Nichols appoints global engagement director
Kelly Furnas, MJE, will serve the Journalism Education Association as its global engagement director. Furnas is a lecturer in multimedia journalism at Elon (North Carolina) University and faculty mentor to Elon News Network.
“Kelly is uniquely positioned to share both his skills as a master journalism educator and his leadership and vision for spreading the mission of scholastic journalism on a global scale. After observing his expertise in relationship-building and big thinking during his six years as JEA’s executive director, I am thrilled we will benefit from Kelly’s work as an ambassador of our brand,” said President Sarah Nichols, MJE.
Furnas’ interest in pursuing these relationships overseas grew based on his work with JEA China, which began in 2016.
“One thing that really struck me about working with our affiliate JEA China as executive director was the level of hunger for the type of journalism education we are doing in the states. With that partnership model already flourishing, it seemed like an opportune time to begin seeing how much we could replicate the experience in other parts of the world,” he said.
While the opportunity to explore new relationships and bring skills and concepts of journalism to other countries has potential to increase JEA membership and expand participation in JEA programs such as Journalist of the Year and the National High School Journalism Convention, another benefit is the potential to create a global network.
“We are raising a generation of students who will live in a global society. Their business and social interactions will have no borders. JEA is interested in positioning our members and their students to excel as communicators in this environment, which means we need to make new connections and foster new relationships,” Executive Director Kelly Glasscock, CJE, said. “Furnas’ experience and knowledge will plant seeds around the world that will in turn grow a network of journalism communicators to help strengthen our mission to support a free and responsible scholastic press.”
As global engagement director, Furnas will begin outreach efforts immediately by seeking out teachers and organizations abroad involved with scholastic journalism.
“My No. 1 goal in this position is to make JEA programming more accessible to students and teachers overseas, but I hope in doing so to also help expand the JEA brand,” Furnas said. “Of course every culture and educational environment is going to be different, and I think just as exciting is the prospect for learning what educational techniques are happening abroad that we can share with JEA members here at home.”