Professor Michelle Hassler named NHSPA Executive Director

Tuesday, August 30, 2016 - 8:45am

Michelle Carr Hassler, an assistant professor of practice at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, has been named executive director of the Nebraska High School Press Association, a statewide group that supports scholastic journalism.
Hassler was appointed by College of Journalism and Mass Communications Dean Maria Marron to succeed Professor Mary Kay Quinlan, who stepped down after being named associate dean of the college.
“I’m thrilled to be a part of this great organization, which has been helping Nebraska teachers and students since 1931 and celebrates its 85th anniversary this year,” Hassler said. “Scholastic journalism is alive and well in the state, as evidenced by the passionate and dedicated teachers and talented high school students I met during my time as recruitment coordinator for the college.”
The NHSPA provides support for teachers and advisers responsible for high school publications and works to establish standards of excellence for high school journalism. Among its activities is the annual fall convention, co-sponsored by University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s College of Journalism and Mass Communications and attended by more than 600 Nebraska high school students.
This year’s event will be Monday, Oct. 17, at the Nebraska Union on the University of Nebraska–Lincoln campus. More than 20 professionals and educators will present informational sessions for teachers and students on topics related to broadcasting, newspapers (online and print), yearbooks, leadership, career exploration and media law. The NHSPA also recognizes outstanding student work in broadcasting, newspaper, online and yearbook as part of its Cornhusker Awards competition at the convention.
In the summer, the NHSPA offers a popular workshop for high school students at University of Nebraska–Lincoln.
Several organizations and companies help support those events, including the Nebraska Press Association, the Omaha World-Herald, the Nebraska Broadcasters Association, StrivTV and a number of yearbook publishers.
The NHSPA is led by an 11-member executive board that includes Christine Kaldahl, Millard South High School; Terry Pitkin, Scottsbluff High School; Brandi Benson, Lincoln Southwest High School; Janelle Schultz, Gering High School; Stephanie Lanik, Thayer Central Community Schools; Diane Scheiffer, Elkhorn High School; Marsha Kalkowski, Marian High School; Angie Wolfe, Burke High School; Kristen Harris, McCook High School; Aaron Dahl, Fillmore Central High School; and Rod Henkel, Yutan High School.
Hassler, a McCook native, said she knows firsthand how important scholastic journalism is for aspiring journalists, broadcasters and mass communicators.
“My first by-line was in the McCook High School newspaper. I loved newspaper class, and it inspired me to think about journalism as a career. But it also taught me valuable lessons about the First Amendment, ethics and civic leadership that are important for all students.”
Hassler began teaching at University of Nebraska–Lincoln in 1998, and her teaching has won several national awards from journalism educator groups, including the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications. Before joining the University of Nebraska–Lincoln faculty, she worked as a reporter and editor at newspapers in Colorado, Arizona and Nebraska, including the Lincoln Journal and the Lincoln Journal Star.
The NHSPA is open to all high school instructors of journalism and/or advisers of student publications in the state of Nebraska. For additional information, including how to join, see the NHSPA website:

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Michelle Hassler