GIFT is back in 2015!

17 Jan

Scholastic, C-Tech, and CCJA are pleased to announce that Great Ideas for Teachers – GIFT – will be back at the 2015 AEJMC Conference in San Francisco.

GIFT is a refereed panel presentation of the best teaching tips and techniques. Any member of AEJMC is eligible to submit their GIFT idea to the panel, which will narrow all submissions to a list of the Top 25 tips for the presentation at the Conference.  One of these 25 will also earn the title of Top GIFTER for 2015.

NICOLE KRAFT at Ohio State University will head up the entry process.  SUSAN ZAKE of Kent State University will lead the judging.  JOHN KEREZY of Cuyahoga Community College will spearhead the panel presentation and announcement of the top GIFTer at the Conference in San Francisco

If you wish to submit a GIFT idea, you can contact Nicole at and she’ll put you on the list when the Call for Entries goes out.

Also, watch for news/updates at this blog site:

John Kerezy, GIFT coordinator


Congratulations to AEJMC GIFT Finalists!

16 Jun

Below are the names and colleges of the 25 finalists in the 2013 Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) Great Ideas For Teachers (GIFT) competition.

Sponsored by the Community College Journalism Association (CCJA) and Small Programs Interest Group (SPIG) of AEJMC, GIFT has chronicled the best strategies in the teaching of collegiate journalism since 2000.

These 25 finalists will be presenting their winning strategies and techniques in a Poster Session at the 2013 AEJMC Conference in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, August 8, beginning at 10 a.m.  (Note the time.) One of these 25 will also be honored as the “top GIFTer” in all of AEJMC at this session.  There will also be door prizes and a lot of faculty-to-faculty discussions and interaction at the GIFT session.

Congratulations to all of the 25 finalists. They are:

NAME AND TITLE                                                                COLLEGE/UNIVERSITY

Cheryl Ann Lambert, A Picture is Worth a Thousand Tears, Boston University
Jeff South,Free Adan                                                                  Virginia Comm. Univ.
Daniel Reimold, Brainstorm Something                              University of Tampa
Joel Campbell, Backgrounding Individuals                       Brigham Young Univ.
Madeline McCullough, Ad Copywriting Best Practices, Wichita State Univ.

Christine Hirsch, A Meme a Day                                             State Univ. NY Oswego
Leigh Wright, Technological Twist on Current Events, Murray State Univ.
Lindsey Wotanis, Teach a Theory                                           Marywood University
Jessica Gresko, Death in the Classroom                               Catholic Univ. America
Carol Schwalbe, Natural Sound, Naturally                          Univ. of Arizona

Amy DeVault, Grab a Team, Mob Report                             Wichita State Univ.
Kristen Alley Swain, Use Printerest to Explore Third Places, Univ. of Mississippi
Jolliffe/Crowe/Davidson, A Memorable Moment, Drake Univ. & Univ. of Missouri
Roseanne School, 21st Century Essays                               Louisiana State Univ.
Scott Winter, Strategic Biographies                                     Univ. of Nebraska Lincoln

Carla Kimbrough, Real Life Media Ethics                           Univ. of Nebraska Lincoln
Doug Cumming, What’s the Big Idea                                     Washington & Lee Univ.
Charlene Simmons, Oh No! Quinn’s in Trouble Again    Univ. of Tenn Chattanooga
Amanda Sturgill, The Current Events Journal                  Elon University
Susan Sivek, Build Idea/Media Company                           Linfield College

Cathy Strong, Grant Hannis,Immersing Students in Other Cultures, Massey Univ. (NZ)
Cathy Strong, Grant Hannis, Converged Media Skills       Massey Univ. (NZ)
Jack Rosenberry, Talk It Out                                                      St. John Fisher College
Cindy Royal, Look at Me – I’m Coding!                                   Texas State Univ.
Aaron Chimbel, Set-up and Elevator Pitch                            Texas Christian Univ.

THANKS TO – MaryJean Land of Georgia College, who assembled and coordinated a nine-person panel of judges whose expertise vetted 54 GIFT entries down to this year’s “Top 25″ finalists.  Thanks also to the leadership of AEJMC and specifically the Scholastic, Small Programs, and Community College sections and interest groups, which have been behind the GIFT program for much of the past 14 years.  Thanks also to Dr. Edna Bautista, who was the GIFT coordinator for the first 10 years of GIFT’s existence and who provided me with excellent advice and counsel as I’ve handled coordination duties for the past four years.

If you wish, you can purchase a CD ROM containing these top 25 GIFT ideas at the AEJMC Conference in Washington. Cost is just $5.  Below are links to AEJMC (and conference information) and also to the Community College Journalism Association.  If you teach journalism at the community college level, PLEASE DO connect with me or with Toni Albertson, our section president, at this year’s conference.  Toni can be reached at:



24 Apr

There have been 54 enties into this year’s AEJMC gift competition.  This is the highest number of entries we have received since 2010.

More than 30 states are represented in the 2013 competition. Entries came from three different continents, and from both new and returning GIFT entrants.

I will post the entire list of entrants on Friday.  Mary Jean Land, who is our judging coordinator, has a team of nine judges who will assist us in evaluating the entries.

We will announe the TOP 25 GIFTERS around May 6 or 7.  Those chosen will have the privilege of presenting at a poster session at the AEJMC Conference in Washington, DC on Thursday, August 8 at 10 a.m. at the AEJMC Conference at the Renaissance Hotel, Washington, D.C.

J Kerezy, GIFT Coordinator

It’s 2013 GIFT entry time!

27 Feb

The Community College Journalism Association and the Small Programs Interest Group of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) are proud to announce the 2012 GREAT IDEAS FOR TEACHERS (GIFT) competition.

GIFT is a REFEREED PANEL that many college professors seeking tenure and/or additions to the curriculum vita use as a way of demonstrating professional excellence.  MaryJean Land (George College) is again heading up our judging panel in 2013.

Those teaching journalism/mass communication classes at the college level are invited to submit their best classroom teaching examples in this competition.

The TOP 25 GIFT ideas, as selected from a panel of judges from these three groupings within AEJMC, will be selected to present at a poster session at AEJMC’s Conference in Washington, DC,  on August 8, 2013.

The very best GIFT, designated the grand prize winner, will also receive a cash award at the August 9 poster session.

Here is the 2013 GIFT Timeline:

March 1 – Call for GIFTs; begin accepting GIFT submissions

April 18 – Uniform deadline for GIFT submissions (email to

April 20 – May 10 – Judging of GIFT submissions; top papers chosen

May 13 – Notification sent to GIFT finalists only

May 13 – List of GIFTs due to AEJMC for program copy

May 14 to June 1  –  Ranking of top GIFTs; grand prize winner chosen

June/July – Production of GIFTs for publication; collection of door prizes

Aug. 9 – GIFT poster session at the AEJMC conference in Washington; grand prize winner announced

September – Highlights/photos of poster session and winning GIFT featured on the Web site

Here is the GIFT Entry Form: Please download, complete, and return to John Kerezy with your entry anytime between now and April 19, 2013:

2013 entry form

Email your entry to:

For information about the Community College Journalism Association, click here:

GREAT 2012 GIFT session!

13 Aug

Wow!  More than 200 people attended the 2012 Great Ideas for Teachers (GIFT) session at the AEJMC Conference in Chicago on Thursday, August 9.

Below are some pictures from GIFT and the GIFT poster session.

Congratulations to CAROL SCHWALBE, of the University of Arizona, who received a $100 check and a plaque as the TOP GIFT RECIPIENT of 2012!  You can obtain a copy of Carol’s GIFT submission and those of the other 24 GIFT Finalists by sending a $5 check, made payable to Community College Journalism Association, c/o John Kerezy, Cuyahoga Community College, 11000 W. Pleasant Valley Road, Parma, OH 44130.

GIFT is one of the leading events at the AEJMC Conference, as it is a “double blind” competition with winners chosen from a panel of peer college journalism professors.

Watch later this year for details about the 2013 GIFT, which will be in Washington DC.







REMINDERS for GIFT finalists and attendees

10 Jul

The Community College Journalism Ass’n, the Small Program Interest Group, and the Scholastic Journalism division of AEJMC welcome you and ALL attendees to the 2012 AEJMC Conference to the GIFT session on THURSDAY, AUGUST 9.  The session will be at the Chicago Marriott’s GRAND BALLROOM, beginning at 3:15 p.m.

IF YOU ARE A FINALIST — You can bring with you a POSTER DISPLAY of up to 3 feet by 4 feet to post on the display boards. We recommend PLENTY of handouts for your GIFT.  You will also receive a CD-ROM of the Summer 2012 “Journalist” with the Top 25 GIFTERs on it and a certificate of recognition.

REMEMBER — you must be in attendance if you are a GIFT finalist. You must also be present if you’re selected for the $100 “Top GIFT” prize.

If you are not one of the finalists — By all means, join in the festivities! We will have door prizes, and you’ll be able to purchase a CD-ROM of the 2012 GIFT finalists (and CD-ROMs of past years’ GIFT finalists).

See you in Chicago!  Conference details are all here:

John Kerezy

Congratulations, GIFT Finalists!

11 May

Below are the names of the 25 finalists in the Association of Educators in Journalism & Mass Communications GIFT program.

Congratulations to the finalists, who will present posters about their GIFT at the 100th anniversary conference of AEJMC in Chicago on Thursday, August 9.

Special thanks to MaryJean Land of George College who directed the judging process.

In no particular order, the finalists are:

  1. Unsung Hero, Yanjun Zhao, Cameron (OK) University;
  2. A Timeless Classic for Teaching Organizational Communication, Tamara Gillis, Elizabethtown (PA) College;
  3. AP Style Game Day, Sue Burzynski Bullard, Univ. of Nebraska;
  4. Screencasts & Standards, Adam J. Kuban and Laura MacLeod Mulligan, Ball State University;
  5. Bringing Media Relations into the Classroom, Eric M. Wilson, Wichita State University;
  6. Branding Your Website, David Painter, Full Sail University;
  7. WWJSD – What Would John Stewart Do?           Laura Hlavach, Southern Illinois University;
  8. Journalistic Blogging Analysis, Carolyn Nielsen, Western Washington Univeristy;
  9. From Tweet to Lead,            Neil Ralston, Western Kentucky University;
  10. Interviewing Interviewers, Chris Roberts, Univ. of Alabama;
  11. The Structure Puzzle, Bruce Gillespie, Wilfrid Laurier (Ont.) University;
  12. Cola Wars and Applied Research, Elizabeth Gardner, Texas Tech University;
  13. Visual Framing of News Events, Daniel Hunt, Newbury (MA) College;
  14. Avoid Source Remorse, Carol Schwalbe, University of Arizona;
  15. So You Want to Be an Entrepreneur, Andi Stein, California State Univ., Fullerton;
  16. Rewriting the Trade Show Booth, Kelly Bruhn, Drake University;
  17. Class Blog in a Visual Comm. Class, Amy DeVault, Wichita State University;
  18. Making a Splash on the First Day of Class, Brandie Martin, Snow Dong &Anne Hoag, Penn State University;
  19. Text your Professor, Miglena Sternadori, Univ. of South Dakota;
  20. What do We Know? Michael Grundmann, James Madison University;
  21. Twitter Tweeting Twaining,            Brian K. Johnson, Univ. of Illinois;
  22. Gutenberg 2.0, Emily Erickson, California State Univ., Fullerton;
  23. Tweet Me, Facebook Me, or YouTube Me, but Please Don’t Call Me, Sonya DiPalma, Univ. of North Carolina;
  24. Feeding a Twitter News Feed, Rich Kenney, Florida Gulf Coast University;
  25. Quick-Shoot Assignment Produces Excitement, Strong Results,  John Freeman, University of Florida.

Thanks also to our panel of judges:  Angela Criscoe, Georgia College; Mary Cupito, Northern Kentucky University; Cindi Deutschman-Ruiz, Cuyahoga Community College; Jeremy Sarachan, St. John Fisher College; Cindy L. Simoneau, Southern Connecticut State University; David Weinstock, University of Texas-Tyler; Barbara Zang, Worcester State University; Kim Karloff; Amanda Respess, Georgia College.