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Nominations Committee Chair

David Cuillier
Assistant Professor
Department of Journalism
University of Arizona
Marshall Building, Room 323
Tucson, Ariz. 85721-0158
Work: 520/626-9694
Fax: 520/621-7557
Bio (click to expand) David Cuillier, Ph.D., is director of the University of Arizona School of Journalism, where he researches and teaches access to public records, and is co-author with Charles Davis of "The Art of Access: Strategies for Acquiring Public Records." He served as FOI chair 2007-11 before becoming a national officer and serving as SPJ president in 2013-14.

Before entering academia, he was a newspaper reporter and editor in the Pacific Northwest. He has testified before Congress on FOI issues twice and provides newsroom training in access on behalf of SPJ. His long-term goal is to see a unified coalition of journalism organizations fighting for press freedom and funded through an endowed FOI war chest.

Home > SPJ Election Central > Meet the Candidates

Call for Candidates

Run for office | Participate as a voting SPJ member | Meet the candidates

Election Central
Meet the Candidates

Biographies and more are coming shortly. In the meantime, here are the names of people who have declared candidacy for the positions on SPJ's board that are up for election. Want to add your name to this list? It isn't too late.

Skip to a position:
At-Large Director
Campus Adviser At-Large
Student Representative

Regional Directors: 1 | 4 | 5 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 11

Currently unopposed

Paul Fletcher

Current SPJ office: Secretary-Treasurer.

Current employment: Publisher and editor-in-chief, Virginia Lawyers Weekly.

Previous SPJ experience: Member, SPJ Ethics Committee; SPJ member since 1992; officer of Virginia Pro chapter for five years, including two terms as president; Ted Scripps Leadership Institute.

Past work experience: Practiced law in Southwest Virginia; teacher, high school English and college composition.

Education: A.B., College of William & Mary; M.A., English, Emory University; J.D., Washington & Lee University.

Honors, awards and activities: Writing awards, Virginia Press Association, National Newspaper Association, SPJDC and SPJ Detroit journalism contests; board member, Virginia Coalition for Open Government; member, VPA Public Notice Task Force; member, ISWNE, ASBPE and NFPW; fellow, Virginia Law Foundation.

Why I’m seeking this SPJ office: One of SPJ’s most important missions is advocacy — to have a strong, unwavering voice in speaking up for journalists and journalism itself. Our task is not getting any easier, as it seems each year government officials get more secretive, spokespeople get less cooperative, courts get more hostile and legislators find and pass more loopholes.

But fight we must. SPJ can and should be a key defender of our important democratic values — free speech, freedom of information and the public’s right to know.

I worked on these core issues during my time as president of SPJVA and I’ve continued that work during my year as secretary-treasurer. This year’s president, Dave Cuillier, has proposed a long-lasting framework for advocacy funding; if elected president-elect, I will push to help make those plans a reality.

We live and work in a time of transition. The ways that our stories are published are changing, as are the formats for receiving that information. But it remains a grand time to be a story-teller or a reporter seeking and writing the truth. SPJ must respond by providing the relevant tools, training and information for the journalist working today and those of tomorrow.

I would appreciate your vote in September and the opportunity to continue to serve SPJ and our shared mission. Thank you.

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Currently unopposed

Lynn Walsh

Current SPJ office: Member of the FOI and Generation J committees, serve on the SPJ Ethics Code revision committee and the SPJ Futures Task Force, SPJ Newsroom trainer.

Current employment: Data producer, Scripps National Desk.

Previous SPJ experience: SPJ Florida chapter board member, chairwoman for SPJ Generation J committee.

Past work experience: Investigative producer, WPTV; investigative reporter, Texas Watchdog; editor/investigative reporter, Ohio Watchdog; producer, WKEF.

Education: B.S. Broadcast Journalism, Ohio University.

Honors, awards and activities: Suncoast Emmy Awards, three-time winner, 12-time nominee; Florida AP Broadcaster First and Second place winner; SPJ First Amendment Award, online category; Edward R. Murrow regional winner; SPJ Sunshine State Award, government coverage; Knight Digital Media Center Fellow, UC Berkeley; Kiplinger Fellow, Ohio State University.

Why I’m seeking this SPJ office: I want to help SPJ continue to be the professional organization journalists around the world turn to for advice on issues like ethics, freedom of information and new media. Journalism and the world of media are changing and SPJ needs to change with it.

While it adapts and molds itself to better serve all journalists, the organization also has to stick to the values it was founded on. A revision of the SPJ Code of Ethics is just a start. I am going to make sure the SPJ Code of Ethics is one journalists, in and outside SPJ, have seen, read and weighed in on, so it is comprehensive and applicable to journalists writing on the web, for TV/radio and in print.

SPJ needs to continue to think about increasing our membership and creating alternative ways to raise money for training opportunities, legal defense and FOIA causes. To achieve this, SPJ leadership and members need to work together. We need to think outside the box. We need to better communicate who we are and what we do to journalists and the public.

I would like to see us recruit non-practicing journalists, people who are working toward and for the same causes we are, to join the organization and support our members. Recruiting these types of people can help SPJ tell the world why journalism is important, why public access to information needs to continue and why our First Amendment rights need to be protected.

I believe I can work with the various committees and SPJ leadership teams to make this and more happen. I am a strong leader who is enthusiastic about journalism and the amazing possibilities for news and media in the future. I am ready to think outside the box and lead SPJ in a more digital and engaging direction.

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At-Large Director
Choose one

Gideon Grudo

Current SPJ office: DC Pro Chapter Director.

Current employment: Special Projects Manager, Air Force Magazine.

Previous SPJ experience: Director, Exec. VP, Florida Pro; National board Student Representative.

Past work experience: Editor-in-Chief, managing editor, South Florida Gay News; freelancer,; interning reporter, Miami Herald.

Education: Bachelor’s degree in communications, Florida Atlantic University.

Honors, awards and activities: Sunshine State Awards: College Journalist of the Year, second place; Front Page Design, first place; General News Reporting, second place; SPJ programs: Wrote for, edited and advised SPJ’s Will Write for Food; helped run SPJ’s One Night Stand; helped run (at several universities) First Amendment Free Food Festivals; ran SPJ’s All on Paper; helped run SPJ’s Zombie Stories; helped run SPJ’s F@#$ Words With Friends; helped run SPJ’s Death Race; ran Ethics Hold ‘em all over the country.

Why I’m seeking this SPJ office: We need to do more stuff. SPJ prides itself on lighting up dark rooms with its beacon of journalistic integrity, bearing the brunt of the widely used code of ethics, and defending journalists in despair with its LDF, among other things. But chapters around the country are shrinking, and many of them are trying to hold on with original programming that engages local journalists and beckons young ones.

I’ve run SPJ programs both in Florida, where I fell into the organization, and around the country during conventions. I’ve seen programs lure people in, get them enthralled about writing obituaries, competitive about asking the right questions, and touched by the power of journalism.

Let’s take programs that can travel and bring them where they’re needed, where they can be useful. I want chapters around the country to use up my free time to get up and get going. And if you don’t want to vote for me but want to hear more about running any of the above programs in your neck of the woods, feel free to email me. I'll at least try to do my best to help.

Tony Hernandez

Current SPJ office: Region 12 Director.

Current employment: City government reporter, Knoxville News Sentinel.

Previous SPJ experience: Region 12 Director; Vice President, Northwest Arkansas Pro Chapter.

Past work experience: County government reporter, Northwest Arkansas Media; managing editor, The Southwest Times; education reporter, Rio Grande SUN.

Education: Bachelor’s degree in communication-journalism, University of Houston.

Why I’m seeking this SPJ office: Journalists today have more than 60 associations and specialized groups working to promote journalism. How many can you afford? For me, not many as I enter my sixth year as a full-time journalist.

In the coming years, SPJ has begun a shift toward more advocacy and partnerships with other journalism groups while at the same time turning over educational programming to our patterns at Sigma Delta Chi and hopefully others.

I’ve bought the Kool-Aid. It’s a smart move for SPJ to emphasize its 501©6 status to lobby lawmakers and causes that promote a free press and fight those that threaten the First Amendment and an open, transparent government.

If I’m elected, I hope to work with our very capable staff to make sure our membership continues to receive benefits, opportunities for training, networking and more. SPJ’s new vision calls our staff to find ways our members would benefit from partnerships with other journalism associations. Maybe that means specialized training in education or science writing, minority issues or government data. Joining SPJ could mean a joint/bundled memberships with other groups. Nothing is off the table. It’s an exciting time to be a member of SPJ, and I ask for your support.

Alex Tarquinio

Current SPJ office: Chairwoman, The Deadline Club, SPJ's New York City chapter; Member, SPJ Membership Committee.

Current employment: Freelance journalist and regular contributor to The Wall Street Journal.

Previous SPJ experience: Officer of The Deadline Club for seven years, including two terms as President and four terms as Vice President of the Awards Dinner; Member, SPJ Project Watchdog Committee.

Past work experience: Staff Writer, Smart Money, the Personal Finance Magazine of The Wall Street Journal; Investing Editor,; Staff Writer, American Banker; Adjunct Journalism Professor, Baruch College; Contributor to The New York Times, Reader's Digest, the International Herald Tribune, the San Francisco Chronicle, among others.

Education: M.S. in journalism, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism; B.A. in literature and creative writing with highest honors in the major, University of California, Santa Cruz; Diplôme d'Etudes en Langue Française (DELF).

Honors, awards and activities: President of chapter awarded the National Outstanding Large Professional Chapter Award and the Circle of Excellence Award for Professional Development and Education; Winner, Howard S. Dubin Outstanding Pro Member Award; Graduate, Ted Scripps Leadership Institute; Journalism Fellow, the German Marshall Fund of the United States; Winner, University of California President's Undergraduate Fellowship.

Why I’m seeking this SPJ office: Our professional society thrives on the volunteerism and dedication of its members, whether they are first-time chapter board members or seasoned national officers. As SPJ leaders, it is our duty to bolster journalism nationwide by fostering a climate of professional excellence and by standing resolutely for the freedom of information. Our collective success begins with the local chapters. Ensuring their health and continuation is the primary task of the two At-Large Directors. If elected, I will closely monitor each chapter's annual report, looking for any canaries in the coal mine that might indicate potential issues, and working with Regional Directors to help resolve them.

In this role, my experience leading the society's largest chapter through a period of rapid expansion and fundamental change would serve as my guide. During my term as Deadline Club President, we modernized the organization's bylaws and website, while moving the awards contest and scholarship entry process online. Under my leadership, we put the club on a more solid financial footing by recruiting sponsors for our main annual event and by creating new fundraisers, including the revival of the New York Journalism Hall of Fame, a club tradition that had been dormant for 13 years. As a result, we dramatically boosted our philanthropy, awarding a total of $17,500 in scholarships during my term. We pointedly focused on local journalism advocacy, with several statements supporting press access to police incidents and courtrooms. Our board members met personally with the New York City Police Commissioner to discuss the arrests of journalists covering the Occupy Wall Street protests. To top it off, we became the largest chapter based on membership and won SPJ's Outstanding Large Professional Chapter Award.

As an At-Large Director, my goal would be to galvanize chapters. I am fully conversant with SPJ's accountability requirements at the chapter level, especially regarding finances, and can offer pertinent advice when needed. Of course, many members do not have local chapters. The new virtual chapters, such as the freelance community, could be of great service to them. Yet should any members wish to create new local chapters, or recreate defunct chapters, I would gladly work hand in glove with Regional Directors to help bring this to fruition.

Minal Bopaiah

Bio coming soon.

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Campus Adviser At-Large
Choose one

Dan Caterinicchia

Current SPJ office: Central Ohio Chapter board member.

Current employment: Director of Student Media, Clinical Assistant Professor at Ohio State University.

Past work experience: The Associated Press, Washington, D.C.; The Washington Times; Federal Computer Week magazine.

Education: B.A., American University; M.S., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Honors, awards and activities: Board member, Ohio Coalition for Open Government.

Why I’m seeking this SPJ office: I joined SPJ more than 15 years ago as an undergraduate student at the suggestion of a professor who remains a mentor and friend. It was one of the best decisions I ever made. Now that I have worked as a professor and adviser to the student chapter at Ohio State, I want to give back.

I have seen the impact that college journalists can have on their audiences and communities. I also have seen the benefits that the SPJ pro chapter can have on the current and next generations of communicators. I want to help grow SPJ’s membership by sharing those messages with aspiring journalists who are working hard to tell great stories while pursuing their degrees. It would be my honor to serve as Campus Adviser At-Large.

Jimmy McCollum

Current SPJ office: Member, SPJ Journalism Education committee.

Current employment: Associate professor, Department of Communication and Journalism, Lipscomb University.

Previous SPJ experience: Faculty adviser, Lipscomb University chapter; board member, Middle Tennessee Professional Chapter; member, SPJ Journalism Education committee.

Past work experience: Reporter/anchor, WSM Radio News.

Education: B.A., Speech Communication, Lipscomb University; M.S., Journalism, University of Tennessee; Ph.D., Mass Communication, University of Alabama.

Honors, awards and activities: Helped oversee a student PSA that aired on PBS and won a 2013 Gracie Award (

Why I’m seeking this SPJ office: College students need to connect at the university, regional and national levels. As Campus Adviser At-Large, I will work hard to assist student chapters with growth and with issues with administrators and student-government leaders.

As an adviser for a university chapter and board member of a professional chapter, I understand and see the importance of connecting college students locally; my students regularly attend events hosted by the local pro chapter. Each spring they meet professionals and other students at the Region 12 conference and since Fort Worth in 2002, they have accompanied me to the national conventions. As Campus Adviser At-Large, I will work hard to help campus chapters build bridges with all of their communities.

Mike Reilley

Current SPJ office: SPJ/ONA DePaul faculty adviser; SPJ Digital Media committee member; founder and editor, The Journalist’s Toolbox (, @journtoolbox).

Current employment: DePaul University College of Communication journalism program.

Previous SPJ experience: Ted Scripps Leadership Institute facilitator.

Past work experience: Staff writer, Los Angeles Times; internet sports editor, one of the founding editors for, staff writer, Chicago Tribune; national news desk,

Education: BSJ, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; MSJ, Northwestern University.

Honors, awards and activities: SPJ National Campus Chapter of the Year (2011, 2013); David Eshelman Outstanding Faculty Adviser Award; DePaul University Faculty Adviser of the Year; DePaul Engage Socially Responsible Faculty award; SPJ National Volunteer of the Month; ONA 2014 conference national programming committee member; founder of #spjchat Twitter chat; two-time Poynter alum (multimedia and mobile tech); speaker at national and regional conferences, including SPJ, AEJMC, Journalism/Interactive and Google for Media; created student publication; winner of 40 national, regional and local awards in just under four years.

Why I’m seeking this SPJ office: My mission is to create more collaboration between student chapters on a national level by creating a platform for chapters to exchange information and share ideas on programming, membership, fundraising, etc. The platform also could provide tools for budgeting, building an online presence, organizing, developing bylaws, etc., to help new chapters form or reform dormant chapters. This would be an extension of Scripps and continue the great work there on a day-to-day basis. I also would work to develop clear criteria for determining regional and national campus chapters of the year and continue to develop new, relevant categories for the SPJ MOE awards.

Lisa Rollins

Current SPJ office: board member, Oklahoma Pro chapter; member, Awards and Honors Committee.

Current employment: Assistant professor, journalism, Ashford University; faculty adviser, Ashford University student chapter.

Previous SPJ experience: Student representative, SPJ national board; Region 12 Director; faculty adviser, Middle Tennessee State University and Langston University campus chapters.

Past work experience: Chairwoman and assistant professor of journalism/communication, Langston University; adjunct professor, journalism, University of Oklahoma; adjunct professor and instructor, journalism, Middle Tennessee State University; director of special media projects, MTSU; features writer, Fort Worth Star-Telegram; staff writer and page editor, Denton Record-Chronicle.

Education: B.S. in journalism, University of North Texas; M.S. in mass communication, with an emphasis in media management, Middle Tennessee State University; Education Specialist degree in higher education/administration and supervision, Middle Tennessee State University; Ph.D. in higher education, with a dissertation that focused on media convergence, news habits of undergraduates and journalism education, Capella University.

Honors, awards and activities: Graduate, Ted Scripps Leadership Institute; Terry Harper Memorial Scholarship; 2012 Master Teacher of Honor/Kappa Delta Pi; judging coordinator, SPJ High School Essay contest, Oklahoma.

Why I’m seeking this SPJ office: My passion for SPJ and its mission extends back to 1987 and my undergraduate years at the University of North Texas, where I served as vice president for UNT’s student SDX-turned-SPJ chapter. Moving from a student reporter to a working journalist, I continued to benefit from my affiliation with SPJ and later, as a journalism educator, I wanted to share all that SPJ offers with my students.

SPJ, hands down, is the best investment I have made in my lifelong career in journalism, and today — more than ever — SPJ’s mission is important in helping shape the careers and ethics of journalism students. It is imperative that the next generation of journalists be prepared for the challenges they will face not only in the daily newsroom, but in regard to issues such as FOIA, ethics and the First Amendment, among others. SPJ is the ideal organization to help student journalists shape their career paths, from ongoing education to networking, and beyond.

As Campus Adviser At-Large, I want to help SPJ maintain its dedication and commitment to student learners, both on-ground and online, and I’m excited for the chance to help our next generation of journalists be heard at the national level. My passion for SPJ and all it encompasses is an enduring constant in my effort to give back to my profession, and that it includes via student members.

Robert Buckman

Current SPJ office: Faculty adviser, University of Louisiana at Lafayette chapter.

Current employment: Associate professor of communication, University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

Previous SPJ experience: Member of Ethics Committee, 1996-2011, and participated in the writing of the current Code of Ethics, 1996; member of International Journalism Committee, and was co-chair for two years; contributor of numerous articles to Quill on the Latin American media, as well as the cover story on Vanessa Leggett in 2002 and a recent article on the legacy of Ambrose Bierce 100 years after his disappearance in Mexico; hosted the SPJ Region 8-12 biregional conference in Lafayette in 1996 and the Region 12 conference in 2012.

Past work experience: Reporter, The Fort Worth Press, 1972-74; desk editor, U.S. Foreign Broadcast Information Service, 1974-80; Capitol correspondent, the Fort Worth News Tribune, 1981-86; assistant instructor of journalism, the University of Texas at Austin, 1983-85; assistant professor of communication, Loyola University of New Orleans, 1986-89; associate professor of communication, UL Lafayette, 1989-present; freelance writer covering Latin American politics and Louisiana politics for a number of newspapers, including The Dallas Morning News, the San Francisco Chronicle, the San Francisco Examiner, the Washington Times, the Houston Chronicle, the Tampa Tribune and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 1989-present.

Education: B.A., Texas Christian University; M.A., TCU; Ph.D., The University of Texas at Austin.

Honors, awards and activities: Awarded Fulbright Fellowship to teach public affairs reporting in Chile for one semester, 1991; twice elected president of the Southeast Journalism Conference, 1998-99 and 2013-14; named Journalism Educator of the Year by the Southeast Journalism Conference, 2001.

Why I’m seeking this SPJ office: My association with SPJ dates to joining Sigma Delta Chi as an undergraduate at TCU in 1967. I continued to participate as a professional, and when I became an academic, I actively encouraged my students to join, to attend national and regional conferences, to compete in Mark of Excellence and to help me organize rewarding and provocative professional development activities on campus.

I chartered the UL Lafayette (then the University of Southwestern Louisiana) chapter in 1989-90 and have now been its adviser for 25 years. During that time, we have been named Outstanding Chapter five times. Our chapter has invited noted local, regional and national journalists to campus to speak and to interact with the chapter members. In election years, our chapter has sponsored debates between local candidates, with journalists fielding the questions, which have generated news coverage and provided students with real-world experience covering a political event. For 15 years, our chapter published a journalism-oriented magazine called Vérité, which was sent to all other chapters nationwide.

By running for campus adviser-at-large, I’m seeking to carry my zeal for the importance of interacting students with real-world journalism to the national level. I hope to actively encourage students to continue their participation in SPJ long after graduation, without which the organization will become stagnant or even wither as the long-time veterans like myself gradually pass from the scene. I want to encourage greater participation in MoE, especially in under-subscribed categories, to make them more competitive and thus making the triumphs more meaningful. I’d like to share ideas for provocative chapter events that will give students something they won’t always get in the classroom and to keep SPJ vibrant. I also would like to bring more new chapters into SPJ to infuse it with more new blood. I’ve been successful recruiting members at the chapter level and convincing them of SPJ’s importance to the health and vitality of our profession. Now I’d like to try it from a higher pulpit before I do pass from the scene.

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Student Representative
Choose two

Daniel Axelrod

Current SPJ office: N/A

Current employment: College instructor, journalism Ph.D. student, researching how newspaper closures affect communities.

Previous SPJ experience: President, Keystone Pro Chapter ('09-11), the largest chapter in Pennsylvania, which SPJ honored as one of America's three best small chapters in 2010; vice chairman of SPJ's Digital Media Committee ('09-10) and lead author of the committee's strategic report "Will SPJ Remain Relevant in the Digital Age?"

Past work experience: Newspaper reporter ('04-09), most recently with The Times-Tribune in Scranton, PA; PR specialist ('09-11) for Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania; college professor since 2010.

Education: Journalism, M.A., Syracuse University; History and Communications, B.A., SUNY Cortland.

Honors, awards and activities: 14 journalism awards from press associations in NY, N.E. and PA ('04-09); board member for The Independent Florida Alligator, the largest student-run newspaper in America (30,000-circulation independent daily).

Why I’m seeking this SPJ office: I'm earning a journalism Ph.D. at the University of Florida because the only thing I ever wanted to do more than be a reporter was teach people how to be reporters. Similarly, SPJ's mission is to teach, defend and better journalists and the profession. As a board member representing college journalists, I would:

– Improve such that it becomes the foremost destination for job and internship information for college graduates seeking journalism positions.

– Rejuvenate the "programs in a box" initiative by providing kits with a robust array of high-quality programs and best practices that student leaders can use to better their chapters.

Ellen Eldridge

Current SPJ office: Chapter president, Kennesaw State University campus chapter.

Current employment: Student intern, The Cherokee Tribune; senior communication major, Kennesaw State University (3.8 GPA); freelance content marketer.

Previous SPJ experience: Held current office since 2013.

Past work experience: Public Affairs Specialist, U.S. Army Reserves; implemented newsletter as lesson coordinator at 6-store music retail chain; founded marketing magazine for artistic entrepreneurs; freelance music journalist for national print and online mediums (Performer Magazine and

Education: B.S., psychology; senior working toward a B.S. in communication (expected 2015); HootSuite Social Media Certification and brand ambassador.

Honors, awards and activities: Golden Key Honor Society; Who’s Who in American College Students; Adult Learner’s Award; Student Media: staff writer, The Sentinel newspaper; editor-in-chief, Talon feature magazine; literary editor, Share literary magazine.

Why I’m seeking this SPJ office: As a long-time student of journalism and lover of the written word, I want to pioneer innovation and help experienced and new journalists navigate the changing career field of communication. Freelancing and training are the parts of the SPJ mission closest to my heart. As a HootSuite brand ambassador I hope to encourage journalists of all skill levels to integrate social media into reporting, which will also help the individual brands of media outlets struggling to find a foothold.

As a campus representative, I will work to spread the mission and goals of SPJ as well as work with journalism majors to learn social media and learn how original well-written content can help build a brand. Not public relations writing, but objective content. I also want to stay connected to the largest organization for journalists, and I want to encourage students to get involved not only with the student media but also in contributing as members of SPJ as I have with a blog for The Independent Journalist in the SPJ network.

Jordan Gass-Poore

Current SPJ office: President, Texas State University campus chapter.

Current employment: General assignments reporter with the Los Angeles News Group, a 12-week summer internship through the Chips Quinn Scholars program; contributing writer, Slackerwood; segment coordinator, KTSW 89.9 FM, Texas State University.

Previous SPJ experience: Graduate, Ted Scripps Leadership Institute; vice president, member, Texas State University campus chapter; multiple attendee, volunteer, member of the On The Record Student News Crew, Region 8 conference; alternate delegate, attendee, EIJ 2013 conference; attendee, Zombie Stories, Region 3 conference.

Past work experience: Freelance journalist with The Austin Chronicle, Bobcat Fans magazine, North Central News, San Antonio Current, Hays Free Press, Creative Spotlights; intern with Texas Monthly, The Texas Tribune, Austin American-Statesman, New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung, San Antonio Express-News, The Rivard Report, Community Impact San Marcos/Buda/Kyle, LMG Communications, University News Service and Austin Film Festival; reporter, assistant editor, The University Star, Texas State University; managing editor, senior fiction editor, Persona, Texas State University.

Education: Texas State University, English (secondary teacher certification), mass communication (electronic media), projected: May 2015; Universitas Castellae, Valladolid, Spain, summer 2012; Canterbury Christ Church University, Canterbury, England, summer 2009, spring 2010; Seguin High School, Seguin, Texas, 2004-2008.

Honors, awards and activities: Dean's List, Texas State University; Council of Scholars, Texas State University; recipient, Bess Whitehead Scott Scholarship, 2014; Chips Quinn Scholar, summer 2014; vice president of administration, Student Foundation, Texas State University, 2013-2014; recipient, Stelos Alliance Student Foundation Scholarship, 2014; Third place feature, Texas Intercollegiate Press Association, 2014; Best Podcast, National Pinnacle Award, College Media Association, 2013; SPJ Region 8 Chapter of the Year, 2013; inaugural recipient, Thea Williams Memorial Award for Distinguished Interns, The Austin Chronicle, 2013; recipient, Stuart Long Memorial Journalism Scholarship, 2013; recipient, Shrader Family Scholarship for Journalism, 2013; recipient, William Randolph Hearst Scholarship, 2012; participant, Investigative Reporters and Editors Campus Coverage Project, 2012; recipient, Headliners Foundation Scholarship for Journalism, 2011; recipient, Jim and Adele Moss Scholarship for Journalism, 2011; secretary, treasurer, Byliners, Texas State University, 2011-2013; and participant, Light of Day Project, 2011.

Why I’m seeking this SPJ office: As the sole student representative candidate from Texas, a state that, in some respects, has revolutionized journalism, from content to sales, I want to help spread the revolution by incorporating national SPJ programs that demystify coding, programs that allow for veteran and student journalists to share ideas. The effect of these programs will be twofold: a mentoring opportunity that may lead to job opportunities, or at least a better understanding of Millennials, and a "learn how to fish" mentality that may empower journalists to take risks with their reporting, whether that's creating the next "Snow Fall" or joining a group of hikers up Mount Everest, regardless of funds.

Speaking of funding, I would like to enlist all campus chapters in SPJ fundraising efforts so that no student is discouraged from applying for an EIJ News internship because they can't afford the travel costs. This may be a good way for campus chapters to solicit help from area pro chapters, as well as work together with other campus chapters in their region.

Another way for campus chapters in each region to work together is to create a "program in a box" that can be submitted to the national organization. These programs could then be posted online and/or requested by mail for other national campus chapters to use and provide feedback.

Brett Hall
Campaign video [YouTube]

Current SPJ office: Chapter president, University of Maryland campus chapter.

Current employment: On-air personality, CBS Radio; associate journalist, WNEW-FM.

Previous SPJ experience: Chapter treasurer, University of Maryland campus chapter.

Past work experience: Anchor/reporter, WMAR-TV; On-air personality, WHFC-FM; communications, Johns Hopkins Nursing Magazine; traffic anchor, WXCY-FM.

Education: Broadcast journalism major, Phillip Merrill College of Journalism (expected graduation Spring 2015).

Honors, awards and activities: Sigma Delta Chi DC Pro chapter scholarship; BEA Founders scholarship; SPJ Mark of Excellence Radio News Reporting finalist.

Why I’m seeking this SPJ office: I am seeking the position as student representative on the national board because I believe that if SPJ is going to be relevant in the future, it must start with the future.

As chapter president of one of the largest student chapters in the country, I understand that students want their voices heard. I also understand that they want advice from those wiser than them. As student representative, I will strive to push the education of good journalism to our nation’s chapters. Starting now will ensure a strong presence in the future.

Lauren Whan

Current SPJ office: Treasurer, Lindenwood University campus chapter.

Current employment: Work and Learn Student, Lindenwood University HD TV; KHQA Summer Internship.

Previous SPJ experience: Founder, Lindenwood University campus chapter; organized chapter events: Journalism Lab, First Amendment Free Food Festival; graduate, Ted Scripps Leadership Institute; attendee, Region 7 conference.

Past work experience: Staff writer, Elliot Publishing; cashier/customer service, Menards.

Education: Lindenwood University journalism and mass communications (expected completion: 2016); Central High School, 2012.

Honors, awards and activities: 3.8 GPA; Dean’s List; Lindy Award; 2011 Youth to Washington winner; 2011 FBLA first place in Emerging Business Issues; 2010 Adams County Fair Queen.

Why I’m seeking this SPJ office: I believe that SPJ is the place to inform and inspire journalists to find their career and hobby outlets. As an organization, we can help others find what they are truly passionate about and then turn that into a lifelong commitment to becoming dedicated journalists.

I want to become the student voice and have the opportunity to represent SPJ student chapters coast to coast. As a Midwest girl and coming from the “Show Me State,” I hope to show SPJ what the students want and let them be heard on the national level.

Dylan Bouscher

Current SPJ Position: Student Representative for SPJ Florida

Current employment: Video/writing intern at Lifestyle Media Group

Previous SPJ experience: 2012 Student Liaison to SPJ Florida from SPJ-FAU.

Past work experience: Three years of freelance videography and writing for the New York Daily News, Eye On South Florida, 435 Digital, Lightswitch Productions,, Lifestyle Media Group, South Florida Gay News, and Global Motion Solutions. A summer internship at Sun Sentinel, a top 50, daily newspaper. Editor-in-Chief of FAU's weekly student magazine, University Press.

Education: Florida Atlantic University, B.A., Communication (expected 2015);

Honors, awards and activities: Finalist for Online Pacemaker 2013; First Place for Best Special Issue won for a 10-month, records-driven investigation of FAU Police, Second Place for Best News Story at the SPJ Florida Sunshine State Awards, Third Place for Best Government News Coverage from the Florida Press Club.

Why I’m seeking this SPJ office: To advocate expanding SPJ's use of the legal defense fund for college journalists battling opaque administrations, to organize more free video workshops and programming that train students on the latest mobile apps and cloud-based softwares, and to be a voice for SPJ's tweeting millennials on its Ethics Code revision and other projects the Board will oversee while I serve. Thank you for reading.

Layne Hillesland

Bio coming soon.

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Region 1 Director
Choose one

Ernest Owens

Current SPJ Office: None.

Current Employment: Freelance at, Contributing Writer for The Huffington Post, USA Today

Previous SPJ Experience: Member, EIJ News Reporter

Past Work Experience: WQHS Radio Broadcaster, Daily Pennsylvanian Video Producer/Columnist, UTV 13 Anchor/Producer, Philadelphia City Council Communications Fellow, NBC Universal (NBC Philadelphia Web Content Journalist)

Education: University of Pennsylvania: B.A. in Communication, Concentration: Communication & Public Service

Honors, Awards and Activities: Alpha Phi Omega, Inc. Service Fraternity, Radio Television Digital News Association, National Association of Black Journalists, Columbia Scholastic Press Association Gold Circle Award for Best Personal Opinion (2012), Tribeca Film Festival Award (2014), Writings /Commentary featured in USA Today, The Huffington Post, Al Jazeera English, Oprah Winfrey Network, The Root

Why I’m seeking this SPJ office: As a journalist of color and of LGBT representation, my strong background in covering collegiate news and issues pertaining to race, gender and socioeconomic disparity fuels my passion for running. I am determined to see the organization better incorporate an overall sense of inclusion in membership that reflects this diversity and interest in subject matter as well. As a graduate of the Ivy League, I was the only student from the University of Pennsylvania in recent years be apart of the organization. And as a young adult journalist, I am also one of the few members of color in this demographic as well. If elected, I would love to help increase a more diverse and younger membership base on the East Coast, as well as expand our platform and resources to the Ivies and HBCUs college wise. In addition, I also plan on expanding outreach to various diverse groups and younger graduating members across the East Coast.

Rebecca Baker

Current SPJ Office: Region 1 Director; Deadline Club Advisory Council

Current Employment: Managing Editor, New York Law Journal

Previous SPJ Experience: The Deadline Club: Executive Council Chairwoman (as immediate past president), President, First Vice President, Vice President of Events, Vice President of Awards, Secretary. Connecticut Pro chapter: Secretary.

Past Work Experience: Staff Writer, The Record/ (Bergen County, N.J.); Staff Writer, The Journal News/ (White Plains, N.Y.); Staff Writer, New Haven Register (New Haven, Conn.); Reporter, Tribune Chronicle (Warren, Ohio)

Education: M.S., Journalism, Quinnipiac University; B.A., Communication and Writing, Carlow University

Honors, Awards and Activities: Howard S. Dubin Outstanding Pro Chapter Member 2010-2011; television appearances on American Greed, On the Case with Paula Zahn and Nancy Grace discussing criminal cases; frequent guest speaker on "Crime and Justice with Dan Schorr," a New York-based radio program and podcast.

Why I’m seeking this SPJ office: I'd like to continue the progress that’s been achieved in Region 1 and to serve both the national board and the organization as a whole.

Since joining SPJ in 2000, I’ve worked my way up to become regional director, holding nearly every position on the board of The Deadline Club, SPJ’s largest chapter. My achievements as chapter president were recognized in 2011 with the Howard S. Dubin Award, one of the highest recognitions that SPJ bestows on its members.

My accomplishments in my first term as Region 1 Director include:
— Organizing two sold-out regional conferences.
— Helping to revive student chapters at Penn State University, Long Island University and Marist College and overseeing the start of new campus chapters at St. John’s University and Franklin Pierce University.
— Launching a regional chapter grant program where professional and student chapters can receive up to $500 each quarter from the Region 1 Fund to underwrite events that promote increasing and retaining membership.
— Creating a monthly e-newsletter to inform professional chapter leaders and student chapter advisors of happenings in SPJ and in the industry.
— Advising chapter leaders on ideas to boost membership and encouraging them to partner with diverse journalism groups to host events.
— Promoting SPJ membership at awards ceremonies and other chapter events.

After working for daily newspapers in New York, New Jersey and New England, I know the region, and its journalists, extremely well. With a higher concentration of media outlets than any other area of the country, Region 1 provides journalists with more opportunities—and more competition—than virtually anywhere else. I’ve worked hard to meet the needs of journalists in Region 1 by giving SPJ chapter leaders the support they need to host networking events, professional development programs and awards contests that honor excellence in journalism.

Looking ahead, I’ll continue promoting the values and vision of SPJ by working to increase overall membership by strengthening professional chapters, reviving campus chapters that have become dormant, and finding places where new chapters can take root.

After two years, I know what it takes to do the job of regional director. And I’ve done the job well. I hope I’m allowed to finish what I’ve started and help SPJ in its mission to promote and defend free speech and a free press.

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Region 4 Director
Currently unopposed

Patti Gallagher Newberry

Current SPJ office: Region 4 Director.

Current employment: Senior lecturer, Journalism Program, Dept. of Media, Journalism and Film, Miami University.

Previous SPJ experience: Member since 1980; president of campus chapter, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; president, treasurer, newsletter editor, programming chair, Cincinnati Pro Chapter; adviser, Miami University student chapter.

Past work experience: Fifteen years in newspapers, working mostly as a business journalist for 10 papers in seven states, with newswriting, column writing and editing positions at Crain’s Chicago Business, Cincinnati Enquirer, Indianapolis News and other papers.

Education: Bachelor of arts, journalism, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Honors, awards and activities: Chair, 2013 Region 4 spring conference; organizing committee, 2014 Region 4 spring conference; writer, Fourth Estate (Region 4 blog); attend most national conferences; invited to serve on programming committee for EIJ15.

Why I’m seeking this SPJ office: To celebrate journalism and journalists as the protectors and promoters of a democratic society.

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Region 5 Director
Currently unopposed

Deborah Givens

Current SPJ office: Coordinator, Region 5 Mark of Excellence contest.

Current employment: Assistant professor, journalism, Eastern Kentucky University.

Previous SPJ experience: Adviser, Eastern Kentucky University campus chapter; member, Bluegrass Pro chapter.

Past work experience: Publisher, The Butler County Banner; editor, The Green River Republican.

Education: B.S., Ball State University; M.P.A., Western Kentucky University; Ph.D., University of Kentucky.

Honors, awards and activities: Outstanding Student SPJ Chapter in Region 5 for two of the first years serving as adviser; First Amendment Celebration coordinator, Eastern Kentucky University; Critical Thinking Teacher of the Year, Golden Apple Teaching Award, Leadership Outside the Classroom Award, Eastern Kentucky University; Kentucky Opportunity Fellowship for Doctoral Student, University of Kentucky; Outstanding Graduate Student, Western Kentucky University; Ball State University Outstanding Journalism Alumnus Award; multiple awards for writing, photography and design from Kentucky Press Association; member, Phi Kappa Phi, honor society; member, Kappa Tau Alpha, journalism and mass communication honor society; member, AEJMC, Kentucky Communication Association and International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors.

Why I’m seeking this SPJ office: With a career that has included working as a reporter, editor, publisher, consultant and now teacher and adviser, I am interested in increasing partnerships between our professional and student members and in actively recruiting members. As the challenges to the profession increase on multiple fronts, we must increase our efforts to explain to the public the role of journalism in a democracy, to mentor the next generation of journalists and support working journalists — whether in legacy or new forms of media.

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Region 7 Director
Currently unopposed

Rob McLean

Current employment: Digital Managing Editor, Hearst Television.

Previous SPJ experience: SPJ member since 2010; helped establish Nebraska SPJ chapter; member, SPJ Generation J committee; professional development speaker at regional conferences.

Past work experience: Local editor,; editorial contributor,, Omaha Public Radio, C-VILLE Weekly and other news outlets.

Education: Master of Arts, Journalism, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Bachelor of Arts, English, Creighton University.

Honors, awards and activities: 2014 graduate, Ted Scripps Leadership Institute; member, RTDNA; member, Online News Association.

Why I’m seeking this SPJ office: I am seeking the Region 7 Director position because I want to help strengthen the journalism community in the Midwest. Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa are states filled with talented journalists and students aspiring to news careers. However, those who seek paying journalism opportunities have fewer options than they once did.

As regional director, I want to put editors who have freelance opportunities or are looking to fill roles in the newsrooms in touch with SPJ members. I also want to help encourage journalists at the local leve to continue their education through professional development events. These events, whether at regional or national conferences, or local chapter events, can empower journalists to craft their best work.

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Region 8 Director
Currently unopposed

Eddye Gallagher

Current SPJ Office: Region 8 Direcor

Current Employment: Director of Student Publications, Assistant Professor of Journalism, Adviser of student newspaper at Tarrant County College in the Fort Worth area

Previous SPJ Experience: President of Fort Worth Pro Chapter, vice-president of awards, board member, local committees, national membership committee

Past Work Experience: Assistant News Bureau director, Texas Christian University, free-lance

Education: B.A., Texas Wesleyan University; M.A., University of North Texas

Honors, Awards and Activities:’s 2012 Top 50 Journalism Professors in the nation, Texas Intercollegiate Press Association Adviser of the Year, NISOD Excellence in Teaching Awards, Tarrant County College Chancellor’s Exemplary Teaching Award

Why I’m seeking this SPJ office: Journalists need support and encouragement that they do not always receive from their employers, and I strongly believe SPJ can offer that support. Texas’ and Oklahoma’s chapters have gone through some rebuilding stages, and I would like to help them continue their upward movements. We have been working together , and I think the bonding can become even stronger. [Back to Top]

Region 9 Director
Currently unopposed

Tom Johnson

Current employment: Mgr. Director, Institute for Analytic Journalism (a non-profit focusing on training journalists; researching new digital tools appropriate for journalism); Fulbright Specialist Roster (analytic journalism).

Previous SPJ experience: Member, 40+ years; founding president, Trinity University student chapter: multiple-term board member, NorCal Pro chapter; Quill columnist (technology); national convention organizing committee, 1997; Mark of Excellence judge.

Past work experience: Reporter, Topeka Capitol-Journal; editor, Scientific American; reporter, TIME Magazine; west coast correspondent, Popular Science; start-up editor, MacWEEK; deputy editor, St. Louis Post Dispatch; professor of journalism, San Francisco State University; visiting professor, Columbia University and Boston University.

Education: B.S., journalism, Trinity University; doctoral candidate, American studies, University of Kansas.

Honors, awards and activities: Past board member, public radio station KSFR; member, NM Press Women; Special Achievement in GIS, ESRI International User Conference.

Why I’m seeking this SPJ office: The declining numbers and influence of journalists and institutions of journalism is a tectonic change driven by the onset of the Digital Age. Yet we still need voices demanding and promoting open and democratic government, just as SPJ has always done.

We can meet those challenges simultaneously and vigorously by collaborating with organizations that share our goals for a dynamic, free press and by working to train professional and aspiring journalists about how to survive thrive in this new information ecosystem. As Region 9 Director, I will seek out allies in our four states and work to establish regular training sessions, not only for journalists but for all who seek access to analyze the people’s data and tell the stories that flow from it.

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Region 11 Director
Choose one

Matthew T. Hall

Current SPJ office: Region 11 director, appointed through EIJ14; president, San Diego Pro chapter

Current employment: Public engagement director, U-T San Diego

Previous SPJ experience: Former secretary and vice president, San Diego Pro chapter

Past work experience: Former reporter at The Derry (N.H.) News, The Concord (N.H.) Monitor, The (San Diego) Daily Transcript and U-T San Diego (formerly The San Diego Union-Tribune), where I was also city columnist and public engagement editor

Education: 1994 English/journalism degree, University of New Hampshire; 2005 Western Knight Center fellow at USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism

Honors, awards and activities: Best blog, Society of Professional Journalists - San Diego, 2014; Critic of the year, Society of Professional Journalists - San Diego, 2013; Columnist of the year, San Diego Press Club, 2012, 2013; Investigative/Enterprise story, Society of Professional Journalists - San Diego, 2012; Feature story of the year, Society of Professional Journalists - San Diego, 2011; Union-Tribune Golden Shoe for being the newsroom's fastest male finisher in an 8k road race sponsored by the company, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010.

Why I’m seeking this SPJ office: I see journalism as an industry and an ideal. My job puts me at the vanguard of my newsroom, testing and sharing strategies for the delivery and improvement of journalism, and my San Diego club leadership has me advancing these goals regionally. I want to continue contributing to this conversation nationally, improving journalism training, ethics and truths.

Richard Saxton
Current SPJ office: Board Member, Los Angeles Pro Chapter since 2006.

Current employment: Freelance financial and automotive multimedia and broadcast journalist

Previous SPJ experience: First joined SPJ in 1983 while at KGTV, San Diego. Serving on Los Angeles Pro Chapter Board since 2006 — former SPJLA Secretary, Membership & Scholarship Chair. Current Mixer Event Chair.

Past work experience: 22 years television anchoring in Vancouver (CKVU), San Diego (KGTV) & Los Angeles (FNN - now CNBC, KWHY). Bloomberg Network radio and KFWB News980 business reporter. Chief Editor/Anchor KWHY-TV. Contributing Editor, President CiTR-UBC Radio (two terms).

Education: B.A. (Sociology/Economics), University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.

Honors, awards and activities: Four Golden Mike Awards - Best Newscast KFWB Radio. CanPro Award - Best TV Sportscast. Dean Batchelor Award recognition - best radio automotive reporting. Producer/reporter of on-location business series from Asia, Europe, Canada and Australia.

Why I’m seeking this SPJ office: To utilize my broadcast journalism experience and relationships to speak loudly for the SPJ purpose of enabling journalists to conduct their vitally significant contribution to society. The world is becoming more complex, rebellious and vocal while the delivery of immediate, credible journalism is going through a technological tsunami so it is critical that SPJ helps journalists get orderly, unrestricted access to people and places to ensure that stories get told with professionalism, fairness and clarity.

SPJ must be the leader in defending the First Amendment for freedom of speech and the freedom of the press, and fight to uphold a reporter's privilege to protect sources. SPJ must help young journalists by providing guidance, encouragement and training with a comprehensive understanding of the new age of multimedia digital journalism.

With your vote, I look forward to continuing my service to SPJ by serving on the SPJ National Board..

Deb Krol

Current SPJ Office: Recording Secretary, Valley of the Sun Pro Chapter

Current Employment: Day job: Marketing and Public Relations Director, Heard Museum. Night job: Freelance journalist

Previous SPJ Experience: Valley of the Sun Pro Chapter, Diversity Leadership Program

Past Work Experience: I have more than 15 years' experience as a journalist, covering Indian Country, environmental issues, travel and politics in the West.

Education: Arizona State University, Cellular Biology and minor in Writing

Honors, Awards and Activities: I have nine Tribal Media Awards from the Native American Journalist Association; an Arizona Press Club award; I've served on many boards and volunteer positions; I have been honored with three major fellowships, including UNITY: Journalists for Diversity's five-year Mentor Program; and other awards too numerous to mention.

Why I'm seeking this SPJ office: I understand Region XI and its various issues more deeply than most; my tribe, the Xolon Salinan Tribe, has inhabited the Central California Coast Ranges for more than 10,000 years, which gives me an unparalleled perspective on the West Coast's many issues, including global climate change, rapid changes in population and diversity, governmental resistance to providing open records, intergovernmental relationships, and a host of other concerns unique to Region XI. I've reported on issues vital to the region's first peoples, including California, Arizona, Nevada and Hawaii over the past 15 years and I'm also very familiar with the issues facing journalists who need support in this diverse and fascinating region. Chapters like the Hawaii Pro Chapter, which is very engaged and active, want to feel closer to the national organization, and I can help provide that recognition and linkage. Some of our region's other pro and student chapters are either defunct or in need of extra support. I would give these chapters advice on creating great programs, how-tos on building memberships, fundraising and the like, and finding the people to either restart chapters or build upon existing chapters.

My ties to UNITY: Journalists for Diversity will serve SPJ well, as I wholeheartedly endorse and support SPJ's initiative to forge strategic partnerships with UNITY, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, NAJA and other smaller organizations. These partnerships are the future of not only SPJ but other journalism organizations in our effort to continue to hold government, industry and communities accountable to the public.

I believe strongly in the role of journalism to provide accurate, fair and unbiased information about our world to the public. SPJ can continue to be a strong advocate for unbiased journalism and I would like to be a larger part of that effort.

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