A lifelong process for former IHSPA director


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The Iowa High School Press Association and Iowa Journalist will see a few familiar faces and a bit of a shakeup in leadership starting this year.

David Schwartz, 38, resigned from his post as an adjunct professor and director of the Iowa High School Press Association last week to enroll as a fulltime student in the University of Iowa’s doctoral program to earn a Ph.D. in journalism and mass communications.

“It’s surreal. It really is,” Schwartz said. “I’m constantly alternating between excitement and anxiety. [It’s] almost like a trade. They give us an incredible education and training [at the UI], and we pay for it in terms of service to the university and to the faculty.”

Paul Jensen, the J-School’s internship and job-placement coordinator, will take Schwartz’s position effective immediately.

“It’s a nifty opportunity to try something different,” he said. “I love a challenge.”

Jensen, who spent 34 years in the journalism and photojournalism field, said he is excited about what his experience and connection to the field will bring to his new job as director.

Jensen has also been the executive editor for the Iowa Journalist newsletter. While Jensen will maintain his role as the internship and job placement coordinator, Schwartz will now take over as the editor of the Iowa Journalist.

One J-School official maintains a doctoral degree in journalism has value in today’s society.

David Perlmutter, the director of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, said earning a Ph.D. in journalism will surely help Schwartz in his future endeavors.

“Today, a doctoral degree, no matter what you plan to do, can be extremely helpful,” he said.

Schwartz has worked at the UI in several capacities since 2007. He has primarily worked as the director of the Iowa High School Press Association, organizing conferences and helping high-school journalists grow in their craft.

“[As director], you are an advocate and a voice for high-school media across the state,” he said.

As director, Schwartz organized large state conferences for high-school journalists with as many as 30 different speakers and advocated for the role of journalism in the state curriculum. Schwartz began teaching as an adjunct instructor in 2008 at the J-School, and he is the sportswriting coach for The Daily Iowan.

Schwartz hopes to one day become a college professor, but says he will continue to assist in research and give back to the university as a fulltime student as well as maintain his job as the sportswriting coach at the DI.

“I’m unsure about where I’ll end up, but my goal is to teach and to write,” he said. “I’m excited for my three kids to see their dad learn and help them see that learning is a lifelong process.”

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