Bethany College to Host SCJ Conference 

BETHANY, W.Va. – Bethany College will host the Society of Collegiate Journalists Biennial Conference Thursday, Oct. 2, to Saturday, Oct. 4. The conference is held in conjunction with Communications Week 53, the annual celebration in the Communications and Media Arts Department.

Check-in is Oct. 2 from 2 to 5:30 p.m. at Mountainside Conference Center. An internship fair will be held from 4 to 5 p.m., followed by the presentation “Internship Tips from the Expert” by Diane Lewis Blaschak, a 1978 Bethany graduate and the director of marketing and communications for HM Insurance Group.

After a welcome by the SCJ national executive director, students and advisors are invited to a mixer outside of the Gresham Inn, which includes a s’mores fire pit and music by Harald (Dr. Harald Menz, Professor of World Languages and Cultures and Director of International and Interdisciplinary Studies) and the Hot Pockets.

Friday begins with a welcome from Bethany President Scott D. Miller, an SCJ member since 1979 and co-advisor of the Bethany SCJ chapter with Dr. Mort Gamble, Executive Assistant to the President.

Friday morning sessions include “What does PR have to do with journalism?” by George Manahan, a 1983 graduate of Bethany and founder of The Manahan Group; “How did this obscenity get into my sports section?” by Jim Rice, content coach in sports at the Greenville News; “Not a true or false question: The Ethics of 2014 Media” by Jeffrey L. Seglin, a 1978 Bethany graduate and a Harvard lecturer in public policy.

Afternoon sessions include “Can the media tell the truth about its future?” by Kurt Franck, a 1978 Bethany graduate and editor of Toledo Blade; “How I stopped worrying and learned to love Google News” by Peter Jensen, a 1981 Bethany graduate and city editor of the Baltimore Sun; and “Everything you wanted to know about financial reporting but, well, never really wanted to ask” by Sandy Block, a 1981 Bethany graduate and senior associate editor of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.

At 5:30 Friday evening, guests are invited to a reception with a “mocktail” bar, sponsored by the West Virginia Press Association, followed by dinner at Harder Hall.

The night wraps up with the SCJ Keynote Panel and Annual Award Ceremony, which will be web streamed on the Bethany Broadcast Network online at

Don Smith, executive director of the West Virginia Press Association, will introduce the keynote panel, which consists of Block, Franck, Jensen, Rice and Seglin. Manahan will act as the moderator.

Saturday morning, Dr. Patrick Sutherland, Professor of Communications, will lead a discussion with advisors in attendance titled “How to be a better media advisor.”

Bethany College is a small college of national distinction located on a picturesque and historic 1,300-acre campus in the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia. Founded in 1840, Bethany is the state’s oldest private college.