As a result of a generous donation from the Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation, three students on the Fordham Observer staff had the opportunity to attend the Associated Collegiate Press’ (ACP’s) 26th annual National College Journalism Convention in Phoenix, Arizona from February 25 – 28, 2010. Stefanie Wheeler, Assistant Online Editor, Anndrew Vacca, News Editor, and Liz Bowen, Opinions Co-Editor, were the recipients of the funds. They attended the conference along with Assistant Features Editors Beata Cherapakhina and Faith Heaphy, whose trips were funded through the Observer.
The Associated Collegiate Press (ACP), is the oldest and largest national membership organizations for college student journalists with more than 20,000 students staffing ACP college member publications. This year’s four day convention in Phoenix consisted of idea-packed keynotes, breakout sessions, workshops, displays and critiques from some of the best journalists, advisors and students in the country. It ended Sunday with the presentation of the Best of Show Awards. This year, the Observer won second place for Best of Show for a four-year college, non-weekly newspaper, and first place in the multimedia package category. Out of an entire nation of college newspapers – way to go Fordham Observer!
All of the students expressed their gratitude to the Foundation for the opportunity to attend the convention. According to one of those students, Stephanie Wheeler, “I cannot begin to describe how inspirational, educational, and uplifting the Associated Collegiate Press Journalism Conference in Phoenix was this past weekend. I am so blessed and grateful….Without your help, I would not have been able to afford the expenses on my own. The trip was a reconfirmation that I am pursuing a career in a field that I feel extremely passionate about. I had the opportunity to learn from some of the most honorable and innovative professionals in the Journalism field and I have taken back with me a handful of learning tools that will be beneficial to me in my future endeavors as well as to others who I plan to share my newfound knowledge with….I will never forget everything I learned about journalism and myself….”
Intent on pursuing a career in Journalism, Casey joined The Observer soon after arriving at Fordham University, getting her first news bylines as a freshman, becoming an assistant news editor as a sophomore and news editor as a junior. She was returning as news editor for her senior year at the time of her accident in July 2009. Casey was one of the students who was able to attend the ACP convention in San Francisco in February 2008 as a sophomore.
Ashley WennersHerron, currently Editor- in- Chief of the Observer, who attended the conference with Casey, recalled the group joking in San Francisco about the abundance of complimentary coffee. “It was like all of the students were competing to drink more coffee in order to be more ‘journalistic,'” Ashley said. In typical Casey fashion, she used her acting chops to expertly imitate a caffeinated reporter trying to conduct an interview.
According to Dianne Anderson, Casey’s mother, “I remember how honored and excited Casey was when she was told that she was chosen to attend the conference and what a rewarding experience it turned out to be for her. Casey was extremely proud of the fact The Observer won first place in “Best of Show” that year for a four-year college, non-weekly newspaper. She was really disappointed that she and all Observer staff members could not attend annually because of limited funding. We knew immediately when we established the Foundation that Casey would be so pleased if we could enable more students to benefit from attending this outstanding annual conference.”
Give other deserving young people opportunities and contribute to the Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation . Go to the Memories site and read Casey’s articles published in the Fordham Observer. See more photographs from Casey’s 2008 San Francisco trip with the Observer.
Tags: ACP, Anndrew Vacca, Associated Collegiate Press, Beata Cherapakhina, Best of Show, Faith Heaphy, Fordham, Liz Bowen, National College Journalism Convention, Observer, Phoenix, Phoenix Arizona, Stephanie Wheeler