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Eastern Kentucky University professor Dr. Deborah T. Givens was elected to a three-year term on the International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors Board of Directors during the organization’s annual conference in June.

Givens, an assistant professor of journalism in the Department of Communication, joined EKU’s faculty in 2006. Previously, she spent more than 20 years as a community journalist in Kentucky, including 16 years as owner/publisher of the Butler County Banner and the Green River Republican. Givens earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Ball State University, a master’s in public administration from Western Kentucky University and a doctoral degree in communication from the University of Kentucky.

She has been named an Outstanding Journalism Alumnus for BSU and was the Outstanding MPA Graduate Student at WKU. At Eastern she has been named a Critical Thinking Teacher of the Year, a Golden Apple teaching award honoree and a Leadership Outside the Classroom award recipient.

Givens also serves as Region 5 director and Board of Directors member for the national Society of Professional Journalists.

ISWNE members gathered at EKU in 2010 for a conference co-hosted by Givens. In addition to attending educational sessions, participants learned more about the region and its culture by touring a distillery, visiting a mountaintop removal mining operation and dining at a Bluegrass horse farm.

This year’s conference was held at the Reynolds Journalism Institute at the University of Missouri, Columbia.

ISWNE, founded in 1955 at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, has been headquartered at Missouri Southern State University since 1999. ISWNE has members in seven countries ? the U.S., Canada, England, Scotland, Ireland, Australia and South Africa. With an emphasis on community journalism and editorial writing, ISWNE hosts the annual Golden Quill Writing Contest that recognizes editorial excellence. The organization also publishes the “Grassroots Editor,” a quarterly academic journal focusing on community journalism.