The UW Oshkosh Academic Department Associate for the Department of Journalism was presented with the Skip Zacher Friend of Scholastic Journalism Award at the 2018 Northeastern Wisconsin Scholastic Press Association Conference.
Cindy Lou Schultz, who has annually helped organize the NEWSPA conference and contests each year since 2010, received NEWSPA’s top award honoring her contributions to scholastic journalism at the April 18 conference at UW Oshkosh.
Fond du Lac High School newspaper adviser and previous Skip Zacher award winner Matt Smith presented Schultz with the award. Schultz said that NEWSPA takes a lot of time to plan and she didn’t ask who the winner would be until only a few weeks ago.
“It was quite a surprise once I started listening to Matt Smith read the introduction,” Schultz said. “As soon as I realized he was talking about me, it kind of became a bit of a blur!”
Schultz said it’s quite an honor to receive this recognition.
“There have been so many instrumental people over the years that have been honored with this award and to count myself among them is pretty cool,” Schultz said.
Schultz has worked at the university for more than 34 years and has been extremely involved in the University Staff Senate, along with the Administrative Support Team. She also was a steward for the Wisconsin State Employees Union.
Schultz helps to organize the NEWSPA conference every year and oversees registration, oftentimes taking work home. She also helps plan all of the details that go into the NEWSPA yearbook and newspaper contests, including handling submissions and awards. This year she has also helped NEWSPA judging and payment go digital in order to keep NEWSPA up-to- date and innovative.
Schultz said her time in the journalism department has flown by and that it’s hard for her to imagine she’s been on this campus for as long as she has been, more than half her life. “I enjoy my job in the Department of Journalism,” Schultz said. “I love working with the students and learning with them about the nuances of AP style. My job is so different from day to day – it is never boring, although boring from time to time would be good too,” she said.
NEWSPA Executive Secretary Barbara Benish said Schultz has contributed greatly to UW Oshkosh and NEWSPA, and is very deserving of the award. “She is an extremely caring person and that shines through to the students and faculty in the department, as well as to all the high school advisers and students who deal with her for NEWSPA,” Benish said. “If there is a question or problem, she always deals with it professionally and promptly, and with a positive attitude.”
Schultz said writing is the foundation of everything we do in life and is key in effective communication.
“NEWSPA, and the Department of Journalism, are both key proponents to making that happen—not only for college-aged students, but high school students as well,” Schultz said. “To see the quality writing that comes across my desk for the NEWSPA yearbook and newspaper competitions is pretty awesome. The advisers in the high schools deserve so much credit for working with these students and turning out such creative, important work.”
Schultz said advisers also fight for the rights of student journalists to be able to publish stories that are important to them, no matter how uncomfortable the school districts are with the
“That is so important in this day and age of producing content; it is crucial to get in front of people,” Schultz said.
The NEWSPA conference is held each spring and brings about 400 high school journalists and their advisers to the UW Oshkosh campus to learn from about 40 professionals. This year students representing 20 high schools attended the conference, and about 750 first-, second-, third- and fourth-place honors were awarded to high school journalists in NEWSPA’s newspaper
and yearbook contests at the closing award ceremonies.
The 2019 conference will be held on April 10. For more information, go to http://journalism.uwosh.edu/northeastern-wisconsin- scholastic-press- association-newspa/.
Photo: Fond du Lac High School Newspaper Adviser Matt Smith, left, presents Academic Department Associate Cindy Lou Schultz with the NEWSPA Friend of Scholastic Journalism award at the 2018 spring conference on April 18. Photo by Brianna Colebourne.