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JEA names Greenman its Towley award winner

The Journalism Education Association has chosen Robert Greenman, of New York City, as the 2012 Carl Towley Award winner.

This is JEA’s highest honor and is presented to a JEA member whose work is unusually beneficial and of superior value to the national JEA and to scholastic journalism.

After retiring from teaching and advising print publications for 30 years in Brooklyn, Greenman has continued to support scholastic journalism in general, and media advisers in particular   through his writing on JEAHELP, JEA’s national listserv.

Greenman’s frequent posts have highlighted stories from the New York Times and how to localize the reporting found there, as well as sharing his favorite writing from the paper and the rich vocabulary use often found in the Times.

According to Derek Smith, adviser in Renton, Wash., “When I first started advising, I had no journalism training, but because of Robert Greenman, I read, thought and contemplated critically and creatively about journalism more than I would have otherwise. I still do.”

His nominees also mentioned his being a voice of reason in issues involving advisers, students and freedom of expression.

“His voice has championed many press rights battles,” said Logan Aimone, executive director of the National Scholastic Press Association. “He does not equivocate in his convictions about the role of the student press as a watchdog for those in authority and power in schools.”

Greenman’s wisdom comes from three decades of experience teaching English and journalism and advising student publications in Brooklyn schools, and that wisdom grew into his 1991 book, “The Adviser’s Companion.”  

He was the first recipient of CSPA’s O’Malley Award for Teaching. According to CSPA Executive Director Ed Sullivan, “Bob is not only a master teacher, but an inspiring figure for both teachers and students. He always demands excellence from those he teaches but is ever patient and generous with this time and talents.”

On the national level, Bob was an early activist in the JEA Multicultural Commission, and he has worked tirelessly to remove barriers to students participating in newspaper. He is an outspoken and thoughtful advocate for student speech, according to Steve O’Donoghue, of Sacramento, Calif., one of Greenman’s 10 nominators.

He is a lover of the language, as his books “Words That Make A Difference” and “More Words That Make A Difference,” the latter co-authored with his wife, Carol, attest. The books highlight vocabulary-building words along with short excerpts from The New York Times and The Atlantic magazine, teaching history, culture and linguistics.

Greenman received the Towley award Nov. 16 during the JEA/NSPA Fall National High School Journalism Convention in San Antonio.

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