Ithaca College’s Society of Professional Journalists chapter was named the national Campus Chapter of the Year on Thursday.
The Society of Professional Journalists is a national organization that is dedicated to First Amendment protections, high ethical standards, objectivity and diversity in journalism.
Mead Loop, associate professor of journalism and also the chapter’s adviser, said the achievement is the result of the dedication of the executive board.
“It feels great because I feel like it validates all the hard work that students like Julianne Feller, past chapter president, and current president Meagan McGinnes, [do to] provide really interesting and informative programs,” Loop said.
Last year, Loop was recognized by the national organization as Outstanding Campus Adviser.
McGinnes said the 2011 and 2012 executive boards worked to bring new programs to chapter members.
“I’m so proud of my whole executive board and everyone,” McGinnes said. “They worked so hard last semester and over the summer. It’s just nice to see that hard work has been rewarded for us in the fall.”
According to Loop, who was a former vice president of SPJ campus chapter affairs, programming is a deciding factor when choosing the recipient of the campus chapter award.
Loop said the college’s chapter in particular made great strides this year with their programming, especially bringing Hagit Limor, investigative reporter at WCPO-TV and national president of SPJ to campus for the 10-year anniversary of 9/11.
“We don’t waste people’s time,” Loop said. “When we have a meeting, it’s actually a program rather than a meeting to plan a program.”
McGinnes is campaigning to be a student representative on the national SPJ board.
“Hopefully being from a smaller school, but that just got chapter of the year, that will help with [the election],” McGinnes said.
The chapter was also recognized last year when the executive board was selected to help choose a national essay contest winner.
Brandon Doyle, vice president of the chapter, said the chapter is continuously at the top of the list, but this award could affect the greater college population.
“It’ll put Ithaca College on the map, a little higher, not only on a regional level but on a national level as well,” Doyle said. “Maybe we can use this to help recruit new members as well as help other SPJ chapters if they come to us for help.”
The award will be presented at the Excellence in Journalism 2012 convention in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., next month.
Assistant News Editor Candace King contributed to this report.