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Derius Mammen named 2020 Friend of KSPA

Derius Mammen has been named winner of the 2020 Friend of KSPA Award, an honor created to celebrate professionals and others who have contributed t0 our organization’s support of scholastic journalism. 

Mammen is a yearbook representative for Jostens. He has worked closely with students and advisers to help develop their yearbooks, even through challenging times. In their letters of recommendation, advisers wrote about Mammen’s assistance and impact on their publications. 

Words of nomination 

J.D. Garber, Salina Central High School journalism adviser 

When I think about the top-notch student journalism leaders in Kansas, Mammen is clearly to me in the top 10. Mammen is consistently leading local yearbook conferences throughout the year and is almost always seen at state and national conferences providing inspiration to many. I couldn’t count how many times I heard a yearbook student on my staff, and still to this day have students, say “Derius taught me that.” His talent, skill and willingness to teach students how to do what he does sets him apart from many others in the field. He truly is a friend of student journalists and advisers in Kansas and an obvious choice 

Mammen has a legacy of providing outstanding assistance to the schools he has as clients through Jostens and beyond. I know for sure there would be no way the first few books I advised could have ever been completed without him by my side. He provides students and advisers with a calm, friendly and professional attitude that allows them to push forward in some of the toughest moments. The dedication he has to his yearbook staffs around Kansas is what has kept many advisers going throughout the years and is how I believe he has had the biggest impact. 

Linda Drake, Chase County High School and Middle School adviser

I have worked with Derius since I became yearbook adviser in 1981. I had absolutely no training in the field at the time and he took me under his wing, as he does any yearbook adviser, and he helped me through so many challenging situations. He taught me technology skills and other essential skills needed to be the best adviser I could be. I know that I would not have had the wonderful opportunities that I have experienced if I had not had Derius as my rep. 

I know that he has gone so far as to help students finish their publications when their advisers have been either in a car accident, had a serious illness or even passed away during the school year. There is nothing Derius would not do to help one of his schools! 

Kansas advisers, student journalists and KSPA are very thankful to have Derius as one of our state’s outstanding yearbook representatives. His dedication to scholastic journalism, his enthusiasm for student and teacher learning, his eagerness to be involved in activities that help take scholastic journalism to higher levels deserves your committee’s consideration of Derius Mammen as a recipient of the Friend of KSPA Award. 

The selection committee:

Even before reading the letters of recommendation, we knew about Derius Mammen’s long-time work in student journalism in Kansas. So, it wasn’t a surprise to hear the glowing words in each letter. And we couldn’t agree more. We are excited to reward his  dedication with the Friend of KSPA Award. His nominators mention the work that he does in training students each year through workshops, school visits and conferences. The lengths that he will go to help clients and students is a credit to Jostens, his employer. This award seems tailor-made for people like Derius, who, as the nomination criteria says, contribute “personal time and effort on behalf of scholastic journalism in Kansas.”

The KSPA board and staff congratulates Derius Mammen and thanks him for his contributions to our organization!

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