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  • Scholastic Journalism Division loses ‘Friend of Scholastic Journalism’ with Paul Pohlman’s passing

    Posted on January 25th, 2013 jdodd 1 comment

    by Julie Dodd

    I learned about Paul Pohlman’s passing from a tweet from Ellyn Angelotti (@ellynangelotti). Paul passed on Jan. 23 at age 70. I clicked on the link in Ellyn’s tweet to the Poynter article about the recollections his colleagues had of Paul.

    I have my own recollections about Paul as do many others in the Scholastic Journalism Division because he played a key role in the success of our mid-winter meetings at Poynter.

    Paul was our Poynter contact when we first began holding our mid-winter meetings at Poynter. Those of us who planned the mid-winter meetings (the division’s head and vice-head) would work with Paul on setting dates and scheduling Poynter faculty as speakers. Paul coordinated efforts with Poynter administrative staff so that we were ready to go with name badges and meals. He welcomed us and joined us at meals to talk about scholastic journalism and initiatives Poynter was involved in.

    In my scholastic journalism work, I’ve been involved in planning dozens and dozens of meetings and workshops and conventions. Without a doubt, planning the Scholastic Journalism Division’s mid-winter meetings was the smoothest event to set up because of Paul. As we’d talk about the logistics for the meeting, he’d always ask how I was doing. If I mentioned a teaching or college issue, he’d ask a few more questions, and within a few minutes, he would have guided me to new insights or approaches to whatever the concern was. He was a wonderful listener and guide to problem solving.

    Several members of the Scholastic Journalism Division joined together and nominated Paul and the Poynter Institute for a Friend of Scholastic Journalism Award, which Paul and Poynter received in 2004. Wendy Wallace, now Poynter’s Grant Coordinator and member of the Entrepreneurship Faculty, received the award at the JEA/NSPA convention in Atlanta, but we waited to present the award to Paul at our mid-winter meeting in January 2005.

    When I emailed former division head Jack Dvorak about Paul’s death, he sent this remembrance of Paul:
    “Paul truly helped the Scholastic Journalism Division through the years, and I had the pleasure of working with Paul a few times as we set up mid-winter meetings, lunches and other activities at Poynter. He played a quiet but substantial role in helping the SJD remain healthy. We are indebted to him.”

    [To read the article in Scholastic Source, click on the Newsletter tab and then scroll to the March 2005 issue. Thanks to Cheryl Pell for enabling us add this issue to the SJD website.]