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Robyn Davis Sekula is President of the Louisville Pro Chapter of SPJ. She is a Twitter addict, iPhone-a-holic, writer, speaker and social media consultant. She has spoken frequently at regional SPJ conferences and in 2012 at the national Excellence in Journalism Conference. She spent most of her pre-freelance career as a newspaper reporter, working as a crime and courts reporter in North Carolina, a business editor in Missouri and as a reporter at Business First in Louisville, Ky. She primarily consults with organizations and business in public relations, communications plans and social media strategy. You can find her web site at robyndavissekula.com, follow her on Twitter, friend her on Facebook, add her on Instagram, and, of course, add her on Yo (user name itsRobynwithay).

Home > Become an SPJ Member > Why Join SPJ? > Why I’m a Member > 2012 Ted Scripps Leadership Institute Participants

Why I’m a Member
2012 Ted Scripps Leadership Institute Participants



“I’ve been thinking about everything I learned, poring over the binder and thinking about the great folks I met, ever since I pulled away from underground garage at University Place. It was like getting a great halftime pep talk from Vince Lombardi. Now you’ve turned us back out onto the playing field, and just want to gnaw off big chunks of ideas.

It’s both invigorating and empowering to spend the weekend with the kind of peers who attend an event like this; the kind of peers who go the extra mile to raise their games and share freely their ideas in the joy of helping like minds.

Anyway — big kudos. I hope I can apply one-eighth of what I learned.”

— Eric Lyttle, Central Ohio Pro


“I learned so much, and I'm so excited to take all my new ideas back to my chapter. I was inspired by the other participants and the speakers, and I know I know myself and my leadership style better after this workshop. I know it had to be a ton of work to plan, but I am so thankful to have had this experience.”

— Meg Wagner, University of Florida


“My four small weeklies cover corrupt governments and sprawling communities, and we're doing it with an inexperienced staff that is paid poorly and often overwhelmed by the scope of our mission. SPJ membership provides me the support I need to motivate the staff and keep myself energized and focused. And it also helps me train the college students who become my future employees. At a time when journalism has become a very tough row to hoe, SPJ is helping me plow through these difficult times.”

— Doug Bell, Colorado Pro Chapter


“Writing has been always been my passion. SPJ provided me with opportunities to meet people in the media, who love what they do. SPJ helps me connect with like minded people in my field, besides providing professional networking opportunities.”

— Cheryl D'Mello, Cleveland Pro Chapter


“When I first heard about SPJ, I knew I couldn't pass up a resource this useful. The opportunity to develop my skills and network with other passionate journalists has been invaluable.”

— Lani Furbank, James Madison University


“The Society of Professional Journalists has offered me many networking opportunities and provides me with an ethical standard of support to work by. Through SPJ I have had the opportunity to connect with other journalists in my region and spread the importance of the First Amendment at EKU through programming.”

— Kristie Hamon, Eastern Kentucky University


I joined the local SPJ chapter because I was new to the northwest Arkansas area. Some coworkers liked the social hours. Beyond local networking opportunities, I've recognized SPJ brings the potential for solid training opportunities to fellow journalist. Better trained journalist in the area brings better news coverage and better competition. Now as a new member to the national organization, I'm very much looking forward to learning about even more opportunities to grow our craft and share our successes and challenges with other.”

— Tony Hernandez, Northwest Arkansas Pro


“I'm a member because I believe in standing up for a strong free press, and that's precisely what the Society of Professional Journalists does nationally and on the local level. The fellowship and learning with fellow journalists from all fields and experiences is also invaluable.”

— Pat Kane, Virginia Pro Chapter


I am a member of the Society of Professional Journalists because I want to be a better journalist. This is an opportunity to learn more and to share some of that information with others. The best part is that I get to work with people I would have never met.”

— Linda Chesney Kaut, Kansas City Press Club


“From the workshops to the guest speakers, my first year at Ithaca College was perfected through my membership and participation in the SPJ organization. I am a member of SPJ because I am passionate about journalism and want to be around other professionals who feel the same.”

— Candace King, Ithaca College


“I joined the Society of Professional Journalists in the belief that an open exchange of ideas helps me individually and lifts the profession collectively.”

— Eric Lyttle, Central Ohio Pro Chapter


“Connecting with people who understand was my reason for joining SPJ. It is a lifeline for me as a former daily reporter/editor now in education—how I stay on top of what’s happening in the newsroom. We share experiences that so few others have had and sometimes have a good laugh.”

— Tammy Merrett-Murry, St. Louis Pro Chapter


“There is nothing better and more fun than a room full of journalists. Society of Professional Journalists provides like minded individuals a chance to share ideas, network and encourage one another. SPJ welcomes creativity and competition which makes it a truly unique organization.”

— Tara Millspaugh, San Diego State University


“Being a member allows me to continue learning, sharing experiences and benefitting from experiences of others - things that come from a class or club relationship. I feel at ease knowing that I can access a supportive network of educated professionals who know their rights and will stand up for mine.”

— Eva Ruth Moravec, San Antonio Pro Chapter


“I'm a member of SPJ for so many reasons: Networking, professional development, support of journalists across the country. My interactions through SPJ have continued to inspire me and encourage me about the industry.”

— Jodie Mozdzer, Connecticut Pro Chapter


I’m a member of SPJ because it enables me to interact with journalists on my campus as well as local journalists. In my time as part of SPJ I’ve been able to network with journalists from all fields in different parts of the country.”

— Cassie Negley, The College at Brockport


“Being a journalist has been a passion since I was a young teenager, and SPJ supports that passion as well as our Constitutional right of a free press. I feel that being part of SPJ gives me opportunities to give back to the profession that is crucial to our society’s survival.”

— Kim Pewitt-Jones, Fort Worth Pro Chapter


“For me, SPJ is a source of professional development, a support group and a social network. It helps me to stay on top of journalism-related current events; get help covering stories; navigate technical difficulties of all kinds; keep things fresh, and connect with others in the field.”

— Anna Pratt, Minnesota Pro Chapter


“I joined SPJ because it’s the only organization on campus that stands for truth seeking and accuracy in reporting, which I am passionate about as a student journalist. To fulfill this mission at the University of Alabama, we devise every program to demonstrate ethics, diversity, FOI and/or service in journalism.”

— Amanda Sams, University of Alabama


“I am an SPJ member because it gives me another opportunity to work with people who love journalism. I believe we, as journalists, are at an important time in our profession. We stand at the crossroads of old school journalism and high tech news. We need to start working together to keep information alive and correct. It is my hope to bring the Society's beliefs to other young aspiring journalists in my school at the University of Oregon.”

— Joseph Stefan, University of Oregon


“The institution where I teach has just taken over leadership of our regional chapter, and I was selected as president. As a new member, I can already see the positive impact of our professional organization. Not only does SPJ set the highest ethical standards, I find the newsletters and other online resources invaluable in the classroom. As a working journalist, I also appreciate the change to network, commiserate with and learn from my colleagues.”

— Olive Sullivan, Southwest Missouri Pro Chapter


“I joined SPJ my freshman year of college to learn proper journalism and ethics outside of the classroom. SPJ not only provides an exciting way to enhance your journalism skills, but also allows for a plethora of opportunities to network with aspiring and professional journalist from around the country.”

— Carrie Sunde, Syracuse University


“I'm a member of SPJ because I want to have the opportunity to build a network with fellow journalists, stay on top of cutting edge developments in the journalism industry, and incorporate the SPJ Code of Ethics in every story I'm telling. I want to share my stories with the world while remembering to uphold the values of our membership.”

— Ali Trumbull, DePaul University


“SPJ is the ultimate professional network. When I moved across the country, to a city I’d never been to for a summer internship, the first thing I did was contact the local SPJ chapter. SPJ brings ambitious people together over a common passion for the media.”

— Meg Wagner, University of Florida


“I joined SPJ because I wanted to grow and learn about journalism with other journalism students. SPJ offers so many fantastic opportunities to improve, whether it's listening to a lecture on ethics in the workforce or touring a television station. I am so glad to be a part of this!.”

— Grace Webb, Minnesota State University Mankato


To read more about the Ted Scripps Leadership Institute, follow this link.

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Eugene S. Pulliam National Journalism Center
3909 N. Meridian St.
Indianapolis, IN 46208
317/927-8000 | Fax: 317/920-4789

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