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Nominations Committee Chair

Sonny Albarado
Projects Editor
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
121 E. Capitol Ave.
Little Rock, Ark. 72201
Bio (click to expand) As projects editor at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in Little Rock, Sonny Albarado supervises reporters on investigative and explanatory journalism assignments. He holds a bachelor’s degree and an honorary doctor of letters from Nicholls State University, Thibodaux, La.

His journalism career of more than 40 years includes lengthy sojourns in Baton Rouge, La., and Memphis, Tenn. He has been a reporter, an assistant city editor, a business editor (twice), a projects editor (twice), a news editor and a city editor. He also briefly edited a trade magazine dedicated to the coin-operated amusement industry.

He has been involved in the defense of the First Amendment and the free flow of information since his days as editor of his college’s student newspaper. A member of SPJ since 1979, he is a past president of SPJ and a current member of the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation.

All awards he’s received have been the result of good editors when he was a reporter and excellent reporters since he’s been an editor.

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

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

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

Currently unopposed

Rebecca Baker

Current SPJ office: Secretary-Treasurer; member of SPJ's Awards Committee and Membership Representation Task Force; board member of SDX Foundation and Deadline Club Professional Council

Current employment: Managing Editor, New York Law Journal

Previous SPJ experience: Region 1 Director; Regional Director Caucus leader; 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, board member

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

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

Honors, awards and activities: Howard S. Dubin Outstanding Pro Chapter Member 2010-2011

Why I’m seeking this SPJ office: Why I’m seeking this SPJ office: I want to work with the board and other SPJ leaders to help make SPJ the group that journalists turn to when they need help with their careers. We can accomplish this by continuing the work that we have started in creating a “Life Cycle” of services to journalists at every stage of their career, from student to retiree. I also want to continue and strengthen SPJ’s advocacy work in Freedom of Information and media access, as journalists increasingly are coming under attack. Finally, I’d like SPJ to become a leader in news literacy, teaching the public the difference between well-sourced, well-researched and fair news stories compared to opinion and stories with an agenda.

Since joining SPJ in 2000, I’ve worked my way to being a national officer. My accomplishments as a regional director include:

— Organizing two sold-out regional conferences.
— 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 an 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.
— Helping to revive student chapters and overseeing the start of new campus chapters
— Promoting SPJ membership at awards ceremonies and other chapter events.

As secretary-treasurer, I’ve chaired SPJ’s finance committee, voted for SPJ to join several amicus briefs defending free speech and press rights, and offered advice and counsel to other SPJ leaders and members.

As president-elect, I would work with President Lynn Walsh to strengthen SPJ and make the organization more relevant both to journalists and to non-journalists who want to learn about journalism ethics, open records laws and First Amendment rights.

My greatest wish is to do whatever I can to assist SPJ in its mission to defend free speech and promote a free press.

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Currently unopposed

Alex Tarquinio

Current SPJ office: At-large Director, SPJ national board; Chairwoman, SPJ Membership Representation Task Force; Advisory Council Member, New York Deadline Club; Chairwoman, New York Journalism Hall of Fame.

Current employment: Special Issues Editor, The Real Deal.

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

Past work experience: Senior Digital Editor, Time Inc.; 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, The Wall Street Journal, 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: Recipient, Howard S. Dubin Outstanding Pro Member Award; President of chapter awarded the National Outstanding Large Professional Chapter Award and the Circle of Excellence Award for Professional Development and Education; Graduate, Ted Scripps Leadership Institute; Journalism Fellow, the German Marshall Fund of the United States; Recipient, University of California President’s Undergraduate Fellowship.

Why I’m seeking this SPJ office: Our society stands at a crossroads. Lately, the national board has been holding fruitful discussions on how to better involve all SPJ members, as well as ways to attract a new and diverse membership, and the means by which we can educate citizens on how important journalists are in keeping our democracy free and informed.

As a member of the final Project Watchdog committee, I welcome the current interest in reviving a system to engage in this public discussion. Regarding the Membership Representation Task Force, which I chaired at the invitation of President Paul Fletcher, I sincerely believe we have finally hit upon a process by which members, despite their being unaffiliated with any local chapter, can still be involved at the national level. In this respect, I hope the convention will support our proposal to create regional delegates.

In the role of the secretary/treasurer, my experience serving on the national board, on national committees and leading the society’s largest chapter through a period of fundamental change would serve as my guide. I look forward to meeting with as many of you as possible in New Orleans to discuss how we can keep moving our society and our profession forward.

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At-Large Director
Choose one

Rachel Wedding McClelland

Current SPJ office: East Tennessee Pro Chapter President, 2015-2017; Region 12 Treasurer

Current employment: Director of Student Media, University of Tennessee Knoxville

Previous SPJ experience: East Tennessee Pro Chapter Vice President 2015-2016; Mark of Excellence Awards judge since 2009

Past work experience: Director of Student Media, Journalism Adjunct Professor, Assistant Director of Media Relations, Indiana State University, 2007-2014; Reporter, Terre Haute Tribune Star Newspaper, 1993-1999; Associated Press stringer, 1997-2014.

Education: MA, English, 2008; BS Journalism, 1992, Indiana State University

Honors, awards and activities: College Media Association Vice President of Member Services, 2015-present; CMA conference technology coordinator 2013-2015; CMA excellence in college newspaper advising award 2013

Why I’m seeking this SPJ office: Too many professional journalism organizations are floundering, adjusting, trying to discern next steps while generally battling a loss of relevance. Some of us are afraid to challenge the status quo, clinging to programming that’s been offered for years and failing to respond to the challenges of an evolving profession and the needs of practitioners who must continually adapt and learn new skills.

I’m concerned, too, about the unethical practices of so-called journalism organizations that have muddied the waters of our profession. It seems to me, SPJ can answer all of these issues through continued and expanded education efforts. SPJ is the definitive voice of journalism ethics and freedom of information. That role should not change. But looking forward, we should be employing new methods for supporting news professionals in their roles and devising tools that can help journalists improve their performance. That’s where I believe I can make a difference for our organization and where I would focus my efforts at the national level.

Jason Parsley

Current SPJ office: Membership Chair of SPJ Florida

Current employment: Executive Editor of South Florida Gay News

Previous SPJ experience: Served as President, Treasurer, and director of SPJ Florida.

Past work experience: Reporter

Education: Bachelor’s Degree from Florida Atlantic University

Honors, awards and activities: As President of SPJ Florida my chapter won Chapter of the Year. Many of the initiatives I spearheaded helped us achieve that goal, including my focus on diversity where we partnered with groups such as the SFBJA, NAHJ, AAJA, NAJA, and NLGJA on mixers and even a local convention. I also added a Spanish Language division to our annual awards contest in partnership with NAHJ. We also added an award for diversity and minority reporting. Over the years I’ve helped develop and nurture those relationships and we’ve been able to bring those groups on board for other programs.

Under my leadership I was able to stop the bleeding of our awards contest. I’ve increased revenues and entries, partly due to my intensive promotions via social media including Twitter, Facebook, e-blasts, emails etc. I also expanded the awards contest by opening it up to journalists from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, two areas that have no SPJ representation. Still being in charge of the contest I have further expansion plans and have other partnerships in mind.

The First Amendment was also important during my tenure. We launched a monthly First Amendment chat online with Florida’s First Amendment Foundation. We added a First Amendment award to our annual contest. We also partnered with Free Speech Week and sponsored several First Amendment Free Food Festivals.

Digital was also an important component of my term. We redesigned our website, added a new logo and appointed a social media manager. I also launched several online programs.

During my presidency I developed and nurtured relationships with our student chapters, which included adding a student from each one to our board.

Why I’m seeking this SPJ office: SPJ is the largest journalist organization in the country. But our membership is declining and so my focus, if elected, will be on membership. This past year I served on the SPJ supporter task force, which led to a new member category. I also served as membership chair of my chapter and made it a priority to engage the unaffiliated list and move as many of them as I could to our roster so they would have representation. When I realized Puerto Rico and the USVI were not listed under any region online I made sure get to that changed. I also added those territories to our awards contest. During my term as president I launched the “no journalist left behind” initiative expanding our territory to include all areas in Florida, not serviced by another chapter, in order to make sure that all journalists in the state had SPJ representation. I have a proven track record of success here in Florida and I am ready to take my determination and tenacity to the national level.

Elle Toussi

Current SPJ office: co-chair of SPJ International Community

Current employment: Freelance and Founder of In One Minute

Previous SPJ experience: co-chair of SPJ International Community 2015 - present

Past work experience: National Geographic Channels, Screen International, CBS Local, Examiner

Education: Bachelor's Degree in International Relations, University of California, Irvine; Journalism, University of California, Los Angeles; Social Impact Leadership, Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley.

Honors, awards and activities: SPJ Member of the Month (April 2016)

Why I’m seeking this SPJ office: In a recent interview, I asked a veteran freelance journalist what the future of journalism looks like in the next couple of years. The response embraced the mixture of tradition and technology. As these changes come to play, I would like to explore opportunities for SPJ and its members to take on this evolving industry. I am deeply fascinated and invested to continue my efforts to grow and strengthen the International Community.

SPJ is the foundation in journalism that fights for what is right in journalism. If elected as the Director-at-Large, I will dedicate the time and effort necessary to continue these efforts of the SPJ to provide the community and its members with unique opportunities and support necessary to continue their work in journalism.

Alex Veeneman

Current SPJ office: Community Coordinator, December 2014-present; contributing SPJ blogger (January 2015-present)

Current employment: Editor and writer, Kettle Magazine (2012-present)

Previous SPJ experience: Chairman, SPJ Digital community (July 2014-March 2015); Volunteer judge, Sigma Delta Chi Awards (2014 and 2015); Quill contributor (November/December 2015 issue)

Past work experience: Editor and writer, The Flyer, Lewis University (2011-14); Intern/editor, Uloop Student News Network (2012 — pieces published in The Huffington Post)

Education: Bachelor of Arts, Print Journalism and Multimedia Journalism, Lewis University (2014)

Honors, awards and activities: Member of the Month, January 2015

Why I’m seeking this SPJ office: This industry is having an ongoing conversation about its future. SPJ has a unique role in this conversation and debate, as well as help those who are adjusting in this evolving industry, whether a student or professional member.

Yet, at the same time, SPJ is also having an ongoing conversation about its own future and how it can adapt. I am at the helm of one of the most unique aspects of SPJ’s future, our growing network of communities, and the core of the mission of these communities are goals that have been crucial to SPJ’s mission — education and ideas.

All of our members deserve our support and the ability to engage with us about the future. After all, we do this work for the thousands of members who put their trust in us. As At-Large Director, I will continue that mission and ensure all voices are heard, and everyone can reach their utmost potential.

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Campus Adviser At-Large
Choose one

Chris Delboni

Current SPJ office: Co-adviser Florida Atlantic University chapter.

Current employment: Journalism educator and Miami columnist for a major newspaper in Brazil, O Estado de S. Paulo.

Previous SPJ experience: Florida International University chapter adviser — 2012-2016. Responsible for revamping the chapter, three times awarded Outstanding Campus Chapter Award for Region III since then and currently running again for national Chapter of the Year.

Past work experience: First South Florida News Service News Director and FIU instructor — 2009 — 2016. Brazilian foreign correspondent in Washington, D.C., 1994-2005. Journalism lecturer University of Miami — 2007-2009.

Education: American University, Washington, D.C.: 1992 - B.A. Journalism; 2003 - M.A. Journalism and Public affairs, Online Journalism.

Honors, awards and activities: Society of Professional Journalists David L. Eshelman Outstanding Campus Adviser Award - 2014; SPJ Mark of Excellence - Best Online Independent Student Website — 2012; Brazilian Press Award: Direto de Miami - Best regional column — 2013; Prêmio Abril (respected journalism award in Brazil) - Super Interessante magazine — 1995.

Why I’m seeking this SPJ office: Since I became faculty adviser and helped revamp FIU’s chapter in 2012, I have seen first hand the importance of engaging students with SPJ activities and how that changed the lives of so many, who, through that experience, developed strong leadership skills, a sense of responsibility and a new passion for journalism. I would like the opportunity to advise students on a larger and national scale and believe this position will allow me to do just that.

Leticia Lee Steffen

Current SPJ office: SPJ national Journalism Education Committee (since October 2011)

Current employment: Department chairwoman/professor, Colorado State University-Pueblo department of mass communications; freelance writer

Previous SPJ experience: Education Outreach Committee chair, Colorado Pro chapter, 2010-2014; secretary, Colorado Pro chapter, 2008-2010 and 2013-2014; member, Education Committee, Colorado Pro chapter, 2008-present

Past work experience: Part-time instructor, Community College of Aurora (Colorado), 1993-1999; editor in chief, news/entertainment, InfoBeat (Denver, Colorado), 1996-1997; stringer, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 1990-1991; stringer, Suburban Journals of St. Louis, 1989-1990

Education: Bachelor’s degree, communication (journalism emphasis) and history, Saint Louis University, 1991; master’s degree, mass communications/journalism studies, University of Denver, 1993

Honors, awards and activities: First place, health: general reporting, Top of the Rockies Excellence in Journalism Awards (2016); second place, feature story, Colorado Press Women Communications Contest (2015); Ted Scripps Leadership Institute graduate (2013); first place, news feature, Top of the Rockies awards (2013); first place, feature writing, Top of the Rockies awards (2012); fellow, American Society of Newspaper Editors Institute for Journalism Excellence (2006)

Why I’m seeking this SPJ office: During my past 12 years in the mass communications department at Colorado State University-Pueblo, I have experienced first-hand the challenges student journalists and their advisers face in maintaining journalistic integrity in light of university administrators’ failure to understand the important, independent role of student journalism. As the Campus Adviser At-Large, I want to ensure that the SPJ Board acknowledges campus and, especially, student impact as the Board makes decisions and considers policies. [Back to Top]

Student Representative
Choose two

Emily Bloch

Current SPJ office: Member, SPJ Florida Pro; president, SPJ Florida Atlantic University

Current employment: Senior editor, FAU University Press; contributor, Broward New Times; freelance reporter, RockSound Magazine, Lifestyle Magazine; blogger, SunFest music festival

Previous SPJ experience: Organizer, First Amendment Free Food Festival, 2013; winner, Death Race, obituary writing contest, 2014; host, Zombie Stories and Midnight Snack, College Media Association SDX funded events, 2015; Twitter account manager, SPJ Airplay account, 2015

Past work experience: Editor-in-chief, two terms, University Press, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida, 2015-2016; social media coordinator,, Sunrise, Florida, 2014-2015; social media coordinator, Consolidated Credit, Sunrise, Florida, 2014-2015

Education: Expected to graduate from Florida Atlantic University with a bachelor’s degree in Multimedia Journalism in spring 2017

Honors, awards and activities: Green Eyeshade Awards, Best Columnist, second place, 2016; Palm Beach Post, James M. Cox Jr. scholarship recipient, 2015; Mark of Excellence Awards, second place regional, Online Feature Reporting (large university), 2013

Why I’m seeking this SPJ office: In my time involved with SPJ, I’ve run and organized, participated in and won events like Zombie Stories, First Amendment Free Food Festival and Death Race.

These events were funded by SDX and their hands-on approach have taught me more than a classroom ever could.

Because of them, I’ve been able to jump into situations that could make others my age feel uncomfortable — like getting plagiarized by a professional outlet, having newspapers stolen or a battle with school administration over opening a closed meeting.

As student representative, I want to not only hold more of these events, but show other SPJ student members how to run their own. That’s how we’ll learn. Not from sitting and being lectured at — we do enough of that in classrooms.

With events like these, SPJ student chapters will grow, but so will their members. I’m the case-in-point that they work.

Maggie Gottlieb

Current SPJ office: Immediate Past President, University of Maryland SPJ

Current employment: Summer Intern, Cox Media Group Washington News Bureau

Previous SPJ experience: President, University of Maryland SPJ, 2015-2016; Vice President, University of Maryland SPJ, 2014-2015; Social Media Editor, University of Maryland SPJ, 2013-2014

Past work experience: Internships at Studio Say So Video Productions, NBC’s “Meet the Press,” CNN Newsource, WUSA9’s Investigative Unit and, currently, Cox Media Group Washington; Office Aide with UMD’s Resident Life and the Merrill College Equipment Desk

Education: Seeking a Bachelor’s in Broadcast Journalism, Philip Merrill College of Journalism, UMD 2017

Honors, awards and activities: Outstanding Campus Chapter of the Year, 2014-2015

Why I’m seeking this SPJ office: The number one pressure of most journalism students is getting a job after graduation. As a rising senior at the University of Maryland, not only do I know this pressure first hand, but I also know how vital it is that students are equipped with the knowledge, skills, passion and support they need to succeed. SPJ has provided me with these things, and so much more, throughout my time as a member.

As Student Representative, I will find ways SPJ can help students ease the pressure of getting a job, by helping them get internships and connecting student chapters to one another and their local pro chapter. My passion for SPJ’s principles is what motivates me to pursue this career and it would be an absolute honor to give back. #VoteForGottlieb!

Jessica Hice

Current SPJ office: President of the California State University, Sacramento chapter

Current employment: Sacramento Bee reporter (intern), January 2016-Present; California State University, Sacramento dining office assistant, August 2015-Present

Previous SPJ experience: Past CSUS SPJ chapter treasurer (May 2015-May 2016), current national SPJ member (May 2015-Present) and SPJ chapter president (May 2016). Attended SPJ West Region 11 Conference in Arizona, 2016

Past work experience: USPS postal worker, May 2013-January 2014; Petsmart Supervisor, July 2009-February 2011

Education: Currently working towards my B.S. in journalism and minor in studio art at CSUS. Expected graduation date: May 2017 GPA: 3.67

Attended UC Berkeley summer sessions at the UC Center in Sacramento- public affairs reporting course (covered news from the Capitol with AG Block and Rob Gunnison.)

Honors, awards and activities: 2015 Sacramento Press Club scholar, 2016 Sacramento Press Club scholar

Why I’m seeking this SPJ office: Journalism is my passion! Since I have joined my SPJ chapter and the national organization, I have learned so much about ethics, reporting and networking. I have met so many professionals that have taken me under their wing and supported me. The greatest journey I have been on is pursuing journalism and I would like to learn more and inspire others. A journalist once told me, “When a journalist shows you the ropes and helps you, do the same for someone else. Pass it along.” The best thing we can pass down to those we care about is wisdom and kindness.

As student rep, I will do just that.

Keem O. Muhammad

Current SPJ office: N/A (Student Member)

Current employment: Consultant, AP; Global Editorial Director, Equality for HER, Washington, DC/New York, New York

Previous SPJ experience: N/A (Student Member)

Past work experience: Louisiana Election Stringer, AP, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 2015-2016; Editor-in-Chief, LSU LEGACY Magazine, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 2015-2016

Education: Senior majoring in performance studies, NYU Tisch School of the Arts, New York, New York, 2016; Attended Louisiana State University for English (Creative Writing), Baton Rouge, LA, 2010-2015

Honors, awards and activities: Matt Clark Award for Poetry, LSU, 2015-2016; Dean's List, LSU, 2014-2015; Black Scholar Award, LSU, 2010-2011, 2014-2015; Social Media Director, NO SHOW Comedy, Baton Rouge Louisiana, 2016-Present

Why I’m seeking this SPJ office: I remember selling newspapers as a kid in St. Louis during summers with my father and older brother. My dad made sure we knew how important it was for the people to have access to information, so the news mattered to me from a young age.

Journalistic media is perhaps an American's most effective form of communication in today's society. I joined the SPJ because it has proven itself a leader in the fight to protect and exercise our first amendment rights. To many, active and unbiased inclusivity is an integral part of 21st-century journalism. Who reports information is just as important as its accessibility.

Growing up, my Nana told me "always mind your momma, keep your head in them books and leave places better than you found them." It's arguably the best advice I've ever received. I see my Nana's advice shine through strong journalism: always uphold ethics, stick to the facts and compellingly tell the truth. It is my goal to help give these tools to every millennial American.

I intend to help charter an SPJ NYU chapter and become a Student Representative during fall 2016 to continue helping marginalized millennial voices find their platform in journalistic media.

Katherine Rosenhammer

Current SPJ office: N/A Second year Member

Current employment: Self Employed, Full-time college student, Career volunteer

Previous SPJ experience: Second year member and local Ambassador volunteer for AfterDeadline

Past work experience: Employed in the corporate world until 2008, Ambassador, Regional Director, and Executive Board member for various national nonprofit organizations.

Education: Bachelor's degree in Journalism and Mass Communications and English, Ashford University graduation date November 2018.

Honors, awards and activities: Golden Key International Honor Society, Alpha Sigma Lambda Honor Society, Delta Alpha Pi Honor Society, Dean’s List, Catholic Charities Volunteer of the Year 2010

Why I’m seeking this SPJ office: I am seeking the Student Representative position further to spread the awareness of SPJ and all the benefits that the organization has to offer. Student Representative would be the first position that I would hold within SPJ and a good starting point for the future.

As a non-traditional adult college student, I know the importance of connecting with like minds and how organizations such as SPJ can enhance not only the learning process but the networking is invaluable.

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Region 1 Director
Currently unopposed

Jane Primerano

Current SPJ office: Acting Region 1 Director

Current employment: Freelance, specializing in agriculture and agri-business, since 2011

Previous SPJ experience: Member since 1983. Member of the NJPro Board since 2005. Worked on the 2006 Region 1 Regional Conference. Delegate to EiJ from 2011 through 2015. NJPro Chapter Treasurer 2008-2009, Vice President, 2009-2011, President 2011-2014.

Past work experience: Editor, Morris Township-Morris Plain Patch, 2010; Editor for Straus News, Chester, NY, 2006 — 2010. Prior to that, reporter and photographer for Dorf Features Service (The Star-Ledger), Mountainside, NJ; The Express, Easton, Pa.; The Daily Record, Morristown, NJ; The Star-Gazette, Hackettstown, NJ.

Education: Bachelor’s degree English/Secondary Education, Wagner College, Staten Island, NY; continuing education in graphic design, Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Arts, Dover, NJ.

Honors, awards and activities: 2001 Golden Quill Award for service to the Garden State Scholastic Press Association; 2003 New Jersey Press Women Communicator of Achievement; various awards from NJPro, NJPW, New Jersey Press Association and National Association of Advertising Publishers for writing and photography. I was involved in NJPW, including chapter president from 2001-2003. The chapter folded in 2010 and I am now a member of the Pennsylvania affiliate of National Federation of Press Women.

Why I’m seeking this SPJ office: I am seeking the office of Region 1 Director because I want to finish things I have been working on since I was appointed in November. Specifically, I want to work with our two pending college chapters, Long Island University/Brooklyn and Kean University in New Jersey and assist a small, but enthusiastic, group of Philadelphia-area journalism in reviving the chapter there. I also want to continue to work with the Deadline Club on the 2017 Regional Conference in Manhattan. I feel it would be unwise to change RDs when the regional is in New York City.

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Region 4 Director
Currently unopposed

Patricia Gallagher Newberry

Current SPJ office: Board member, Sigma Delta Chi, fall 2015-present; Region 4 director and SPJ national board member, fall 2013-present; campus adviser, Miami (of Ohio) University SPJ Chapter, fall 2000-present.

Current employment: Senior lecturer and coordinator of special events and internships, Miami (of Ohio) University Journalism Program, 1997-present.

Previous SPJ experience: Co-chair, joint Region 4/5 spring conferences, 1990, 2005, 2016; co-chair, Region 4 spring conference, 2014; programming chair, joint Region 4/5 spring conference, president, vice president of programming, treasurer, newsletter editor, board member, Queen City (Cincinnati) SPJ, 1986-1994; president, treasurer, board member, University of Nebraska-Lincoln chapter, 1980-83. Also serve as annual judge for multiple journalism contests hosted by SPJ and SDX.

Past work experience: Freelancer, Cincinnati Enquirer and Cincinnati magazine, 1997-present; business reporter and editor, Fort Collins Coloradoan, Indianapolis News, Cincinnati Enquirer, Crain’s Chicago Business, 1983-1994; news intern, North Platte Telegraph, Omaha World-Herald, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Lincoln Journal, 1980-1983.

Education: Bachelor of arts in journalism, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 1983.

Honors, awards and activities: Region 4 Campus Chapter of the Year, 2003.

Why I’m seeking this SPJ office: 1. SPJ remains one of the best advocates for journalism and journalists in the country. Increasingly, when the industry and its foot soldiers are under attack, it is SPJ that comes to their defense. Whether with lobbying, legal support or public statements, the Society is a stalwart in defense of First Amendment rights and ethical journalism.

2. SPJ remains one of the best supporters of journalism training. With its regional conferences, Scripps Leadership sessions and national convention, the Society provides up-to-the-minute how-to sessions on journalism, with a heavy dose of “how I did that” inspiration. I want to remain on the SPJ board to advance and support these two vital efforts to protect and promote the journalism that is critical to our democracy.

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Region 5 Director
Currently unopposed

Michele Day

Current SPJ office: Faculty Adviser, Northern Kentucky University SPJ chapter

Current employment: Student Media Adviser/Lecturer at Northern Kentucky University (2012-present)

Previous SPJ experience: 2015 SPJ National Resolutions Committee member; Region 5 coordinator for Mark of Excellence Awards (2014-2015); Planning committee member for Region 5 conferences 2015-2016.

Past work experience: Communication Department journalism lecturer/instructor at Northern Kentucky University (2001-2012); freelance writer/editor (2001-2008); associate editor, assistant managing editor, night city editor, reporter at Cincinnati/Kentucky Post (1984-2001)

Education: Bachelor’s in journalism, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, Ky.; master’s in communication, Northern Kentucky University, Highland Heights, Ky.

Honors, awards and activities: Northern Kentucky University Faculty/Staff Strongest Influence Award, presented by the NKU Alumni Association (2016)

Why I’m seeking this SPJ office: When I became adviser for our campus SPJ chapter, we had no idea where to start. Then Region 5 Director Liz Hansen brought her students to NKU, giving us the boost we needed to survive. Since then, our chapter has developed a strong partnership with the Cincinnati Pro SPJ chapter that has brought more than 100 media professionals to campus to meet with more than 1,200 students and faculty on topics ranging from ethical considerations in reporting on heroin to legal challenges of covering police shootings to innovative uses of technology in journalism. In addition, we’ve networked with and learned from journalists and educators around the country through SPJ programs. As regional director, I would like to help other chapters build and expand the connections and resources available through SPJ. As a student media adviser, I’m also interested in SPJ’s roles supporting the First Amendment and fighting against student press censorship.

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Region 7 Director
Currently unopposed

Kari Williams

Current SPJ office: None

Current employment: Editorial Associate at VFW Magazine & Contributor at SLAM! Wrestling

Previous SPJ experience: St. Louis Pro Chapter University liaison (March 2013-May 2014); Mark of Excellence awards judge; Sigma Delta Chi awards judge; Region 7 Mark of Excellence Awards coordinator (2015); SPJ Reporters Institute graduate; SPJ Ted Scripps Leadership Institute graduate

Past work experience: Copy Editor, Telegraph Herald, Dubuque, Iowa, 2014-2016; Music Columnist,, St. Louis, Mo., 2011-2014; Reporter, Call Publishing, St. Louis, Mo., 2011-2014; Editorial Assistant, Town & Style Magazine, St. Louis, Mo., 2012-2013

Education: B.A. in Mass Communications: Print & Electronic Media, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (2011); Master of Science in Mass Communications, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (2014)

Honors, awards and activities: John Rider Graduate Achievement Award (2014, SIUE); AEJMC Graduate Student Paper Presenter, International Communication Division (2015); Missouri Better Newspaper Contest: Honorable Mention, Best News or Features Story, Weeklies Class 3 (with Executive Editor)

Why I’m seeking this SPJ office: I believe that SPJ is for the journalism industry, and that it’s important to foster relationships with journalists of all levels — especially the collegiate level. I would like to see the ties between student and professional chapters grow even stronger. As SPJ Region 7 Director, I would push for joint-programming to bridge that gap.

Additionally, it’s important to create rapport within the communities we cover. Hosting events that have a broader appeal can help dispel the mistrust that every journalist has endured at one time or another. The more visible SPJ is and the more approachable we appear, the easier it will be to build up what has for so long been broken.

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Region 8 Director
Currently unopposed

Eddye Gallagher

Current SPJ office: Region 8 Director, member of finance committee

Current employment: Director of Student Publications, Assistant Professor of Journalism, Adviser of student newspaper

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: College Media Association 2014 Distinguished Two-Year Newspaper Adviser of the Year’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 they do not always receive from their employers, and I strongly believe SPJ offers such support. Texas’ and Oklahoma’s chapters are continuing their upward movements. We have been working together, and I believe the bonding will remain and strengthen as we grow more local and national leaders.

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Region 9 Director
Currently unopposed

Ed Otte

Current SPJ office: President, Colorado Pro Chapter.

Current employment: Retired.

Previous SPJ experience: Elected to Colorado chapter board in 2011. Served as membership and programming chairs. Elected president-elect in 2013. Two-year term as president ends in July. Organized 2015 Region 9 conference in Denver. SPJ member since 1989.

Past work experience: Retired in August 2010 after serving 15 years as executive director of the Colorado Press Association. Greeley Tribune, Greeley, CO. 1980-1995; editor 1990-1995 after working as city editor and editorial page editor. Prior to that, worked at newspapers in Alamosa, Colorado Springs and Grand Junction (Colorado), New Mexico and Texas.

Education: Adams State College (now University), Alamosa, CO.

Honors, awards and activities: In 2004, the Colorado High School Press Assocation (now Colorado Student Media Association) gave Otte its Friend of Scholastic Journalism award "in appreciation of his work to improve journalism education." On Aug. 26, 2010, the governor signed a proclamation declaring the date Ed Otte Day in Colorado, citing his journalism accomplishments. In February 2011, received the CPA Friend of the First Award "in recognition of his commitment to a free press and the public's right to know." Adjunct journalism faculty at Colorado State University (1991-1995), served on journalism advisory boards at Metro State College-Denver (now University), University of Colorado-Boulder and currently at Community College of Denver. Served as president of Colorado Associated Press Editors & Reporters in 1992 and on the CPA board of directors (1993-95).

Why I’m seeking this SPJ office: The headquarters staff in Indianapolis is very good and always helpful but the strength of SPJ is at the grassroots level with the state and campus chapters. That's where the regional director can work with the chapters on projects and issues, and with the national board on key SPJ responsibilities.

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