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Dr. Deborah Givens, chair of the Department of Communication at Eastern Kentucky University, was elected president of the International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors (ISWNE) at the organization’s June 19-23 conference at Emory University in Atlanta.

Deborah GivensGivens 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. She 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 an assistant professor of journalism at EKU since 2006.

Givens was one of the cohosts of the ISWNE conference when it took place at Eastern Kentucky University in 2010 and has served on the ISWNE board of directors and as vice president.

ISWNE, founded in 1955 at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, has been headquartered at Missouri Southern State University since 1999. ISWNE has 300 members in seven countries — the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, South Africa and Nepal. 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 Grassroots Editor, a quarterly academic journal focusing on community journalism.

Under an agreement approved by the ISWNE board at its June meeting, the 65 weekly members of the Society of Editors in the U.K. will become ISWNE members, and ISWNE members will have the opportunity to become associate members of the SoE.

Future conferences will be held in Reno, Nevada, in 2020; in Toronto, Ontario, in 2021; and in Lexington in 2022.