For release: October 12, 2012
For press information, contact Curt Guenther, 901-678-2843
The University of Memphis Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists was named
the Outstanding Campus Chapter for its region at the organization’s annual Excellence
in Journalism conference last month in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Accepting the award on
behalf of the U of M chapter was Journalism Department Chairman David Arant.
The region includes 14 campus chapters in Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana.
The award recognized the U of M chapter for its work during the 2011-2012 academic
year. Chelsea Boozer served as chapter president until December 2011. The current
chapter president is Christopher Whitten, and the vice president is Shelia Guerrero.
“We were honored to receive the award. I think it is recognition of the outstanding
work by the journalism students at the U of M,” said Tom Hrach, faculty adviser for
the chapter. “I would expect this is only the start of great things from our chapter.”
During the past academic year, the chapter sponsored events that focused on career
training, First Amendment principals, community service and the need for freedom of
Highlights of the year included the annual Freedom of Information Congress in March,
which featured New York Times media reporter Brian Stelter, and the “Helmsman Through the Years” event in April,
which highlighted the history of The Daily Helmsman. The chapter also sponsored the Freedom of the Press panel discussion in November
2011, along with a career-training event featuring Kevin Slimp of the Newspaper Technology
Institute in October 2011.
The Society of Professional Journalists is a nationwide organization dedicated to
supporting the journalistic principals of free speech, ethics and public information.
The U of M chapter’s award was presented to Arant by John Ensslin, outgoing president
of the national organization.
For more information, contact Tom Hrach at firstname.lastname@example.org or 901-590-4949.