by Julie Dodd
JEA Mentoring Committee co-chair

A special part of each JEA/NSPA convention is the Mentor Forum. The forum is a day-long program for the members of the JEA Mentoring Program. These photos from JEA Mentor Committee member Judy Robinson share some of the experiences for the mentors from the Seattle convention, April 2012.

The Mentor Forums are part training and part group sharing and problem solving. Peggy Gregory and Bill Flechtner lead the online conversation of the committee members and the mentors that helps lead to the agenda for each Mentor Forum.

Mentor Forum, JEA/NSPA convention

Bill Flechtner leads the mentors in a group discussion during the Mentor Forum.

Peggy Gregory is one of the planners of each Mentor Forum and always has an interesting icebreaker activity.

The Forum features a variety of activities, including small group projects, group brainstorming sessions, and guest speakers.

JEA Mentor Forum, JEA/NSPA convention, small group activity

Randy Swikle, Babs Erickson and Martha Rothwell participated in a small group activity during the Mentor Forum.

Mentor Forum, JEA/NSPA convention, journalism organizations

Ellen Kersey explains the acronyms of journalism organizations that she and Carmen Wendt (holding the poster) listed as part of an activity of brainstorming resources for mentors and mentees.

Mary Anne McCloud leads a discussion.

JEA Rising Star, JEA Mentoring Program, Jessica Young

Jessica Young (on right) and two of her students talked with the mentors about their perceptions of the value of the JEA Mentoring Program. Young, the media adviser at Orange Glen High School in Escondido, Calif., was named as a JEA Rising Star.

Mentor Forum, JEA/NSPA convention

Janice Hatfield gives Jessica Young and her students a thumbs up on their presentation at the Mentor Forum.

Ron Bonadonna talks with one of Jessica Young’s students following a presentation.

Evelyn Lauer, who was named a JEA Rising Star, spoke to the mentors about her experience as a JEA mentee.

Mentor Forum, JEA/NSPA convention

Alabama mentors Jo Ann Hagood and Nora Stephens ate lunch together during the Mentor Forum.

diversity presentation, Norma Kneese, JEA Mentoring Committee, Mentor Forum

Norma Kneese, chair of the JEA Multicultural Commission and Mentoring Committee member, discusses how to encourage diversity on media staffs and in media coverage.

Mentor Forum, JEA/NSPA convention

Linda Barrington (on left) and Julie Dodd share information from the JEA board meeting with the mentors at the end of the Mentor Forum.

Following the full day of interaction and idea swapping, the mentors had new strategies to consider in working with their mentees and they had gotten to know their colleagues better. Even though all the mentors have been leaders in scholastic journalism, they don’t always know each other, as they represent 15 states.

The Forum ends with mentors completing an evaluation of the day. Their suggestions and comments help guide the planning for the next Mentor Forum.

After the Mentor Forum, the mentors and Mentor Committee members go to a group dinner to continue the conversation. The dinner in Seattle was at Anthony’s Pier 66 (as seen in the wide photos in this post) on the waterfront. The group enjoyed the walk to the waterfront, which included walking through the Pike Street Market and seeing the original Starbucks.

fresh flowers, Pike Street Market

Fresh flowers were in abundance at the Pike Street Market. The mentors walked through the market on their way to dinner on the waterfront.

Seattle waterfront

Peggy Gregory, Joe Pfeiff and Carmen Wendt pose for a photo on the way to Anthony’s Pier 66 for the mentor group dinner.

Mt. Rainier in sunbeam

Mt. Rainier spotlighted by the sunset as seen from Anthony’s Pier 66 restaurant, the location of the mentors’ group dinner.

Original Starbucks

Carol Smith visits the original Starbucks, located near the Pike’s Street Market.

The next Forum will be held at the JEA/NSPA convention in San Antonio in November.

P.S. Mentor Gary Lindsey is sharing his photos from the Seattle convention.