SPLC elects new officers and members to Board of Directors


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

Directors of the StudentPress Law Center, the nonprofit advocacy group for the student media, confirmeda new slate of officers Friday and added three new members to its 15-memberBoard.

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

Joining the Board are: KevinCorcoran, program director for the Indianapolis-based Lumina Foundation forEducation and a longtime journalist; media lawyer Laura Lee Prather ofHouston-based Sedgwick LLP; and Geanne Rosenberg, a journalism professor andproject 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 forfree-press rights for high school and college journalists. It provides legalinformation and referral assistance at no charge to student journalists and theeducators who work with them.

Stodderis the Executive Vice President of Business Information for Dolan Media inMinneapolis, which provides business information and professional services tolegal, financial and real estate sectors across the country. He has served asvice president of the company’s Newspaper division, chaired an internal groupresponsible for circulation growth, and held news reporting, editing andexecutive positions with community newspapers in Los Angeles and the Denverarea.

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

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

Stodderwelcomed the new Board members, all of whom have extensive journalism tiesdating back to their college days.

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

Corcoranleads a team at the Lumina Foundation that is focused on increasing gains inhigher education. He directs a portfolio of grants related to Lumina’scommunications and state and federal policy advocacy outreach. Corcoran workedas 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 BarAssociation’s Silver Gavel. He holds a master of business administration degreein corporate finance from the Indiana University Kelley School of Business anda bachelor’s degree in journalism from the Indiana University School ofJournalism.

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

Rosenberg, a journalist andattorney, is the founding chair of Baruch’s Department of Journalism andWriting Professions in Manhattan. She also teaches the law and ethics injournalism course at CUNY’s Graduate School of Journalism. She has successfullysecured funding from foundations and individuals to support collaborativefuture of journalism projects. She has extensive experience as a businessjournalist prior to entering the teaching profession. She holds a law degreefrom Columbia University’s School of Law, where she was a Harlan Fiske StoneScholar; a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University’s GraduateSchool of Journalism; and a bachelor’s degree in English from Bryn MawrCollege.

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

Since 1974, the Student PressLaw Center has been devoted to educating high school and college journalistsabout the rights and responsibilities embodied in the First Amendment, andsupporting the student news media in covering important issues free fromcensorship. The Center provides free information and educational materials forstudent journalists and their teachers on a wide variety of legal topics.