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Home > SPJ News > SPJ honors Tara Puckey with Outstanding Graduate in Journalism Award

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SPJ honors Tara Puckey with Outstanding Graduate in Journalism Award



For Immediate Release

Lauren Rochester, SPJ Awards Coordinator, (317) 927-8000 ext. 210,
Abby Henkel, SPJ Communications Coordinator, (317) 927-8000 ext. 215,

INDIANAPOLIS – The Society of Professional Journalists is pleased to honor Tara Puckey with the Julie Galvan Outstanding Graduate in Journalism Award, given to the most deserving journalism student among SPJ’s college campus chapters.

Puckey, a journalism major and business minor from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, has accomplished impressive goals as a student. In addition to maintaining a 3.7 grade point average and a spot on the dean’s list, Puckey founded and leads the IUPUI campus chapter of SPJ, works as a freelance journalist and raises two children while her husband is on military deployment.

Professors, colleagues and supervisors praise Puckey for her leadership skills, “legendary” commitment to school and family, and high ethical standards in journalism. Ambition has propelled her in “pushing the boundaries of learning,” leading her to receive national and collegiate awards in everything from academic achievement to feature writing.

Puckey has demonstrated commitment to the field by serving as campus chapter president and twice as student member of the national SPJ board of directors. She is also an active member of the Women’s Press Club of Indiana, the Association for Women in Communications and the Overseas Press Club of IUPUI.

In response to receiving the award, Puckey said, “It’s really important to me to be recognized through SPJ. A lot of what I’ve been doing has been through SPJ, and with the people I’ve met through SPJ that I can now call friends.”

She will be honored Sept. 26 during the Excellence in Journalism 2011 conference in New Orleans, hosted by SPJ and the Radio Television Digital News Association.

The award is named for Julie Galvan, a former president of the SPJ San Jose State University Campus Chapter who was killed in a car accident in 1996 while on her way to an internship. Each year, campus chapters select one graduate in journalism who is outstanding in his or her class on the basis of character, community service, scholarship, proficiency in practical journalism and significant contributions to the chapter. From this group, SPJ national leadership selects one graduate who is considered most outstanding for national recognition. Click here for a list of past winners.

Founded in 1909 as Sigma Delta Chi, SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to a well-informed citizenry; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and protects First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. For more information on SPJ, please visit


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Society of Professional Journalists
Eugene S. Pulliam National Journalism Center
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