CoJMC annual J Days celebration, April 1-5

J Days logo

Students, alumni and other distinguished professionals will be honored during the college's J Days celebration April 1-5.

Dr. Dianne Lynch of Stephens College in Columbia, Mo., will deliver the Seline Memorial Lecture April 1, 7:30 p.m. at the annual honors convocation in the Union Auditorium.

The Seline family established the Seline Memorial Lecture fund in memory of their parents to support an annual lecture at the College of Journalism and Mass Communications. The fund recognizes S. Allen and Kathleen D. Seline for the years they devoted to helping the young people of Nebraska.

The college will induct students into the journalism honor society, Kappa Tau Alpha, and will recognize students who made the dean's honor roll and university honors. In addition, scholarship recipients and those who won competitions will be recognized.

The college will present special awards during the honors convocation to:

  • Judi Buehrer, the Will and Susan Norton Award for International Journalism;
  • Lynn Roper, the Dean's Award for Outstanding Service;
  • Joe Duggan, the Kappa Tau Alpha outstanding service award.

The college will present the Alumni Awards of Excellence at a luncheon April 2 at Windsor Stables. Awards will go to the following:

  • Doug Parrott and Peggy Kreshel, alumni awards of excellence.
  • Cathy Blythe, award of excellence for service to the profession by a non-alumnus.
  • Eric Brown, the Broadcast Pioneer Award, presented in conjunction with the Nebraska Broadcasters Association.

Bios and photos of the honorees are below.


Dr. Dianne Lynch


Dr. Dianne Lynch is president of Stephens College in Columbia, Mo., the second-oldest women’s college in the country.

Prior to her appointment at Stephens in 2009, Dr. Lynch was the dean of the Roy H. Park School of Communications at Ithaca (N.Y.) College, a school of approximately 1,400 students, 60 full-time faculty and a $28 million endowment.

Dr. Lynch is a former Fulbright Senior Specialist in new media technologies and learning; a former member of the national accrediting council for schools of journalism and mass communication; and a member of the national Journalism Advisory Council of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. 

Dr. Lynch was the founding executive director of the national Online News Association. In that capacity, she was the editorial director of the first national study of the credibility of online news. She wrote a biweekly column about women and technology, “Wired Women,” for and a weekly column on new media ethics for the Christian Science Monitor.

Dr. Lynch earned a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, studying feminist history in journalism, and her Ph.D. in Art History and Communications from McGill University in Montreal. Her research focuses on the learning styles and knowledge production of “digital natives,” children who grow up in virtual environments.


Lynn Roper


Lynn Roper is the branch manager at Merrill Lynch in the Lincoln office. After graduating from UNL with a journalism major in 1970, she started her career as an intern for the Des Moines Register and worked in public relations at the Lincoln Public Schools and the Nebraska Department on Aging.

She joined Merrill Lynch in 1977 and has been a portfolio manager in the personal investment advisory program since 1995. She received Merrill Lynch's Lifetime Community Achievement Award in 2002. Barron's magazine selected her as one of the top 1,000 financial advisers in the U.S. in 2009.

Roper and her husband, Dana, have been lifelong sports fans and have always enjoyed reading various newspapers for the latest sports news and features. They established the Lynn and Dana Roper Sports Journalism Fund for Excellence in 2001 as a gift for their 25th wedding anniversary.

The fund has awarded four cash prizes, ranging from $1,000 for first place to $250 for fourth place, to CoJMC students who show an interest in sports reporting.

The competition includes stories written for traditional newspapers and has been expanded to include stories written for electronic media, too.


Judi Buehrer


A journalist with more than 40 years of experience, Judi Buehrer has worked as a local government reporter for daily and weekly newspapers in Lincoln, Neb., Arlington, Va., Albuquerque, N.M., Conifer, Colo., and Moscow, Russia. In 2005, she retired from the American Water Works Association, where she was an editor for seven years, and is now freelancing again.

Her articles have appeared in Empire Magazine, (formerly The Denver Post Sunday magazine), the Chicago Tribune, The Denver Post, the Lincoln Journal, Impact (the Albuquerque Tribune's Sunday magazine), New Mexico Business Magazine, New Mexico magazine and the Lincoln Journal's Travel Holiday Magazine.

After moving to Moscow in 1991, Buehrer became a reporter for the Moscow Times, the first English-language daily in Russia after the August 1991 coup d’état. While in Bangkok, she had a regular column in the Thai Airways' Sawadii magazine and was a regular contributor for Thailand Tatler, Living in Thailand, Thailand Traveler and Momentum and was also published in the Bangkok Post newspaper.

Buehrer graduated from the University of Nebraska with a major in journalism and minors in political science and English. She joined New Mexico Press Women in 1980 and transferred to Colorado Press Women in 1985. She has won numerous CPW and National Federation of Press Women communications contest awards in the Colorado Press Association.


Joe Duggan


Joe Duggan, 45, is an Omaha World-Herald reporter in the Lincoln bureau covering the Legislature, state government and regional issues in southeast Nebraska. He graduated with degrees in journalism and history from the University of Iowa and has worked as a reporter for 22 years, covering law enforcement, courts, city hall, natural resources and greater Nebraska.

The Outstanding Service Award is presented by local chapters in appreciation of outstanding accomplishment by professional practitioners or faculty colleagues.

Kappa Tau Alpha is a college honor society that recognizes academic excellence and promotes scholarship in journalism and mass communication.


Cathy Blythe


Outstanding Service by a Non-Alumnus

KFOR Announcer Cathy Blythe is a Lincoln native, graduating in 1967 from Lincoln Southeast and later attending Kearney State College, where she majored in elementary education.

Since 1972 when Blythe was hired as the receptionist at KFOR, radio has been a passion. She went on to be music director, dabbled in sales and ultimately went on to co-host the KFOR Morning Show with Scott Young in September 1982. She continues to co-host the show every weekday morning.

Blythe is a two-time Marconi winner, the highest award in broadcasting given by the National Association of Broadcasters. Her “Problems & Solutions” talk show has been on the air since 1991.

Blythe and her husband, Wayne Oberg, have been married since 1985, and her daughter, Molly, and her husband Jordan live in Fargo, N. D. Blythe still enjoys playing the piano for a variety of area events, singing, emceeing, speaking—and, for pure recreation, reading.

Blythe’s greatest joys in her job come from interacting with listeners and sponsors â?? and having the opportunity to work with people she calls the best in the business.

Peggy Kreshel


Dr. Peggy Kreshel is an associate professor in advertising at Grady College at the University of Georgia.

Before joining Grady College, Kreshel owned/managed a restaurant in Fairbury, Nebraska, worked as an advertising sales representative for the Lincoln Journal Star and taught at the UNL College of Journalism. She was also an independent Jazzercise franchisee for 16 years.

Her research interests are advertising history, gender issues in mass communication and consumer culture, women’s studies and cultural studies. Her work has been published in the Journal of Communication Inquiry, Journal of Advertising, Journal of Current Issues and Research in Advertising, Public Relations Review and the Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Administration. In 1990, she received the “Best Article” Award in the Journal of Advertising.

Kreshel is a member of the UGA Graduate Faculty and was a faculty member at the Freedom Forum for Advertising Teachers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for three years. She has presented at numerous national conferences and workshops.

She graduated from the University of Nebraska with degrees in advertising and psychology. She then went on to get a master’s degree at UNL and a Ph.D. in communication research from the University of Illinois.

Doug Parrott


Doug Parrott is the executive vice president of public relations and Omaha general manager for Bailey Lauerman.

He started out as an award-winning television news reporter and editor and now specializes in crisis communication and media training.

Parrott served as the communications director for Nebraska Gov. Kay Orr in 1988 and served as her campaign spokesman during the 1990 election. He then became the senior partner of public relations for Bozell in Omaha in 1992 and stayed there for eight years. He joined Bailey Lauerman in July 2000.

Some of Parrott's biggest projects in the area have included Qwest Center Omaha, Innovation Campus, TD Ameritrade Park and more. He has done business with Union Pacific, ConAgra and the Omaha Sports Commission.

He was named the Nebraska Public Relations Society of America Professional of the Year in both 1997 and 2008.


Eric Brown


Eric Brown began his broadcasting career in 1962 and retired in 2012 from full-time work after a 50-year career in radio and television.

Brown started to work as a part-time announcer during his high school and college years. He graduated from the University of Nebraska School of Journalism in 1967. He earned a master's degree from the University of Missouri (Columbia) in 1968 and a Ph.D. from Ohio University (Athens) in 1975. As a member of the journalism faculty at South Dakota State University (Brookings) he was also the director of educational media and manager of KESD-FM-TV.

In 1979 he moved to Lexington, Neb., as the general manager of radio stations KRVN (AM) and KRVN-FM when his father Max Brown retired. Those stations are licensed to the Nebraska Rural Radio Association, the only farmer-rancher owned radio group in America.

Brown served two terms on the board of directors of the Nebraska Broadcasters Association. He was the president and chair of the board of directors in 1984. He has also served as a member of the radio board of directors of the National Association of Broadcasters representing Nebraska and Colorado. He was inducted into the Nebraska Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame in 2006.