(From left to right: Johanna Huybers, Marcus Vanderberg, Emily Horos and Erik Horne) 

By Jorge Rojas

Miami Herald

A fun and productive Diversity Weekend in cold, snowy Indianapolis came to a close Sunday as the 2013-14 class of APSE Diversity Fellows braved the elements to meet in person and take part in a variety of workshops and panels at the National Sports Journalism Center at Indiana University.

For Emily Horos of the Cherokee Tribune (Canton, Ga.), Johanna Huybers of the Reno Gazette-Journal, Erik Horne of The Oklahoman, and Marcus Vanderberg of Yahoo!, it was a chance to get acquainted and dive into discussions on topics such as social media, available resources, accuracy vs. speed, and detailed story planning for all platforms.

Speakers included Pam Laucella, academic director at the National Sports Journalism Center, on “Research as resource: The value of academic work in your community and beyond.”; Ronnie Ramos, sports director at The Indianapolis Star, on “The Intersection of Sports and Social Media.”; and Chris Lamb, professor at Indiana University School of Journalism, on "Where have you gone, Jackie Robinson? Baseball, race and the press in the post-Robinson era.''

Of course, no Diversity Weekend is complete without each Fellow giving "the dreaded 15-minute speech'' — each did remarkably well (no stumbling, mumbling or bumbling!) — and the group attending a sporting event for "mock drafts.''

This year, they simulated "NBA Finals coverage'' plans at the Clippers-Pacers game. David West was ejected for picking on Blake Griffin, Luis Scola was at his flopping best, and Paul George's 360 windmill slam put an exclamation point on the evening at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Next up for the Fellows: another all-expense-paid trip to Indianapolis for APSE judging. How lucky can you get? 

We have big plans for this year's crew, including sending at least one Fellow for hands-on work at the Sports Journalism Institute in Missouri this summer, but we are still in need of funding.

If you would like to be a sponsor for the Diversity Fellowship Program, please contact APSE president Tim Stephens at tim.stephens@cbsinteractive.com, APSE executive director Jack Berninger at jackapse@aol.com or myself.

Jorge Rojas is chairman of the APSE Diversity Committee. You can reach him at (305) 376-3213 or at jrojas@miamiherald.com.