December 18, 2007


Community college aims for police presence
Gunning for an Armed Campus

by Miguel M. Morales

As Johnson County Community College moves towards arming its security officers, it's also considering a more drastic option.

A message posted Dec. 18 on the college's electronic mail server, Infolist, reveals that beginning in January, the college will house an Overland Park police officer while trustees consider establishing an armed campus police force.


Beginning in January 2008 there will be an Overland Park police officer working on campus for a portion of the school day. The officer will be working with JCCC Public Safety and will assume some of the duties the Public Safety officers have been performing up to this point. This interim step, in the evaluation of whether or not our Public Safety department should become a police department, will last for three to six months. If there are any questions please don’t hesitate to contact Gus Ramirez, Public Safety Director.

Further cementing the idea of an armed force on campus, the college has also scheduled an "active shooter" training this week.


The Overland Park Police Department will conduct an “active shooter” training exercise for JCCC Public Safety officers and dispatchers in the Carlsen Center on Dec. 19. There will be 2-3 hours of classroom training and then an exercise scenario for JCCC Public Safety officers to observe. The purpose of the exercise and training is to familiarize OP PD with Public Safety operations and the JCCC facilities and to make Public Safety aware of OP PD response procedures. This training and exercise will prepare both groups for a timely and organized response in case of a campus emergency.

Students at the college have mixed feelings about the proposed changes. A current student and former Marine testified before the college's Board of Trustees asking them not to arm officers.

Watch his testimony here.

Read about him and the issue in the campus paper, The Campus Ledger, here.

December 10, 2007

INFOLIST: JCCC's Reorganization

From: InfoList []
Sent: Mon 12/10/07 3:35 PM
To: InfoList
Subject: Instructional flowchart


Below you will find a link to the reorganizational plan for the Instructional area that the three of us have developed and intend to implement. We hope that this chart reflects the amount of listening to your suggestions, ideas and insights that we have done. It would have been, of course, impossible for every specific recommendation to be incorporated into a comprehensive plan for restructuring; however, we strongly believe that the major themes arising from your comments set the parameters for the basis of this reorganizational plan. You have proffered to us robust and engaging advice, and for that we are thankful.

Except for the Evening and Weekend position which recently has been filled, all of the deans’ positions will be filled first. Currently, job descriptions are being revisited, and we expect to post these positions internally by February 1. Any subsequently vacated associate deans positions will be opened for application later in the spring. Our continued commitment is that no one should be fearful of job loss. One feature of the plan that particularly appeals to us is the establishment of a Division Council for each dean’s area that is intended to strengthen lines of communication throughout Instruction.

We are also committed to the creation of faculty-chair posts. We still need to work with faculty and academic leadership in order to determine the number of discipline chairs, the method of their election, required skills and tasks, and a compensation formula; however, we are certain that establishing chairs will help integrate faculty involvement more inclusively into college processes.

Again, we wish to thank you for your ideas, and we will continue to welcome your comments. The success of any plan of action rests on the commitment of those involved. With your support, this reorganizational plan cannot help but achieve its principle goal which is to promote continual quality improvement at JCCC.

December 6, 2007

NEWS: Sunflower Seeds

JCCC ventures into KU territory
Desperately Seeking Students

Video courtesy of 6News

By Miguel M. Morales

Johnson County Community College will offer late start classes in Lawrence, Kan. beginning Jan. 30.

The college’s venture into Douglas County comes at the request of University of Kansas and the Douglas County Career and Technical Education Consortium. A 40-member task force featuring these groups, the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce and Lawrence Public Schools began meeting in 2004.

“JCCC’s focus in Lawrence is on technical/vocational education and workforce training that does not duplicate what KU offers,” said Bill Osborn, dean of Community Outreach and Media Resources.

Officials form the community college said the initial course offerings will focus on basics such as Fundamentals of Math, Introduction to Writing, Job Search Skills, Career Life Planning, and Workplace Skills. The college will also offer Business Math, Technical Math, Industrial Safety, and Certified Nurse Aide and Certified Medication Aide labs.

Lawrence joins Eudora as the second location in Douglas County for JCCC’s outreach program, College Close to Home (CCH). The college has eight CCH sites throughout Johnson County.

JCCC College Close to Home locations

View Larger Map

“The College Close to Home site in Douglas County is a huge benefit to the Lawrence business community, the Lawrence Public Schools and its students, and, ultimately, to Johnson County Community College,” said Loralee Stevens, assistant dean, Community Outreach for Credit Instruction.

KU ventured into Johnson County in 1993 with the Edward’s Campus just south of JCCC. Since then, the two institutions have developed a symbiotic relationship with JCCC renting class space at the Edwards Campus.

The two institutions along with Kansas State University are working to develop a research triangle in Johnson County.

JCCC will offer it’s courses at the Lawrence Virtual School also known as the Centennial School. For more information, contact Loralee Stevens at 913-469-8500, ext. 2750.

December 4, 2007

NEWS: JCCC or JZzz ...?

The (Real) Science of Sleep
Some students may soon pull all-nighters studying sleep technology

By Miguel M. Morales

Johnson County Community College announced today it will create a polysomnography/sleep technology program.

According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, polysomnographic studies, or sleep studies, focus breathing disorders such as Sleep Apnea, and set Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) levels. Studies also help diagnose narcolepsy and examine violent sleep behaviors.

JCCC's program builds on the nine polysomnographic courses the college currently offers.

The Kansas Board of Regents awarded JCCC $5,300, which with other funding, will go towards hiring a part-time faculty coordinator of the program. When the program begins in fall 2008, it will stands as Kansas’ only polysomnography/sleep technology A.A.S. degree.

According to the college, the program will prepare “skilled entry-level polysomnographic technologists in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains.”

As polysomnographic technician, a program graduate can then take the Board of Registered Polysomnographic Technologists national exam in order to become Registered Polysomnographic Technologist (RPSGT).

Partners participating in this grant project include Pro-Tech Services, Inc., and Sleepmate.

Just for Fun: "The Science of Sleep"

December 1, 2007


Walking on the Ledge:
Silence = Death

By Miguel M. Morales

After 26 years, AIDS no longer devastates or threatens the life of the average American.

While there is no cure for what is now known as HIV disease, it’s become a manageable chronic illness in the United States.

In fact, a report released last month by the United Nations and the World Health Organization cut the global number of estimated infections by approximately 7 million. This 16 percent reduction comes from improved methods of tracking infections.

Unfortunately, a similar revision by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is Ivexpected to increase the number of HIV infections in the United States as much as 50 percent.

But we’ve clearly established, PWAs, or People With AIDS, can live long productive lives.

While I am not infected with HIV, it has affected my life.

Deciding to write this column for World AIDS Day, I searched the Internet only to discover that many of the friends I parted ways with have died.

In the early 1990s, I served as a member of the radical AIDS activist group called the AIDS Coalition To Unleash Power, or ACT-UP/KC.

I remember my new friends inspired me to fight for more treatment options at a time when AZT was the only drug used to manage HIV infection and when the only answer was to identify “AIDS victims” though mandatory testing of all patients.

That fight included three arrests for civil disobedience.

The first arrest came in a demonstration at the annual American Medical Association conference in Chicago. We were protesting the AMA’s proposal to support mandatory AIDS testing. As we the police processed the arrested protesters, I saw them beat a young man as he tried to assert that he had rights. I quickly looked away as not to be noticed by the officers. As I stared at the white linoleum floor, I saw blood fall like rain sprinkles and the young man’s screams grew louder until he was sobbing uncontrollably.

The second arrest came in Washington DC in protest of the murderous policies of George Bush. I guess I should be specific -- the murderous policies of George Bush, Sr.

Hundreds of AIDS activists marched through DC chanting their way to the White House. During the march, I met Nurse Bush -- a drag queen dressed as a nurse wearing a Barbra Bush wig and carrying a bloody hammer. Nurse Bush said she was simply carrying out her husband’s AIDS policies. And of course, she was hilarious.

Once we reached the White House, my group helped chain PWAs (People With AIDS) to the White House fence. We then chained ourselves. Naturally, the parks department revoked our permit and began arresting people. In teams of two, officers approached each protester along the fence asking him or her to leave. When the protester refused, officers notified the protester that he or she was under arrest and ask him or her to come willingly or be carried.

After the bloody mess in Chicago, I was ready for anything. But these officers surprised me. Obviously, they deal with protesters all the time and have worked out a system that ensures respect on all sides. Some protesters tried to resist, you know for the cameras, but the officers simply carried the protester to the arrest wagon or whatever its called. When it came my turn, I refused to leave but when the officer asked me to walk or be carried, I didn’t know what to do.

If I walked, I’d be the first one to do so. If they carried me, would I get charged with resisting arrest?

What’s an AIDS activist to do?

“If you carry me, is it an extra charge?” I asked the officer.

I guess no one had ever asked that before because he looked confused.

“We ... don’t charge,” he said.

“No, I mean is it an extra arrest charge like resisting arrest?” I explained.


“OK, carry me.” I said.

When I arrived at the police wagon, he searched my pockets. That’s when I froze.

During the march, an elderly Mexican woman asked me to carry her jacket. I tied it around my waist and thought nothing of it -- until that moment.

My poor officer, he pulled out a little pink teddy bear from a pocket of the jacket. Then he pulled out some tissues and a lipstick tube.

“Is this yours?” he asked as he twisted the lipstick tube revealing a shade of red that would have make Nurse Bush drop her hammer.

I paused for a moment trying to decide if I should explain about the old Mexican woman but that big hulking man wearing riot gear suddenly looked like a confused nine years old boy. I don’t know why, but I lied and said they belonged to me. You should have seen his face.

My final arrest came at a protest. at Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Mo. Secret Service agents arrested me because they though I was someone else, a man named Mark Chaney who was my AIDS-infected hero. They took me to the KCMO police department where they found I had a warrant for not paying a $10 parking ticket when I attended classes in Texas at Tarrant County Community College. The Secret Service was trying to get me extradited to Texas but the campus police refused. A female Secret Service agent seethed as I paid a $25 fine and walked out of jail.

Soon I became a respectable and worked as one of the first HIV educators in Kansas City -- but that’s a story for another time.

As I learn uninfected friends are now HIV positive and friends who were positive are now dead, all I have left are stories and the knowledge that AIDS no longer devastates or threatens life of the average American -- unless you or someone you becomes infected.

Twenty-five million people have died from AIDS since 1981. Currently, there are more than 38 million people infected with HIV.

November 28, 2007


There's been some trouble with the college's voicemail system. Despite the vendor's assurances that no voicemail messages were lost, persons who left voicemail messages between Nov. 16 and Nov. 28 should leave new messages in order to ensure delivery.

From the college's electronic e-mail server, Infolist:
From: InfoList
Sent: Fri 11/16/07 2:49 PM
To: InfoList


The voicemail system has experienced a hardware failure and is in need of repair. The maintenance needed requires a two-hour down-time where voicemail will be unavailable for use. In an effort to minimize the impact of this situation, the voicemail system will be unavailable TODAY from 5:30 - 7:30PM.

11 days later ...

From: InfoList
Sent: Tue 11/27/07 11:09 AM
To: InfoList
Subject: Voicemail down noon - 1 p.m. today

The voicemail system will be down due to technical difficulties from noon to 1 p.m. today.

From: InfoList
Sent: Tue 11/27/07 12:20 PM
To: InfoList
Subject: Voicemail is back

Voicemail is operational again.

not quite ...
From: InfoList
Sent: Tue 11/27/07 4:24 PM
To: InfoList
Subject: Voicemail system update

The campus voice mail system has experienced a hard drive failure which will require restoration from a previous backup. This will mean a loss of any voice mail messages received this week. In an effort to minimize the amount of loss, the restoration process will begin today at 5PM. Voice mail functionality is expected to return by 7PM this evening. Please contact Sandra Warner at ext 2552 with any questions or concerns.

and from today:
From: InfoList []
Sent: Wed 11/28/07 1:32 PM
To: InfoList
Subject: Voicemail update

The voice mail system is currently stable and is being monitored closely. We received confirmation from the vendor this morning that no voice mails received prior to yesterday’s system restore at 5PM were lost. Meanwhile, we are working with our vendor partners to identify alternatives.

November 20, 2007

NEWS: Catching Fish

The One That Didn't Get Away
Community college leaders must lure freshmen with positive first semester experiences or watch their school swim away

by Miguel M. Morales

A new study might cause Johnson County Community College to change its motto “Learning Comes First” to “Learning Comes in the First.”

Anne Driscoll, senior research scientist at the School of Education, University of California - Davis, authored a new study examining the crucial role the first semester plays at community colleges.

According to the study, “Beyond Access: How the First Semester Matters for Community College Students’ Aspirations and Persistence,” a positive and successful first academic experience at a community college supports students’ goals to stay in school and help maintain their aspirations to transfer to a four-year institution. Conversely, a less successful academic experience decreases the likelihood students will persist towards that goal.

“This study suggests that devoting greater attention to first semester students in the forms of guidance and academic support including tutoring or resource centers could pay big dividends by increasing the proportion of students who remain in college and achieve their educational goals,” the report reads.

While JCCC has no such comparative survey of first semester students, another of its studies provides insight into how a positive semester can influence subsequent semesters.

According to a 1996 study, “Enrollment Management Research: Students Who Drop Out early in the Semester,” 20 percent of the students dropped classes in previous semesters.

The survey discounts late registration as a negative factor influencing the college’s attrition rate as fifty-two percent enrolled during early registration.

However, finances influenced 24 percent of the students’ decision to leave.

“Of those who said that financial concerns were a factor in dropping, 56 percent said they needed $500 or less additional money to stay in school,” the report states.

Twenty-three percent of the students said they did not plan to return to JCCC. Of those who planned to persist in their goal, 29 percent said it would not occur within the next two semesters.

This supports Driscoll’s study, which states that 25 percent of first semester community college students do not return the following semester.

Here are a few highlights from Driscoll’s report:
  • Six in ten young adult high school graduates who entered community college with the goal of transferring had either left school or reduced their aspirations after only one semester.
  • Students who failed to return to college for the second semester were the least likely to transfer to a four-year institution within six years.
  • The report also states it is crucial to develop and support policies and interventions that increase the chances of success for high school graduates, particularly Blacks and Latinos, who aspire to graduate from a four-year institution.

November 14, 2007

HEADLINE: Cavalier Charm

This homoerotic headline from The Newton Kansan intrigued me. I sadly discovered the article is about basketball.
Hesston men fall to Johnson County

November 13, 2007

TIME OUT: Conventional Wisdom

More from NAHJ:

American Society of Newspaper Editors
Postmark deadline: Dec. 14, 2007
Contact: Bobbi Bowman, ASNE Diversity Director,

ASNE is accepting applications from students for its 2008 convention newspaper, The ASNE Reporter.
The convention takes place in Washington DC, April 11 – 16, 2008. Organizers have invited the President Bush and the 2008 presidential candidates to speak.
ASNE encourages juniors, seniors or graduate students who work for their college newspapers and have experienced at least one internship at a daily to apply. Students experienced with multi-media preferred.
ASNE will cover travel and hotel expenses and provide students with a small stipend.

Download the application here.

November 12, 2007

NEWS: Tyree is no Retiree

Another Turn at Interim

Former JCCC Interim President Larry Tyree takes the helm of another Kansas community college

by Miguel M. Morales

The chance to help heal a campus community brought Larry Tyree back to Kansas.

Johnson County Community College's former interim president was one of four final candidates for the director of Arkansas' Department of Higher Education when Independence Community College President Terry Hetrick died suddenly of a heart attack Oct. 5.

Tyree withdrew from consideration Oct. 30 to assume the interim position ICC trustees offered. Tyree began serving as Interim President Nov. 12.

"He started work this morning and we already love him," said Lois Lessman, director of Human Resources and Public Relations for ICC.

"He speaks very well of Kansas and so I know that his experience at Johnson County must have been a good one for him as well," she added.

JCCC trustees hired Tyree in July 2006 after President Charles Carlsen abruptly resigned when the student newspaper, The Campus Ledger, published allegations that he sexually harassed an employee. Carlsen denied the allegations though an independent investigation uncovered other alleged victims.

Tyree served as JCCC interim president through May 2007.

After returning to his home in Sarasota, Fla, Tyree joined the Executive
Advisory Board of Campus Works, Inc.

Tyree said he will serve as ICC's interim president until June 2008 when trustees name and seat a permanent replacement.

"He’s so kind and yet I can already see that he has great strength," Lessman said. "I’m really thrilled that he was able to join us. "

ICC is located approximately two and a half hours south of JCCC in Montgomery County, Kan. near the Kansas-Oklahoma state line.

November 9, 2007

INFOLIST: Equipped for AQIP

This was posted on the college's electronic mail server, Infolist on Oct. 29.

A Message from Dr. Calaway about AQIP

The AQIP systems portfolio will be sent to the Higher Learning Commission today. I want to thank all of you for your help in the development of that document. The faculty and staff members on the committee spent many hours interviewing people across campus. Several of you also helped read a draft of the document earlier this month, and the committee was able to incorporate many of your suggestions.

Just to refresh your memory, the Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) provides an alternative process through which an educational institution can maintain its accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. JCCC is part of AQIP, which calls upon institutions to undergo a systems appraisal every four years. This allows us to get expert, objective, third-party feedback on our strengths and opportunities for improvement. In turn, what we learn from the systems appraisal will help us determine our next targets for advancing quality at JCCC through action projects and other plans.

The final portfolio submitted to AQIP will also be posted online, where it can serve as a reference for college students, faculty and staff and the community. In February, the college will receive feedback from AQIP appraisers regarding what they see as the college’s strengths and opportunities for improvement. That summary too will be posted online.

Thank you for your assistance with this important project.

Terry Calaway

Click here to access JCCC's AQIP PowerPoint presentation.

Click here to access JCCC's AQIP portfolio submitted Nov. 1

November 7, 2007

TIME OUT: Free Princeton Program

More from NAHJ:

Princeton University Summer Journalism Program

Princeton University will again offer it's all-expense paid summer journalism program for high school journalism students.

Now it it's seventh year, the 10-day program targets student journalists from unerresourced financial backgrounds. Eligible students must meet the following qualifications:
  • They must currently be sophomores or juniors in high school.
  • They must live in the continental United States.
  • They must have at least an unweighted 3.5 grade point average (out of 4.0).
  • They must have an interest in journalism.
  • The combined income of their custodial parent(s)/guardian(s) plus child support payments, if any, must not exceed $45,000.
Note: If the combined income of the custodial parent(s)/guardian(s) plus child support payments, if any, exceeds $45,000 and a student still wishes to apply, he or she may attach a letter explaining why his or her family qualifies as financially underresourced.

The Application
Students must fill download, fill out, and submit the application as a Microsoft Word attachment.
Upon completing the application, students must rename the document using the following format:
For example, if the student’s name is Maria Sanchez, the title of the renamed document will be:
Students should type their name and high school in the body of the e-mail. They must also put only the name of the Word document (e.g., Sanchez.Maria.doc) in the subject line of the e-mail. Students must e-mail the renamed MS Word application to (Note: this is a Gmail e-mail address, not a Princeton e-mail address).

Deadline for submitting the application is 11:59 p.m., Feb. 20, 2008.
Program directors will not grant extensions for any reason.

The Interview
Program Directors will interview students either in person or over the phone. Students must provide (via U.S. mail) printed copies of the following:
  • An official high school transcript
  • The first page of the 2006 income-tax return form (the 1040 or 1040EZ form) of their custodial parent(s)/guardian(s), or a signed statement by their parent(s)/guardian(s) saying that their income is below the level at which they would be required to file income tax returns
  • A recommendation letter from a teacher
  • Clips from their high school newspaper or other publication (optional)
Questions may be sent to (Note this is a Princeton e-mail address) or to a voice message at (609) 258-8046.

Download the application here.

For more information about the summer program click here.

November 5, 2007

TIME OUT: Hispanic Link Fellowships

More from NAHJ:
The Hispanic Link Journalism Foundation and The Scripps Howard Foundation are offering three journalism fellowships for college students.
  • Fellowships are open to juniors and first-semester seniors with a demonstrated interest in pursuing careers in print or multimedia journalism One student will be selected for each semester.
  • Fellows receive a stipend of $2,500 plus free housing in Northwest Washington near the National Zoo.
  • Applicants will be judged on their analytical and English language writing skills and potential as journalists.
  • The selected fellows will be placed with the Washington, D.C.–based Hispanic Link News Service, which covers national affairs affecting 49 million U.S. Hispanics.
The news service publishes the national Hispanic Link Weekly Report and syndicates opinion, news analysis and feature columns to English- and Spanish-language media.

There is no application form. Simply mail send a letter of interest, resume and writing samples to:

Hispanic Link
1420 ‘N’ St. NW
Washington, D.C. 20005

Indicate preferred semester for fellowship:

14 weeks
Jan. 14 – April 18
Postmark Dec. 3

12 weeks
June 9 – Aug. 15
Postmark Feb. 4

14 weeks
Sept. 8 – Dec. 12
Postmark March 14

For more information contact:

Alex Meneses Miyashita or Charlie Ericksen, editors
Hispanic Link
(202) 234­0280.


Jody Beck, director
Scripps Howard Foundation
(202) 408-2748

NEWS: Junking Gov't Jargon

Congress Pursues 'Plain Language Standard'
House and Senate bills push to eliminate jargon from governmnent documents

by Miguel M. Morales

Soon the thousands of documents including forms used for federal financial aid, income tax, and Social Security could be easier to understand.

Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-HI) introduced
S. 2291, a bill proposing to improve citizen access to government related information and services by establishing a "plain language" standard.

"Using plain language makes Government more transparent," Akaka said introducing the bill, Nov. 1. "The American people cannot hold their Government accountable if no one can understand the information that the Government provides about its actions and its requirements."

Akaka said the new standard would reduce citizen's complaints, confusion and need to retain professional advice for basic government forms and applications.

The bill would apply to new or substantially revised documents.
Government documents would include:
  • Federal tax forms
  • Veterans' benefit forms
  • Information for workers about Federal health, safety, overtime pay
  • Medical leave laws
  • Social Security and Medicare benefit forms
  • Federal college aid applications
"These documents help the American people obtain important Government benefits and improve their quality of life," Akaka said.

Sen. Clair McCaskill (D-MO) serves as a cosponsor of the bill.

"It is ridiculous that average Americans are having trouble understanding their tax forms and other government documents because they are written in complex legal jargon," McCaskill said. "This government is here to serve the people, so we need to start putting things in plain-language around here."

Rep. Bruce Braley (D- Iowa) introduced a similar bill, HR. 3548 (known as the Plain Language in Government Communications Act of 2007), to the House, Sept 17.

“Writing government documents in plain language will increase government accountability and will save Americans time and money," Braley said, Sept 20. "Plain, straightforward language makes it easy for taxpayers to understand what the federal government is doing and what services it is offering.
"I’m proud to introduce this bill to make it easier for Americans to work with and understand their government.”

The bill moved to the House Oversight and Reform's Subcommittee on Information Policy, Census, and National Archives on Oct. 1.

Related: The House and Senate are working on versions of the Free Flow of Information Act of 2007.

November 1, 2007

NEWS: Sebelius Selects

Gov. Chooses JCCC Grad/Employee to Advocate for Deaf

Kathleen Sebelius selected Teresa Sturgeon, interpreter at Johnson County Community College and two others to serve as advocates on the Kansas Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (KCDHH),Oct 31.

The organization advocates for and facilitates equal access to quality, coordinated and comprehensive services that enhance the quality of life for deaf and hard of hearing Kansans.

The other appointees are Kimberly Symansky and Kimberly Weidler.

TIME OUT: Free Tuition for J-Student Grads

More from NAHJ:

USC Annenberg School for Communication is starting a Masters of Arts Program in Arts Journalism.

The program will offer 10 students free tuition and $18,000 in living expenses. Students will take classes for nine months and at the end have a Master degree and a body of work.

Click here for more information

October 31, 2007

TIME OUT: Fall Internship/Fellowship Deadlines

More info from NAHJ:
Postmark deadline: Nov. 15, 2007
The St. Petersburg Times' internship program introduces college students to careers in the newspaper industry. The paper offers internships in News reporting, copy editing and experience working with the editorial board.
Click here for more information.

Requirements include a timed newswriting test
Postmark deadline: Nov. 15, 2007
This summer internship program is a highly selective, 12-week, individually tailored training program for aspiring print, photo, graphics and multimedia student journalists. The internship is open to full-time juniors, seniors (including fall 2007 graduates) and graduate students at U.S. colleges and universities.
Click here for more information.

Requirements include a writing test sent upon receipt of each application.
Postmark deadline: Nov. 15 (application and writing test)
Interns work as reporters, photographers or artists, and prepare assignments for publication. Applicants are encouraged to designate a preference in areas such as news, sports, entertainment, features and business. However, editors make final determination. Selection is based on application and other submitted materials, and are announced in March 2008.
Click here for more information.

Postmark deadline: Nov. 15, 2007
The six-week summer program at Poynter teaches young journalists the skills they need to become a better writer, designer, or photojournalist. The participants in the program spend six weeks covering a community beat in St. Petersburg, a city of 250,000.
Click here for more information

Postmark deadline: Nov. 16, 2007
This is a 10-week internship for the summer 2008. We're looking for college students interested in a career as a reporter, photographer, copy editor, page designer, graphic artist, multimedia producer or web developer. Open to full-time juniors, seniors, graduate students and from those who have graduated within six months from the start of the internship. Previous professional daily deadline experience preferred. Must have worked on the campus newspaper or other publications.
Click here for more information.

Postmark deadline: Nov. 16, 2007
This fellowship program begins at the NAA Marketing/Connections Conference in Orlando, February 2008. The year-long fellowship provides women and minority professionals with a thorough comprehension of the digital newspaper operation. Fellows participate in a series of workshops designed to assist them as they create a strategic business plan for a newspaper site within a mid-sized market. The goal of the program is to identify and develop women and people of color to become the next generation of digital media leaders. There is no charge to the fellow or their newspaper to participate.
Click here for more information

Postmark deadline: Dec. 31, 2007
The year-long fellowship begins Aug. 25, 2008. It offers a stipend of more than $40,000, plus benefits, which includes paid vacation. Fellows get rigorous, hands-on training in every aspect of public radio journalism -- writing, reporting, producing and editing, for both radio and the Web. KROC Fellows work primarily at NPR headquarters in Washington D.C., though each Fellowship will include an assignment to an NPR member station.
Click here for more information.

October 24, 2007

OPINION: No Shield for J-Students

Walking on the Ledge
Sheilding Student Journalists

Last month, the US House of Representatives passed the first part of a long overdue federal shield law for journalists.

by Miguel M. Morales

Not all journalists celebrated when H. R. 2102, known as the Free Flow of Information Act of 2007, or FFIA, passed Oct 16.

I was one of them.

A statement issued by the
Society of Professional Journalists says that as written, FFIA protects bloggers and freelancers.

However, as written, the House version of FFIA covers “a person who regularly gathers, prepares, collects, photographs, records, writes, edits, reports, or publishes news or information that concerns local, national, or international events or other matters of public interest for dissemination to the public for a substantial portion of the person's livelihood or for substantial financial gain.

Most bloggers and freelancers do not fall into this category, nor do student journalists.

Adam Adam Goldstein, attorney advocate for the Student Press Law Center, an organization advocating the legal rights of student journalists, agrees.

"The [House] language would exclude the vast majority of student journalists," he said in an e-mail. "but it's not as grim as all that."

Goldstien is referring to another shield law, S.2035 (also known as the Free Flow of Information Act of 2007), that is currently in the Senate.

My knowledge of how bills become laws amounts to this 'Schoolhouse Rock' cartoon.

What Goldstien and other student journalist advocates find hopeful is that S.2035 covers “a person who is engaged in journalism.” This would truly cover bloggers, freelancers and student journalists.

However, S.2035 also has a major drawback in that it only applies in cases where a journalist explicitly promises confidentiality.

"At some point, the versions will have to be reconciled," Goldstien said. "The reason for the disagreement is the difficulty in attempting to define who is or isn't a 'journalist.'"

"The problem is that, with everyone communicating online, everyone is a publisher in a sense," he continued, "and if you define 'journalist' that broadly, then instead of a reporter's privilege, you end up with a universal privilege not to answer to a judge, which isn't the goal."

The longest-incarcerated journalist for contempt of court in U.S. history, Josh Wolf, spent 226 days in federal prison for his refusal to cooperate with law enforcement. Wolf's blog, Media Sphere, explains why journalists need a federal shield law -- but not FFIA.

"There's a sense that student journalists could be covered in the eventual law, it's just a question of finding the right way to do it and making people in the House aware of the problem," Goldstein added.

In the long term, students should join professional journalism organizations and urge them to advocate protection for student journalists.

In the short term, we need to urge Congress to include bloggers, freelancers and student journalists in the final version of the federal shield law. If not, we’ll follow the Schoolhouse Rock lead and yell a few interjections of our own.

October 17, 2007

TIME OUT: Latino Citizen Journalism

More from NAHJ:

QuePasa News Network (QPNN), part of one the largest Latino on-line communities, seeks student correspondents. It also has an awards program to encourage student-generated content for the new Citizen Video Journalism website,

October 11, 2007

Commentary: Town Hall notes

Below is a summary of the Town Hall meeting that took place yesterday. The summary comes via the college's electronic mail server, Infolist.

Man, I should have been at this meeting. Note: my sarcastic comments are in red.

Terry Calaway held his third town hall meeting at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 10, in Craig Community Auditorium. These were the topics covered:

Dr. Calaway reviewed some of the actions taken in response to questions from the September Town Hall meeting:
  • Regarding the lack of enforcement of the smoking policies, if you see someone smoking in an area not designated for it, please contact Dennis Day or Gus Ramirez. I'm glad those individuals responsible for enforcing the policy are only here during the day because everyone knows smokers don't attend evening or weekend classes.
  • Meetings about the proposed reorganization continue with Instructional deans, the vice president and the executive vice president. Meetings with assistant deans and deans are still to come, as are meetings with faculty and administrative support staff in the Instructional areas. Plans are progressing, Dr. Calaway said, but we still need more input. He anticipates an update on the next steps in mid-November.
  • Facilities is also looking into concerns about the elevators in the Regnier Center and the procedures to follow to help disabled people out of the building if the elevators ever go down. Maybe someone should ask disabled students which elevators routinely break down. I know in years past the elevator in the Commons building that leads to the Student Senate office has been a problem. The advertising manager of The Campus Ledger was trapped in it several times.
Dr. Calaway thanked faculty and staff for their feedback regarding the draft of the AQIP systems portfolio. He encouraged people to get involved in AQIP, especially in the yearly progress update on the college’s action plans and to speak up if they see something they disagree with. Speak up if we don't agree with something? Yes, that worked so well for Teresa Lee, Andrea Evans and Sonia Hall -- all alleged victims of sexual harassment and who were terminated or resigned their positions at the college. Look, just because we have a new president doesn't mean we still don't have all those jerks the old president hired.

Dr. Calaway then asked for new questions.

Q: Where are we in dealing with underprepared students and helping them succeed in class?
Following a discussion on how JCCC currently assesses students’ abilities and the current attrition rate for both students overall and first-term students, Dr. Calaway asked what would be the long-term solution for students. If learning comes first, then we need to do what it takes to truly make learning come first, which would mean more emphasis on reading and basic skills. He feels we could be doing a disservice to students if we’re not testing all students, enforcing prerequisites, and requiring certain skill levels to enroll in a class. One fear is that if we were to do this, enrollment would decline. But if that happens, he says, we would live with it, and in the long run we would have better prepared students. Learn to live with a decline in enrollment? OK, I'll give that one to you, Mr. President. That takes some stones even though JCCC's enrollment has declined steadily for the past three semesters.

Some of the strategic plan initiatives involve working with underprepared students, and the Underprepared Student Committee will propose to the Strategic Planning Council an advocacy center for students who run into difficulties, which would be a joint project with Student Services and Instruction. And, it was noted, Student Services would need more staff. Are they really working WITH underprepared students or just on their behalf? There is a difference.

Q: Will diversity training be mandatory?
The diversity committee is discussing plans for a multicultural resource center for students, faculty and community; the job description for the new diversity officer that will be hired; and training activities. The new diversity officer will work with Human Resources and Staff and Organizational Development on developing training. We need to establish baseline training needs for everyone on campus. But first we have to identify what we want to do and how. That means 'yes.'

Q: The new vice president and dean positions that have been announced seem more “topical” than “area-based”, as they have been in the past. What’s the faculty relationship in such an environment?
Take away the silos, Dr. Calaway said. In a quality organization, any individual in the organization should be able to give input to any other part, and the silos start to disappear. We also have to get out of the dynamic of hierarchy and into one of shared vision.
Silos? Does he mean since both silos and hierarchies are vertical, they're bad things? I grew up as a migrant farm worker and I know that silos store foodstuffs like grain and feed. As a community, we'd want to 'store' our 'grain' so when an area needs help (like our poorly funded arts programs), we can dip into our reserve to sustain it until 'spring' arrives. I guess the analogy doesn't really matter because it didn't answer the question.

Q: You’ve described your role as someone who brings energy to a project. Can you elaborate? What happens if someone doesn’t assume the energy level you’re projecting?
It’s important for people to see energy in the president. It helps them get motivated. But you can’t see it as an affront if some aren’t as motivated as you are. Everyone has energy about something here. You have to find out what it is and keep it going. It’s okay that not everybody is motivated about the same thing. You just need to be motivated about something. Conversely, we cannot punish individuals who's passion/motivation/energy is to challenge the system. Creating cadre of Head Nodders and Yes Men (and Women) is what ultimately brought the college to its knees last year. BTW, energy is neither good nor bad. Our reaction to energy dictates a positive or negative outcome. Those critical of the college provide an essential service as do those who cheer from the sidelines.

Q: Why is the “flash cube” (RC 270) in the Regnier Center locked up? It was intended to be for student collaboration and impromptu meetings.
It was noted from the audience that the room is being converted to a high-end conference room, which prompted another question about why that was done without consultation. Dr. Calaway said he would look into that. This brought up a larger issue of the lack of student space. Bill Osborn noted that the new library project could help resolve that lack of student space and asked for input. What the heck is a Flash Cube? Whatever it is, it's been taken away from us -- just like every other student space on campus. In the search for space the college always sacrifices students areas. A new or remodeled library will offer lots of uncomfortable chairs and probably a nice vending machine -- in five years. But until then, students should commandeer the Regnier Center with its cushy leather chairs and WiFi. We should hold club meetings in its giant foyer and spread out on the pristine floors to assemble class projects. I'll be napping on the afore mentioned leather chairs.

Q: Is there a way to increase student involvement in the Town Hall meetings?
Dr. Calaway said he has a meeting with student government this week, and this subject will be on the agenda. He’s had conversations with the Student Senate president about more student involvement. If there is any organization on campus that's more out of touch with students than the Student Senate it's probably the bookstore. Here's how to get students at town hall meetings :
  • hold a student only town hall meeting -- meaning no administrators or faculty
  • provide food
  • hold the meeting in the library or the food court or in the courtyard -- anywhere but a classroom
  • let students skip class or get extra credit for attending
  • provide food
  • hold it at a time when they're not all in class
  • provide food
Q: At your previous college you had a Grade Check Day in the middle of the term. Can you talk about that?
At Central Arizona, Grade Check Day was Oct. 1. Faculty built it into their syllabus as a time to interact with students at risk to see how they were progressing in class. I think we had that in middle school -- but hey, it worked. Good luck on getting every instructor to do it.

Q: What is the timeline for hiring the person to fill the new diversity position?
He hopes to have the position filled by spring, Dr. Calaway said. The job description should be completed in the next 10 days or so and then we’ll post the job (there is no position title yet). The new position will need to be approved by the board of trustees, and he has started discussions with them. The position will be funded out of the president’s contingency budget this year and be part of the general fund budget in 08-09. I'm totally excited about this and the multicultural center. I don't have anything bad to say about either but I'm sure I can come up with something if pressed.

Q: Will the new diversity position be involved with the diversity curriculum requirements?
The faculty is responsible for curriculum. This position would be a resource for faculty. Staff and faculty. It's not all about the faculty, you know. Other people work here, too.

Q: In the past we had a group on campus to look at our salaries. Will we be doing that again in the future?
Most organizations do a salary study every three years. We haven’t done one in 9-10 years. There are gaps between where we are and where we should be. An RFP for a salary study is almost ready to go. It needs to be reviewed by a few more people to make sure we’ve covered everything and then we’ll release it – probably in about 10 days. Can we examine benefits along with salary?

Q: What is the time frame for hiring a new person to fill the position of director of Staff and Organizational Development?
We hope to have the job posted by next week. They do good work. Although there should be more of a push to let student employees know they can take advantage of their services.

Q: What plans might be in place for part-time faculty to become full-time faculty?
Dr. Calaway deferred to Marilyn Rhinehart. Dr. Rhinehart said that no formal initiative is in place along those lines. However, the college often hires adjunct faculty to fill full-time positions; that data could be made available. Dr. Calaway asked for suggestions for a better way. Part-time to full-time? That's not the way most colleges and universities are heading. JCCC prides itself on not leading the way into what other colleges aren't doing.

Final discussion concerned the time of the Town Hall meetings, which have shifted around to try to accommodate various schedules. Mid-afternoon is probably the best time for faculty. The town hall meetings attract administrators, faculty, and other employees who have the luxury of leaving their desks to attend. However, custodians, maintenance workers, food service workers and other the hourly employees -- people who make sure the college runs on a daily basis -- can't attend. If they left their posts to attend a meeting the college would grind to a halt. Some don't even work during the day when all the meetings take place. What's up with that? Can we truly have a town hall meeting when certain 'citizens' of our 'town' cannot attend?

Dr. Calaway thanked the audience for coming. And I thank you for reading.