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Choose three for board members. (Convention Elections).

Three of six nominees for the NCEW board will be elected in September for two-year terms. The candidates are:

Ron Cunningham, editorial page editor, The Gainesville Sun in Florida.

Dale Davenport, editorial page editor, The Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pa.

Susan Nielsen, associate editor, The Oregonian in Portland.

Barry Rascovar, deputy editorial page editor, The Sun in Baltimore.

Tom Waseleski, associate editor, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Keven Willey, editorial page editor, The Arizona Republic.

Ron Cunningham has been an NCEW member since 1983, when he became the Sun's editorial page editor. Earlier in his career, he was Tallahassee bureau chief for the New York Times Florida Newspaper Group, higher education writer for Gainesville, and a municipal reporter for the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel.

The Sun's shop consists of Cunningham and an editorial cartoonist. In a small shop, he says, "it's easy to begin to feel isolated in one's work. The NCEW -- through its annual conventions, its listserv and informal networking -- has helped me to keep a perspective about my job."

"I believe the best thing the organization does is provide an opportunity for those of us who toil away in relative obscurity to come together and talk about our common problems and challenges. I want to see the NCEW continue to reach out to opinion writers and find new ways to bring us together. Having once organized a regional conference for Florida members, I appreciate the hard work that members put into the association."

Dale Davenport has been an NCEW member since 1989, a year after he became editorial page editor in Harrisburg.

He joined the newspaper in 1972 as a reporter and served as assistant city editor, city editor, and managing editor/news. His Patriot-News editorial pages have been honored four times for editorial page excellence among large papers in the Pennsylvania Newspaper of the Year competition.

Davenport is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University. He has taught writing and editing courses for both Penn State Harrisburg and Temple University.

Davenport is critiques chair for this year's convention. He has served on the nominating committee, organized a Pennsylvania NCEW regional conference in 1998, and is mid-Atlantic regional membership captain.

"NCEW enables the sharing of ideas and resources that make us better informed and prepared leaders of this public conversation," he says. "We need to stress that in seeking to grow our membership amid tightening budgets. Technology has greatly improved our ability to interact, and that should be a continuing emphasis of the organization."

Susan Nielsen writes a weekly column for The Oregonian and is the editorial board's lead writer for education, courts, science/biotechnology and other issues.

She has worked as an editorial writer for The Seattle Times and for The Columbian in Vancouver, Wash. And she served as editor of the Marysville Globe, a weekly newspaper.

Before entering journalism, Nielsen was a deckhand in Alaska and the Caribbean.

Nielsen has been with NCEW since 1997, and most recently served as a regional membership captain. She has found NCEW to be enormously useful for professional development.

As a board member, she would seek ways for NCEW to improve member services without breaking the bank. She also would like to help make foreign trips accessible to more NCEW members. Finally, she hopes to increase outreach to journalism students and perhaps reporters, broadening the talent pool of the profession.

Barry Rascovar has been at The Sun for his entire career, the last 30-some years as deputy editorial page editor.

He has attended NCEW conventions since the early 1980s. He chaired NCEW's 1996 Baltimore gathering (crabs and baseball). And he served on Phil Haslanger's Convention Planning Committee in 1998 and was mid-Atlantic chair for the Regional Critiques Committee. In 1999, he put together a day-long critique for NCEW in conjunction with the Md.Del.-D.C. Press Association, a big success that is being done again this year.

"I'd like to see NCEW fine-tune its wonderful critique sessions and add time for critiquers to gather en masse and share issues/themes from their group discussions:' he says. "No.2, I'd find other ways during the year to involve editorialists in self-examination of their craft and writing. No.3, I'd explore options for lowering convention costs -- the key to growing attendance."

Tom Waseleski began his opinion writing career as a thorn in the side of some editorial page editor -- writing letters to the editor in the seventh grade. Later, they let him write for pay, first at the Beaver County Times and now as an associate editor at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. So, he knows the range of toil of members, from a one-person shop to a six-member editorial board.

A University of Pittsburgh graduate and a former state editor, Waseleski is a former board president of the Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing Editors and a former Pittsburgh chapter president of the Society of Professional Journalists.

He's been an NCEW member since 1990. Before becoming this year's convention chair, Waseleski was as membership captain for the mid-Atlantic region.

As a board member, Waseleski would like to devise ways to recruit new members and keep current ones in the fold.

Keven Ann Willey has been the editorial page editor of The Arizona Republic for three years. She has been an editorial writer, political columnist, national political reporter, legislative reporter, investigative reporter, and general assignment reporter.

"I attended my first NCEW conference in Phoenix in 1993 (big plunge, eh?)and have attended NCEW conventions in Ottawa, Denver, and Seattle. I'm a member of the Ethics Committee, and would like to make Innovations on the Editorial Pages an area of NCEW emphasis.

"Editorial pages can help secure the future of newspapers if we do them right. They are the most interactive portion of the paper, which presents all sorts of opportunities for online collaboration and for enriched examination of local issues to both expand and deepen our reach. NCEW is a great forum in which to aggressively explore these opportunities."
COPYRIGHT 2001 National Conference of Editorial Writers
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Title Annotation:National Conference of Editorial Writers
Publication:The Masthead
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 22, 2001
Words:989
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