SPJ DePaul has reorganized as SPJ/ONA DePaul to better serve its student journalism members at DePaul University, the organization has announced.
The group combines its Society of Professional Journalists membership with the Online News Association by offering members the option to join ONA for an extra $25 annual fee. SPJ/ONA DePaul is among the first in the country to do this, joining the University of Georgia’s SPJ/ONA organization, among others.
“With the changes in our industry, this was the perfect time to bring the two organizations together under one umbrella at DePaul,” said SPJ/ONA DePaul adviser Mike Reilley, who’s a member of both organizations. “Our programming has long had a strong online base to it, so the transition is a seamless one for us. And combining ONA’s resources with SPJ programming gives our students the best of both worlds.”
SPJ/ONA DePaul’s first two programming efforts will be teaching social media to students at Payton Prep high school in Chicago in December, then playing host to a coding workshop with Chicago Tribune News Apps Developer Andy Boyle in January.
SPJ DePaul, the two-time national SPJ National Campus Chapter of the Year, also announced the launch of an alumni advisory committee to help mentor current members and shape the direction of the chapter.
SPJ/ONA DePaul, which is starting its fifth year, has more than 250 current and former members. The advisory committee comprises several former SPJ DePaul executive board members who currently work in the professional field:
Meghan Bower, Chicago Blackhawks
Monica Carter, Chicago Sun-Times/Aggrego
Lauren Camplin, ESPN
Ryann Rumbaugh, Live at Sunrise Reporter at KRCG 13, Columbia, Mo.
Ali Trumbull, Chicago Sun-Times/Aggrego
“Maintaining strong ties to our alumni base is critical not just for SPJ/ONA DePaul but for the DePaul University College of Communication,” Reilley said. “This alumni committee gives us a sounding board and resource for changes in the industry and a bank of ideas for how to grow and improve.”