Please enjoy the latest issue of the JAWS newsletter.
March 25, 2015
View this email in your browser
Forward to Friend

In this newsletter:

Visit the national listserv

JAWS in your neighborhood


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Contact the regional captain to suggest an event.

Atlanta, Georgia

Contact the regional captain to suggest an event.

Bay Area

Sign up for the Bay Area regional listserv.


Sign up for the Boston regional listserv.


Join the new Chicago Facebook page.


Contact the regional captain to suggest an event.


Date: April 2
Details: Learn all you’ve never known you didn’t know about Eliza Scidmore, the American journalist who first proposed planting cherry blossom trees in a national park along the Potomac in the late 1880s after spending time in Japan. Local JAWS member Diana Parsell will present the fascinating story of Scidmore’s life, work and travels. The usual bar food menu will be available along with a special pink cocktail in honor of the 2015 Cherry Blossom Festival!
Location: National Press Club.
Contact: Email Jane Meacham.


Contact the regional captain. Join the Frederick Facebook group.


Anyone in New York on Monday, March 30, is invited to join us at the house of Fara Warner for a mixer starting at 7 p.m. Details and a signup sheet are hereSign up for the NYC regional listserv or join the Facebook group.

Seattle, Washington

Contact the regional captain to suggest an event. Join the new Facebook group.

Southern California

Sign up for the Southern California regional listserv. Connect on Facebook.


Have an upcoming event? Host a lecture, potluck or happy hour in your region and publicize your local gathering in the next newsletter. Email details to Connie K. Ho.

Going to any conferences?


JAWS wants to reach out to our sisters in other journalism organizations to spread the word about our group and look for ways to partner.

If you are already planning to attend an upcoming journalism conference, please email interim development director Katherine Ann Rowlands so she can arm you with cards, pins and information and perhaps coordinate a JAWdess gathering at the conference.

Also, a special promo code from the Exceptional Women in Publishing’s 2015 Women’s Leadership Conference (use EWIPfriends2015 for $100 off). The conference is Thursday, March 26, at UC Berkeley. The theme is Taking Risks, Blazing Trails, and Susan Goldberg, editor in chief of National Geographic, will be presented with the 17th annual EWIP Award. 

Other upcoming conferences are:
  • American Copy Editors Society, March 26-28 in Pittsburgh, Pa.
  • Journalism Education Association, April 16-19 in Denver
  • Education Writers Association, April 19-22 in Chicago
  • Association of Health Care Journalists, April 23-26 in Santa Clara, Calif.
  • American Society of Journalists and Authors, April 30-May 2 in New York City
  • Investigative Reporters & Editors, June 4-7 in Chicago
  • Public Radio News Directors Inc., June 24-27 in Salt Lake City
  • Association of Alternative Newsmedia, July 15-17 in Salt Lake City
  • Journalism Education Association, July 6-9 in Las Vegas
  • Native American Journalists Association, July 9-11 in Washington, D.C.
  • American Agricultural Editors Association, July 25-29 in Scottsdale, Ariz.
  • National Association of Black Journalists, Aug. 5-9 in Minneapolis
  • Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, Aug. 6-9 in San Francisco
  • Asian American Journalists Association, Aug. 12-15 in San Francisco
  • National Lesbian Gay Journalists Association, Sept. 3-6 in San Francisco
  • National Federation of Press Women, Sept. 10-12 in Anchorage, Alaska
  • National Association of Hispanic Journalists/Radio Television Digital News Association/Society of Professional Journalists, Sept. 18-20 in Orlando, Fla.
  • Online News Association, Sept. 24-26 in Los Angeles
  • National Newspaper Association, Oct. 1-3 in St. Charles, Mo.
  • Society of Environmental Journalists, Oct. 7-11 in Norman, Okla.
  • National Association of Science Writers, Oct. 9-13 in Cambridge, Mass.
  • American Society of News Editors, Oct. 16-18 in Palo Alto, Calif.
  • Associated Collegiate Press fall “National College Media Convention,” Oct. 28-Nov. 1 in Austin, Texas
  • Journalism Education Association, Nov. 12-15 in Orlando, Fla.


*Mary C. Curtis gave a keynote and received an honor at Leadership in the Clouds.

*Kirstin Downey’s “Isabella: The Warrior Queen” is a finalist for the Los Angeles Times best biography of 2014 and the PEN award for best biography.

*Alice Driver’s short film, “My Homeland,” was selected by New Filmmakers to be part of their Spring 2015 Screening Series in New York City.

*Alexis Hauk will be starting a new job at Zocalo Public Square.

*Rita Henley Jensen led a special New York Downtown tour for Women’s History Month. The tour, created by Betsy Wade and Jim Boylan, visits places linked to women who made history in the area.

*Loyola University of Chicago announced that Jill Geisler was named the inaugural Bill Plante Chair in Leadership and Media Integrity.

*The New York Times Op-Ed page published E.J. Graff's piece “Boston’s Winter from Hell.” It topped The New York Time’s most-emailed list for 24 hours, and was in the top ten for four days.

*Justine Griffin won second place in the consumer feature (small) category at the 2015 Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism for her Sarasota Herald-Tribune piece, “The Cost of Life,” about egg donation. 

*The International Association of Culinary Professionals has named American Food Roots, of which Carol Guensberg is a co-founder, one of three finalists in its competition for “Best Culinary Website.”

*Tracee Herbaugh started a new job as a breaking news reporter at the Providence Journal.

*Christine Mahoney, College of Media, Communication and Information (CMCI) internship/career coordinator at the University of Colorado, Boulder and a member of JAWS, invites employers to consider coming to CMCI to recruit students.

*Peggy Orchowski gave a keynote talk in Santa Barbara, Calif., on March 23 to a regional League of Women Voters meeting on “Immigration, Immigrants and the Vote.”

*Liz Seegert was selected as a Fellow for the 2015 Columbia Age Boom Academy: Global Aging: Danger Ahead?

*Kudos to Brigid Schulte on publication in paperback of her book “Overwhelmed.”

*Barbara Peters Smith from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune won first place in the healthy policy (small) category at the 2015 Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism for her piece about guardianship in Florida.

*Megan Sweas started a new job as a communications specialist with University of Southern California's Center for Religion and Civic Culture. She will continue to freelance on religion and social issues.
Have news to share? Send to Connie K. Ho for the next issue. We reserve the right to edit for space.
Board of Directors
Linda Kramer Jenning,
Sandra Fish,
Susy Schultz,
  Vice President
Amy Resnick,
Sheila Solomon,
Angela Greiling Keane
Justine Griffin
Liz Seegert
Gina Setser
Erin Siegal McIntyre
Judy Miller
Pamela Moreland
Donna Myrow
Merrill Perlman
Hilary Powell
Kira Zalan

Regional Captains
Gwyneth Doland and Megan Kamerick,
  Albuquerque, New Mexico
Jill Cox-Cordova, 
  Atlanta, Georgia
Emily Beaver, 
  Bay Area, California
Karen Cheung-Larivee, 
  Boston, Massachusetts
Nancy Day and Sheila Solomon,
  Chicago, Illinois
Sandra Fish, 
  Denver, Colorado
Deirdre Bannon, Jennifer DePaul and Lisa Gillespie,
  District of Columbia
Stephanie Yamkovenko, 
  Frederick, Maryland
Solmaz Sharif, 
  New York City
Susanna Ray, 
  Seattle, Washington
Megan Sweas, 
  Southern California

Advisory Board
Jill Geisler
Diana B. Henriques
Dori Maynard
Geneva Overholser
Lisa Stone

Justine Griffin and Merrill Perlman, Communications Co-Chairwomen
Connie K. Ho, Web Manager

Adrienne Lawrence,
  Interim Operations and CAMP Director
Kat Rowlands,
  Interim Development Director

Ankita Rao,
  Social Media Manager

Roxanne Foster,
  Assistant Membership Manager
Connie K. Ho, Web Manager

President’s Letter: Serving on the board

By Linda Kramer Jenning, JAWS President

The JAWS Board of Directors met in Washington, D.C., from March 20 to 22. This is the only time outside of the Conference and Mentoring Project (CAMP) that your board gathers in person. The agenda included a diversity discussion, updates on CAMP, mentoring, regional programming, fellowships and highlights from all committees. The meeting kicked off with a board dinner at the National Press Club followed by a mixer with D.C.-area JAWS members. 

The board’s working sessions were at the Medill D.C. campus. Lynn Sweet reached out to program director Ellen Shearer, who graciously let JAWS use the space for free.

One item on the agenda was activating a nominating committee. Start thinking about serving on the board. Research shows that women usually need to be asked to run for office seven times before they do it: Consider this your first ask. And then show that you are willing to defy the odds and decide to run without waiting for six more asks.

– Linda Kramer Jenning

And welcome to these new members of JAWS:
Dorian Craft (@doriancraft)
Jennifer Oldham (@jennoldham)
Sue Toth (@editingbysue)
Melissa McCall
Doree Shafrir (@doreeshafrir)
Evelyn McDonnell (@EvelynMcDonnell)
Pamela Ferdinand
Kellie Lunney (@klunney)
Grace Tatter (@GraceTatter)
Alison Flowers (@Flowersalison)
Katherine Landergan (@klandergan)
Lourdes Venard (@lourdesvenard)
Stephanie Tsao (@ecotsao)
Heather Curtis (@heathermcurtis1)
Nkongho Beteck (@kcetebn)
Sarah Chacko (@sarahheartsnews)
Karen Mracek (@karenmracek)
Jill Rosenbaum Meyer (@jrosenbaumdc)
Julia Lieblich
Karina Ioffee (@kioffee)
Janet Harrison (@garnetnewsroom)
Mary D'Ambrosio (@marydambrosio)
Julia Franco
Candace Hughes
Julia Love (@byJuliaLove)

Board member blog post: Why CAMP is worth the trip

By Justine Griffin, JAWS Board Member

The first time I attended the Conference and Mentoring Project (CAMP) was in Vermont in 2013. I had no idea what to expect, as I had never attended a JAWS event before or met an active member face-to-face.

I was directed to the website by a former college professor and was curious after I looked around the site for the first time. I was surprised to see photos of journalists at the annual conference dressed so casually. It didn’t seem like the regular professional meetings I’d attended before.

I applied to be an emerging fellow that year. I wouldn’t end up getting it, and honestly, I’m glad I didn’t.

Knowing I couldn’t afford to pay my own way, I approached the editorial staff at my newspaper, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. I made a strong pitch why I should go, what I could learn and how I could bring back new tools and knowledge to share with the rest of the women — and men — in our young newsroom.

They paid for my trip.

I had the freedom to attend the panels I wanted to and spend time getting to know many of the JAWdesses I am lucky to call friends and mentors now, two years later. When I returned to Florida after CAMP, I was inspired to do better work.

I can’t wait to attend my third CAMP in Montana this year.

If you need more reasons to join us, here are my top five reasons why CAMP is worth it.

Atmosphere: This is not your typical journalism conference. We wear what we want. We talk about what’s important, which is not always what’s popular. Best of all, we drink wine, do yoga and spend plenty of time in the hot tubs or exploring the unique host town. CAMP is truly a destination — from the gorgeous hotels that house us for a few days, to the friendships we make, to what we learn.

Panels: The JAWS community is full of many vibrant and talented journalists. I learn something new from every panel. Each one is interesting and relevant to the current state of the media.

Networking:  If you’re in the market for a new job, CAMP is the place to be. Not only do we pair members with mentors through a yearlong coaching program, but some of the women you meet at CAMP could call you one day wanting to hire you.

Opportunities: CAMP is all about collaboration. Ideas are shared and constructive discussion is encouraged. At my first CAMP, my first big investigative story was nothing more than some garbled notes in my reporter’s notebook. With the guidance of some of the women I met at CAMP, it turned into a 15,000-word published narrative seven months later.

Community: This is perhaps the most important part of CAMP. When I went to CAMP for the first time in 2013, I didn’t know anyone. But I left feeling a part of the family. A year later, I joined the board.

Sign up for the JAWS Mentor Project

Have you been thinking about a career change or a new leadership position at your company, or do you need a fresh approach to freelancing? The JAWS Mentor Project is a great way to get professional advice and try new ideas with a mentor or mentee.

Our expanded year-round project provides ample opportunity for mentors and mentees to spend more time together on the phone or in person.

The volunteer committee will match pairs based on professional expertise, location, career transitions and other requests. The questionnaire is streamlined and will take only a few minutes to complete. Please be patient while we match you to your mentor/mentee; it may take a few weeks.  

Here are the links to the mentor and mentee form.
Mentor link:
Mentee link:

If you need further assistance please contact:
Sheila Solomon, Mentor Committee Co-Chair
Donna Myrow, Mentor Committee Co-Chair
Bonnie Rollins, Mentoring Coordinator

Call for regional captains

JAWS has active chapters in D.C., Los Angeles, New York City and other cities around the country. Just because we might not have current board members in your city doesn’t mean we can’t have a regional chapter there! You can spearhead one!

You don’t have to follow any strict program when hosting a JAWS event. The main goals are to connect with existing members while recruiting new ones. Some members make these events very casual. Some have quite a bit of structure with a speaker.

We are also looking for regional captains in St. Paul/Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Chicago and Boston to continue the great work current captains have already done. If you are interested in becoming a regional captain, please contact Liz Seegert, committee chair for regional gatherings.

JAWS 30th Anniversary Conference and Mentoring Project (CAMP) will be Oct. 9-11 in Whitefish, Mont. CAMP co-chairwomen Gina Setser and Emily Shenk are busy sorting through at least 45 proposals for speakers and panels submitted by members and others. Stay tuned for updates!

Published books

Have you published a book lately? We want to include your book on Send details to so we can promote your work and support JAWS at the same time (some proceeds from Amazon support the organization)

March BoardBytes 

By Sheila Solomon, JAWS Secretary

Mary Dore’s “She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry,” the film shown at last year’s JAWS CAMP, has been seen in Washington, D.C.; Minneapolis, Minn.; Austin, Texas; San Diego, Berkeley and Oakland, Calif.; and will be in Chicago in March.

JAWS is hiring a part-time operations manager and the application deadline was March 13.

Visit the members-only site and log in to view full board minutes.

Regional gatherings recap

JAWS D.C.: More than 40 Washington-area JAWdesses and prospective members braved freezing rain and treacherous sidewalks to get together on March 1 for a potluck at the home of JAWS board member Angela Greiling Keane. The event focused on JAWS membership, so members were encouraged to bring a friend who’d be interested in joining JAWS. The potluck featured dishes from homemade carrot cake to Indian stews to from-scratch sourdough bread. In the spirit of good food, former JAWS board member Carol Guensberg talked about the effort to compile and publish a JAWS cookbook for the organization’s 30th anniversary to tell the JAWS story through food.

JAWS SoCal: We had a wonderful JAWS potluck on Saturday evening. Listening to Patt Morrison speak about the art of interviewing, the value of research and the hard work of reporting, and graciously answer everyone’s questions, was a major treat. Thanks to everyone who came and contributed food, fun and thoughtful exchanges.

JAWS also joined forces with Women, Action & Media! Los Angeles for a headshots session with photographer Sylvia Gunde on March 14. The shoot took place at the Walt Disney Concert Hall Blue Ribbon Garden and, during breaks, attendees enjoyed pumpkin pie from Urth Caffe to celebrate Pi Day. Participants enjoyed the opportunity to meet with other female journalists and discuss topics ranging from freelancing to work-life balance.

Copyright © 2015 JAWS, All rights reserved.
As a valued member of JAWS, you are subscribed to our monthly e-newsletter.

2885 Sanford Ave. SW, #29226 | Grandville, MI 49418-1342 | (510) 764-1877
unsubscribe from this list | update subscription preferences