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Kiplinger Staff and Partners

Debra JasperDebra Jasper is director of Ohio State’s Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Journalism, which helps professionals excel in a digital world. In addition to working with the midcareer journalists enrolled in the Kiplinger Fellowship Program, Debra teaches graduate public policy and media courses in the John Glenn School of Public Affairs. She and her Kiplinger colleagues also provide newsrooms and other organizations with customized training—ranging from executive coaching to in-depth sessions on issues such as: the strategic use of digital media tools; explanatory online reporting; real-time crisis communications and communicating effectively in a digital age. As well, they operate national conferences for journalists, including the 2008 McCormick Climate Change Conference and the 2009 McCormick Energy Solutions Conference.

Debra became director of the Kiplinger Program in 2004, after spending nearly two decades covering politics and producing in-depth investigative and enterprise projects for Kentucky and Ohio newspapers. Formerly the Statehouse bureau chief for The Cincinnati Enquirer, she has won more than 40 journalism awards, including 17 first-place investigative and enterprise reporting awards. Debra also worked as a reporter for the Dayton Daily News and the Tribune Chronicle in Warren, Ohio and editor of several small Kentucky newspapers. She holds a Ph.D. in Educational Policy and Leadership and an M.A. in journalism from Ohio State, and a B.A. in journalism from Eastern Kentucky University.

Betsy HubbardBetsy Hubbard is associate director of the Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Journalism in the John Glenn School of Public Affairs at Ohio State. In her position, she oversees programming designed to help midcareer journalists develop digital media skills and also teaches graduate classes examining the impact of digital media on public affairs, civic engagement and journalism. As well, she leads training sessions for students, faculty and working professionals.

Betsy has more than 18 years of experience in program management, philanthropy and applied research. As a Program Officer at The Pew Charitable Trusts, Betsy initiated a funding program on the civic engagement of young adults, overseeing millions of dollars of related research and projects, including innovative outreach campaigns conducted by the Ad Council and Rock the Vote. Before coming to Ohio State, Betsy worked as a consultant, conducting research on nonprofit leadership and performance for clients such as The Improving Philanthropy Project and the Brookings Institution’s Nonprofit Effectiveness Project. Early in her career, Betsy worked at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Oregon Economic Development Department. Betsy has an M.A. in Public Policy from the University of Minnesota and a B.A. in political science from Goucher College, with a year spent studying abroad at the London School of Economics.

Patti ConfarPatti Confar is program coordinator for the Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Journalism, where she helps develop the program’s digital media training offerings to midcareer professionals, students, faculty and staff, and works closely with Kiplinger and Knight Digital Media Fellows. Patti also oversees a number of special projects, such as the McCormick Climate Change Conference, the McCormick Energy Conference and digital training seminars offered to a range of businesses and non-profit organizations.

Before coming to the Kiplinger Program, Patti owned her own instructional design consulting firm, which provided customized training and performance gaps analyses for a number of clients, including Victoria’s Secret Catalog, Ross Laboratories and Franklin International. As an instructional design consultant, she also created assessment tools to increase productivity. Patti has served on the Executive Board for the Central Ohio Chapter of the American Society for Training & Development, where she earned two Board Service awards for her work organizing consecutive conferences designed to address the training needs of America’s changing workforce. Patti spent eight years as a classroom instructor in Ohio and Colorado, providing the foundation for her transition to workplace training. She earned her M.A. in Educational Administration with a focus on curriculum and instruction and her B.A. in Education from The Ohio State University.

Nick GeorgeNick George is an award-winning multimedia producer and journalist and a former Knight Digital Media Fellow in the Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Journalism.

He previously worked as the Online Editor/Multimedia Producer at The Chronicle in Centralia, Washington, where he produced in-depth multimedia stories on the area’s major flooding problems and covered a wide variety of other Pacific Northwest issues. Nick earned a bachelor’s degree in photojournalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia before moving west to work at The World Newspaper in Coos Bay, Oregon. He has received numerous awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the National Press Photographers Association. As a Knight Fellow, Nick produced Agony of the Aftermath, an award-winning, in-depth multimedia project examining the Chehalis River flood and its ongoing impact on the community.

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Hank WilsonHank Wilson is the Director of Communications for the John Glenn School of Public Affairs at The Ohio State University.

He was a Knight Digital Media Fellow in the Glenn School’s Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Journalism, where he produced multimedia stories on the culture of “no snitching” in Newport News, Va.

As the visual editor of the Charlotte Observer’s investigation of televangelist Jim Bakker, Hank was part of the team that won the Pulitzer Gold Medal for Public Service. As assistant managing editor of Scripps Howard News Service in Washington, D.C., he created a successful Web-based pagination business for the E.W. Scripps Co. In newsroom leadership roles, Hank has been the assistant managing editor of the Roanoke Times in Virginia, deputy managing editor of Treasure Coast Newspapers in Stuart, Florida, design director of the Baltimore Evening Sun, visual editor of the Charlotte Observer and photo editor of the Milwaukee Journal and the Arkansas Democrat.

Hank has won seven Society of News Design awards, was for three consecutive years named the Scripps Howard Designer of the Year, was a finalist for the Online News Association's video journalism award and has won more than 30 other journalism awards from national and state news organizations.

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Our Partners:

Dr. Rajiv Ramnath is the Director of Practice at the Collaborative for Enterprise Transformation and Innovation (CETI) at the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, at The Ohio State University (OSU). He was formerly a Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at Concentus Technology Corp. and involved in government-funded R&D programs such as the National Information Infrastructure Integration Protocols (NIIIP) project. He is currently engaged in industry-facing programs of applied R&D, education, technology transfer and practice. Dr. Ramnath's expertise and research interests range from wireless sensor network and pervasive computing applications in the enterprise, to the alignment of business strategy and processes with information technology, enterprise architecture, technology management and integration and software engineering, e-Government, collaborative environments, configurable enterprise systems, workflow, and work-management systems. He teaches graduate and under-graduate research, technology strategy and software engineering courses at the Ohio State University.

Hui Fang is an assistant professor in Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the Ohio State University. She received her Ph.D degree in 2007 and M.S. degree in 2004 from Department of Computer Science at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her primary research interest is information retrieval, with focus on developing effective and robust retrieval models. She is also interested in text mining, social network and database systems. She received the ACM SIGIR 2004 Best Paper Award for her work on information retrieval models.

Victoria Getis is the director of the Digital Union, a partnership between the CIO’s office and the University Libraries. She has been a staff member of OSU’s Technology Enhanced Learning and Research since 2002; prior to that she worked at the Center for Computer Based Instructional Technology at the University of Massachusetts. She received a Ph.D. in history from the University of Michigan.

At the Digital Union, Victoria has forged a partnership with the Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Journalism, established a successful workshop program, developed the Research on Research grants program, brought special events to campus, and consulted with faculty and departments on their efforts in teaching, research, and outreach via the web and multimedia. Most recently she has spearheaded efforts to create the Learning Collaboration Studio, an experimental learning space.

Our Mission

As more people get information from YouTube, Twitter and other non-traditional sources, newsrooms need journalists who understand how to tell compelling public affairs stories in cutting edge ways.

That's why the Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Journalism is dedicated to helping journalists unite rigorous reporting with digital storytelling — so they can develop innovative online projects that inform wide audiences.