SPJ Florida and SPJ Region 3 teamed up to create the Student Chapters Network, an initiative for campus advisers and student leaders to build, develop and strengthen campus chapters. Not only that, but the network was created to help chapters — whether old, new, or being revamped — with the logistics of creating and promoting programs and events. Plus, connecting with your local professional chapter for assistance and networking opportunities
“Being a student leader with SPJ was a great way to prepare me for the job force,” said Emily Bloch, SPJ Florida’s vice president of programming and a Florida Atlantic University alumna who used SPJ to help her land a reporting job. “It helps give you a real grasp of both managing up and managing down. It also gives you ownership of something — your SPJ chapter can be anything you want it to be. That freedom is something you can’t get in a lecture hall.”
There are more incentives to get involved as a student:
- SCN can help you grow to become a great leader in today’s newsrooms as well. As a student journalist, motivated to become a leader or active members in your SPJ campus chapter, you recognize the need for ongoing skill training, while never forgetting the necessary quality and ethics placed into your work.
- You will be ready for the world of journalism, armed with knowledge, leadership skills, and determination. Step right in and become an SPJ student member!
- As an SPJ student leader, you have a unique opportunity right now to build, organize, and have a lot of fun planning parties, events, workshops and making contacts within your SPJ student chapter — and professional SPJ members.
And we can’t forget the college advisers and mentors.
“When I became faculty adviser of the SPJ chapter at Florida International University, I saw firsthand the importance of engaging students with SPJ activities and how that changed the lives of so many, who, through that experience, developed strong leadership skills, a sense of responsibility and a new passion for journalism,” said Chris Delboni, who won the David L. Eshelman Outstanding Campus Adviser Award in 2014 and helped revamp the Florida International University chapter, which was nominated four times Region 3 Chapter of the Year, making it to national finalist twice.
Here’s how SCN benefits advisers and mentors:
- It is a personal opportunity to mentor individual students. And isn’t that why you went into teaching and mentoring in the first place?
- Let’s face it, holding the position as an adviser of an SPJ student chapter is also good for your department, good for your reputation, and good on your resume.
- You will also have an adviser/mentor helpline for ideas, working through red tape, creating awesome programming, and help with the dreaded question of “How do I keep students motivated and organized?” — or to be in touch for no other reason than to vent or look for advice if the job is becoming overwhelming!
- You have the great chance to receive regional and national recognition and awards, such as SPJ David L. Eshelman Outstanding Campus Adviser Award.
“This network will provide the tools and resources for advisers to commiserate, communicate and exchange information, which will be fundamental for campus chapters to grow solidly as students graduate,” Delboni said.
- For advisers: SPJ Region 3 has created a new adviser incentive: SPJ Region 3 Outstanding Adviser of the Year – a $500 award for the best adviser of the region … to be used as you please.
- For students: How about some extra cash along with some great recognition? SPJ Region 3 has created the Outstanding Student Leader of the Year – a $100 annual award — to be given to the best student leader in Region 3.