JEA awards 2 Future Journalism Teacher scholarships

JEA awards 2 Future Journalism Teacher scholarships

Future Journalism Teacher Scholarship

By Candace Perkins Bowen, MJE, Future Journalism Teacher Scholarship coordinator

The two recipients of this year’s JEA Future Journalism Teacher Scholarships got their starts working on their award-winning high school newspapers and both have undergraduate degrees in journalism and experience as media professionals. Both are in degree programs that will allow them to transition into the high school journalism classroom.

Award recipients are Gillian Paxton, Indiana University, and Chris Heady, University of Kansas.

Each will receive $1,000 from the national Journalism Education Association to help them do this.

Gillian Paxton, graduate student at Indiana University is a recipient of the 2021 JEA Future Journalism Teacher Scholarship.

Paxton earned a bachelor of journalism degree from Indiana University and is now pursuing her teaching license in the Transition to Teaching program at IU’s School of Education. She is from Carmel, Indiana, where she worked for her high school newspaper, the Hilite. She is an Ernie Pyle Scholar and member of Phi Beta Kappa.

She currently works as a graphic design intern for Indiana University’s Environmental Resilience Institute and tutors writing online for the Princeton Review. In addition, she continues to update her media blog, Absoludicrous, with a new post every Sunday since January 2017.

Teresa White, senior lecturer at IU Journalism, The Media School, taught Gillian in her J425 Supervision of Student Media class.

“Her philosophy … was apparent: the best student media is student-run,” White wrote in her recommendation letter. “Her role as an adviser is to coach and empower her students to produce the best media possible.”

Chris Heady, graduate student at the University of Kansas, is a recipient of the 2021 JEA Future Journalism Teacher Scholarship.

Heady is a journalist-turned-teacher from Leawood, Kansas. He spent four years as a professional sportswriter covering Nebraska athletics, primarily at the Omaha World-Herald. He’s also been published in USA Today, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and Lincoln (Nebraska) Journal Star. In 2020, he was named the U.S. Basketball Writers Association Rising Star.

Heady has already enjoyed teaching at workshops and at University of Kansas, where he is currently enrolled in the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications.

Cal Butcher, Kansas faculty member, said he and Heady co-taught a multi-media sports journalism class in spring 2021.

“It is not an exaggeration to say that Chris is already a good teacher and that he will continue to grow with each experience,” Butcher said. “He has been an instructor in a number of writing workshops and has developed teaching skills that are effective for both beginning and advanced writers and has experience with both high school and college students. I plan to borrow many of his examples and concepts for my own courses in the future.”

Candace Perkins Bowen, MJE, JEA past president, chairs this scholarship committee. Those who selected the recipients this year were Susan Tantillo, MJE,  past JEA board member and adjunct university journalism instructor, and former recipient of the award Maggie Cogar, professional instructor and student media adviser at Ashland (Ohio) University.

Founded in 1924, JEA supports free and responsible scholastic journalism by providing resources and educational opportunities, promoting professionalism, encouraging and rewarding student excellence and teacher achievement, and an atmosphere which encompasses diversity yet builds unity. It is headquartered at Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas.


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