2022 Advisers Institute program

Download the 2022 program

View 2022 Team Storytelling projects

Keynote presenter Bobby Hawthorne

That's "Adviser." With an “E”

As in “Egad! What have I gotten myself into?” Or perhaps, "I thought this was going to be Easy!" Or maybe, "Exhausted. Exasperated. I need something Enormous to sip." No doubt, these are perilous times to advise student media, but the response is not to recoil or retreat. It’s to encourage and engender journalism that exceeds anyone's expectations.

Bobby Hawthorne is a writer and a popular instructor at student journalism workshops and seminars nationwide. His journalism textbooks include "The Radical Write," "Copy That | Writing for Yearbooks: A Guide for Beginners," and "Game On: Reporting and Writing Sports for Student Media." He also wrote "Longhorn Football: An Illustrated History" and the text for "Home Field: Texas High School Football Stadiums from Alice to Zephyr," both published by the University of Texas Press. He also writes for several small magazines, dabbles in poetry and recently finished his first novel.

In 2005, Hawthorne retired from the University Interscholastic League, an organization that coordinates extracurricular activities for all Texas public schools where he served as director of academics and director of journalism. In 2009, he wrote, designed and produced a 200-page history of the UIL as part of its centennial anniversary. Among the awards he’s received are the Columbia Scholastic Press Association’s Gold Key and James Paschal Awards; the National Scholastic Press Association’s Pioneer Award; the Interscholastic League Press Conference’s Edith Fox King Award, given for distinguished service to Texas scholastic journalism. In 1991, he was named a lifetime member by the Texas Association of Journalism Educators, and in 2000 received TAJE’s Trailblazer Award.

In 2007, he received from the CSPA its Charles R. O’Malley Award for Overall Excellence in Teaching, an honor that recognizes “a sustained record of outstanding teaching.” In November 2007, he received the Carl Towley Award, the Journalism Education Association’s highest honor.

Team Storytelling experience

Advisers will have the opportunity to strengthen reporting and content packaging skills in the signature Team Storytelling experience.

In this hands-on experience, attendees will learn new tools and techniques while collaborating with colleagues, all with guidance and feedback from veteran journalism educators.

Participants will experience journalism like their students do each day — by producing great work on deadline. The Team Storytelling experience gives each adviser a chance to collaborate, report and produce stories together regardless of experience level or publication type.

Attendees will connect with group members at the start of Advisers Institute, and facilitators will guide each group through a brainstorming process to develop their own ideas for what to cover and where as they experience New Orleans.

Teacher Inspiration Luncheon

The real-world impact of student journalism with 2022 Linda S. Puntney Teacher Inspiration Award recipient Nicole Kraft, Ph.D.

Many people may think of student reporters as journalism lite, but in truth reporters at the high school and collegiate level are filling voids in news deserts and confronting topics that have long-lasting, real-world implications from social justice to global conflict. This session will address the opportunities and challenges students face in pursuing these topics and the important role student-journalists face in the democracy.

The Teacher Inspiration Luncheon ticket was an additional registration cost ($40).


General Session — All in: National Diversity Audit

All JEAai attendees will have the opportunity to learn the why and how of JEA's National Diversity Audit. This general session will provide strategies and resources for conducting the audit, communicating with stakeholders and collaborating within a professional learning community. Presented by Sarah Nichols, MJE.

Build back better: Make your media great again

In this non-partisan approach to scholastic media, come explore ways you can rebuild your program in a post-COVID world. New beginnings can be wonderful opportunities. Presented by Valerie Kibler, MJE.

Build your dream program

Are you looking for a way to build your dream program? It all starts with recruiting your dream team. Let me help you find and attract new journalists so that you can meet your staff's needs and goals while expanding your program. Presented by Debra Klevens, CJE.

Building unbreakable team bonds

We know there’s no “I” in team, but how do we make it all work? You will learn a different way to create team bonds and build good relationships between everyone in your production. You also will learn how to make sure that each individual is supported and celebrated. Presented by David Ragsdale, CJE.

The changing race of sports reporting

Sports have never been more popular or prevalent in the media landscape, and jobs have never been more plentiful. But the skills students need and the challenges they face have risen alongside those opportunities. This session will look at how sports reporting has evolved and how we can best prepare students for the ever-changing media landscape. Presented by Nicole Kraft, Ph.D.

Diversity matters

Diversity, inclusion, equity and belonging aren't just buzz words. They’re vital for journalism staffs to consider for themselves, their content and their audience. Presented by Louisa Avery, MJE.

Ensuring the story

Do your students ever choke during an interview? Do they come back from an interview 60 seconds later? Do they complain about awkward or stiff interviewing experiences? Teach your students how to get the most out of every interview through better preparation, a can-do attitude, and strategies for how to handle it when an interview goes south. Presented by David Ragsdale, CJE.

Every student is a photographer

There is one thing you never leave home without. It holds precious memories, allows you to communicate, offers entertainment and distracts from school. This device allows staffers to capture life. Learn how to organize and expect every student to help tell visual stories through photos. Presented by Debra Klevens, CJE.

Everybody has a story

Steve Hartman can make you laugh and make you cry in less than three minutes. Learn how to find characters and tell diverse stories. This session will mostly cover video examples, but this session is helpful for all publications. Presented by A.J. Chambers, MJE.

Everyone needs a copy editor

Teaching editing — and incorporating it into the workflow for students — can be a challenge. The alternative is that advisers spend late nights editing copy in addition to grading papers. Come discuss how to incorporate editing by well-trained students into the workflow. Presented by Bradley Wilson, Ph.D., MJE.

Fact finding and reporting

This session will focus on helping your students develop the kind of bedrock reporting and interviewing skills that make all other storytelling skills possible, regardless of publication type. Presented by R.J. Morgan, MJE.

How to social network

Want to know why social media is one of the most crucial aspects of journalism? This presentation will cover how to build your name and brand through social media, how to engage your followers and how to effectively use social media to promote your publication. Presented by David Ragsdale, CJE.

It's all about the Benjamins

Did you ever stop and think that this is most students’ first time running a small business? It’s a $60K+ per year business, depending on your school size. Want to build your dream program that funds itself? Look no further. Presented by Debra Klevens, CJE.

It's not the wand. It's the wizard, Harry.

It doesn't matter what equipment you have — video basics are video basics. This session will cover easy steps to increase the quality of your video without a major purchase of equipment. Presented by A.J. Chambers, MJE.

Let's play with light

Photography literally means drawing, painting or writing with light. In this hands-on session, we'll draw, paint and write with light. We're going outside to explore the quantity, quality and direction of light around the hotel, looking for interesting people and things. Presented by Bradley Wilson, Ph.D., MJE.

Make your money work for you

In this session, we will talk about developing a budget for your media, organizing advertising and sales, and creating a survey to gauge the spending habits of the students in your school community. Presented by Valerie Kibler, MJE.

Marketing like you mean it

Often an afterthought, this session will help advisers reshape the role of advertising, marketing and sales within their organization into something that creates additional skills-building opportunities for their students. Presented by R.J. Morgan, MJE.

Online fresh start

Whether your online program is new or you're wanting to revamp it, hear how one staff overhauled their website and increased their audience. Presented by Louisa Avery, MJE.

Only a dollar!

Is your school stuck behind laptops in every class? Learn how a simple trip to the Dollar Tree can get your students away from their devices and engaged in interactive lessons. These tips apply to any content and any level. Presented by A.J. Chambers, MJE.

Set them up for success

What does it mean to have a student-led staff? How can your student editors run a productive publication? Give them the tools and support they need to succeed. Presented by Louisa Avery, MJE.

Video journalism: From the start

This workshop will teach the fundamentals of visual journalism and production for you to incorporate into your curriculum. Learn some of the production skills that professionals use every day. These concepts are basic and universally used and are second nature to all visual journalists. Presented by Lance Washington.

Visual communications strategy

Let's explore design trends, 21st Century Skills, teaching strategies and practice activities for all experience levels as we work to teach and advise students toward excellence in print media. Presented by Sarah Nichols, MJE.

YES: Yours and everyone’s stories

Is there something for everyone in your student publication? YES, there can be! Diverse and meaningful coverage is important to a publication’s integrity. Take home plenty of ideas for finding and developing great coverage and designing modules that showcase your community’s interests and personalities. Presented by Lizabeth Walsh, MJE.


Louisa Avery, MJE, advises The Standard newspaper and online news site at The American School in London, England. The publication has won multiple CSPA Crowns and NSPA Pacemakers, most recently a 2021 Online Pacemaker and 2022 Gold Crown in hybrid news. Avery has been teaching journalism for 17 years. She is also a member JEA's Scholastic Journalism Week Committee.

A.J. Chambers, MJE, is the CavPlex-Convergence Media Director at Richland Northeast High School in Columbia, South Carolina. He advises a live-daily broadcast, RNE-TV Live, and the online digital media content for the journalism magnet. Chambers was named the 2021 JEA Broadcast Adviser of the Year. His students are state, regionally and nationally recognized scholastic journalists.

Sarah Nichols, MJE, advises student media at Whitney High School in Rocklin, California, where her students have been recognized with top national and state honors. Nichols is JEA’s president and a member of the Scholastic Press Rights and Digital Media committees as well as an active JEA mentor. A former H.L. Hall National Yearbook Adviser of the Year, she has been honored with JEA’s Carl Towley Award and Medal of Merit, NSPA’s Pioneer Award and CSPA’s Gold Key.

Valerie J. Kibler, MJE, teaches at Harrisonburg (Virginia) High School, where she advises the print and online newspaper and the yearbook. She currently serves as the JEA vice president and has been the state director for Virginia, as well as president and treasurer of the Virginia Association of Journalism Teachers and Advisers. She was an NSPA board member for three years. She was named the 2010 Dow Jones News Fund’s National High School Journalism Teacher of the Year and has received NSPA’s Pioneer Award, JEA’s Medal of Merit, CSPA’s Gold Key Award, and SIPA’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

David A. Ragsdale, CJE, has advised student publications since 2001 at Clarke Central High School in Athens, Georgia, where he advises the Odyssey newsmagazine, Odyssey Online, ODTV and Iliad literary-art magazine. His staffs have received top honors in critiques and competitions across the country. He is the 2022 National High School Journalism Teacher of the Year and was named the Georgia Scholastic Press Association Adviser of the Year in 2007 and an ASNE Reynolds Fellow in 2014.

Debra Klevens, CJE, and yerd for more than 20 years, advises the PWestPatherfinder.com online newspaper and the Pawesehi yearbook at Parkway West High School in Ballwin, Missouri. Her staffs have won NSPA Pacemakers and CSPA Crowns. Klevens has been recognized in both the National Journalism Teacher and Yearbook Adviser of the Year competitions and honored with CSPA’s Gold Key.

Nicole Kraft, Ph.D., is an associate professor at The Ohio State University. She is the 2022 Linda S. Puntney Teacher Inspiration Award recipient. An award-winning reporter, editor and magazine journalist, Kraft worked as a sports writer for the Associated Press, an editor at Hoof Beats magazine, and a design editor and special projects reporter at the Napa Valley Register. She has also spent years in academia, teaching at multiple universities.

Bradley Wilson, Ph.D., MJE, is an associate professor at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas. He is the editor of the national magazine, Communication: Journalism Education Today, for JEA. He has received the Gold Key from CSPA, the Pioneer Award from NSPA, the Star of Texas from the Association of Texas Photography Instructors and JEA's Carl Towley Award.

Lance Washington is currently the director of photography at WVUE-TV in New Orleans. He has worked at stations in New Orleans and Atlanta. Washington is an award winning photojournalist, earning multiple recognitions from Murrow awards, NATAS (Emmys), the Press Club of New Orleans, Louisiana Associated Press and others. He is a proud member of NABJ, NPPA and the Press Club of New Orleans.

R.J. Morgan, MJE, is the director of the Mississippi Scholastic Press Association and an instructor in the School of Journalism and New Media at the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss). He is the former high school newspaper, yearbook and broadcast adviser, as well as a freelance professional journalist.

Lizabeth A. Walsh, MJE, is a Jostens creative accounts manager. She spent 26 years advising programs in private and public schools and was named a JEA Distinguished Yearbook Adviser in 2011 and awarded CSPA's Gold Key in 2012. Her staffs earned NSPA All-Americans, CSPA Gold Medals and placed in Best of Show newspaper and yearbook categories.


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