SPLC elects new officers and members to Board of Directors


Contact: Frank D. LoMonte, Executive Director703.807.1904 / director@splc.org

Directors of the Student Press Law Center, the nonprofit advocacy group for the student media, confirmed a new slate of officers Friday and added three new members to its 15-member Board.

Mark W.C. Stodder, an executive with Minneapolis-based Dolan Company, became chair of the board in March upon the death of chairman Richard Goehler. Javier Aldape, an executive with The E.W. Scripps Co. in Chicago, was unanimously selected vice chair for the 2011-12 term, taking over for Stodder.

Joining the Board are: Kevin Corcoran, program director for the Indianapolis-based Lumina Foundation for Education and a longtime journalist; media lawyer Laura Lee Prather of Houston-based Sedgwick LLP; and Geanne Rosenberg, a journalism professor and project director at City University of New York’s Baruch College.

The Student Press Law Center (SPLC) is a Washington D.C.-area nonprofit founded in 1974 to advocate for free-press rights for high school and college journalists. It provides legal information and referral assistance at no charge to student journalists and the educators who work with them.

Stodder is the Executive Vice President of Business Information for Dolan Media in Minneapolis, which provides business information and professional services to legal, financial and real estate sectors across the country. He has served as vice president of the company’s Newspaper division, chaired an internal group responsible for circulation growth, and held news reporting, editing and executive positions with community newspapers in Los Angeles and the Denver area.

Stodder assumed the chairmanship when Goehler, a Cincinnati media lawyer, died March 15. “We are very fortunate to have a forceful leader in Mark Stodder to continue seamlessly the expansion of the SPLC’s services and outreach efforts that Dick Goehler championed,” SPLC Executive Director Frank LoMonte said.

Aldape is Vice President for Niche Products at Scripps, a media conglomerate that operates newspapers, magazines and broadcast stations across the country, as well as the United Media syndicate.

Stodder welcomed the new Board members, all of whom have extensive journalism ties dating back to their college days.

“The challenges to student journalists’ First Amendment rights – either in print, online and elsewhere – continues to grow, as does the importance of the SPLC’s work,” Stodder said. “We’re delighted to have these exceptional new board members step forward to join our efforts in ensuring that student journalists have the ability to publish without obstruction.”

Corcoran leads a team at the Lumina Foundation that is focused on increasing gains in higher education. He directs a portfolio of grants related to Lumina’s communications and state and federal policy advocacy outreach. Corcoran worked as a newspaper reporter for nearly 20 years and has received dozens of local, state and national awards, including the George Polk Award and the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel. He holds a master of business administration degree in corporate finance from the Indiana University Kelley School of Business and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the Indiana University School of Journalism.

Prather specializes in First Amendment, privacy, intellectual property and media litigation at Sedgwick, where she is partner in charge of the Austin office. She is also an advocate and lobbyist for open government and First Amendment concerns at the Texas legislature, and has been named by The American Lawyer as one of the best young women lawyers in the nation. She holds both a bachelor’s and law degree from the University of Texas.

Rosenberg, a journalist and attorney, is the founding chair of Baruch's Department of Journalism and Writing Professions in Manhattan. She also teaches the law and ethics in journalism course at CUNY's Graduate School of Journalism. She has successfully secured funding from foundations and individuals to support collaborative future of journalism projects. She has extensive experience as a business journalist prior to entering the teaching profession. She holds a law degree from Columbia University's School of Law, where she was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar; a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism; and a bachelor’s degree in English from Bryn Mawr College.

The new members replace Virginia Edwards, Angela Filo and Mark Witherspoon, who left after serving the maximum two three-year terms.

Since 1974, the Student Press Law Center has been devoted to educating high school and college journalists about the rights and responsibilities embodied in the First Amendment, and supporting the student news media in covering important issues free from censorship. The Center provides free information and educational materials for student journalists and their teachers on a wide variety of legal topics.



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