Frank Ragulsky was versatile, dedicated scholastic journalism leader who engaged as many high school and college students in journalism as possible
MAY 26, 2009
He served as director of Northwest Scholastic Press, an association for high school publications advisers, and organized the annual Fall Press Day, which brought together professionals, teachers and students for a day of workshops and critiques. And he was always there, if not in person then certainly behind the scenes, in steering OSU students to regional writing conferences and skills development workshops.
During my years as The Oregonian’s newsroom recruiter and internship coordinator, I grew to admire Frank’s bottomless well of enthusiasm and support for students who gravitated to journalism at Corvallis, despite a decided lack of institutional support.
Oregon State eliminated technical journalism in the early 1990s following state budget cuts. Yet a talented stream of students — including several who interned at The Oregonian — threw themselves into the learning laboratory that is The Daily Barometer and now work across the country as professional journalists. Their collective success peaked in 2002, when the Society of Professional Journalists named the Barometer the best collegiate daily in the country.
Prior to the cuts, The Daily Barometer was often a regional winner in the SPJ competition but was never named among the national finalists. Since the early ’90s, the newspaper has operated without the benefit of an academic major; more recently, it has joined its peers around the country in making the transition to new media.
This afternoon Frank will be the center of attention at the OSU Memorial Union, as colleagues, current and former students all gather to wish him well in retirement in Alaska. Even those whose lives he touched only briefly know what kind of an impact he made at OSU and beyond.
Consider the tribute from Saba Saleem, a student at Portland’s Madison High School, following last year’s minority journalism camp at OSU:
“[T]he biggest props go to Frank Ragulsky, the guy who held the piñata together like the paste, and all of us were the paper mache strips. He planned everything for us, got up early to get every thing ready, and went to bed late, cleaning up after our mess each and every day. He was this camp’s back bone and we really appreciate what he did to get us all here for free.”
FRANK RAGULSKY is a retired yearbook adviser of more than 40 university yearbooks at four different universities. He served as adviser most recently at Oregon State University for the award-winning Beaver Yearbook. Frank’s specialties include feature writing and news writing. He has been active in College Media Advisers since 1970. Frank has served as president of the Western Association of University Publications Managers on two different occasions. His newest passion includes wildlife photography in Alaska.
Frank Ragulsky is the director of student media at Oregon State University. He is in charge of the Northwest Scholastic Press, a group that brings thousands of high school students to campus every year for journalism programs.
He’s also the adviser of OSU’s award-winning The Daily Barometer student newspaper and the Beaver Yearbook. His philosophy is to engage as many college and high school students in journalism and broadcasting as possible.