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SPJ honors Megan J. Peterson with Julie Galvan Outstanding Graduate in Journalism Award


For Immediate Release:

Lauren Rochester, Awards Coordinator, (317) 927-8000, ext. 210, lrochester@spj.org
Karen Grabowski, Communications Coordinator, (317) 927-8000, ext. 215, kgrabowski@spj.org

SPJ honors Megan J. Peterson with Julie Galvan Outstanding Graduate in Journalism Award

INDIANAPOLIS – The Society of Professional Journalists is pleased to honor Megan J. Peterson with the 2009 Julie Galvan Outstanding Graduate in Journalism Award.

A 2009 graduate of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Peterson has excelled in her studies and has made a significant mark at her university and in her community as a journalist and an active SPJ member.

Peterson was a leader in turning around her university’s SPJ chapter, recruiting members as well as encouraging active participation. After serving as chapter secretary and then vice-president for broadcast journalism, Peterson became chapter president. Her leadership and efforts influenced students to get involved on campus, attend regional events and continue their membership.

Fellow student Jenny You wrote this about Peterson in a nomination letter to SPJ: “Megan’s talent goes above and beyond reporting as a journalist. Her humility and kindness manifests through the SPJ – Eau Claire chapter. Megan has the characteristics of an ethical journalist, a personable reporter and a good friend to those in the community.”

In addition to strengthening the student chapter, Peterson is a broadcast journalism major and a music minor. She juggled her studies in addition to her position as both reporter and anchor with the on-campus dormitory TV channel, TV-10. Peterson was also honored with the 2009 Henry Lippold Fellow, which allowed her to partake in a three-week newsroom internship at KSTP-TV. An internship with WEAU-TV, the NBC affiliate in Eau Claire, also gave Peterson more experience for her intended career.

Studies and career were not her only interests while attending University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Peterson was involved in the community, too. She used her knowledge of Adobe Dreamweaver to create a Web site for a local church, and she also volunteered at Community Table, an Eau Claire organization that provides one meal every day to community members who need it.

“Ms. Peterson is by far the outstanding graduating senior among UW-Eau Claire SPJ members this year,” Assistant Professor Jack Kapfer and Professor Emeritus David Gordon, both SPJ chapter co-advisers, said in a nomination letter.

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 SPJ 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.

Peterson will be recognized Aug. 28 at the Mark of Excellence Awards Luncheon held during the 2009 SPJ Convention and National Journalism Conference in Indianapolis.

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 http://www.spj.org.


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