Columbia Scholastic Press Association

CSPA is an international student press association, founded in 1925, whose goal is to unite student journalists and faculty advisers at schools and colleges through educational conferences, idea exchanges, textbooks, critiques and award programs.

1998 Paschal Citation

2006 James F. Paschal Award citation for Cheryl Pell

Michigan Interscholastic Press Association

The director of the Michigan Interscholatic Press Association, Cheryl Pell, is the 1998 recipient of the James Paschal Award from the Columbia Scholastic Press Advisers Association. The award, named after the late director of the Oklahoma Interscholastic Press Association, honors directors of state journalism education associations annually.

Cheryl has led MIPA since 1986, during which time the association more than doubled to 215 schools; attendance at the MIPA fall and spring conferences grew to about 1,700; participants at the summer MIPA workshop reached 450 and enrollment in summer school courses at Michigan State University, where MIPA is based, is consistently around 50, again more than double the enrollment
before Cheryl arrived.

But numbers don't tell the whole story. Supporters speak fondly about the help she gives journalism educators throughout the state. The satisfaction expressed by those who attend MIPA-sponsored events fills in the rest of the story.

In addition, she has worked tirelessly for state legislation to restore First Amendment rights to Michigan scholastic journalists. After years of work, Cheryl saw the first bill abandoned, yet she has not given up the fight and is working with another legislator to prepare and present a second proposal. Mark Goodman of the Student Press Law Center says of her, "No one has been more supportive of the free press rights of student journalists (and willing to give their time and energy to further the cause) than Cheryl."

A former colleague writes, "Cheryl did not pull off such feats by herself. Perhaps her most wonderful gift is her sense of style in working with people. She loves people-raw beginners, talented/experienced hands, obnoxious know-it-alls alike-students and teachers, even administrators and legislators-she loves them all and knows how to make them comfortable, serve their needs and get them involved. She was masterful in working with the MIPA officers. She never set the agenda or ran the show; neither was she one of those laid back directors who told advisers it is their show, soaring or falling on their own efforts. Instead, she was a constant source of ideas on how programs and activities might be improved and ready and willing to make it happen."

For her enormous contribution to student journalism in Michigan, the CSPAA is pleased to present its 1998 James Paschal Award to Cheryl Pell.


This citation was written and presented by Edmund J. Sullivan, executive director of the Columbia Scholastic Press Association.