researching more about Germany.”               U.S. and Turkish immigration      Berlin, Backman said, so many

70   SUMMER 2007          ALUMNI NEWS
     F A C U L T Y                P R O F I L E                 A L U M N I                                       S T U D E N T               H O N O R S

                                                                          Photo by Barney McCoy
                                                                                                  the Berlin Wall fell, the new      zines online each week, shared
                                                                                                  German government began            information during class and
                                                                                                  tearing down these traffic         conducted preliminary inter-
                                                                                                  lights; however, when former       views.”
                                                                                                  East Germans complained that             In Berlin, the work con-
                                                                                                  the government was destroy-        tinued at a fast pace.
                                                                                                  ing artifacts of their culture,          “Some stories have 20
                                                                                                  the government stopped.            sources,” Backman said.
                                                                                                        “So today,” Hachtmann              Hachtmann calls the stu-
                                                                                                  said, “looking at the different    dents’ work in researching
                                                                                                  traffic lights is an easy way to   their topics and putting
                                                                                                  tell which part of former          together an advertising plat-
                                                                                                  Berlin one is in.” She also said   form, magazine and docu-
                                                                                                  the architecture is grimly dis-    mentary “impressive.”
                                                                                                  tinctive in former Communist             “The students were run-
                                                                                                  East Germany.                      ning around all the time. It
                                                                                                        Backman said she could       was really night and day for
                                                                                                  see the difference between for-    them, and they were very
                                                                                                  mer West Berlin’s modern           organized throughout the
                                                                                                  architecture and the “bleak        whole thing,” Hachtmann
                                                                                                  and gray” buildings of the for-    said. “And sometimes, the lan-
                                                                                                  mer East Berlin. She also          guage barrier was really hard
                                                                                                  noticed that former East           to work with. Sometimes the
                                                                                                  Berlin had a lot of overhang-      translation went from English
                                                                                                  ing wires meant for cable cars,    to German to Turkish back to
                                              Photo by Frauke Hachtmann                           which created a sense of being     German back to English, so
                                                                                                  “caged in.”                        you can imagine.”
Germans feel that such a           on German economic policies                                          Walking around and tak-            Anderson said the project
memorial “takes away visitors      and German culture.                                            ing note of the differences was    exploring current political and
from concentration camps,               Both students and faculty                                 only one aspect of the stu-        social issues in Germany bene-
which are the real remnants of     members who visited Berlin                                     dents’ work while in Berlin.       fits the students more than
the Holocaust.”                    found noticeable differences                                   Both Backman and Stohs-            anybody else.
     The depth report also         between the former East and                                    Krause agree that the amount             “By learning about
highlights Germany’s new mil-      West sectors of the city.                                      of work they had to do was, as     Germany, they learn about
itary buildup. Since World              Frauke Hachtmann, the                                     Stohs-Krause describes it,         their own country and its
War II when Germany har-           advertising faculty member                                     “insane.” In spring 2006 before    place in the world,” Anderson
bored the Nazi Regime and          who is a native of Germany                                     the class met, the students        said, “They learn you don’t
the Holocaust, the nation has      and who went on the trip, said                                 were already brainstorming         have to eat this food or listen
been reluctant to have a strong    traffic lights offer one useful                                ideas. Then during fall semes-     to this type of music, that
and powerful army. However,        way to distinguish between                                     ter, Backman said, “We had to      there’s a whole other world
as Germany’s responsibility to     former East and West Berlin.                                   do a ton of research.”             you could be involved in.”
the EU and NATO increases,         Before 1989, East Berlin had                                         Stohs-Krause said, “We             Both the magazine and
Germany is starting to send its    traffic lights with a lighted sig-                             read an entire book on the         the documentary on Germany
military to foreign nations.       nal showing men in “cute                                       history of Germany, read vari-     will be available sometime in
     Other stories will focus      hats,” Hachtmann said. After                                   ous newspapers and maga-           August.                      s

12   SUMMER 2005                                                                                                                            J ALUMNI NEWS        71
      F A C U L T Y               P R O F I L E              A L U M N I                S T U D E N T               H O N O R S

     J SCHOOL GARNERS                          Bringing a voice to rural Nebraska
         OPC AWARDS                            Depth reporting class sheds light on western
 Journalism students earned three              Nebraska’s strengths, challenges
 awards for their work on college publi-
 cations in the Omaha Press Club’s annu-       by MIMI ABEBE
 al competition this spring.
      Ananda Walden and Ben Van Kat            They set out to get a feel for the places they would be writing
 won first place in the Magazine Layout
 and Design category for “In the Wake of       about — rural areas of central and western Nebraska. But as the
 Catastrophe,” the 2006 publication that       J school students and their teachers drove across the state, they
 focused on the situation in Sri Lanka a
 year after the tsunami and New Orleans
                                               saw more than they had expected: tiny towns with rundown
 a year after Hurricane Katrina.               houses and images far from the picturesque small towns found
                                               in storybooks.
                                                     “After seeing these houses that were      RIGHT: The University of Nebraska–Lincoln
                                               once beautiful and neighborhoods that           depth-reporting team includes: top row, from
                                                                                               left: Katherine Mayse, Brian Hernandez and
                                               were once prosperous and towns that once        Mark Mahoney; front row: Meredith Grunke,
                                               existed, I understood. The project was          Michele Brown, Jessica Donovan and Danielle
                                               about the people who were affected by           Welty
                                               communities that were struggling to sur-
                                               vive,” said junior Danielle Welty.              suggested looking into the concerns of the
                                                     Brian Hernandez, also a junior, said,     populations in their papers’ circulation
                                               “We knew we wanted to do a project relat-       areas. Students found that those concerns
                                               ing to the recent population decline and        included property taxes, declining popula-
      Joel Gehringer won honorable men-        how rural Nebraska communities and              tion, immigration and health care — all
 tion in the Magazine Layout and Design        government officials were adjusting to          issues with a connection to county gov-
 category for “One Big Family, One Big         maintain adequate public services in those      ernment.
 House,” a magazine about Clinton              areas. From there, we discovered the prob-           “A depth report is something more
 Elementary School, Lincoln’s most             lems and … possible solutions.”                 than the average story. We spent months
 diverse school.                                     Hernandez and Welty were members          researching and talking to various
                                               of the Western Nebraska depth-reporting         sources,” Welty said.
                                               team, seven J school students selected to            In one of two stories that Welty wrote
                                               research and write about issues facing          for the project, she reported that a small
                                               rural Nebraska.                                 population can result in more work for
                                                     In a full semester of intense work in     county officials.
                                               fall 2006, the students joined forces with           Welty found that Deb Mitteis, the
                                               faculty members and three local newspa-         Sherman County clerk, was also the regis-
                                               pers for “The Cost of Our Counties,” a          ter of deeds, election commissioner, secre-
                                               project that was described this way in the      tary to the county board and clerk of the
                                               final publication: “This series of 15 stories   district court. With only 3,300 citizens in
                                               examines county government in Nebraska          the county, it’s hard to support the servic-
                                               — how it came to be as it is, what is does,     es that residents are used to.
      Ananda Walden won first place in         what it costs and what it means to the               Kearney Hub publisher Steve
 the Magazine Cover Design category for        people who live in central and western          Chatelain said the series showed how the
 “Platte River Odyssey,” which examined        Nebraska.”                                      counties are adapting to change.
 the condition of and threats to the Platte          The idea of collaborating with the J           “People roll up their sleeves and do
 River.                                        school on a depth report came from the          what has to be done” to deal with the
                                               editors of the Kearney Hub, the North           problems in rural Nebraska, Chatelain
                                               Platte Telegraph and the Scottsbluff Star-      said.
                                               Herald, said Mary Kay Quinlan, who                   Senior Michele Brown reported on
                                               taught the class with John Bender and           property taxes, a concern for most
                                               Carolyn Johnsen.                                Nebraskans but particularly for small
                                                     The focus on county government            counties that need to pay for such things
                                               developed after the students had consid-        as roads, law enforcement and emergency
                                               ered many topics and after the editors had      services even though population may have
72   SUMMER 2007           ALUMNI NEWS        33
                                                         JNews Notes

     F A C U L T Y               P R O F I L E               A L U M N I                S T U D E N T               H O N O R S

                                                                                               about small-town government without
                                                                                               experiencing a small town,” Donovan said.
                                                                                                     Quinlan agreed. “It’s not that you
                                                                                               need to go far,” she said. “You just need to
                                                                                               get out of your comfort zone.”
                                                                                                     For some of the students, stepping
                                                                                               outside their comfort zone meant visiting
                                                                                               rural Nebraska for the first time. While on
                                                                                               the way to visit with one of the sources,
                                                                                               Quinlan stopped to allow one of her
                                                                                               reporters to take pictures of a cow.
                                                                                                     “The project focused on more rural
                                                                                               areas of the state; it was important for our
                                                                                               students to see and work in those areas
                                                                                               first hand,” Quinlan said. “It gave them a
                                                                                               perspective they could not have gotten
                                                                                                     The traveling was condensed into
                                                                                               three intense weeks. Students did reporting
                                                                                               in Scottsbluff, North Platte, Wallace,
                                                                                               Grant, Broken Bow and other small towns.
                                                                                                     “By traveling, we were able to get
                                                                                               descriptions of the settings and an up-
                                                                                               close and personal account of the prob-
dropped.                                       “really dig into it.”                           lems and adjustments rural Nebraskans
      Brown reported that, despite                  “In newspapers our size, we don’t get      are facing and making in the midst of a
Nebraskans’ grumbling about property           many opportunities to spend staff time          dwindling population,” Hernandez said.
taxes, which are now levied only by coun-      like this,” Chatelain said. “We got to engage         One of Hernandez’s stories described
ties, “In fiscal 2005-2006, property taxes,    those in our area more that we expected.        the difficulty the small town of Wallace
relative to personal income, were nearly 40    We didn’t foresee that benefit, but it was a    faced in trying to find housing for new
percent less than when the state ceased        good one. It was great.”                        residents. He also reported on how local
levying property taxes in 1967.”                    Other stories covered immigration,         governments use “interlocal agreements”
      For a related story, Brown reviewed      the ongoing debate over whether                 to save money while providing needed
the 1967 vote that threw out the state         Nebraska’s 93 counties are “efficient” and      services.
property tax and replaced it with state        the history of school consolidation.                  The three collaborating newspapers
income and sales taxes. For that story,             “Each story made a contribution to         published the students’ stories over several
Brown tracked down and interviewed for-        the discussion,” Quinlan said.                  weeks in late 2006 and later compiled
mer Gov. Norbert Tiemann by phone from              Senior Mark Mahoney wrote about            them into a tabloid format. The tabloid
his home in Dallas. Tiemann’s support of       the history of county formation in              was sent to all state senators and county
the change in taxes made him a one-term        Nebraska.                                       officials.
governor.                                           “U.S. county history is not as well              “The response was much better than I
      “People don’t like taxes of any kind,    documented as state and national history,       expected. Sheriff Lawson wrote me an
but the alternative was economic death,”       so I had to dig through countless books         extremely nice letter saying how well my
Tiemann told Brown. “I thought that (the       and Web sites, it seemed, to find the infor-    article was regarded by both him and
voters) had a better understanding that I      mation I needed. It was a long process, but     many others in Scottsbluff,” said Donovan.
was going to do what was best and not          in the end it was worth it,” Mahoney said.      “I think it was a huge success.”
what was best for me, but I guess that’s the        Invited speakers gave the students               Quinlan praised the students for mas-
way it goes.”                                  background that would be critical to their      tering “a complex issue that was foreign to
      Brown reported that Tiemann had no       stories, but most of the information came       most of them.”
regrets about pushing through a state sales    from interviews — which required travel.              Recognizing the complexity and scope
and income tax 40 years ago and leaving             After spending a day with Scotts Bluff     of the subject, Bender said, “I wish we
property taxes to the counties and other       County Sheriff Jim Lawson, Jessica              could have done more.”
jurisdictions.                                 Donovan, a senior, wrote a profile on                 The depth report gained statewide
      The students’ solid reporting            Lawson and his life in the small town of        notice in an Omaha World-Herald editori-
impressed Chatelain. He said that, in addi-    Gering.                                         al: “It is encouraging to see these
tion to providing “good food for thought,”          “I think traveling was of the utmost       Nebraska journalism students directing
the in-depth stories allowed reporters to      importance for this project. You can’t write    their energies toward issues of such funda-
                                                                                               mental importance to the state.”           s
12   SUMMER 2005                                                                                                     J ALUMNI NEWS 73
                                                      THE LAST WORD

                                                           Jerry E. Brown

                        Academics & fund-raising
The strictly honest truth is aged — literally heartened —                 I don’t think Aristotle clusion. Here is what Arthur
that at the beginning of this by many people of good will would have been fazed by Stone told his students in the
campaign I made a delight- in the private sector who the Internet. I believe he beginning class in reporting:
ful discovery. What I discov- appreciate the principles would have pointed out that                               “Gathering news is sys-
ered was that there were taught at the University of delivery systems — whether tematic work. It is a continu-
many ripe apples on the Montana                    School       of through the spoken word, ous process, and it will never
tree, and I had been given Journalism. …                              the viewed image, by hot end until the curtain is rung
the opportunity to shake.            As I formally dedicate type or cold computers — are down on human history.”
Such luck has probably not Don Anderson Hall, I am important, but we must not                                     We       dedicate     Don
come to a Southern exile most mindful of what the be enslaved by the delivery Anderson Hall to the work,
since Georgians struck                                                                                           the trade, the profession
gold in Helena.                                                                                                  of journalism. Of course,
     Now that the build-                                                                                         we all know the dedica-
ing is a reality, I can say                                                                                      tion today is but a formal
that the whole project                                                                                           ceremony. The real dedi-
has been a delightful                                                                                            cation of Don Anderson
challenge. I can tell you,                                                                                       Hall will take place every
in brief, what directing                                                                                         day, every semester,
the fund-raising cam-                                                                                            every class, for educating
paign taught me.                                                                                                 and inspiring students to
     Donors don’t throw                                                                                          be journalists is, like
dollars on the deck of the                                                                                       gathering of news, a con-
Titanic. They knew this                                                                                          tinuous process.
ship of journalism to be                                                                                              It will never end until
sound and refittable, in a                                                                                       the curtain is rung down
way that would continue                                                                   Photo by Brooks Brown on       the    values    of
its record of successfully Dean Will Norton Jr., former Montana deans Nathaniel Blumberg and Jerry E. Brown American democracy. s
transporting students from present owes and the future systems.
the university safely into the will owe to Arthur Stone,                  If patterns hold, this lat-
professional world.             who founded the school in est wave of technology, too, Jerry E. Brown, dean of the
     Another factor in aca- 1914, and his successors.                 shall pass.                            University of Montana School
demic fund-raising might not         The donors seem to                   But the fundamentals of of Journalism, talked about
be so obvious to those out- know, perhaps by instinct, getting accurate news to the his school, about journalism
side the cloister. As anyone that our system of education public, so that decisions can education and about the
who understands academic is capable of handling what- be made as wisely as mor- future of journalism in general
administration knows, it ever may come, but, in truth, tals in a democracy can at the dedication on May 11
would take a productive and it is hardly new.                         make them — these funda- of Don Anderson Hall. The
tolerant and united faculty          The foundation of our mentals will never change.                        building, named after a long-
to govern themselves while system was laid down by                        For this dedication, I time Montana newspaper-
their dean was on shore, Aristotle. Our primary foun- looked through Dean Stone’s man, will house the school’s
working the streets as an dation in the academy is the lecture notes. They have print, broadcast and multime-
academic mendicant. I teaching of rhetoric — how been on display, under glass, dia students under one roof.
thank this faculty, one and to use language that must in the building he built.                              Brown, who is retiring as dean
all, for sticking by this proj- pass stringent tests. The                 And I found a remark but will remain at the school
ect as we rode the swells.      tests involve ethics, reason, that seems the most fitting as a teacher, spearheaded the
     Over these past eight public service, character way to bring this dedication $14 million funding for the
years, I have been encour- and emotion.                               celebration to its proper con- building.

74   SUMMER 2007           ALUMNI NEWS         33
                                                                                                                                         Photo by Marilyn Hahn
Mayor Colleen Seng (second from left) cut the videotape ribbon April 25 for the new Andersen Hall studio of 21 Educational Access, the
cable channel designated for use by the Lincoln Education community. The studio represents a partnership between 5 CITY-TV and the
College of Journalism and Mass Communications. 5 CITY-TV and 21 TV, Lincoln’s government and educational cable access channel, offers
programming 24 hours a day on Time Warner Cable. About 50 people attended the open house. From left: Associate Dean Linda Shipley,
Mayor Seng, broadcast professor Jerry Renaud and 5 CITY-TV studio coordinator Bill Luxford; back row: Lincoln Public School students
Chris Hamer and Bryant Coffey.

                                                                                                                          U.S. Postage
                            COLLEGE OF JOURNALISM                                                                             PAID
                            AND MASS COMMUNICATIONS                                                                        Permit 46
                                                                                                                          Lincoln, NE
                147 Andersen Hall
                P.O. Box 880443
                Lincoln, NE 68588-0443

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