Congratulations to Colin Donohue and Anthony Hatcher, SPJ’s Members of the Month for April and May

Colin Donohue and Anthony Hatcher at Elon University in North Carolina

Colin Donohue and Anthony Hatcher at Elon University in North Carolina

Colin Donohue, director of student media and instructor of Communications at Elon University in North Carolina, and Anthony Hatcher, associate professor of Communications and adviser to Elon’s campus SPJ chapter, are SPJ’s Members of the Month for April and May. Congratulations to Anthony and Colin!

They just wound up a successful Region 2 Conference at Elon, their second time around hosting the regional conference.

“I have been a staunch advocate of SPJ since I was a student at Elon,” Donohue said. “As a student, I served in a leadership role in our campus chapter. Since returning to work at Elon 10 years ago, I’ve supported our chapter whenever asked.”

 

Hatcher brought experience with a pro chapter to Elon. “I took over as adviser of the Elon University SPJ campus chapter in 2003, my second year at Elon. I am also a former treasurer for the North Carolina Pro Chapter of SPJ.”

“Organizing the regional conference has twice been a joy because of the educational opportunities we’ve been able to provide to professionals, students, faculty and staff throughout our region,” Donohue said. “Hosting the conference also strengthens our chapter. We’re able to raise funds and generate excitement about SPJ, which allows us to offer more networking, programming and travel opportunities to our students. We’re in for an exciting next couple of years.”

“Elon’s SPJ chapter was fortunate to have strong student leadership in 2016-2017,” Hatcher said. “Despite their intense involvement with student media, or perhaps because of it, some of our top students became SPJ leaders this year. Several of these young journalists have traveled with me to national Excellence in Journalism conferences.

“I look forward to strengthening our campus SPJ chapter in order to benefit our students both now and after graduation.”

Donohue and Hatcher were nominated by Region 2 Director Andy Schotz. Here’s what Andy says about the award-winning duo:

“The geography of Region 2 makes it easy to attract people to a conference in the north (Maryland, D.C.) and harder in the south (North Carolina).

“But with just a few tips and guidelines, they dove in and put together a superb conference. I don’t remember us having four choices of sessions in certain time slots, but this year’s conference did, and all were excellent.

“Attendees learned about helpful apps for using a smartphone for reporting, background to know when reporting on Muslims and Arabs, working the sports beat and a lot more. There was a great balance of SPJ core priorities of FOI, diversity, and ethics (one of the liveliest discussions we’ve had a regional conference), as well as social media and a timely, thoughtful panel discussion on the proliferation of fake news. There were résumé, portfolio and reel critiques. On short notice, they put together a silent auction that produced numerous bidding wars and raised several hundred dollars for the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation.

“Amazingly, they didn’t panic when the keynote speaker backed out because of health problems a few days before the conference. They found another speaker who shared the story of his harrowing path from artist to interpreter to journalist in his home country of Iraq during the war and how he had to flee the country with his family because of threats. It was memorable.

“Throughout the year, Colin and Anthony support SPJ, helping SPJ flourish in North Carolina. I commend them for their work and commitment.”

Do you know an outstanding SPJ volunteer? Nominate that person for Volunteer of the Month by contacting Susan S. Stevens, Membership Committee member, at susanstevens@aol.com. Please tell us briefly why you are nominating the person and why your nominee is worthy of recognition. Nominations are due the 5th of each month and announced by the 15th.

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