Standing Committees

  • Executive Committee

    • Ron Johnson, Indiana University, Bloomington
  • Audit Committee

    • Laurie Hansen, Stillwater (Minn.) Area High School
    • Ron Johnson, Indiana University, Bloomington
  • Finance and Investment Committee

    • Scott Libin, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
    • Elizabeth Smith, Pepperdine University
  • NSPA Board of Directors

    NSPA’s board of directors plays a crucial role in determining the mission of NSPA, ensuring that the organization continues to operate in the best interest of past, present and future members.

  • Elisia Cohen, President

    Elisia Cohen is currently the director of the Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Minnesota. She is an award-winning administrator and researcher. At the University of Kentucky in Lexington she tackled financial issues, increased alumni engagement, and made diversity and student success priorities of her leadership. In 2016 Cohen won the Mayhew Derryberry award from the American Public Health Association. She also was the recipient of the 2014 Sarah Bennett Holmes Leadership Award at the University of Kentucky. Cohen earned a PhD from the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California, an MA from Wake Forest and her BA in political science from the University of Louisville.

  • Scott M. Libin, Treasurer

    Scott Libin has more than three decades of experience as a journalist, including jobs on camera and behind the scenes, as a news director and as an educator. He is a consultant, coach and communications professional, specializing in broadcast and digital journalism.

    He joined the NSPA/ACP Board of Directors in May 2015.

    Libin joined the University of Minnesota's Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication in 2014 as Senior Fellow. His duties include teaching undergraduate journalism courses, guiding and overseeing directed internships, and engaging the industry to ensure a relevant, current curriculum.

    He joined the faculty from Internet Broadcasting in St. Paul, Minn., where he had been Vice President of News and Content since 2011. At IB, Scott led a newsroom serving top television stations from Boston to Honolulu with breaking news and enterprise content that engaged audiences and increased traffic to desktop, mobile and social platforms.

    Libin has led newsrooms at WCCO-TV and KSTP-TV in the Twin Cities, and WGHP-TV in the Greensboro/High Point/Winston-Salem, N.C., market. He has twice been a full-time member of the resident faculty at The Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla., and has trained journalists from Newfoundland to South Africa to China.

    He began his career as a congressional press secretary and as a bureau reporter in Washington, D.C. He was a reporter and weekend anchor in North Carolina before entering newsroom management.

    Libin is chairman of the Radio Television Digital News Association Board of Directors and former chair of the RTDNA Ethics Committee. He served nine years on the ThreeSixty Journalism Board of Advisers. ThreeSixty is a teen outreach program of the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn.

    He received an undergraduate degree in journalism and English from the University of Richmond in Virginia and earned his Master of Arts degree in journalism and public affairs at American University in Washington, D.C.

  • Jeanne Acton

    Acton started at the University Interscholastic League, one of the largest scholastic press programs in the nation, in 2004. In addition to UIL journalism director, she is director of the Interscholastic League Press Conference, which sponsors yearbook, broadcast, and print and online newspaper competitions for Texas middle and high schools.

    Acton started her journalism career as a sophomore in high school when she heard the Journalism I class was a blow-off. It was not. She loved the work and stayed for the next three years, working her way up to editor-in-chief of the Duncanville High School newspaper, Panther Prints.

    After high school, Acton earned her bachelor's degree in journalism and master's in educational administration from the University of Texas at Austin. During her undergraduate studies, Acton worked for the Daily Texan, the UT student newspaper. She started as a designer and reporter and finished her four-year stint as the managing editor.

    After a short run at a community newspaper and a few internships, Jeanne started teaching journalism. During her decade of teaching, she advised newspaper, broadcast, and yearbook programs and coached softball at Lyndon Baines Johnson High School in Austin, Texas. As the newspaper adviser, her students won top awards at both the state and national level.

    After a decade in the classroom, Acton was an assistant principal for three years.

    These days, when Acton isn't in the classroom as part of her UIL leadership role, she continues to teach writing and still practices the trade on a regular basis. She both freelances and keeps a semi-regular blog.

  • Michelle Coro

    Michelle Coro, a certified journalism educator, has advised multimedia programs at Desert Vista High School for 15 years. She works with staffs of the Thunder Vision, View Newspaper, Storm Yearbook and the website. She encourages students to explore areas of media production including writing, videography, digital photography and technology in all her classes. In addition to her courses, Coro is one of the school’s web directors and serves on the administrative council team, as well as the district’s Career and Technology Education media advisory council and the Arizona State Interscholastic Press Association board. Coro earned her bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism with a minor in communication from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University in 1990 and a master’s degree in education with an emphasis in technology from the University of Phoenix in 2000. Her work as a professional journalist in broadcast and print media before becoming an educator includes a police/fire beat as a news reporter for the Tribune Newspapers and work in front of and behind the camera for KYMA-TV, KSAZ-TV and WDAF-TV. She left the newsroom to teach English and journalism at Ruskin High School, as well as Highland and Mesquite high schools before arriving at Desert Vista, where her focus has been the Thunder Media Information (TMI) program, which emphasizes convergent, multimedia journalism. On any given day, Coro's team of multimedia journalists may access more than 25 software programs and hardware devices. She incorporates a wealth of knowledge, experience and contacts into her classroom and does so through an affinity to technology tools and toys. Coro’s scholastic journalism efforts were recognized by being named the Freeman Hover Adviser of the Year for 2014. She has several years of participation on the Arizona Interscholastic Press Association board, the Journalism Education Association Journalist of the Year committee, has taught multiple sessions for JEA and is a founding member of Scholastic Journalism Institute (SJI). Coro is on the Jostens National Summer Workshop team at the University of San Diego and is a consultant for numerous workshops and seminars, including teaching broadcast at the Virginia High School League, and is an ASNE Reynolds HSJ Institute alum. Because she advises new media, she believes in possibilities and that trying something different is never far from reach. "I'm busy and blessed!" is Coro's mantra.

  • Mitch Eden

    Mitch Eden, MJE, is in his 22nd year teaching, the past 12 at Kirkwood (Missouri) High School. He advises The Kirkwood Call newsmagazine, Pioneer yearbook and website.

    Eden is a former Dow Jones News Fund National High School Journalism Teacher of the Year. He received the National Scholastic Press Association’s Pioneer Award, Journalism Education Association Medal of Merit and Society of Professional Journalists Distinguished Teaching in Journalism Award. He has also served as Journalism Education Association Secretary and Missouri Journalism Education Association president.

  • Gayle Golden

    Gayle Golden began lecturing at the University of Minnesota in 1998. She is an award-winning freelance writer for magazines and news organizations with more than 30 years of news and feature writing experience. Previous positions include work as a contract freelancer for the New York Times, a national staff and science writer The Dallas Morning News and a parenting columnist for Dallas Family magazine. She has a bachelors and masters from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. Golden is the chairwoman and director of training on the board of the Minnesota Daily. She also serves on the boards of Minnesota Magazine and Publishing Association and Minnesota Magazine.

  • Laurie Hansen

    Laurie Hansen, a certified journalism educator, has advised the Kabekonian yearbook and Stylus creative arts magazine at Stillwater (Minn.) Area High School for 25 years. She also advised the Pony Express newspaper for ten years. She has fought battles over censorship and lived to tell the tale.

    Her staff's publications have won state and national NSPA Pacemaker and Best of Show awards as well as Crown awards from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association. Hansen teaches Journalism and English 12.

    Hansen serves as the Minnesota state director for Journalism Education Association, president of Journalism Educators of Minnesota and served as the co-chair of the 2011 JEA/NSPA Fall National High School Journalism Convention that was held in Minneapolis. Hansen is an NSPA Pioneer and a past Journalism Educator of the year.

    She has a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, and master's degree from St. Cloud (Minn.) State University.

    Hansen also freelances, and her latest piece was a first person account of her latest trip to Nepal, Bhutan and Tibet, which included a hike to the North Face Everest Base Camp.

  • Ron Johnson

    Ron Johnson is director of student media at Indiana University, Bloomington, students produce the Indiana Daily Student daily newspaper, Arbutus yearbook and Inside magazine.

    The publications, their sites and social media serve thousands of readers, and their student journalists earn top national honors.

    Johnson is past president of three journalism associations - the national College Media Advisers and the Western Association of University Publications Managers, as well as Kansas Associated Collegiate Press. CMA named him to its adviser hall of fame in 2012.

    He is a former board member of the Student Press Law Center, in Washington, D.C., and remains on its advisory board.

    Before coming to IU in 2008, Johnson taught editing, design and visual journalism at Kansas State University for 19 years. For 15 of those years, he directed student publications and advised the students who produced the award-winning Kansas State Collegian daily newspaper.

    He is a 1981 graduate of Fort Hays State University (Kan.), where he edited both the newspaper and yearbook. In 1982 he earned a master's in journalism at the University of Kansas. In 1985, after teaching high-school English and writing for the Wichita Eagle-Beacon (Kan.), he returned to Fort Hays to direct the journalism program and advise its publications.

    When the U.S. Supreme Court trimmed the press rights of public high-school journalists in its 1988 Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier case, Johnson led the lobbying in Kansas to restore those rights. In 1992, Kansas became the sixth state to pass legislation offsetting the decision and securing the rights of high-school advisers.

    He is a long-time contributor to the international Society for News Design, and he edited six annual editions of the society's Best of Newspaper Design book.

    Johnson has taught at numerous workshops and conventions across the nation and in Canada. His primary focus is on newspaper design, as well as copy editing, grammar and newsroom management.

  • Meghan Percival

    Meghan Percival teaches photojournalism and AP Psychology and advises The Clan yearbook staff at McLean High School in Fairfax County, Virginia. The Clan staff has been recognized with the NSPA Pacemaker and CSPA Gold Crown and was inducted into the NSPA Hall of Fame. She earned a Gold Key from CSPA in 2013 and was a 2014 JEA Distinguished Adviser.

  • Elizabeth Smith

    Elizabeth R. Smith is an assistant professor of Communication at Pepperdine University and Director of Pepperdine Graphic Media. She has 14 years of experience teaching a variety of journalism and media courses at Pepperdine as well as advising and directing the Graphic newspaper (print and digital), Currents Magazine, GNews (web show), and PGM Advertising. She has nearly 20 years of professional experience in the journalism industry, including print, web and broadcast news. She is an award-winning journalist, and in 2010 won an Emmy for her work on the breaking news coverage of Michael Jackson's death. In May, Smith was named a Kovenhaver Center Fellow for 2017. Smith has partnered with the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library on the topics of news literacy and understanding the spread of fake news. Her current research includes, social media and news, social media and journalism education, news literacy among college students, and Communities of Practice in student newsrooms. Smith earned her bachelor’s in Journalism from Harding University; she earned her master’s and doctoral degrees from Pepperdine University. Smith continues to freelance as a writer and editor.

  • Sara Quinn

    Sara Quinn is the R.M. Seaton Professional Journalism Chair at Kansas State University, Manhattan. She was named to the position during the summer of 2015. Quinn is also the current vice president of the Society of News Design.

    Quinn taught at Ball State University's Department of Journalism in 2014-15. Her teaching and research areas include visual journalism, leadership and multimedia.

    Before joining the faculty of The Poynter Institute in 2003, Quinn spent nearly 20 years working in newspaper newsrooms, including The Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida and her hometown newspaper, The Wichita Eagle in Kansas. Since January of 2014 she's been a digital design strategist for Pixelbots, an information, interaction and visual design consultancy.

    While at The Poynter Institute, Quinn directed the EyeTrack research of newspaper, tablet and online reading habits. She also led Poynter's college fellowship and its partnerships with universities, and directed Poynter's custom training for university students and educators. She has been a board member, regional director and secretary and treasurer of the Society for News Design. She is frequently on the road as a consultant, in newsrooms and university campuses around the world.

  • Ann Visser

    Ann Visser has been involved in journalism since her junior year of high school where she was a member of the high school publications staff at North Nodaway High School in Hopkins, Mo. She continued her education at nearby Northwest Missouri State University, Maryville, where she graduated with honors in 1979 with a bachelor's degree in secondary education with an English/journalism emphasis. There, she became acquainted with both Linda Puntney and Laura Widmer as Puntney advised the student yearbook of which Visser and Widmer were both staff members.

    After graduation, Visser accepted a job teaching English/journalism at Gallatin (Mo.) High School where she taught from 1983-1985. A move to Minnesota meant being away from the classroom for two years, but Visser did advise a four-person newspaper staff at Foley (Minn.) High School during one of those years.

    When the English/journalism position opened at Pella (Iowa) Community High School, Visser moved south and began her 31-year career there. The program expanded from one journalism section per day to two journalism sections daily to, ultimately, a full-time journalism position. Pella High was one of the first high school journalism programs in Iowa to use desktop publishing for both publications, making that move in 1987. It was a consistent award winner during Visser's tenure.

    Early in her career, Visser connected with the Iowa High School Press Association and began serving as a regional director, secretary, vice president, and, eventually president. She was presented that organization's Kenneth Stratton Award as Iowa Journalism Teacher of the Year and was also inducted into the IHSPA Hall of Fame.

    In addition to presenting sessions at the state and national level and teaching summer workshops, Visser became integrally involved with the Journalism Education Association where she reconnected with Puntney, her college adviser. She served that organization in several capacities, including state director, regional director, secretary, vice president, president, and, past president. She was awarded JEA's Medal of Merit and its Lifetime Achievement Award, along with its highest award, the Carl Towley Award. Additionally, she is also an NSPA Pioneer and a Dow Jones Distinguished Adviser.

    Visser has continued her involvement in the world of scholastic journalism by serving on the NSPA Board of Directors and the Quill and Scroll Board of Directors.