Heather Porter, Programs Coordinator, (317) 927-8000, ext. 204
Beth King, Communications Manager, (317) 927-8000, ext. 211
INDIANAPOLIS – The Society of Professional Journalists is pleased to honor Ashlee Clark with the 2007 Julie Galvan Outstanding Graduate in Journalism Award.
A 2007 graduate of Western Kentucky University, Clark became interested in journalism after participating in three Dow Jones Minority Workshops during the summers between her sophomore and senior years of high school. She earned dual degrees in news editorial and sociology and has completed internships at the Evansville (Ind.) Courier & Press, the Lexington (Ky.) Herald Leader, the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times and the Washington Post. Additionally, Clark served as news editor and editor-in-chief of the College Heights Herald, as president of the Western Kentucky University student chapter of SPJ and as a student representative on SPJ’s national board of directors. Later this month, she will begin work as a reporter at the Lexington (Ky.) Herald News Leader in the Richmond bureau.
“Ashlee displays excellent critical thinking skills, strong written and verbal skills, excellent research skills, works well under pressure and is a superb time manager,” wrote Mac McKerral, a past SPJ national president and the coordinator of the news/editorial unit at Western Kentucky University in his nomination letter. “She is highly organized, time efficient and reliable. She has gained the confidence of faculty and administrators because of her reputation for accurate and thorough work, professionalism and because of her ability to meet tough deadlines.”
According to Pam McAllister Johnson, Clark also possesses superior bargaining skills, which she used when was thrown into a situation where she had to negotiate with the president of the university and with the vice president for institutional development over a story the university expected the newspaper to embargo for no compelling reason.
“Ashlee won,” McAllister Johnson wrote in her nomination letter. “If I were a bettin’ woman, I would bet a million bucks that Ashlee Clark will make a national mark on journalism excellence.”
The Award is named in memory of Julie Galvan, a former president of the SPJ San Jose State University Campus Chapter, who was killed in a car accident while on her way to an internship in 1996. At the close of the college year, each campus chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists selects 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 their SPJ chapter. From this group, the Society’s leadership selects one graduate who is considered most outstanding for national recognition.
Clark will be recognized Friday, Oct. 5 at a luncheon to be hosted at the 2007 SPJ Convention & National Journalism Conference in Washington, D.C. at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill, 400 New Jersey Ave., NW.
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.