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CSPA journalism conference begins, Rangers defeat Penguins in OT

Kaylie Clem | The Feather Online

Feather adviser Kori Friesen teaches a morning photography session at the 94th annual CSPA convention, March 14.

After completing the majority of touring for the week, Feather staffers and advisers hopped on the NY metro and hurried down to Columbia University to attend the first day of the 94th annual Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA) Convention, March 14.

The Feather has attended the spring CSPA conference since 1998 and has earned five CSPA Gold Crown awards in a row and seven Golds overall since 2010. Students from across the nation attend to hear from a variety of speakers with real-world experience in print publications, online newspapers, magazines, yearbooks, photography and videography.

Feather adviser Kori Friesen taught the class, Photojournalism: Your Image as a Hook, during the first session time from 10 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. Over 85 students and advisers attended to gather various bits of information regarding photography.

Margaret Sorrows, a speaker at CSPA and teacher at Bryant High School in Little Rock, AR, worked 36 years as a teacher/advisor and was the 2014 JEA Yearbook Adviser of the Year. She spoke about The Art of Storytelling and how it affects today’s society.

“I’m interested in storytelling because you’re creating a history of our country,” Sorrows said. “Whatever time that you’re telling stories of is apart of the history of our country and that’s very important to me. We can also learn from each other through storytelling. It is how we are going to understand and learn from each other and to make the world a better place.”

Speaker Edmund J. Sullivan, Executive Director of the CSPA, spoke in an afternoon session discussing various ways to enhance editorials. Sullivan explains why he considers the convention meaningful.

“I think this convention is important because it gives students an opportunity to come together and network with one another as well as learn from one another, and the teachers too,” Sullivan said. “Predominantly, it gives the students an opportunity to see what other students in schools do as well.

“Too often I think journalism is such a small activity in a school,” Sullivan continued. “One student a couple years ago came to me and said, “we feel like we’re the ‘only’ and the ‘lonely’.” One of the great things about getting a group of people together from different schools and different states is that you can shatter that ‘only and lonely’ mentality.”

After the first two sessions, the convention scattered for lunch. Students and advisers explored the streets surrounding Columbia University for chow.

Senior Katie Cologna works as Co-Editor-in-Chief for the Granite Bay Gazette at Granite Bay High School in the Sacramento, CA, area. Cologna explains the roles she holds as co-editor and some of the challenges she faces.

“As a co-editor my roles in the news room have expanded greatly,” Cologna said. “Rather than just focusing on myself and my peers within my editing section, I design the news section, design illustrations for editors, help section editors with page design, advise writers, enter competitions and of course, edit. The main thing about being a co-editor that I think a lot of people will relate to is the challenge of being a leader amongst your peers that are in the same grade. Luckily I have four other co-editors, so it makes it easier to collaborate and deal with situations involving staff that need attention.”

Junior Kamryn Schultz enjoyed walking across the Columbia campus and attending multiple sessions about writing creatively.

“I went to four different sessions yesterday, but I think the most impactful one was about storytelling from Margaret Sorrows,” Schultz said. “Storytelling is important because it’s a way to connect with the reader and engage them in what you’re writing. With storytelling, you can impact people and ‘make the world a better place,’ according to Sorrows.”

Sandwiched between Columbia and the evening hockey game, NYC based photographer Kelly Kopp met with The Feather staff to discuss ways to bolster social media presence.

“I thought it was super cool to be able to meet a guy like Kopp,” Clem said. “He has so much expertise on how to successfully run a social media account. Me and the other photojournalists really appreciate him taking the time to come and meet with us.”

The Feather team shuffled down to Madison Square Garden to experience the rivalry NHL matchup featuring the New York Rangers and the Pittsburgh Penguins. While the first 50 minutes proved bland as the Penguins dominated with a 2-0 score, the final 10 compensated. An electrifying four goals sent the two teams into a three-versus-three overtime where the Rangers took the 4-3 victory and sent the home crowd wild.

Kaylie Clem | The Feather Online

The New York Rangers defeated the Pittsburg Penguins 4-3 in Madison Square Gardens, March 14.

Senior Mariana Fikse joined in with crowd as they cheered the Rangers to victory. She enjoyed the excitement of the event and the different experience it gave her.

“I’ve always really enjoyed sports so I was really excited going into it,” Fikse said. “The first half I didn’t have high hopes, I was just trying to enjoy it. But the final 10 minutes were really exciting and I got really into it. If I ever had the chance, I would definitely attend another Rangers game because the crowd gets into it and gives you an authentic New York experience.”

Tomorrow, the crew plans to attend the second day of the convention and spend the evning in SoHo. The Feather is teaching two afternoon sessions tomorrow. The advisers are speaking about social media from 1:30 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. and the editors are discussing the elements of an award winning newspaper from 2:30 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. 

A special thank you to Kelly Kopp for taking the time to meet with The Feather team.

Check back throughout the week to stay updated with The Feather’s adventures.


For more articles, check out Hello, Dolly! shatters expectations with star-studded cast and Feather Takes New York 2018: Day 3 Recap.

This author can be reached via Twitter @alexrurik23 and via email: Alexander Rurik.

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