Kevin Loker is a person (and journalist) curious about the role that web- and mobile-based social interactions play “in real life." He's currently thinking about that in the context of journalism, working on ideas about how media organizations can improve their operations by knowing more about their audience than ever before.
Kevin is the Program Coordinator at the American Press Institute, where he organizes events, trainings and youth programs. Previously he was the Digital Coordinator at the Online News Association. Recently he was a regular contributor at 10,000 Words.
Kevin graduated from George Mason University in May 2012 with a B.A. in anthropology. Outside the lecture halls — where he maintained a 3.83 GPA on scholarship — he traded sleep for four years in leadership in Mason’s Office of Student Media, and additionally, two years of experience with professional media. As a student, Kevin contributed work to USA TODAY, mediabistro.com’s 10,000 Words and The Washington Post (where he was an online content editor and developed social media strategy for Washington Post Live).
At Mason, he was considered a “Mason Celebrity” (really, he's been told this) largely because of his executive editor role at Connect2Mason.com, a student-run and online-only daily news outlet, a position he held for three years. Out of 251 entries, the young site received distinction in 2011 as one of only 24 Associated Collegiate Press "Online Pacemakers" — and the only college media outlet to win the distinction in the “online-only” category.
A lover of puzzles and blending mediums, he led a project in summer 2011 called Connect2Mason presents The Hunt, a Mason-spirited take on the Washington Post’s Post Hunt. The Welcome Week scavenger hunt and puzzle game drew close to 500 students and alumni, involved performers (dance troupes, sports teams), word riddles and a giant chess board, and gave away $1,000 and two Kindles as prizes. Creative event sponsorships covered the entire event budget and then some, with all the event put together in a little under three months.
His role in Student Media, in addition to other activities in the Catholic Campus Ministry, University Scholars and Honors College communities, contributed to the Alumni Association naming him Senior of the Year. The networks and connections he made – and his ability to rap kind of like Lil Wayne – laid a path for his coronation as "Mason Majesty," Mason’s version of homecoming king. (He likes to think that somehow reflects the personable manner he goes about his work. But let’s be real, the Mason-ified version of "Look at Me Now" probably helped the most.)
Photo credit: @laurammitch
B.A. in Anthropology May 2012
George Mason University | Fairfax, VA GPA: 3.83
American Press Institute | Journalism think tank
Program Coordinator June 2013 - present
Online News Association | Association of digital journalists
Digital Coordinator July 2012 - May 2013
Directed membership support to 2,000 journalists. Primary contact for issues, concerns.
Organized speakers and resources around events and training workshops. Produced coverage.
Oversaw all online transactions, registrations, analytics and databases.
Mediabistro | 10,000 Words
Contributor October 2010 - May 2011, July 2012 - December 2012
Connect2Mason.com | College's daily news outlet, student-run
Executive Editor September 2009 - May 2012
Recruited team from one to 20; created policies, procedures and structure for workflow.
Received only 2011 Associated Collegiate Press Online Pacemaker for online-only publications.
The Washington Post | Washington Post Live
Online Content Editor September 2010 - December 2011
Implemented self-designed Facebook and Twitter strategy for live events (as intern).
Continued after internship to live-tweet and consult on creative outreach for events.
USA TODAY | USA TODAY College
Blogger September 2010 - May 2012
Connect2Mason presents The Hunt
Project Manager June - September 2011
Created idea and generated $15,000 budget in three months via creative sponsorships.
Directed operations and 50 volunteers for the 500-person scavenger hunt / puzzle game.
Us “IRL” Research Project
Researcher / Developer June 2011 - Present
Creating video-based website for conversations on the role of instant communications (Facebook, texting) on the development of college-aged romantic relationships.
Events: Event planning and coordination, as well live-tweeting, coverage and moderation.
Social media: 1,600+ followers on Twitter, many of them journalists.
CMS: Four years with WordPress, Drupal. Fluent with HTML.
HONORS / AWARDS
Opening Speaker, Washington Journalism and Media Conference, 2013
Senior of the Year, 2012
“Mason Majesty” (Homecoming King), 2012
Mason Distinguished Quill Award for Student Leadership, 2012
University Scholars Award for Leadership, 2012
Provost Advisory Council Member, 2011
Online News Association Student Newsroom Scholarship, 2010
Broadsider of the Year (MVP for newspaper staff), 2009
University Scholars Class Representative, 2008