Issuu Generators Summit – Meet the Speakers, Part I

By November 27, 2018Events

Issuu Generators Summit – Meet the Speakers, Part I

What is the Issuu Generators Summit?

The 2018 Issuu Generators Summit is a one-day event on December 4, 2018 in New York City. The Generators Summit features content leaders discussing the role of stories and discovering innovation in the digital narrative. Experience thought-provoking panels with content generators: changemakers, student activists and game changing brands that are creating the movements and moments that inspire breakthrough stories.

Watch live on our Facebook Page December 4th to learn the latest strategies to navigate and pave your path on the always-evolving digital landscape.

Panel Spotlight: A World Without The First Amendment – The Importance of Journalism, Free Press, and Speaking Out

Without journalism, our future is at risk. So, who are the next generation of voices and what news do they care about most? High School and University publications are covering major social and political issues, proving how critical it is for young journalists to delve into topics that are much deeper than were discussed even in the recent past. This panel features an impressive group of next generation journalists who are leveraging digital content platforms to broadcast their message to the world to impact social and political change.


Melissa Falkowski – Faculty Adviser & Teacher, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

Melissa Falkowski is the faculty adviser of The Eagle Eye newsmagazine, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, which she has been advising for the last four years. She has been teaching for 15 years at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Melissa advised the MSD Aerie yearbook for nine years, and currently advises the school literary magazine, Artifex.

In addition to newspaper, she teaches English and creative writing courses. She holds a Bachelor’s in English Education from Florida Atlantic University and a Master’s in Journalism from Kent State University.

Journalism has long been a passion of Melissa’s. She began as a student journalist on her middle school yearbook staff and continued to pursue that passion throughout high school. She became a teacher to empower students and help them find their voices through student journalism.

She credits her high school journalism teacher, Jeanette Johnson, for inspiring her to become a journalism and English teacher. When Melissa is not working, she enjoys spending time with her family – her husband of 14 years, John; her 7-year-old son, John Thomas; and her 1-year-old daughter, Evangeline. Her other interests include trips to Disney World and reading.


Lori Oglesbee – Educator and Advocate

Lori Oglesbee taught high school journalism to more than 4,000 students over 35 years. Those students won awards at the regional, state, and national levels making their programs one of the top in the country year after year. Oglesbee was Texas Journalism Teacher of the Year in 2005 and the Journalism Education Association National Yearbook Adviser of the Year in 2009. In her last year in the classroom, she and her students battled administrative censorship of their work. The policy was overturned in favor of her students. However, the principal refused to renew her contract. She lives in McKinney, Texas, works as an educational consultant, and continues to advocate for students’ rights to a free press.


Rebecca Schneid – Student & Co-Editor-in-Chief, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

Rebecca Schneid is a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Class of 2019. She is a third year staff member of their high school newspaper, The Eagle Eye and is now serving as Co-Editor-in-Chief for the 2018-2019 school year. Through her work as a journalist at The Eagle Eye, she has found her true calling in journalism, communications, and political science.

Schneid often chooses to write about hard-hitting feature topics she is passionate about, such as activism, rape culture, diversity in entertainment, and politics. She chose to join the newspaper because of her interest and skills in writing, but continues to devote her time to it because of the creativity, growth, design, friendships, and love she has come to find at The Eagle Eye.

After the incident of gun violence at her school on February 14th, 2018, Schneid not only advocated for policy change, but reported on her school, the activism that rose out of it, and possible solutions to the issue.


Neha Madhira – Student & Editor-in-Chief, Prosper High School

Neha Madhira is a senior at Prosper High School in Texas. Two years ago, after registering into a Journalism I class, she started to compete in UIL Academic competitions because she was inspired by the passion her former adviser, Lori Oglesbee, displayed for writing. Madhira has won 19 journalism awards over two years, including the achievement of the All-State Journalism Award and a National Quill & Scroll Gold Key Award.

Currently, Madhira is Editor-in-Chief of her high school’s paper, Eagle Nation Online. After her prior principal censored the paper, banned editorials, and fired her adviser, Ms. Oglesbee, last year; Madhira spoke out, along with Haley Stack. Their story received coverage from over 30 media publications, including The New York Times. The duo was nominated for the National Courage in Journalism Award.

Madhira continues on the journey to student press freedom as a student leader of the New Voices movement in Texas and speaks about the importance of student & teacher rights across the country. By communicating with legislators and First Amendment advocates such as Mary Beth Tinker, as well as educating others on their student press rights, she is fighting to make Texas the next state with the free press law. Eventually, Madhira hopes to have the other 35 states without New Voices, pass it as well.

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