University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s College of Journalism and Mass Communications to Host Discussion on Cyberbullying

University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s College of Journalism and Mass Communications to Host Discussion on Cyberbullying

Sunday, January 4, 2015 - 6:00pm
Gary Kebbel
Gary Kebbel

The College of Journalism and Mass Communications will host a discussion about the growing national problem of cyberbullying on Jan. 28 at the Nebraska Union. The college is partnering with the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) and the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA) as sponsors of this event. 

“We look forward to a vigorous discussion about how cyberbullying particularly affects diverse students,” said journalism professor Gary Kebbel, who is organizing the panel.

The discussion will be led by expert panelists: Sue Burzynski Bullard, associate professor of journalism at University of Nebraska–Lincoln; Zach Myers, doctoral candidate whose research specialty is cyberbullying; Abi Beatty, counselor at Scott Middle School in Lincoln, and Jason Lucht, former staff member at the LGBTQ Resource Center at University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Journalist Bobby Caina Calvan will moderate.

The public discussion is part of the Heartland Project, a joint initiative of the College of Journalism and Mass Communications, the AAJA and the NLGJA to increase media coverage of minorities and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities in Nebraska. Bobby Caina Calvan, a former national political writer in the Boston Globe’s Washington bureau, is the lead reporter for the Heartland Project. The project is funded by the Ford Foundation. Kebbel is the University of Nebraska–Lincoln partner in the grant.

The panel discussion will be at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015, in the auditorium of the Nebraska Union. The discussion is open to the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and local communities. A reception will follow the event. 


Abigale Beatty is a graduate of Nebraska Wesleyan University a degree in Elementary Education. She student taught in Lisdoonvarna, Ireland in the autumn of 2001. While in Ireland, Abi met her husband, David, and they were married in 2004. Abi taught fourth grade and was gifted coordinator at Sheridan Elementary School. After some time spent teaching, she earned her Master's Degree in School Counseling K-12 from the University of Nebraska Omaha in 2009. She is currently a middle school counselor at Scott Middle School. Abi has served on the Lincoln Public Schools District Counseling Leadership Team and has presented at staff development sessions, as well a panel at Nebraska Wesleyan University. She will focus on the types of bullying students experience and strategies the Lincoln Public School system uses to help students. 

Sue Burzynski Bullard teaches editing, reporting, ethics and multimedia classes as an associate professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Journalism and Mass Communications. Before joining academia in 2007, Sue held a variety of editing positions at The Detroit News, including three years as managing editor.

Sue understands both the newsroom and the classroom. In 2014, she was named the Society of Professional Journalists’ Distinguished Educator of the Year. She’s stayed connected with professionals to keep up with the rapid changes in today’s media world. She’s taught Indian and Turkish journalists for the Poynter Institute. And in 2012, she completed a social media fellowship at the Chicago Tribune. She also serves on the executive committee American Copy Editors Society (ACES). 

In 2011, Sue wrote “Everybody’s an Editor: Navigating Journalism’s Changing Landscape,” a textbook that examines the changing roles of editors in today’s world. 

She’s won numerous awards. In 2010, she won the Promising Professor Award from the Mass Communication and Society division of Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. The Society of Professional Journalists, Detroit chapter, gave her a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007. And she was named an outstanding alumna of Michigan State University’s College of Communication Arts & Sciences the same year. 

Sue holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Michigan State University and master's degree in administration from Central Michigan University.

Jason Lucht is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and women’s and gender studies. He is a social activist, educating on bullying and suicide prevention pertaining to LGBTQ, gender, and cultural issues. He has also worked as a QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) Suicide Prevention Gatekeeper Training Instructor. He received the Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Contributions to the LGBT Community in 2011, and is the first recipient of the Louis Crompton Scholarship. He has worked on projects such as the “It Gets Better” project, holding a vigil in remembrance of LGBTQ teen suicide victims, and the “You Are Loved” chalk message project. Jason currently resides in Lincoln, Nebraska with his partner Ethan Kreifels, where he works as a Social Services Worker for the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.

Zachary R. Myers is a third-year doctoral student in the School Psychology Program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Zach conducts research for the Empowerment Initiative under Dr. Susan Swearer ( His research interests include the relationship between victims and perpetrators of cyberbullying and their mental health outcomes. He is also interested in the effects of cyberbullying via Web-based social networking sites and online gaming.