ACP/NSPA names veteran adviser to its board of directors

Jan. 12, 2022

A veteran collegiate-media adviser with years of service to student journalists has joined the board of directors of Associated Collegiate Press/National Scholastic Press Association.

Tamara Zellars Buck, Southeast Missouri State University, has joined the board that oversees the press associations, which serve and support student journalists and journalism teachers and media advisers across the nation.

The organizations’ ACP division serves collegiate journalism, the NSPA division serves high school journalism, and the Minnesota High School Press Association supports the state’s high school journalists and advisers. 

Buck, chair of the university’s Department of Mass Media, has advised the award-winning Arrow, the student newspaper at Southeast Missouri State, for 12 years. In her 20th year at the university, she also serves as multimedia coordinator and professor of journalism.

Laura Widmer, executive director for ACP/NSPA, said she is excited for Buck to join the board of directors. 

“Her insight, expertise and leadership in all things college media will make us a stronger organization,” Widmer said.

Buck’s career includes years of professional service to the nation’s collegiate journalists and advisers. For College Media Association, the national association of collegiate-media advisers, Buck is a former president-elect and vice president of member support. CMA and ACP are partner sponsors for the Fall National College Media Convention, the nation’s largest gathering of collegiate journalists and their advisers.

“Our staff regularly participates in the fall conferences and summer Mega Workshops,” Buck said, “and we love the opportunities presented by the Best of Show and Pacemaker awards.”

A scholar and author, Buck is a sought-after presenter and trainer to improve diversity and inclusion inside newsrooms and within news content, and she credits student-media producers as industry innovators. 

“I want to be on the front lines as they work,” she said. “I’ll contribute to ACP’s mission by helping to engage, educate and inspire our members to use their imagination and have fun while they create.”

A former copy editor, education reporter and columnist, Buck has a juris doctorate from the University of Memphis and a master’s degree in public administration and bachelor’s degree in mass communication/journalism from Southeast Missouri.

She was named mass-media department chair in April 2020, and in November 2021, she was awarded the U.S. President’s Lifetime Achievement award, recognizing thousands of hours of service for organizations in her community.

Chuck Clark, adviser at Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, and ACP/NSPA treasurer, praised Buck as an innovator.

“I met Tamara Buck through the College Media Mega Workshop in 2020 and immediately became a big fan,” Clark said. “She’s creative and has a clear vision for excellence and the ability to get things done. And to top it off, she’s nice as pie. 

“I feel so fortunate that our mutual dedication growing the next generation of journalists brought our paths together.”

Buck said that ACP/NSPA can help advance the future of student media.

“Our industry is evolving, and college media must do so as well,” Buck said. “ACP can facilitate positive change by continuing to provide a venue for students to collaborate, share ideas and celebrate successes. 

“The professionals will follow our lead.”

ACP/NSPA board of directors

Tamara Zellars Buck