The Michigan Interscholastic Press Association has honored retired Fenton High School adviser Pam Bunka, who has served as MIPA’s yearbook chair since 2012, as the recipient of its 2022 John V. Field Award for her long-time support of student journalism.
The award recognizes a person or organization who is not currently a student media adviser for their significant contributions to scholastic journalism in Michigan. It was first given in 1972 to John Field, a University of Michigan journalism professor who served as the executive director of MIPA for more than 20 years when it was based on the Ann Arbor campus.
Bunka, who retired from teaching in 2019, was honored as part of an online ceremony on April 21.
“Pam Bunka is a true friend to everyone in scholastic journalism. She is relentlessly positive and always supportive of students and other teachers,” said Jeremy Steele, executive director of MIPA and a specialist in the MSU School of Journalism. “It’s no surprise that she was a cheerleader when she was a student at Central Michigan University, because she has spent her career cheering for us.”
She spent 42 years as the newspaper and yearbook adviser at Fenton High School until she retired 2019. She plans to retire from MIPA’s Executive Board, where she coordinates activities and contests for MIPA’s yearbook member programs, at the end of this school year.
Under her guidance, the student publications at Fenton won numerous state and national awards. The Fentonian yearbook is a member of the Hall of Fame for both MIPA and the National Scholastic Press Association, and the InPrint newspaper is a member of MIPA’s Student Media Hall of Fame.
In 1990, Pam received the Golden Pen Award, the top honor MIPA’s to an adviser.
She also is the only person to have worked at every MIPA Summer Journalism Workshop at Michigan State University. The summer youth program started in 1984.
ABOUT THE MICHIGAN INTERSCHOLASTIC PRESS ASSOCIATION
Founded in 1921 and housed in the Michigan State University School of Journalism, the Michigan Interscholastic Press Association is a nonprofit organization composed of scholastic journalism teachers and publications advisers and their students. MIPA is committed to promoting and recognizing excellence in scholastic journalism at all levels through education, training and support of student journalists and their advisers.