Alabama Journalism Prof Wins Columbia University Award

MeredithCummingsPicThe Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA) has been connecting student journalists and faculty since 1925 through an array of conferences, exchanges and programs. On Friday, as part of its 90th annual conference, the organization will welcome to New York the latest recipient of its James Frederick Paschal Award.

The 2014 honoree is Meredith Cummings (pictured), a journalism professor and director of scholastic media at The University of Alabama. From the CSPA announcement:

During her tenure, Cummings has worked to upgrade everything at Alabama from integrating the newest technologies to promote the organization to adapting reporting and writing techniques for multimedia. She also innovated contests, springs conventions, summer camps and statewide fall regionals. This change has not gone unnoticed.

Marie Parsons, former director of the Alabama Student Press Association, saw Meredith’s transformation of the group first-hand. “Meredith took over a 70-year-old scholastic journalism program that was on the brink of extinction, and in five years she has molded it into a thriving center for high-school and elementary–school media.”

The Paschal award is named after the late director of the Oklahoma Interscholastic Press Association and former editor of the CSPAA Bulletin. Cummings, a B.A. and Master’s grad, formerly worked as a journalist.