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.

2005 O'Malley Citation

2005 Charles R. O'Malley Award citation for John Bowen

John A. Bowen spent more than 30 years as an instructor in various social science classes, journalism, advanced journalism and newspaper at Lakewood High School in Ohio. He also instructed at journalism workshops for advisers and prospective advisers at Kent State University, his alma mater, and at the University of Iowa since 1984. Since 2003, he has been an adjunct at Kent State University for several courses, including a new online course for publications advising that he is pioneering this semester.

Besides his teaching in the classroom and at workshops he has been a board member or president for the Journalism Association of Ohio Schools, the Great Lakes Interscholastic Press Association and the Northeastern Ohio Scholastic Press Association. He served as a member of the Board of Directors for the Student Press Law Center from 1980 to 1995 and as its president from 1995 through 2003. Since 1994, he has been the convener of the SPLC’s Advisory Council, linking various groups in journalism, education and public policy in support of student press freedom. He has long served the Journalism Education Association, first as its Ohio state director from 1975 to 1982, as a Regional Director from 1980 to 1983 and since then, as chair of its influential Press Rights Commission.

He has been a presenter at conventions of the JEA and the National Scholastic Press Association since 1975, presenter at the Columbia Scholastic Press Association’s conventions since 1977 and at a variety of state press associations in the Midwest since 1974. In addition, he has long served as a judge for a wide variety of student press groups in contests of all types and has been a regular contributor to magazines such as C:JET, J-Communiqué, Quill & Scroll and Adviser Update, for which he writes a column.

His honors include the following: Dow Jones Newspaper Fund National Journalism Teacher of the Year, 1983; Gold Key, Columbia Scholastic Press Association, 1984; Pioneer Award form the National Scholastic Press Association, 1986; Certified and later Master Journalism Educator from JEA, Medal of Merit, 1987 and Carl Towley Award, 1994 from the journalism Educational Association, Intellectual Freedom Award from the Ohio Educational Language and Media Association, 1990, and eight designations as Northeastern Ohio Scholastic Press Association’s Teacher of the Year, as well as induction in NOSPA’s Hall of Fame in 1997.

The common denominator in all of this work has been an indefatigable ability to teach about journalism, particularly with an emphasis on press freedom. Whether in his own classroom, at a convention or workshop, or as an author, committee chair or board member, John Bowen has never stopped teaching about press freedom and its utmost importance in shaping the values of the next generation. One might fairly state that he has been the single most persistent voice in his generation of teachers advocating for real press freedom for students.

For his lifelong dedication to teaching about press freedom in all ways, the Columbia Scholastic Press Association is honored to present John A. Bowen with its Charles R. O’Malley Award for Excellence in Teaching for 2005.

Given at Columbia University in the City of New York, March 18, 2005.

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