2024 faculty


The ACP College Media Mega Workshop brings together some of the nation’s leading collegiate-media advisers and journalism educators, with years of experience in training collegiate journalists.

Leadership: Chuck Clark and Elizabeth Smith

Broadcasting: Members of the Minnesota Broadcasters Association

Design: Gary Metzker

Advanced Design: Paige Connor and Kevin Fullerton  

Reporting: Steven Chappell 

Sports Writing: Joe Gisondi 

Advanced Multimedia Storytelling: Lisa Renze Rhodes, Jenny Fischer and Amy DeVault

Business/Advertising: Kathy Simon

Advisers: Tamara Zellars Buck and Nicole Vargas

Specialty Publications: Yearbook and Magazine Linda Puntney, Gary Lundgren and Sam Oldenburg

Photojournalism: Bradley Wilson

Featured Speaker: Sara Quinn

Editor-in-Residence: Rick Green

Workshop Director: Laura Widmer

Tamara Zellars Buck is a professor and chairperson of Southeast Missouri State University’s Department of Mass Media. She is a former reporter and PR professional who serves as coordinator of the Multimedia Journalism option and also teaches Diversity in Media and Media Law. She served as faculty adviser to the award-winning Arrow student news organization for more than a decade and in 2022 was named a College Media Association Distinguished Adviser. Buck is currently a board member for National Scholastic Press/Associated Collegiate Press and Southeast Missouri Press Association, and a member of the Power Shift Project Trainers Council. She is a 2020-21 AEJMC Institute for Diversity in Leadership Fellow and in 2013 was named to the inaugural class of Kopenhaver Center Fellows.

Steven Chappell has been a media adviser and active member of College Media Association since 1993, and was a professional journalist for 10 years before he began advising college media. He is the founder of the Twitter feed @comminternships, which shares internship and job openings in communication jobs across the globe. He was inducted into the Associated Collegiate Press Pioneer 100 in its inaugural year in 2022, and he was inducted into the CMA Hall of Fame in 2023.

Chuck Clark is director of Western Kentucky University Student Publications, a media group that includes the College Heights Herald, Talisman magazine, Cherry Creative branded-content studio, Student Publications Advertising and a collection of specialty publications and websites. He returned to his alma mater in 2012 after 28 years in newsrooms.  @WKUChuckClark

Paige Connor is a designer, strategist, and founder of pkcxstrategy, specializing in customer experience and visual design strategy.‌

With over 20 years of experience, Paige has collaborated with organizations across various industries, including media, non-profits, startups, government, B2B, B2C, real estate, UAS, associations, education, and healthcare. Her portfolio encompasses diverse print, digital, product management, and innovation projects.

Paige recently served as the chair of the SND Foundation, the charitable arm of the Society for News Design. The foundation’s mission is to support students and young professionals, promote and facilitate design and visual storytelling practices for accessibility, and set a standard of inclusive design. Her previous roles include serving as a board member, officer, and Interim Executive Director for the Society for News Design.

Paige holds a Bachelor of Science in Journalism Graphics from Ball State University.

Jenny Fischer has more than 20 years of experience as a creative professional under her belt, with experience including publication production and management, digital marketing strategy. She was also design and editorial adviser for Rocky Mountain Student Media Corp. for 10 years. She currently serves as co-director of the Northern Colorado Deliberative Journalism Project, a partnership between academic departments at CSU, local media outlets and nonprofit organizations, aiming to tell stories that better inform the public and foster civic engagement. The goal is to encourage understanding of different perspectives and to spark productive conversations about our shared issues as citizens of Northern Colorado. 

A proud Ram with a BFA in Graphic Design from CSU, Jenny also has an MS in Journalism Innovation from Syracuse University. She is currently combining these academic experiences in her role as Instructor for the Journalism and Media Communication department at CSU.

Kevin Fullerton is an award-winning designer and creative director. He has helped start companies, developed new brands and mentored up-and-coming creatives. In 2006, he made the ultimate leap when he opened Springboard Creative, a branding and graphic design firm. Kevin has worked on hundreds of brands including Sprint, John Deere, H&R Block, Boulevard Brewing, Kansas Speedway, several colleges, cities and non-profits, as well as more-than-he-can-count startups.

Kevin has served in top leadership positions within the American Advertising Federation at the local, district, regional and national level. He currently serves as chairman of the Northeast Johnson County Chamber. He is also an in-demand advertising and publication judge, speaker and lecturer.

In 2019, Kevin was recognized as AAF-Kansas City’s Advertising Professional of the Year. In 2011, he was honored with the Distinguished Alumni Award from Northwest Missouri State University.

Joe Gisondi is the author of “The Field Guide To Covering Sports,” which is used in classes across the country.

He worked as a sports journalist in Florida for more than 20 years and is currently publisher/editor for ColesCountySports.com, the leading source for sports information in east central Illinois.

Gisondi has also taught sports and news journalism for 25 years at both Eastern Illinois University and Valencia College, advising publications that won multiple ACP Pacemakers. He’s a staunch believer in the DH, the 3-point shot and that no sport is better to watch in person than professional hockey. And he’s a pickleball fanatic, so bring your paddles. 

Rick Green is our Editor-in-Residence, offering sessions on leadership, staff development, “Big J” journalism (if you don’t know what it is, ask him!) and content critiques.

He’s an Ohio native who’s been in journalism since age 15. Rick has been a senior editor, executive editor and president/publisher in seven newsrooms and loves building high-performing teams and inspiring those who desire to pursue a journalism career. He’s led teams that have won a Pulitzer Prize for breaking news and a Peabody Award for a joint investigative project with ABC News. His staffs have been a Pulitzer finalist on three other occasions.

He’s now executive editor of The Herald-Leader in Lexington, Kentucky, and a regional editor for the McClatchy Co. Rick completed his journalism studies at Ohio University’s Scripps College of Communication.

Gary Lundgren, associate director of the National Scholastic Press Association, has received the CSPA Gold Key, NSPA Pioneer, JEA Medal of Merit, ILPC Edith Fox King and TAJE Friend of Journalism Award.

In his 10 years at the University of Arkansas, the Arkansas Traveler newspaper and Razorback yearbook staffs he advised were consistent CSPA Crown and ACP Pacemaker winners.

During his 20 years at Jostens, he launched the Look Book and Jostens Adviser University, and he edited three editions of the 1,2,3 Yearbook Curriculum, as well as Jostens Adviser & Staff magazine.

Gary Metzker has been a fulltime lecturer at Long Beach State since 2008 and is design adviser for Long Beach State’s Pacemaker and Pinnacle Award-winning Daily 49er and Dig Magazine.

For almost 25 years, he worked at the Los Angeles Times in positions ranging from sports news editor, metro news editor, A1 editor and Senior Editor.

During that time, Metzker was a member of four Pulitzer Prize-winning staff awards for breaking and spot news.

Metzker is president of the California College Media Association and a member of the Society for News Design Foundation. In 2022, he was a part of the inaugural class to receive Associate Collegiate Press’ Pioneer Award. In 2021, Metzker was selected by the Journalism Education Association as its Friend of Scholastic Journalism award winner. In 2019, he was selected as the Champion of Journalism Education Award winner by the California Journalism and Media Affiliates. In 2013, Metzker was selected Journalism Educator of the Year by the California Journalism Education Coalition.

Sam Oldenburg is the assistant director of student publications at Western Kentucky University where he advises the Talisman magazine and Cherry Creative branded content studio. A graduate of WKU’s photojournalism program, Sam worked in journalism and marketing before becoming an adviser in 2017. In 2021, Sam was recognized as an Honor Roll Adviser by the College Media Association in the four-year magazine adviser category. Sam also graduated with a master’s degree in student affairs in higher education from Western Kentucky University in May 2022.

Sara Quinn, a media design consultant and researcher, is a senior fellow at the Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Minnesota.

Former president of the Society for News Design, Quinn taught visual journalism at The Poynter Institute for more than a decade. Her eye-tracking research helps journalists determine the best forms for storytelling across all platforms.

Sara teaches workshops around the globe. She has a BA from Wichita State University (Kan.) and a master’s in illustration from Syracuse University (N.Y.).

Linda Puntney, an award-winning adviser and student-media consultant, is professor emeritus at Kansas State University. She is the former director of K-State student publications and adviser to the award-winning Royal Purple yearbook.

Puntney is the former executive director of the national Journalism Education Association. She is passionate about the First Amendment, yearbooks and Fritz the wonder dog.

Lisa Renze-Rhodes is the managing editor for partnerships and projects at Free Press Indiana, a new nonprofit news organization based in Indianapolis. She spent the bulk of her career as a journalist at The Indianapolis Star, covering educational legislative issues that impacted the state’s fastest-growing school districts. She also worked at The South Bend Tribune and other newspapers and specialty magazines throughout the Midwest.

Her work has taken her on location throughout North America, Europe and Africa, and she’s earned SPJ, APME, AP, and Hoosier State Press awards. Additionally, she received an Indiana Judges Association Merit Citation for Journalism for fair and balanced reporting.

Her latest project is the Emmy-nominated, Fleeing to Flyover Country, a documentary about immigrants and refugees who make their homes in middle America.

Kathy Simon has been the assistant director of Central Michigan University Student Media for 22 years. Prior to that she served in marketing and sales roles at the Grand Rapids Press, San Jose Mercury News and McClatchy.

She was active in her high school and college newspapers and graduated from Central Michigan..

Working with clients on effective advertising and branding strategies is her life long passion, and she enjoys working with students to ignite the same love. Kathy is the proud momma-bear to CMU’s 7x national College Media Company of the Year (CMBAM 2014-2021) Central Michigan Life.

Elizabeth Smith is the director of Pepperdine Graphic Media and a journalism professor. She is an award-winning journalist with 21 years of professional experience, including print, web and broadcast news.

Smith is the president-elect of the ACP Board of Directors and the president of the California College Media Association.  @tweetinginla

An associate professor at Midwestern State University, Bradley Wilson has advised student media for more than 15 years and publications he advised have won six Gold Crown awards from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association (four for yearbook and two for literary magazine) and nine Pacemaker from the Associated Collegiate Press (four for yearbook and five for literary magazine). Now he teaches classes including photojournalism and artificial intelligence including classes at the master’s level. He got his start working as a photojournalist for a weekly newspaper in Austin back when film was a thing and 400 was a fast ASA. He is the editor of the national magazine, Communication: Journalism Education Today, for the national Journalism Education Association. He has received a Pioneer Award from both the National Scholastic Press Association and the Associated Collegiate Press, the Star of Texas from the Association of Texas Photography Instructors and the National Press Photographers Association named him the Robin F. Garland Educator of the Year.

Laura Widmer, executive director at Associated Collegiate Press/National Scholastic Press Association, oversees conventions, conferences and workshops, as well as advisory committees for both organizations.

Widmer’s background includes two years of high school advising and 29 years of advising award-winning publications at Northwest Missouri State University. She founded a newspaper in her hometown, Salisbury, Missouri, in 2008. After Northwest, she was general manager of the Iowa State Daily.