Advisory Council

The Journalism Advisory Council is charged with helping the dean, faculty and staff of The School of Journalism with outreach, fundraising, curriculum and recruiting efforts. In 2013-14, the JAC has been asked to focus solely on assisting the J-School in planning its centennial celebration. Centennial events will occur in the 2014-15 academic year, kicking off with Homecoming '14. 

Linda Ballew

Linda Ballew has represented journalism advisers as the 2005 Dow Jones national Newspaper Teacher of the Year and as the Journalism Education Association’s 2006 national Distinguished Yearbook Adviser. She has been a Freedom Forum delegate, Montana Teacher of the Year finalist and Montana Environmental Teacher of the Year. She works as a judge and keynote speaker for national and state press associations and serves as the Journalism Education Association’s Montana director. Ballew also coordinates the Montana Journalism Education Associations state yearbook competition as a member of the MJEA’s executive board. Ballew has advised at Great Falls High School in Great Falls for the last 29 years. She works with the student staffs of the "Iniwa" newspaper, "Roundup" yearbook and interactive CD and website, NSPA and CSPA have consistently awarded these staffs’ publications with All-American and Gold Medal ratings as well as honoring them as national Pacemakers and Gold Crown recipients. Each media has earned Best of Show awards from JEA and MJEA state Pacesetter awards.

Marje Bennetts

Marje Bennetts is owner and president of M Bennetts – A Public Relations Firm, a boutique public relations agency she started in January 1994.  It is located in Marina Del Rey, California. She has been involved in the hospitality and public relations business since she moved to California and has worked extensively with hotels, restaurants, sports organizations and special events. Marje is a native of Great Falls and graduated from the University of Montana School of Journalism (’73). She is a second generation grad, as both her mother and father also graduated from the J-school. She is an active supporter of Montana but considers Los Angeles her second home, where she has lived for over 30 years. Her work and love of travel has taken her many places around the world and she tries to return to Montana at least once a year to renew and regenerate. And, she considers Holland Lake in the Seeley/Swan Valley her most favorite place on earth. After working many years for Westin Hotels and ITT Sheraton Hotels, as well as the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee for the 1984 Olympics, Marje started her public relations agency with lifestyle accounts including hotels, restaurants, sports personalities, products, and special events. She is active on the Board of Directors for the Downtown Women’s Center, a homeless shelter for women in downtown LA and is always involved in animal rescues and events to further her love of animals of all kinds. She lives in Marina del Rey.

Janice P. Brown

Owner of Brown Law Group, (including its predecessor, Vantage Law Group) Janice P. Brown is the founder of Brown Law Group, a seven-lawyer law firm focused on business and employment litigation. Brown Law Group prides itself in assisting its clients in litigation avoidance strategies, practicing preventative law. Brown specializes in employment law and in general civil litigation. She represents clients with employment issues such as wrongful termination, race, and sex discrimination claims, and sexual harassment claims. As part of her employment practice, Brown conducts training and investigations of employee misconduct and discrimination for her clients. In addition to employment matters, Brown also handles intellectual property, fraud and contract cases for a variety of clients. Brown has tried numerous cases to verdict and argued successfully before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal, including class actions. She received her undergraduate degree in journalism from UM, and her law degree from Gonzaga University.

Kellyn Brown

Kellyn Brown is editor in chief of the Flathead Beacon in Kalispell, Montana. He is a University of Montana graduate who has spent the last several years covering crime, government and social issues as a writer and editor in the Rocky Mountain region. Upon graduating from UM in 2002, he was hired by The Associated Press to cover the North Dakota Legislature. He was then a crime reporter at the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and won two regional awards for investigative reporting. Kellyn was the city editor and a weekly columnist at the Chronicle before taking the job as editor in chief at theFlathead Beacon. In 2009, he received a first-place award for column writing from the Montana Newspaper Association. 

Janet Trask Cox

A 1963 Journalism alum, Janet Trask Cox started Exclamation Point Advertising with fellow-J-school friend, Judy Spannagel. In those years, she was active in the UM Alumni Association (president), Alumni College, UM  Distinguished Young Alumna, 1978, and member of the UM Foundation. Since moving to Port Townsend, Wash., 20 years ago, she received an MFA in creative writing in fiction from the University of Washington and participated in UW Rome Center writing workshops.

John T. Cribb

John Cribb is managing director of Cribb, Greene & Associates, the oldest, continuously operated newspaper brokerage in the country. He is the fifth successive principal broker in 80-plus years of service to the industry. Cribb, Greene & Associates has sold thousands of newspapers and other publications since 1923, and Cribb has personally sold hundreds of publications in addition to appraising 40-50 papers each year. John’s father and uncle owned and operated daily and weekly newspapers, and over a period of years published newspapers in Indiana, Kansas, California, Oregon, and Montana. John was the editor and had operating responsibility for a motorcycle racing magazine startup while in college and then worked through all departments at his uncle’s Oregon newspapers. He started by operating a 1250-Multi sheet-fed press and flying on a three-unit Goss Community web, then spent time as a reporter, ad salesman, ad manager, general manager, and publisher. While looking for a newspaper to buy, John met John Jepson, a newspaper broker in the Rocky Mountain states. Jepson offered to sell his newspaper brokerage business and Cribb accepted in February 1984, at the age of thirty. By 1994, John and Bob Bolitho of Krehbiel-Bolitho Media Service decided to merge their firms, creating Bolitho-Cribb & Associates. The Krehbiel-Bolitho newspaper brokerage was originated in Kansas City in 1923, and its evolution to Bolitho-Cribb and now Cribb, Greene & Associates makes it the oldest, continuously operated newspaper brokerage in the country. John is the fifth successive principal broker in eighty plus years of service to the industry. John has written publication value and sale articles for, and been quoted in, Editor & Publisher Magazine, Presstime Magazine, The Inlander, Publishers’ Auxiliary, Suburban Publisher, The Independent Publisher, INK Magazine, Free Paper Publisher, and others.  He has spoken on sale and valuation topics to the National Newspaper Association, Inland Press Association, Independent Free Papers of America, the Association of Free Community Newspapers, and most state and regional publishing associations. Cribb, Greene & Associates has sold thousands of newspapers and other publications since 1923, and John has personally sold hundreds of publications in addition to appraising forty to fifty papers each year. John and his wife Barb have two children, John and Sun Hye, and live in Bozeman, Montana.

Sherry Devlin

Sherry Devlin has been editor of the Missoulian since 2005. Previously she was city editor and reporter at the Missoulian, as well as a contributor and reporter for the Montana Standard and Helena Independent Record. Her writing covered topics ranging from environmental science journalism to arts and culture criticism. In 2000, she received the Howard Foundation’s National Journalism Award for her Environmental Reporting. For winning this competition, she was awarded the prestigious Edward J. Meeman Trophy. Sherry has taught adjunct classes for the University of Montana School of Journalism, both at the undergraduate and graduate level. Ms. Kuglin holds a Bachelor of Science degree in News Editing from the University of Colorado-Boulder.

Larry Elkin

Larry M. Elkin, CPA, CFP®, has provided personal financial and tax counseling to a sophisticated client base since 1986. After six years with Arthur Andersen, where he was a senior manager for personal financial planning and family wealth planning, he founded his own firm in Hastings on Hudson, N.Y., in 1992. That firm grew steadily and became the Palisades Hudson organization, which moved to Scarsdale, N.Y., in 2002, and expanded to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., in 2005. Elkin received his B.A. in journalism from the University of Montana in 1978, and his M.B.A. in accounting from New York University in 1986. He was a reporter and editor for The Associated Press from 1978 to 1986. Elkin covered government, business and legal affairs for the wire service, with assignments in Helena, Mont.; Albany, N.Y.; Washington, D.C., and New York City’s federal courts in Brooklyn and Manhattan.

Jonathan Krim

Jonathan Krim is senior deputy managing editor for the Wall Street Journal Online. A 1977 J-School graduate, he was innovations editor at The Washington Post until this past spring. Krim spent much of his career as a senior editor at the San Jose Mercury News in Silicon Valley, during which time he supervised two Pulitzer Prize-winning efforts. Krim also was executive editor of, an online financial news and commentary site, before joining the Washington Post in 2001 as a staff writer covering technology-policy issues. He received the Distinguished Alumni Award from UM in 1988. 

Kim Lucostic

Kim Lucostic, a Missoula native and Missoula Big Sky graduate, attended Pepperdine University where she played women's college basketball and graduated in 1989 with a BA in Broadcast Journalism. An internship at KTLA in Los Angeles led to a part-time job while she continued to build her resume. Lured by the teaching bug, Kim decided to attend San Diego State University to complete an English degree and her teaching certification. In her first teaching position Kim restarted the Hoover High School Cardinal student newspaper, which had not been published in seven years. Kim taught at Hoover for three years before returning to Missoula in 1995 to substitute teach and to be an assistance girls basketball coach. The following year, Kim became a full time English and Journalism (newspaper and broadcast) teacher at her alma mater and has remained in this position since the 1996-97 school year. The Sun Journal today is an award-winning newspaper and her broadcasting students produce a monthly live television show and provide video for the online paper. Kim and her husband, Jim, have two children, Kelsey, a BSHS senior, and Seamus, a seventh grader at Hellgate Middle School.

Rob McDonald

A 1991 Western Washington University alum, Rob McDonald started out at The Sun, a Scripps Howard daily in Bremerton, Wash., as a general reporter and a youth tab writer. He quickly became a voice of Generation X with his column "Twenty Something." In 1995, he joined the staff at The News-Sentinel, then a Knight-Ridder paper in Fort Wayne, Ind., as an entertainment, nightlife and features writer. Again, he had his own column, "Single Minded," which Knight Ridder also ran in syndication for 18 months. McDonald then worked at The Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Wash., from 1998-2006, as an education, retail/real estate, and cultural affairs reporter. While there, he also wrote "Northwest Passage," a column that covered American Indian Issues. After nearly 15 years in newspapers, he made a major career change and in 2006 he was named the Communications Director for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. He's a tribal member there along with his parents, brother, sister and numerous cousins. His father and brother are Grizzlies as is the Tribe's chairman. Even after two years, he's still not accustomed to having an office and must sometimes take his laptop into the noisy council chambers to concentrate. 

Meg Oliver

Meg Oliver is a freelance correspondent at ABC News in New York. She reports for Good Morning America and anchors for ABC News Now. Oliver has anchored extensive coverage of the Gulf Oil Spill, funeral coverage of the late Senator Edward Kennedy, and the release of the journalists from North Korea. Before ABC, Oliver was the Anchor of Up to the Minute, CBS News’ overnight broadcast, and Correspondent for The Early Show. Oliver filled in as anchor for The Early Show, The Saturday Early Show and the Morning News. She covered several major news events at CBS including the Presidential Race of 2008, “The Miracle on the Hudson,” The crash of Continental Flight 3407 in Buffalo, New York and the killing of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. She has conducted several in depth interviews with politicians such as former presidential candidates Bill Richardson, Mike Huckabee and Ralph Nader. Before joining the network, Oliver served as a freelance correspondent based in Washington, D.C., for CBS Newspath. There she covered the nomination of Chief Justice John Roberts, President George W. Bush's 2006 State of the Union address and the congressional hearings on the federal response to Hurricane Katrina. Prior to that, Oliver had been the 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. weekday anchor for KGPE-TV in Fresno, Calif. (2001-04). She was a reporter and anchor at WWJ/WKBD-TV in Detroit, Mich., (1998-2001), and a reporter at WTIC-TV in Hartford, Conn. (1997-98). Oliver served as a reporter for North West Cable News in its Seattle and Boise, Idaho, offices (1995-97). She began her journalism career as a reporter and anchor at KCFW-TV in Kalispell, Mont. (1993-95). Oliver has earned eight Emmy nominations, including one for "Outstanding Anchor" and two for "Best Reporter." She received an Associated Press award for her reports on "The Storm of 1998," as well as three other Associated Press awards and two Society of Professional Journalists awards. Oliver also received a 2001 Michigan Association of Broadcasters award for a series on Airport Security after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. She was born in Birmingham, Mich. She graduated from The University of Montana in 1993 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism. She sits on the Board of Directors for the Montanan magazine.  Oliver and her husband have two children.

Penny Peabody

In the 1960s, Penny Wagner Peabody worked as a reporter and editor for The Associated Press, the Billings Gazette, the Missoulian, and the Fournier newspapers. In the 1970s, she worked with the Puget Sound Council of Governments and Seattle Metro as Director of Public Services and Interim Executive Director and in many other positions. She was a founding principal in the firm of Triangle Associates where she advised a utility and a port authority on matters involving ratepayers, customers and communities and on public policy and facility siting. In 1990, she was elected chair of the Metropolitan Council, a 45-member board of city and county officials. She has chaired the University of Montana Foundation Board of Trustees. In 1990, she retired as president of the Economic Development Council of Seattle and King County. She received a Bachelor’s from UM in 1961 and her Master’s in 1967. She received the Distinguished Alumni Award from UM in 1990.

Jeremy Sauter

In 1986, Jeremy Sauter would have graduated from UM with a Journalism degree. Instead, he was lured away after an internship in Los Angeles turned into a job offer. He worked as a creative director for an ad agency that serviced the motion picture studios. He is former senior vice president of creative advertising for Paramount Pictures in Hollywood, where his responsibility was to oversee the development of advertising campaigns for a third of Paramount’s feature releases. He worked with ad agencies, filmmakers, research groups and studio management to position and market films. He is now a marketing consultant based in Missoula.

Judie Woodhouse

Judie Woodhouse retired in spring 2010 as a 34-year Montana high school educator and award-winning newspaper adviser at Polson High School. She helped organize the Montana Journalism Education Association and served as the president of the fledgling organization. She has also served as head speech, debate and drama coach; yearbook adviser; Polson Education Association President, and English Department Chair.