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.

2014 James Paschal Award Recipient

The James Frederick Paschal Award is given by the Columbia Scholastic Press Advisers Association (CSPAA) and honors state or regional school press association officials who have distinguished themselves in the field. The 2014 Paschal Award will be presented to Meredith Cummings, director of the Alabama Scholastic Press Association.

Meredith has served as director of ASPA since 2008 and also serves as director of the National Elementary School Press Association. She is an instructor at the department of journalism at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, AL.

During her tenure she has worked to upgrade everything at Alabama from integrating the newest technologies to promote the organization to adapting reporting and writing techniques for multimedia. She also innovated contests, springs conventions, summer camps and statewide fall regionals. This change has not gone unnoticed.

Marie Parsons, former director of ASPA saw Meredith’s transformation of the association first hand, “Meredith Cummings took over a 70-year-old scholastic journalism program that was on the brink of extinction, and in five years she has molded it into a thriving center for high-school and elementary–school media.”

Cummings a BA and MA graduate of Alabama has used her past reporting experience to help her rebuild the Alabama Scholastic Press Association.

“In her tenure at the head of ASPA, Meredith has Tweeted, Facebooked, blogged, wrote, photographed, videoed, Vined, Instragrammed, and organized non-stop—not to better herself, but to better to the state of Alabama for high school and elementary journalists,” said Erin Coggins, past adviser board president of ASPA.                 

Cummings will be presented with Paschal Award at the 90th Convention at Columbia University on March 21, 2013.

The James Frederick Paschal Award is named for the late director of the Oklahoma Interscholastic Press Association and former editor of the CSPAA Bulletin.

CSPA is an international student press association uniting student journalists and faculty advisers at schools and colleges through educational conferences, idea exchanges and award programs. Owned and operated by Columbia University since 1925, the Association now enrolls 1,538 members throughout North America and in certain overseas schools and colleges following the American plan.

Its three major services include: 1) annual competitions and awards for members, including the Crown Awards, 2) planning three conventions (two national, one regional) and a week-long summer workshop at Columbia, plus 3) small press publishing activities to support a quarterly magazine and one to two books per year.

For more information, contact Edmund J. Sullivan, Director, CSPA at (212) 854-9400.