Meeting the Conference Panel

Austin Keynote SpeakersHSU Journalism Club President Allie Jones with the keynote speakers at the National College Media Convention in Austin. From left to right: Lisa Falkenberg of the Houston Chronicle; Jones; former death row inmate Anthony Graves; and Pam Collof of Texas Monthly.


Work with your team, not around them

Allie Jones in Austin

Allie Jones implements the resources she learned at the Leadership workshop during her own team meeting on Wednesday night back at the hotel. Photo by Annie Strella.

by Allie Jones, HSU Journalism Club President

Students who attended the Leadership Improvisation Workshop during the Austin journalism conference learned how to work with different personalities in the newsroom or office to create the most productive environment possible.

Adrianne Harris, Assistant Director of Student Programs and Leadership at Roger Williams University, and Kelley Lash, Director of Student Media at Rice University, taught the three-hour workshop on Wednesday.

In the session, students completed a self analysis to identify their own personality strengths and weaknesses. Then based on personality types, students split up into groups in different sections of the room and went through different scenarios, such as planning a trip together. As expected, all the like-minded individuals worked well together.

Afterward, however, each group presented their ideas and faced the criticism of the rest of the students. As expected, most liked their own group’s plan but had trouble connecting with other group ideas.

After completing the improvisation exercises, the students came back together to talk about the different personalities and misunderstandings of each other. Phrases that would normally be used negatively, such as “You’re too flaky” or “Why can’t you just loosen up?” were passed around constructively in a genuine attempt to understand the different mindsets. The goal wasn’t to change thinking but to understand thinking.

“You need to know how everyone is thinking because you’ll have a lot of trouble leading a team you know nothing about,” Harris said.

Though the different personalities initially created divisions, by the end of the workshop students created bonds based on their dissimilarities just as much as their commonalities. Students even traded numbers with those of different personality types.

Students learned how to identify strengths and weaknesses of themselves and of others. Harris and Lash emphasized that good leadership requires this kind of understanding.

“Think about how to build your teams with a balance of personalities,” Lash said.  “Find who you are missing and your team will be stronger for it.”

Harris and Lash provided the student leaders with resources to duplicate this workshop with their teams.

Note: I am excited to bring this information back to the Journalism Department and to Humboldt State as a whole. I look forward to building on this workshop and presenting it to interested students, staff and community members to create more cohesiveness in the workplace.

Journalism Club Shoots for Austin

austin conferenceTen members of the HSU Journalism Club will travel to Austin, Texas for the College Media Association annual convention on Oct. 28 to Nov. 2. The students will attend several days of sessions, present their student wire service, participate in the Austin Shootout photo contest and attend  a keynote speech with Anthony Graves who spent 12 years on death row and was exonerated after a wrongful conviction. If you’d like to help support the club’s trip to this conference, please contact our club adviser, Prof. Vicky Sama at victoria.sama at or club president Allie Jones at adj161 at

Journalism Club Heads to Hawaii

hawaiiThe HSU Journalism Club traveled to Hawaii in March 2014 for the Society of Professional Journalist Regional Conference. Journalism majors Maya Pszyk and Jake Wetzstein joined Dr. Deidre Pike in exploring the island and attending conference panels. The students blogged about their trip on Humboldt in Hawaii.

Get Thee to a Conference!

By ‘Alohi Bikle

c. 'Alohi BikleI’m graduating at the end of spring semester, and here’s my advice to incoming journalism students:  Try to make it to a college journalism convention.

We were lucky this year that the Associated Collegiate Press National Convention was in San Francisco. It was a little easier to get to than most conventions, and financially it was doable. But distance and cost should not stop future students from attending a conference. There are funding sources to help.

The amount of networking I did while at the convention was amazing. I met students from other college campuses around the U.S., professionals and even an admissions counselor from Columbia.

I gained a greater appreciation for our program at Humboldt State. We have award-winning student journalists here. We’re lucky to have faculty and staff who take the time to make sure we produce our publications. A handful of students I met at the ACP convention were from college campuses whose administration didn’t pay any attention to their newspaper or magazine.

I now have a more definite plan of what I’m going to do after I graduate in May, and I have the experience of attending the ACP convention to thank for that.

A Conference Rave Review

By Candice Oliver

c. Candice OliverHSU Journalism Club students at the Associated College Press National Convention in San Francisco on March 1. From left to right: Shelby Meyers, ‘Alohi Bikle, Javier Rojas, Maggie Budd, Ella Rathman, Israel LeFrak, Candice Oliver, Leonard Hedberg, Colleen Chalmers, Alexa Malmgren and Lillian Boyd. Photo by Candice Oliver.

My experience at the Associated College Press Journalism Conference was unforgettable. It was the first journalism conference I had ever attended and I had no idea what to expect. I enjoyed each and every single moment of it and I wish I could go back and relive it all over again. Yes, I really did have that much fun. Every presentation that I went to left me feeling inspired, refreshed and ready to tackle new projects and aspects of journalism. I was constantly taking notes during each breakout session. When all of us met up in our hotel room at the end of the day, we would talk each others’ heads off about all these new ideas we had for the various media outlets on our own campus. Throughout the entire trip I became aware that all of journalism students at Humboldt State University really do know our shit. Sometimes we feel that we have no idea what we’re doing when we are involved with the Osprey and The Lumberjack, but after observing other college newspapers and students at this conference, I realized (and am proud to say) that we do stack up quite nicely compared to other students. Sometimes it’s hard to come from such a small school where our journalism program is small scale, but I have so much faith and confidence in our student-run publications, and I left the conference so damn proud of all of our accomplishments within the journalism department.

Overall, I learned an incredible amount of new information and had a great time. Upon leaving the conference, I have never felt more confident in my decision to pursue journalism. I am motivated, inspired and excited for my future in this field.

Conference Inspires Dreams of Grad School

By Ella Rathman

c. Ella RathmanA few weeks ago, I attended my first ever journalism convention, MEDIA+.  I learned a lot, especially about newspaper design. I am seriously considering a career as a page designer for newspapers or magazines and feel a lot better about it after attending the convention.

Our group met with an admissions officer from Columbia University. I never in a million years thought about applying for Columbia J-School. I don’t have the money or the grades. But I might have a chance of getting in. The admissions officer said a  student’s love and motivation for journalism is more important. I have a hard time getting As, but I am passionate about journalism. This gives me hope that I will be able to attend grad school.

I had a great time bonding with the others on this trip. It really made me feel special to be a part of such an awesome program.

Strange Student in a Strange Land

By Israel LeFrak

c. Israel LeFrak c. Israel LeFrak c. Israel LeFrak c. Israel LeFrak c. Israel LeFrak c. Israel LeFrak c. Israel LeFrak

I went to the Associated College Press Journalism Conference in San Francisco intellectually blind, but I left enlightened. The first night’s speaker Richard Koci Hernandez told me something I needed to hear: “Go out and seek the stories and the experiences because they are not going to come to you sitting on your couch.”

After his speech, my friend and I roamed the city and ran into Hernandez taking pictures on the street. We talked to him for 20 minutes.

The best part about this conference was the social interaction with my peers and journalism professionals. I met other students from around the country and we exchanged ideas.

Every hour was a new learning experience. We had several seminars to choose from on topics such as how to have a better social media presence, reporting on the homeless, alternative press, better beat reporting, how to investigate powerful institutions, 100 free online tools and four days filled with tricks of the trade from the professionals themselves.

One of my favorite sessions was an hour small group meeting with Humboldt State Alumni and San Francisco Chronicle Editorial Page Editor John Diaz. It was awesome being able to talk to him because he attended HSU and made it in the world of journalism.

I’d like to thank everyone at HSU that made this experience possible and for allowing me the opportunity of a lifetime.

A Journey to San Francisco

By Sebastian Hedberg

San Francisco skyline. Photo by Ella Rathman.

San Francisco skyline. Photo by Ella Rathman.

On February 28, I traveled to San Francisco for the Associated Collegiate Press Media Convention. This is my first semester as a journalism student (before this I was a biology major), and this trip was the most informative few days all year. I mingled with other college journalists and found out how they are doing things at their schools.

The convention taught me how to make a good news website and how to advertise it to a specific audience. I left the convention with a new found purpose and full of ideas– one of them was to create a twitter account.

If anyone is thinking of going next year, I’d greatly recommend it, because this was a wonderful experience.

Discovering Journalism’s Power

By Maggie Budd

Candice Oliver, Alohi Bikle, Maggie Budd, Javier Rojas and Israel LeFrak at the Associated College Press national convention in San Francisco on March 1.

When I decided to go to this year’s convention it was mostly because I thought it was a good opportunity to learn about the journalism world before I attempted to become a part of it. I expected to sit and listen to speakers tell all the young, hopeful journalism students like myself some tricks of the trade, the do’s and don’ts and hopefully a few things I hadn’t already heard. What I didn’t expect was the burst of inspiration I felt when listening to these speakers. They were genuine and passionate about what they were saying. I actually believed them when they said journalism was not dying and that we would always be needed.  I found myself hanging onto every word they said. I wanted to listen to every speaker I possibly could and gain as much information as possible.

The opening speaker, Koci Hernandez, urged the journalists in the room to be ready to react with a camera at any moment. He said we are the storytellers and while anyone can be a citizen journalist, few can be true reporters. Only some of us can take the information we receive and tell the story to the public. He told us to be our own teachers and to give ourselves assignments every day to better ourselves.

I also had the chance to sit down with the Columbia admissions director Leon Braswell. He told our group that the students accepted into the master’s program don’t always have the best grades or are even a journalism major. They look for the curious ones, the adventurous ones who have the passion to write and the drive to get out and find a story.

I haven’t been this excited about journalism since I decided it was the direction I wanted to go. I was relieved to see so many successful journalists who are still passionate about our profession and believe in helping us pursue our careers. All of the speakers were incredibly helpful and urged us to contact them whenever we needed to. This convention was the perfect refresher for me. It reminded me that I’m not just in journalism because I enjoy writing, but because I love to tell the story that no one has heard yet and I have the curiosity and drive to find it.

Memorable Quotes From the Conference

“Restriction breathes creativity.”

Brandon Mendleson, from Session with a Pro

“Be an aspirin, not a vitamin.”

Susanne Yada, from Think Like an Entrepreneur