Speakers

securedownloadRebecca Aguilar (Marketing Yourself: The Key to the Freelance Life), is a TV commentator and freelance online reporter based in Dallas. She’s been a reporter for more than three decades, mostly in TV news and she has covered everything from hurricane disasters to The Oscars. in 2008 she went freelance, and says she now loves the freedom of writing for different news sites with different readers and viewers. Rebecca is currently the VP of Membership for the SPJ Fort Worth Chapter and she’s also the VP of Online for the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.

tjheadshotT.J. Aulds (Weathering the Storm: Lessons in Crisis Reporting and One-on-One Resume Review) is the mainland editor for the Galveston County Daily News and a lifer in the media. He grew up in the business working for his family’s small market radio stations and newspapers. Aulds was the senior producer for the Houston Astros TV network, the managing editor for News 24 Houston, managing editor for the Texas City Sun and several other TV and radio stations mostly in Texas. His work has been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Frontline and CNN. Aulds also has been featured in more than a dozen TV productions on the History Channel, Discovery Channel, ID Channel, PBS, MSNBC, Headline News Network, Fox News and CNN. He’s won more than 30 Associated Press, Texas Press, Edward R. Murrow and other media organization awards including two Emmys.

Web-BassettElizabeth Bassett (Social Media for Dummies) is a web editor for Platts.com, a global multimedia website for energy news and publications. She previously worked as a publications coordinator at MD Anderson Cancer Center, a reporter for Platts, a health care reporter for the Fort Worth Business Press, and freelance reporter for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Her intro to journalism was at the TCU student newspaper and as an agate clerk for The Boston Globe while in graduate school at Boston University.

eric bergerEric Berger (How Have NASA’s Stars Aligned? Covering the Space Program in the 21st Century) has an astronomy degree and has been covering science for the Houston Chronicle since 2001. Hoping to interact with readers, he began the SciGuy blog in early 2005, encompassing everything from nanometers to parsecs to hurricanes. He has written about space issues for the last five years.

JASON BUCHJason Buch (What is Immigration Reporting in 2014?) is the immigration and border affairs reporter at the San Antonio Express-News. The beat includes covering immigration policy, border security and international trade. A 2007 graduate of Texas State University, Buch worked at the Laredo Morning Times before moving to the Express-News in 2009. He worked on the business desk covering a variety of beats before taking on his current assignment.

DSC00350Mark Carreau (How Have NASA’s Stars Aligned? Covering the Space Program in the 21st Century) is a contributing writer for Aviation Week & Space Technology and based in Houston, where he’s reported on NASA’s spaceflight and science programs for more than 25 years. His reporting career includes the Houston Chronicle, Houston Post, Fort Worth Star-Telegram and Orange Leader. A Kansas native, he’s a graduate of the University of Kansas, BA, and Kansas State University, MS.

CarolCole-FroweCarol Cole-Frowe (Marketing Yourself: The Key to the Freelance Life and Weathering the Storm: Lessons in Crisis Reporting) is an award-winning, veteran independent journalist, photographer and blogger specializing in profiles, science, business, food and travel reporting. During the past 20 years, she has written, edited or blogged for Bloomberg News, spj.org’s Independent Journalist blog, New York Daily News, several daily Oklahoma newspapers, OklahomaWatch.org, the Oklahoma Gazette, The Associated Press and Agence France Presse. Cole-Frowe covered the Moore, Okla., EF-5 tornado damage for The Weather Channel in May 2013. She is an adjunct journalism professor for The University of Oklahoma. Cole-Frowe is a three-term past president of the Oklahoma Pro chapter of SPJ. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism/professional writing from the University of Central Oklahoma. Her website is www.carolcolefrowe.com.

Diane CowenDiane Cowen (Accuracy and Balance: Religion Reporting in a Diverse World) has worked at the Houston Chronicle since 2000 and currently is editor of its food, religion and health coverage. Prior to working for the Chronicle she worked for 12 years at the South Bend (Ind.) Tribune in both news and features and for four years at the Shelbyville (Ind.) News, where she was a copy editor and reporter. She is a native of Indiana and graduate of Purdue University and is the author of “Sunday Dinners: Food, Family, and Faith from Our Favorite Pastors” (Andrews McMeel; Sept. 10, 2013). In 2009, Diane was president of the Society for Features Journalism.

margaretdowningmugMargaret Downing (Marketing Yourself: The Key to the Freelance Life), has been editor-in-chief of the Houston Press since February 1998 and a writer for the publication since that time. She and the writers and photographers for her publication have received a number of national, regional and state awards. She is a board member of the Association of Alternative News Media. A graduate of Texas Christian University, she was previously the managing editor at the (Jackson, Mississippi) Clarion-Ledger, managing editor at The Houston Post, an editor and reporter at the Dallas Times Herald, a reporter and bureau chief at the Beaumont Enterprise and Journal and an intern at the Corpus Christi Caller Times.

kat_headshot copyKathleen Duncan (Social Media for Dummies and The Dangers of Social Media) is the Photo & Video Editor of The Victoria Advocate in Victoria, Texas. Her work has been published by numerous publications including National Geographic and Der Spiegel Magazine. She has won awards for her work from the National Press Photographers Association, New York News Publishers Association and Associated Press Managing Editors. She also serves as a board member for Associated Press Managing Editors. When she isn’t working she is traveling, exploring indie bookstores and playing with an adorable pup named Panda.

11-19 dunnam mugTed Dunnam (How to Hit a Home Run: Mastering the Sports Beat) is currently sports editor of the Pearland Journal, Friendswood Journal and Bay Area Citizen newspapers and has served in that capacity the past nine years. He has also served as sports editor at the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal and Galveston Daily News as well as assistant sports editor at the Abilene Reporter-News. In addition, Dunnam, a 37-year sports writing veteran, has been a longtime correspondent for the Associated Press and has won numerous awards for his work.

forestierThomas Forestier (The Dangers of Social Media) is a member of Winstead’s Commercial Litigation Practice Group and Energy Practice Group. In the media law practice area, he regularly represents television broadcasters, newspapers and other media entities in litigation matters involving libel, defamation, privacy and newsgathering issues and other First Amendment issues. Tom also has extensive experience handling eminent domain litigation, energy litigation and other commercial litigation. In addition to other awards and recognition, he received the 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Hispanic Bar Association of Houston and the 2012 Texas Minority Counsel Program’s Trailblazer Outside Counsel of the Year Award. Tom received a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from the University of Texas School of Law and a Bachelor of Science degree in Petroleum Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.

kelly.foss.193Kelly Foss (Accuracy and Balance: Religion Reporting in a Diverse World) is the public affairs media coordinator in southeast Texas for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  He is also an automotive and religion writer, photographer and video maker who dabbles in various aspects of social media.  Kelly is a graduate of Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.

ritagarciaRita Garcia (Social Media for Dummies) is the morning anchor with FOX 26 Morning News. Before coming to Houston she reported for three years for KCBS/KCAL in Los Angeles. During her tenure in California she was honored with the Tracy Miller Merit Award for her dedication to the Alliance for Women in Media organization. Rita started her career at KRGV- Ch5 in the Rio Grande Valley where she used her fluency in Spanish to investigate some of today’s most important issues including: border security, immigration and Mexico’s drug war. Rita is a member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. She Tweets @theritagarcia.

HeathmanSandra M. Heathman (What Is Immigration Reporting in 2014?) has been the District Director of the Houston District Office of Citizenship and Immigration Services since May 2009. She has a distinguished government service beginning in 1987 with the Immigration and Naturalization Service in Houston, Texas. She has served in several key leadership positions with federal immigration agencies. In March 2007, she was selected as the Field Office Director for the Houston District Office. She attended Canal Zone College, Balboa Canal Zone where she obtained her Associate Degree. She later attended St. Leo College in Florida and the University of Houston majoring in Biology. She is married to James L. Heathman and has one teenage daughter.

 

kanellos_07 photoNicolás Kanellos is the Brown Foundation Professor of Hispanic Literature at the University of Houston. He is founding publisher of Arte Público Press, the largest, non-profit publisher of literature in the United States. Dr. Kanellos is the recipient of the 1996 Denali Press Award of the American Library Association, the 1989 American Book Award–Publisher/Editor Category, the 1988 Hispanic Heritage Award for Literature presented by the White House, as well as various fellowships and other recognitions. Dr. Kanellos is the director of a major national research program, Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage of the United States, whose objective is to identify, preserve, study and make accessible tens of thousands of literary documents of those regions that have become the United States from the colonial period to 1960.

larsenJoseph R. Larsen (Protecting Yourself and Your Sources) focuses his practice on media law with extensive experience in all aspects of media newsroom representation including defending clients in defamation and intellectual property lawsuits, state and federal freedom of information acts, defending and handling of subpoenas, prior restraint matters, access to court proceedings and records and insurance issues.  He is a board member of the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas which honored him in 2010 with its James Madison Award.

mintzBill Mintz (Is Energy Reporting the New Black?) Since 1998, Mintz has worked in public affairs for Apache Corporation, a large independent oil and gas exploration and production company with headquarters in Houston and operations in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom sector of the North Sea, Egypt and Australia. Prior to joining Apache, Mintz was a reporter for Texas newspapers for 23 years, covering a range of government, political and business beats in San Antonio, Houston and Washington, D.C.

premium_author_bioEva Ruth Moravec (The Dangers of Social Media) is a government reporter for the San Antonio Express-News, a daily paper in the heart of Texas. She covers Bexar County government, including commissioners court, the Alamo Area Council of Governments and occasionally state government issues. A recovering crime reporter, Moravec love to break news, but also enjoys reporting more in-depth stories and local incidents, and localize national issues. Her stories often also run in the Houston Chronicle. Moravec is active in the Society of Professional Journalists, serves as the San Antonio pro chapter president and has been instrumental in bringing back the chapter’s annual scholarship fundraiser, the Gridiron show. When not doing something journalism-related, Moravec enjoys live music, barefoot running, her dogs and anything outdoors.

ktrk_bio_davidnuno_160x200David Nuno (Hitting a Home Run: Mastering the Sports Beat): has worked in all capacities in sports media. Initially working  in media relations for the Rockets and Dallas Mavericks. He also helped head Hispanic marketing while with the Mavs. In 2004 he was communications manager for the Harris County Houston Sports Authority. In 2005 he decided to become a broadcaster and has worked on national radio, Houston local radio and television. Nuno has been with KTRK since 2012.

james_oberg_head_shotJames Oberg (How Have NASA’s Stars Aligned? Covering the Space Program in the 21st century) is one of the world’s leading authors and journalists of space exploration. As the NBC News ‘Space Consultant’ he often appears in broadcast and website assessments of space events, explaining them and placing them in broader context, and usual breaking “inside stories” far ahead of other news media sites. James has always been most interested in the balance of an adversarial relationship with the subject of journalism, versus the need to have enough trusted and candid sources. When he was an active “rocket scientist,” Oberg had a 22-year career as a space engineer in Houston, where he specialized in NASA space shuttle operations for orbital rendezvous, as a contractor employee. He has written ten books and more than a thousand magazine and newspaper articles on all aspects of space flight.

GJQ Headshot - ColorGordon Quan (What is Immigration Reporting in 2014?) is Co-Chair of Foster Quan, LLP. He has devoted his career to a fair and reasonable immigration policy. He has chaired the Texas Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and the State Bar of Texas Immigration Section. He helped create Houston’s Office of Immigration and Refugee Affairs and has testified before Congress on Immigration policy. Quan currently serves on the national board of Immigrant’s List and hosts “Coming to America” Tuesday evenings on FM 90.1.

robert sharpRobert Sharp (Is Energy Reporting the New Black?) has covered oil trading of virtually every kind of petroleum product since joining Platts in 1980, then a one-man office in Houston. Sharp moved to Los Angeles in 1984, opening the Platts office there and creating an entire spot product coverage for the West Coast. He returned to Houston and created the Platts Latin American Wire and the Platts Refiner publications; he created or contributed to numerous other spot market assessments, many of which are industry benchmarks used around the world. Sharp is a regular contributor to the Platts Energy Week television show, and has represented the company at numerous industry events.

_DSC4174sBarbara Rhines Shook (Is Energy Reporting the New Black?) is senior reporter-at-large for Energy Intelligence Group, based in the Houston Bureau, but travels the globe. She covers all facets of the energy business, including upstream, midstream, technology, geopolitics, markets and OPEC. Mrs. Shook has been working in or covering the energy business for more than 42 years and has been with Energy Intelligence since 1996. She is a graduate of the University of Houston and winner of numerous energy-journalism awards.

dis oneJenae Sitzes (Social Media for Dummies) is a native of Arkansas who graduated from Bentonville High School and is currently a sophomore studying English Literature at the University of Houston. She was an Honors College mentor for incoming freshmen at UH, and in August 2013 began working at The Daily Cougar, UH’s official news organization. Despite being new to AP Style, she was soon promoted from copy editing to becoming the organization’s web editor. Her responsibilities include handling The Daily Cougar’s various social media platforms as well as online exclusives and their email edition.

MugJerome Solomon (How to Hit a Home Run: Mastering the Sports Beat)is a columnist for the Houston Chronicle and talk show host for Houston’s ESPN 97.5 radio. Jerome has won awards for investigative journalism, features and columns. An engineering major, he traveled the world as a flight attendant before turning to journalism, where he began as a freelancer for the Chronicle. He has covered most major events, including five Olympic Games, and spent two years as the Patriots beat writer for the Boston Globe. Jerome is the President of the Houston Association of Black Journalists.

Scott Vogel (Marketing Yourself: The Key to the Freelance Life), editor, Houstonia.  Full bio to come.

Michael Profile PictureMichael Walter (Weathering the Storm: Lessons in Crisis Reporting) is the Public Information Officer for the City of Houston’s Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management.  In his position, he coordinates the City’s emergency public information and warning planning and operations. He also serves as the administrator of the City’s emergency public information system, and as media spokesperson for OEM and the City as a whole during emergency situations.  In his work there, he has been instrumental in the development of strategies for using social media as a key emergency communication tool, and the use of responsive web design in emergency public information. As part of the Houston Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) he also plays a key role in developing partnerships that seek to use emerging technology to help residents prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters.Michael holds a Bachelor of Arts in Electronic Media from Northern Arizona University and a Master of Public Service & Administration from the George Bush School of Government & Public Service at Texas A&M University, where he focused on emergency public information response planning. He has previously worked in television news production, and for a local emergency management agency in southern California. He has worked for the City of Houston since 2011, and lives with his wife, Piccola in Houston.

brad wilsonBrad Wilson (What is Immigration Reporting in 2014?) is the Public Affairs Officer for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration in Dallas, TX. Mr. Wilson currently serves as the USCIS agency spokesperson for Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico. He provides information and assistance to media regarding citizenship and immigration programs, along with agency background and activity statistics. He served as a representative for the USCG/DHS for twelve years and worked as a primary district media representative. Holds a Bachelor of Science degree in sociology and is a distinguished graduate of the Dept. of Defense Information School of Journalism.

henaprofilepicHena Zuberi (Accuracy and Balance: Religion Reporting in a Diverse World) is the Editor-in-Chief of Muslimmatters.org, an award-winning web magazine. A community organizer for years, she resides in Washington D.C. where she is a staff reporter for the Muslim Link newspaper. Hena transitioned from television into print after working as a TV news reporter and producer for CNBC Asia and WTN.  This mom of four loves God, chai and blogging about issues facing Muslim women and communities. She tweets @henazuberi.

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