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Chippewa Valley School Press Association Conference to Feature Wisconsin Photojournalist as Keynote Speaker

RELEASED: Oct. 7, 2008

EAU CLAIRE — The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire will host the Chippewa Valley School Press Association's annual conference on Nov. 19.

The event is sponsored by the UW-Eau Claire department of communication and journalism with support from the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram, Jostens and Lifetouch.

The conference is intended for middle and high school students, along with their schools' new and experienced advisers. It will include the basics of newspaper and yearbook production, advanced journalism techniques, photography for beginners and photojournalism.

Rick Wood, a photojournalist for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel since 1978 and a graduate of the Indiana University School of Journalism, will be the keynote speaker. Wood was in New York on Sept. 11, 2001, photographing fashions and was 400 yards from the World Trade Center twin towers as they collapsed. He documented the collapse of the towers, people fleeing the cloud of dust moments afterward, and the resulting grieving and clean-up in New York.

Wood also has extensive foreign travel experience. In July 2000 he visited Iraq to assess the human tragedy from United Nations sanctions imposed on that country after Saddam Hussein's army invaded Kuwait in early August 1990. Wood also covered the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan, and was with a delegation that visited reclusive North Korea in 1995. Up to that time fewer than 300 Americans had been allowed into North Korea since 1953. He has also traveled to Bulo Burti, Somalia, to photograph a hospital run by a Milwaukee church. In 1987 he traveled to Brazil and Haiti to photograph a story on preventable diseases that cause high infant mortality rates. For his efforts, Wood twice won an award from World Hunger Year, an international nonprofit organization fighting hunger and poverty in the United States and around the world.

Throughout his career Wood has won a number of awards in national, regional and statewide competition. His work has been published in The New York Times, People magazine, National Geographic Kids magazine, and Associated Press and various other publications. Wood has been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize three times. In 2006 he worked on a project about Jenna Giese, a Fond du Lac girl who is the world's only survivor of rabies without being vaccinated. The project was a finalist for the 2006 Pulitzer Prize in explanatory journalism.

Wood lives in Whitefish Bay with his wife and three children.

CVSPA conference participants from across Wisconsin can attend instructional workshop sessions with industry professionals and university faculty. Hands-on workshops will focus on writing and reporting, photography, developing yearbooks, newspapers, magazines and more.

Registration forms, available online at www.uwec.edu/cj/CVSPAnews.htm, and fees for the conference must be received by Nov. 1. The cost is $5 per student and $8 per adviser for CVSPA members. The nonmember cost is $10 per student and $16 per adviser.

For details contact Dr. Jeanie Geurink at 715-836-5608 or jgeurink@uwec.edu.

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JG/NW

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