What (and who) to expect at the 2015 Fall Conference

Speakers and topics


The 2015 Fall Conference is right around the corner! We are welcoming speakers from high schools around Iowa, local newspapers and TV stations, the University of Iowa and yearbook companies. The speakers are coming to you from as close as the UI, Drake University and Simpson College and from as far as Minnesota and Texas.

Lori Oglesbee

Lori Oglesbee will be giving the keynote talk, focusing how you can make a great final product, not just get it done.

Oglesbee, MJE, entered the classroom for the 33rd time this year to advise a yearbook. She loves the collaborative and creative learning it takes to produce the nationally recognized McKinney High School Lion, which has won every national award multiple times. In 2009, she was named JEA’s National Yearbook Adviser of the Year. Other awards hang on her wall, but the ones that mean the most are the ones students have won.

Throughout the day, there will be sessions on photojournalism, how to capture your Yearbook audience, storytelling in a digital age and more. Check out all the sessions and their descriptions below.


What not to wear in your yearbook

We’ll look at how a new wardrobe can make your yearbook look and feel better.

Lori Oglesbee, McKinney HS

Dunk the deadlines

Using your noodles, marbles & more to keep your staff energized and unified, participate in team building activities and share yours with all in attendance.

Betty Christian, Davenport North HS

10 Tools For Your Editing Toolbox

Whether you’re a copy editor, section editor, media producer, social media editor or editor-in-chief, there are tools any editor can use to help produce the best possible yearbook, website, social media blast, video or newspaper. This session will focus on tools to successfully edit content and lead your staff.

Vanessa Shelton, Quill and Scroll

Twitter for our publications

Joann Gage, Mount Vernon HS

Manual Mode Simplified

Learn how to make your DSLR take the photos YOU want it to take! Learning the three main settings of manual mode will completely change how you take photographs and give you the creative power. In this class, you will learn the basics of manual mode in simplistic terms and at a slow pace. Once you learn how to shoot manual mode, you will have the knowledge to photograph any subject in any location! Want to learn how to freeze your sports photos? Want to know how to achieve the beautiful blurry backgrounds? Want to know how to make your pop up flash stop popping up all of the time? Then this class is for you!

Natalie McDermott, Davenport West HS

Creative collaboration behind the camera

KCRG-TV9 reporter Sarah McCarthy and news photographer Tanner Siegworth share how the two work together to find the story behind the facts and chase down the visually compelling pieces needed to capture a TV audience. Sarah and Tanner are both recent University of Iowa graduates just beginning their careers in television news.

Sarah McCarthy & Tanner Siegworth, KCRG-TV9

Transitioning from high school to college journalism

Megan Sanchez, University of Iowa

5 Steps of Revision

There’s two types of writers: good writer and quitters. If your writing isn’t good enough, you quit before it was. Follow these steps to be a better writer. This session will change your life. I promise.

Lori Oglesbee, McKinney HS

Managing an Online Newsroom

Kari Koshiol, School Newspapers Online

How to be awesome

Storytelling that matters in the digital age.

Jonathan Rogers, City HS

Iowa Overview: The Hawkeye Way

Learn more about the opportunities that await you at the University of Iowa. The UI is a top 30 public university, offering over 200 areas of study in several highly ranked programs. Students at the UI have access to the resources of a Big Ten institution while still receiving the individualized attention that comes along with the UI’s close-knit campus. In this presentation you’ll also hear from current students about how to get involved at Iowa and why it’s so great to be a Hawkeye!

UI Admissions

Podcasting 101

Kyle Philips, CR Washington

Today’s journalist

Are today’s journalists different from past generations? Tools you need to succeed.

J.R. Ogden, The Gazette

Let’s get yerdy — student editor panel

How to submit 300 pages in under 7 months and survive.

Natalie Nemeyer & East HS Yearbook editors

Satire: Humor with a purpose

Satire takes quick wit to expose the absurdity in the world around us.

Lori Oglesbee, McKinney HS

50 Tips to Improve Your Website

Kari Koshiol, School Newspapers Online

Smart Phonography

This session will help you develop your skills as a photographer using only your cell phone. The cell phone camera has drastically changed the world of photography. Anyone with a phone has the ability to shoot, edit and transmit photos around the entire world (and space!). Professional photographers are using their phones in situations that may be more challenging with a large-bodied camera while others are using Instagram and various forms of social media to create online portfolios to seek jobs and freelance opportunities. We will focus on building up your arsenal of photography tools to help you create unique, thoughtful images.

David Scrivner, Iowa City Press Citizen

How you can go deep and amaze your readers

You know the people who always seem to know things, right? You can be that person AND let people in on what you know in your school newspaper but you have to go deep to have an impact. This session will show you how, and why you should want to do this.

Lyle Muller, IowaWatch.org

Stop the Presses! There is a Future in Journalism

Journalism is a field that’s undergoing fundamental disruption and change, but there are huge opportunities for young people who want to study and make a career in providing the public with information. We’ll talk about ways you can best prepare for a career in journalism, along with the diverse opportunities that studying journalism in college can provide.

Brian Steffen, Simpson College

Yearbook Trends

Design trends yearly. Something that seems hot now may not be cool when the book is distributed. Learn how to decide which trends will help tell your story in a fresh way.

Amanda Tillery, Jim Straub, Courtney Kokjohn, Brad Hempstead, Walsworth Yearbook

Startup tactics applied

Jon Myers, former online editor for The Little Hawk and current startup founder, teaches you how the lean startup approach and effective startup tactics can help your newspaper to become a relevant and engaging platform for high school students to receive news.

Jon Myers, Spectator

It is nothing without great photography

Great photos are what draw readers to a page. Give the photography the attention it deserves.

Lori Oglesbee, McKinney HS

More Than a Story

Kari Koshiol, School Newspapers Online

How to avoid the photo bomb

Creating compelling photos that tell the story of your school.

Liz Martin, The Gazette

How high school publications can use Snapchat to reach their audience

Chris Snider, Drake University

How to run a newspaper staff — Q&A

Panel, Johnston High School

Basics of Iowa Student Press Law

Tyler J. Buller, Assistant Iowa Attorney General & Student-Press Advocate

Emojis vs. Emoting?

How social media is changing communication — we will examine how social media may be stunting our emotions and changing the way we talk to each other.

Kajsa E. Dalrymple, University of Iowa SJMC

Tours of The Daily Iowan & Adler Journalism Building

Adviser pep talk

Visit with veteran advisers Ann Viser and Gary Lindsay.

Ann Visser & Gary Lindsay, JEA Mentor


The Fall Conference this year is Thursday, Oct. 29 in the Iowa Memorial Union.

  • Registration begins at 8 a.m.
  • Opening ceremonies at 9 a.m.
  • The conference concludes at 2:30 p.m.

It’s not too late to sign up! The registration deadline is October 23 but space is limited so sign up here.