July 29, 2008

TIME OUT: J-Lessons in Spam

Returning from the UNITY journalism conference in Chicago, I checked my e-mail to see if any recruiters or new friends contacted me (recruiters no, friends yes).

Like most, I accumulated pages of spam in my absence. Though my Gmail account filters do great work, I checked of my spam folder to if a message ended up there by mistake. That's when I noticed how enticing spam subject lines have become. Of course, there's still the cryptic ASCII-like text for \/!@GЯª and whatnot.

Maybe because I'd just lived and breathed journalism for the past week, my editor's eye began to see these subject lines as headlines. I gotta tell you, a few laid off journalists must've become spammers because some of these heads are really good.
  • Gay Rights Terrorist Kills Eight in Fabulous Bombing
  • Al Qaeda Reports Declining Revenues in Fiscal '08
  • McCain Sex Tape Surfaces
  • Obama Swears to Get Even
  • FBI Watching Hezbollah in Facebook
Clearly, part of the enticement comes from events that haven't happened -- at least I hope not. A McCain sex tape? Eeesh! Yet these head/subject lines build on topical events. I think there's a journalism lesson to learn from spam, you know, besides it being a future form of employment.

Time Out is a coaching feature of The Latino Reporter highlighting tools for student journalists.

July 23, 2008

BREAKING NEWS: Kelsey Smith's Killer Pleads Guilty

Kelsey's Army Witnesses Justice

The Kansas City Star reports Edwin Hall has pled guilty to the murder of Kelsey Smith.

Hall abducted Smith outside a Target department store June 2 2007. Police discovered her body four days later and arrested Hall.

Smith's father, served as a public safety officer at Johnson County Community College and is a former police officer. News of the plea was posted on the college's electronic mail server, JCCClist.

Read The Star's article and watch video of the hearing here

Related: Kelsey's Army online

July 17, 2008

INFOLIST: We're Engaged!

This message from Terry Calaway, president of Johnson County Community College was posted today on the college's electronic mail server, Infolist:


In November of 2007, the Counseling faculty launched an Advising Summit. The purpose of the Summit was to evaluate the advising process at JCCC. A group of faculty and administrators volunteered to participate in this Summit, and they met every other week during the spring 2008 semester. In mid-May the Advising Summit leadership committee met with us and delivered a report that spoke to the history of advising at JCCC and to the need for several significant changes that would provide more comprehensive support to JCCC students.

One of the recommendations made in their report was to establish a new division focused on engagement and student development. This new division has been created, reporting to Dr. Dana Grove, with the Counseling Center the first group to move into it. A national search will soon commence for the dean of this new division.

What began as a mission to evaluate campus advising has evolved into a campus movement of student engagement. The next step in this process will be to form a campus-wide think tank that will include key people and departments that have a direct connection with student engagement. Many areas on campus play a critical role in student engagement, and the intent is to bring them together to discuss, plan and set forth strategic initiatives that will lead this campus toward a commitment to student engagement.

Attached is a link that will take you to the Advising Summit Report. Please take some time to read the report as this group has set forth recommendations that will impact student learning and student success in the years to come.


Terry A. Calaway, President

Dana Grove, Executive Vice President, Academic Affairs

July 10, 2008

WTF: McCain. Obama. Morales?

Student Journalist Runs for President
Vows to rewrite US Constitution using AP style

What began as a colorful Internet fluke has blossomed into a full-fledged political movement - one that Republicans and Democrats alike are reluctantly having to acknowledge.

Watch: the News 3 report online.

July 1, 2008

NEWS: Tyree Takes on Trustees -- Again

Permanent Interim
Former Johnson County Community College Interim President Larry Tyree takes another dive into turbulent waters.

For a college president who prides himself on being student-centered, Larry Tyree is becoming quite an expert on boards of trustees.

His latest posting is no exception.

Trustees of
Monroe Community College in Rochester, N,Y. unanimously voted to name Tyree interim president at their monthly meeting June 30.

“Dr. Tyree brings to this college and this community extensive experience in community college leadership; having served three times as an interim president," said Richard Guon, chair of the MCC Board of Trustees.

Tyree previously served as interim president for Independence Community College (ICC) in Independence, Kan., Johnson County Community College (JCCC) in Overland Park, Kan., and Jefferson Community College (JCC) in Lexington, Ky.

"He knows how to help colleges find highly qualified, permanent presidents and move forward during times of transition,” Guon added. “He also brings an unbiased, external perspective that will restore confidence in the presidential search process.”

MCC Controversy
The campus slipped into controversy when its president, R. Thomas Flynn, announced his retirement after serving MCC for 30 years.

According to the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, one trustee resigned citing partisan politics had entered the search.

The newspaper also reported that after the trustee's resignation, the remaining trustees overrode the search committee's recommendations by placing two additional candidates on the short list for permanent president and then only voting on those two candidates. The controversy caused one of the committee's candidates to withdraw.

The situation escalated when staff and faculty voted "no confidence" in the board and called for all the trustees to step down.

MCC has 10 trustee positions. The County Legislature appoints five members. The governor appoints four members and students elect a designated student trustee.

“Monroe Community College is an institution I have greatly admired for the past 20 years,” Tyree said. “I have a passion for the vital work of faculty and staff as they facilitate student success and I believe strongly in the important role of community colleges to enrich the communities they serve. Those are values I see at MCC and I welcome this opportunity.”