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Ohio University Society of Professional Journalists chapter named best in nation

ATHENS, Ohio (Sept. 1, 2006) -- The Ohio University chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, which is sponsored by the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, was named the National Outstanding Campus Chapter for the 2005-06 academic year on Aug. 25 at the SPJ annual convention in Chicago.

The chapter was selected from 12 regional award winners after it was earlier named the Region 4 Outstanding Chapter for the fourth year in a row.

Judges credited the Ohio University SPJ chapter for its innovative programs and projects, most notably its public-records audit of 15 public universities in Ohio and a public panel discussion in October featuring journalists who were directly affected by Hurricane Katrina.

"It's no question that the Ohio University chapter leads by example....  This chapter enterprises important news and serves the profession of journalism and of the Society with distinction," read the announcement text.

SPJ, the nation's largest organization for professional journalists, has 10,000 members total and 199 campus chapters throughout the U.S.

With nearly 80 members, the Ohio University SPJ chapter is one of the largest campus chapters in the nation. Although sponsored by the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, the chapter is open to any Ohio University student who is interested in pursuing journalism as a career.

The chapter was led by students Erin McCarty (president, 2005-06), Meredith Heagney (vice president, 2005-06; president, 2004-05), Heather Irish (secretary, 2005-06), Claire Corbett (treasurer, 2005-06), Stefanie Klaus (programming chair, 2004-06 (two years)), Erin Smith (publicity chair, 2005-06; incoming chapter secretary), and first-year student liaisons Karen Zolka (incoming vice president) and Lee Robbins (incoming programming chair). Incoming chapter president Paul Kita and incoming treasurer Shari Stuerenberg were also credited for helping with many of the chapter programs.

The chapter advisers are assistant professors Bill Reader and Cary Roberts Frith of the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism.

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Media Contact: Assistant Professor of Journalism Bill Reader, (740) 597-1294 or reader@ohio.edu

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