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University of Iowa News Release

July 22, 2003

Shelton Wins Two Awards From Journalism Association

Vanessa Shelton, director of the Iowa High School Press Association and the director of Scholastic Journalism Programs at the University of Iowa, will be receiving two awards on Friday, Aug. 1, at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication convention in Kansas City, Mo.

Shelton won first place in the Innovative Outreach to Scholastic Journalism Competition. She also will be honored as the winner of the 2003 Robert P. Knight Multicultural Recruitment Award.

As the first place winner of the Innovative Outreach to Scholastic Journalism competition, she will present her program on Aug. 1, as a convention session.

She will be honored as the Knight Multicultural Recruitment Award winner at a luncheon co-sponsored by the Scholastic Journalism and Minorities and Communications divisions also on Friday.

The Innovative Outreach first place award is based on her work as director of the Summer Journalism Academies. The program works with students in third through eighth grades in high schools in Davenport and Des Moines.

The major objective of these Academies it to develop an interest in all participants, but especially students of color, to attend college and to consider journalism as a career option, said Venise Berry, associate director of undergraduate studies in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. In the workshops, the students are taught basic journalism skills and at the same time their reading, writing and analytical skills are enriched.

That program is only one aspect of her multicultural recruitment efforts, which will be recognized with the Knight Multicultural Recruitment Award. Shelton, for the past 10 years, has served as managing editor of NURU, a small newspaper written, designed and published by the UI student chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists. In that capacity she has mentored, advised and assisted in the retention of minority journalism students.

In addition, as director of the Iowa High School Press Association and Summer Journalism Workshops, Shelton has incorporated activities to promote multicultural recruitment. A longtime member of the National Association of Black Journalists and former assistant regional director, she established the Iowa Chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists and has worked with the UI Journalism School's Diversity Committee.

"Vanessa has a wonderful background of both professional and scholastic journalism experience that has involved her with minorities even beyond the specialized projects that she has personally initiated as well as those projects that she has participated in as a professional journalist," said Richard Johns, executive director of Quill and Scroll International, which is based at the UI.

The Minority Recruitment Award was established in 1987 and renamed in 1992 in honor of the late Robert P. Knight, a long-time journalism educator at the University of Missouri-Columbia. This is the first year of the Scholastic Journalism Division's Innovative Outreach to Scholastic Journalism competition.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACT(S): Media: Mary Geraghty Kenyon, 319-384-0011, Program: Julie E. Dodd, University of Florida,