CONTACT: MARY GERAGHTY KENYON
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0011; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Nov. 1, 2000
UI journalism students again win top national award from professional
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- For the second consecutive year, the University of Iowa
campus chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) has won the
National Outstanding Campus Chapter Award. The UI chapter is the first ever
to win the award two years in a row, each time beating 11 other university
SPJ chapters to win the national recognition. The award was announced at the
SPJ national convention, which was held in Columbus, Ohio Oct. 26-28.
Each year the Society recognizes both professional and campus chapters for
their outstanding professional programs, service activities, membership growth,
fund-raising projects and chapter communication through newsletters and other
sources. The UI chapter first was named the best campus chapter in its region,
which includes Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Southern Illinois University
at Edwardsville, and then was judged against other regional campus winners
on the basis of its annual report.
Richard Johns, a UI professor of journalism who has been the SPJ faculty
advisor for 28 years, said he was pleased to see the students' efforts pay
off in the unprecedented honor a second straight year.
"This is an unusual accomplishment," he said. "The judges
said they were impressed with our strength in each of the categories they
The officers for 1999-2000 were: Alissa Swango, president; Jenni Evans,
vice president; Jeremy Shapiro, treasurer; Kelly Gray, program director; Lauren
McClain, public relations director; Kate Thayer, newsletter coordinator; and
Richard Johns, SPJ faculty advisor. Gray and Shapiro continue as officers
this year, with Gray taking over as president and Shapiro retaining his position
Other regional campus chapter award winners were: Syracuse University, University
of Maryland, University of Miami, Ohio University, Indiana University at Bloomington,
St. Cloud State University, Southwest Texas State University, Colorado State
University, University of Oregon, San Diego State University, and University
of Louisiana at Lafayette.
FROM 1999 RELEASE: In presenting the award Gordon "Mac" McKerral,
vice president for Campus Chapter Affairs at SPJ, said the UI chapter had
an excellent well-rounded program that involved a variety of chapter members.
He cited the addition of 28 new members, the raising of $2,800 to help support
chapter activities and provide funding to send student members to national
and regional conventions, the outstanding chapter newsletters, and a special
service project in which members participated in the UI Dance Marathon to
support fund raising for children with serious illnesses.