Glenda Crank Holste

Nancy Woodhall took this down to a wonderful micro level, and it worked in her time, it would work now, and it will work as we go forward. Do something for another woman every day. And it’s just like putting it on your to-do list.

— Glenda Crank Holste

Glenda Crank Holste

Glenda Holste is among the pillars of JAWS history, making her a must-interview for this project.

Born in 1946, Glenda grew up in a family with ties to journalism. Her mother studied journalism with Mary Paxton Keeley, the first woman graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism, when Keeley was teaching at what is now Columbia College. Glenda’s father spent 30 years working for The Kansas City Star as a photojournalist.

“Daddy was terrific about taking me along when it was appropriate,” Glenda said. “For instance, he had an assignment to shoot President (Lyndon) Johnson arriving at the airport, and I got to go along and I got to meet, to shake the president’s hand that day. And events like that were folded into our family life.”

Glenda attended the Missouri School of Journalism and graduated in 1968. She began her career as a reporting intern at The Memphis Press Scimitar and went on to work at The Sacramento Union, The Kansas City Star, The Chicago Daily News, and the St. Paul Pioneer Press. She now works as a public affairs specialist for Education Minnesota, the educators’ union.

Glenda attended the second JAWS camp in 1986 at the invitation of Tad Bartimus, the organization’s founder and a friend from college. Glenda served as JAWS president in 1991 and said the camaraderie built into the organization during its early years remains today.

“A managing editor walked into the room and she had no more standing than the cub reporter who was sitting there. It allowed us to both see a role model in action, but also integrate everyone in and make them feel welcome and build a network that was based on mutual support,” Glenda said.

“It’s, to me, foundational in how we have been able to proceed in both growing into the mainstream and retaining our integrity as a truly women’s organization,” she added.

Her oral history interview took place on October 26, 2013, at the JAWS camp in Essex, Vermont.

( This interview was conducted by Yong Volz )