Commonwealth Journal

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March 2, 2009

Somerset native receives Ph.D. from Ohio State

Readers Gallery

Somerset native Debra Jasper recently earned her doctorate in cultural and social foundations in educational policy and leadership from Ohio State University.

Dr. Jasper, who is director of the Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Journalism at Ohio State, graduated last spring after completing her dissertation on Appalachian storytelling. As part of her work, she used stories she collected in the early 1990s from her father, the late Ethard Jasper. She also collected stories from his siblings, Leon and Levi Jasper and Alma Hopper.

In addition to running a fellowship program for mid-career journalists who seek to learn digital media skills, Dr. Jasper teaches graduate-level public policy courses in the John Glenn School of Public Affairs. The courses examine the impact of digital media on public policy and elections.

As well, she provides training in multimodal storytelling to professionals who are making the shift to the digital age.

Dr. Jasper is a 1982 graduate of Pulaski County High School and received her BA in journalism from Eastern Kentucky University in 1986. After graduation, she worked as an investigative and political reporter for The Dayton Daily News and then as Statehouse Bureau Chief for The Cincinnati Enquirer.

During her 20-year journalism career, she also worked as editor of The Grant County News in northern Kentucky and interim editor of The Casey County News.

Dr. Jasper is the daughter of Doris Jasper South and the stepdaughter of Carl South, who live in Nancy, Ky.

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