Dr. Michael T. Martinez turned to academe after working for 26 years as a photojournalist, graphics editor and web producer. Even though, he is currently teaching at the University of Tennessee, he considers himself both a journalist and a scholar.
Dr. Martinez spent his professional career expanding a palette of journalistic skills at four newspapers and a wire service. He worked at the Associated Press in New York, the Louisville Courier-Journal, the Detroit News, the Cincinnati Enquirer and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. In 2000, Dr. Martinez broadened his horizons and moved into the world of the Internet as an online producer. After covering two Olympics for the Associated Press, Lillehammer 1994 and Atlanta 1996, Dr. Martinez had the opportunity to work for four Olympic Organizing Committees: Sydney 2000, Salt Lake City 2002, Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008.
Dr. Martinez has been active in professional associations throughout his career. He was president of the National Press Photographers Association in 1990. He has been the National Association of Hispanic Journalists’ visual task force representative to Unity ’94 and Unity ’99 and in 2005-2006 served as vice president/membership of the Fort Worth Professional Society of Professional Journalists’ chapter.
Dr. Martinez’ research interests include media law, specifically media and the courts, the history of journalistic practices and political coverage in visual communication.
ETSPJ’s incoming vice president, Dan Andrews, has worked at Knoxville Focus for three years. A graduate of the State University of New York’s College of Old Westbury, Dan’s first award came in high school with the 1992 Rudder award for best reporting at a school newspaper. He’s also a Sterling Member of the Country Music Association, a Professional Member of the Academy of Country Music and Certified Associate Member of ‘The Recording Academy,’ aka “The Grammys.” As Vice President, Dan will be chairing our chapter’s Membership Committee and hopes to add significantly to our numbers.
Elenora Easterly Edwards has been managing editor of the Tennessee Press, the Tennessee Press Association’s publication, for more than 20 years. Edwards’ parents, Guy and Lucile Easterly, owned The LaFollette Press, so she grew up in the newspaper business. After graduating from Maryville College with an English degree, she studied at the University of Missouri School of Journalism in Columbia, working for the Missouri Press Association and the Freedom of Information Center. She worked for the Clinton Courier-News for 24 years, including 10 as news editor. She is a past president of ETSPJ.
Treasurer and Past President
Jean Ash spent 17 years as an anchor and reporter for WIVK and was named the AP Broadcasters Association Broadcaster of the Year and Knoxville YWCA Woman of the Year in 1987. After leaving WIVK/WNOX, she worked in Beijing for China Central TV and China Radio International. Ash holds a bachelor of arts degree in history, with a minor in social studies education, from Gettysburg (Pa.) College and did post-graduate studies in communications and Chinese language at the University of Tennessee. She has visited China more than 50 times and led tours of the country, some with an international travel company, others on her own. Her website, features her recent and upcoming tours. Ash enjoys photography, reading, studying Chinese history and culture, and cooking (particularly regional Chinese cuisines).
UT student chapter liaison
Anthony Cespedes is a senior majoring both in Criminal Justice and Journalism and Electronic Media. He’s from sunny Miami, Florida where the beaches are occupied almost all year long. Anthony is a major sports fan. His goal is to one day work with legends Lee Corso and Kirk Herbstreit and be a sports anchor with ESPN. Another goal would be to earn a spot on with a news agency. He has been active in many parts of campus during his “tenure” at UT. From the creation of Orange Nation, to the Big Orange Army, he has made his mark on the sports culture. Anthony is a member of the Baptist Collegiate Ministry and attends Calvary Baptist Church. He is an active participant in UT’s Relay for Life where he has been a Team Captain for several years. Currently, Anthony also serves in the Army National Guard.
Anthony also works with UT’s student television station, The Volunteer Channel. He reports for the shows TVC News and Hot Topix. From working the camera, to co-hosting a show when needed he is getting his experience in both broadcast journalism and news writing. He also writes for the Daily Beacon, the schools hardcopy newspaper, and the Tennessee Journalist, the online newspaper. He expects to graduate in the 2014 school year.
Mark Harmon has worked as a television news producer and reporter, radio news reporter, host of a radio talk show, and guest columnist for several newspapers and magazines. An associate professor in the School of Journalism and Electronic Media at the University of Tennessee, Harmon has written more than two dozen academic research articles, more than 50 refereed research presentations, three book chapters and two instructional websites, and he just published his first book. In 2004, Harmon was the International Radio and Television Society’s Frank Stanton fellow for distinguished broadcast education. He has received awards for outstanding research and teaching at UT, along with a chancellor’s citation for extraordinary community service. Harmon is a former Knox County Commissioner and was the Democratic Party’s nominee for Congress in the 13th district of Texas in 1998. He has served as a county party chairman and a campaign manager. He chairs the Professional Development committee.
Gregory Scott Jones covers supercomputing for Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Department of Energy. He holds an undergraduate degree in journalism and a master’s degree in science communication from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. As a science journalist, Scott has covered everything from invasive species to urban sprawl to the explosion of massive stars. When not reading or writing, Scott consistently fails to break 80 on the golf course and regularly runs rapids far beyond his meager rafting experience.
Jake Mabe has worked for the Shopper-News for 15 years, starting as a freelance columnist when he was in college. He has served as a general assignment reporter, community news editor, features editor, managing editor, and is now a columnist and senior editor. For his work with the Shopper-News, Jake was named the Halls Business and Professional Association’s Halls Man of the Year in 2011. A Knox County native, Jake is a 1996 Halls High School graduate and is a 2000 summa cum laude graduate (B.A., history) from the University of Tennessee. He is a previous winner of the ETSPJ’s Golden Press Card Award.
Frank Murphy has been on the radio in Knoxville since 2002. He can be heard on Classic Hits 93.1 WNOX on weekdays and on Star 102.1 on weekends. On Tuesday evenings, Frank can be found on stage with the comedy improv group Einstein Simplified at Scruffy City Hall. Frank has been using social media since 2005 when he started a daily blog at frankmurphy.com, which has been voted one of “East Tennessee’s Best” by the readers of the Knoxville News Sentinel for four consecutive years and the “Best of Knoxville” by the readers of Metro Pulse. He can also be found on Facebook and he is active on Twitter as @FrankMurphyCom. Frank is the 2014 Social Media inductee in the Friends of Literacy East Tennessee Writers Hall of Fame.
Frank is involved in the community as a volunteer for Catholic Charities of East Tennessee, East Tennessee PBS, Oak Ridge Civic Ballet Association, as a board member of the East Tennessee Society of Professional Journalists and as past-president of the FBI Knoxville Citizens Academy Alumni Association. He also occasionally volunteers as emcee of various events for Bone Zones, the group which facilitates public appearances for renowned forensic anthropologist Dr. Bill Bass.
Prior to moving to Tennessee, Frank worked at radio stations in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. He graduated from George Mason University, where he won the Senior of the Year award. Frank and his wife have two adult children, who live in the Washington, D.C. area.
Frank’s hobbies include traveling, swimming and reading. He has visited all 50 states and became a Certified Barbeque Judge in 2013. He sometimes performs stand-up comedy for charity and won the Host with the Most contest at Side Splitters Comedy Club in 2012 and 2013.
Kristi Nelson has worked for newspapers in the East Tennessee region for more than 20 years, primarily covering health, but also working as a general-assignment news and features reporter. A Knox County native, Nelson received a bachelor of arts degree in journalism from East Tennessee State University in Johnson City. She has received fellowships from the University of Southern California-Annenburg, Kaiser Family Foundation and National Institutes of Health, and awards from Tennessee Associated Press Managing Editors, Association of Health-Care Journalists, Tennessee Press Association, E.W. Scripps Co. and Society of Professional Journalists, among others. She is a past winner of ETSPJ’s Golden Press Card Award.
Ex-officio Board Member
Georgiana Vines is retired associate editor of the News Sentinel, for which she still writes a weekly political column and occasional freelance stories. Her career at the News Sentinel began in 1968, and she has lived in Knoxville since then, except for 1996-97, when she was editor of the now-defunct El Paso Herald-Post in Texas. She is a former SPJ national president and teaches at the University of Tennessee’s School of Journalism and Electronic Media.